Allen College

Academic Resources

The Allen College Student Success Office is dedicated to helping students succeed.  The Academic Resources page was created to assist students in achieving academic success.  Our aim is to partner with academe to enhance and support your total academic experience and to promote your academic achievement and retention.  Assistance is available with time management, study skills, note taking, reading a text, writing, overcoming test anxiety, test-taking strategies, and other areas related to student success.  Referrals are made for students requiring assistance with severe test anxiety and other needs not provided directly by the Student Success Office.  In addition to the online resources that can be accessed through the Academic Resources webpage, face-to-face meetings with the Student Success staff are encouraged if you would like additional assistance in areas related to your academic success.  For additional information, contact one of the Student Success Office staff members listed below.

Sarah Craw
Director of Student Success and Engagement
(319) 226-2007
Barrett Forum, Room 129

Schedule a Student Success appointment
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
Thursdays: virtual appointments only

Helpful Study Skills Links

When you attempt to view the panopto recordings linked below, if the recording will not open in Internet Explorer, try using Google Chrome or Firefox. Click the panopto link, select UNI eLearning from the drop-down box, and enter your Blackboard username and password to view the recording.

Available Resources:

Time Management
Managing Your Time
Contains time management resources, including planner templates, to help you to organize your time

Making and Following a Study Schedule
Offers you tips for using a study schedule to organize your time and get everything done.  Explore this site for additional information related to time management and studying.

Study Schedule Template 

Assignment Calculator
Use the Assignment Calculator on this site to develop a step-by-step plan to tackle your writing and presentation tasks.  Each step toward completion includes links to help you to master that step.

Time Management Panopto

Studying More Effectively
This five-part video series (plus introduction) was created by Dr. Stephen Chew of Samford University to help college students learn how to make their learning more effective. This is an excellent resource if you want to improve your approach to studying.

Introduction: Developing a Mindset for Successful Learning

Part 1: Beliefs that Make You Fail... or Succeed

Dr. Chew discusses common misconceptions that many new college students have about studying-- basic beliefs that can undermine your learning. (video)

Part 2: What Students Should Know About How People Learn

Dr. Chew explains the principles of how people learn best, demonstrates how to use those principles to improve the effectiveness of your study, and compares shallow vs. deep processing and the effect of each on your level of learning. (video)

Part 3: Cognitive Principle for Optimizing Learning

Dr. Chew discusses how to accomplish deep processing as you study and improve your learning in the process. (video)

Part 4: Putting Principles for Learning into Practice

 Dr. Chew explains how to use the deep-processing learning techniques while you take notes and read a textbook to achieve deep learning in those activities. (video)

Part 5: I Blew the Exam, Now What?

Don't panic or go into denial. Dr. Chew discusses what you should do to improve this situation and avoid making it worse. (video)

Memory/Learning Principles
Improve your study skills by learning how to enhance your memory. Learning principles related to memory are defined and additional information is given

Improving Your Memory Skills Panopto
Incorporating the principle of memory into your study to enhance your retention of material.

Improving Concentration, Memory, and Motivation

Taking Notes 
Note Taking Methods and Tips
Find a note taking method that works for you.

Tips for Taking Effective Lecture Notes

Note Taking Panopto

Cornell Note-taking Method template

Reading a Textbook
SQ3R Method of Reading a Text Panopto
This panopto will introduce you to a method of reading a textbook that will improve your retention of what you are reading.  It may take a little longer to do your reading, but it is time well spent if you can retain the information.

SQ3R Method Handout
Outlines the steps of the SQ3R reading method.

How to Read Textbooks and Technical Material
This 27-minutes webinar by Paul Nowak, the founder of Iris Reading, is a must-view if you are feeling overwhelmed by your textbooks and struggling to figure out how to comprehend and remember the material you are reading. The methods described follow the format of the SQ3R method and demonstrate how to apply the steps to technical/textbook reading, the use of highlighting and note taking, and the examination of diagrams and graphs.

How to Remember More of What You Read
This webinar will teach you a three-step strategy for reading that uses the principle of repetition and helps you to remember more of what you read.

Additional Reading
For additional information on becoming a critical reader, please see How to Be an Effective Critical Reader

Test Taking Help

Test Question Analysis Panopto

This Panopto will provide you with strategies for tackling those tough application/analysis level test questions.

Test-Taking Strategies Videos
These videos were created for Nursing students by the Methodist College Center for Student Success and cover test-taking strategies and ways to prioritize your actions for questions that ask which patient you should see first.

Process for Analyzing Test Questions Handout
This document goes with the Test Question Analysis Panopto

11 Tips for Passing Tests
This webinar, produced by, will provide you with hints to help you analyze questions, select the best answer, and avoid traps within the questions. Explore the website for additional free aids for nursing students.

Test-Taking Strategies Panopto
General strategies for test taking as well as some rules for specific types of questions.

Test Anxiety
Overcoming Test Anxiety Panopto
This panopto will give you some strategies to combat the test anxiety that is preventing you from accurately demonstrating your knowledge.

Test Anxiety Tips
This site is an excellent resource that covers what test anxiety is; its causes; its common cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms; and tips for overcoming test anxiety. There are also several short video tutorials that you can investigate.

Stress Management
Take Control of Your Stress
This website will help you with ways to reduce, prevent, and cope with the stress in your life. 

  • For information about free and confidential counseling services through the Allen Employee Assistance Program (EAP), see #6 under Allen College Resources below.

Student Mental Health
Do you sometimes feel that you just do not have it all under control and your stress and anxiety level have gone through the roof? Your life as a student in a health care field is very busy and stressful. Maintaining your mental health is an important component of being a successful, happy student and a proficient future practitioner. This website offers you some practical advice about maintaining equilibrium  and meeting the challenges of a healthcare education. Every time you read "nursing" insert your program name.

Some of the resources mentioned by the authors are not available on campus, but there are often community-based substitutions. Please contact me for additional information or questions.

General Study Strategies

Improving Your Study Skills Panopto
The strategies presented in this panopto should be a part of your study skills if you are serious about your academic success.

Successful Study Habits
Videos and documents to help you improve your study skills and strategies.
This site is a great resource for nursing and allied health. It contains organizational, learning, memory, and test taking resources. See the "How to Write and How to Study - by subject" area. Under Nursing, click on "Your Context for Success".

Medication Calculation Review and Practice Quizzes
Whether you are new to medication calculation or just want to brush up after not having had to use this for years, these practice quizzes will help you to feel more confident in your ability to set the problem up appropriately and arrive at the correct answer.  The quizzes are numbered 1 through 7 and go from very basic (converting from one unit of measure to another) to progressively more difficult (mcg/kg/min).  There is an answer sheet so that you can check your answers as you go.  You may want to begin with the Review document for a quick tutorial on equivalents, rounding, and setting up a problem in ratio/proportion format.  The tip sheet is a pocket sized resource for calculating drip rates of IVs.

    Quiz #1   Quiz #5      Answer Key
  Quiz #2
 Quiz #6      Med Calc Review
Quiz #3  Quiz #7      Tip Sheet
Quiz #4    

If you would like additional tutorials and practice problems, please go to

Writing Assistance
College Writing Handbook  
This college writing handbook identifies the qualities that distinguish good academic writing from bad, informal writing and provides practical measures for avoiding pitfalls.

UNC Writing Handouts
Excellent resource containing multiple handouts to help you with various aspects of your writing, including introductions, conclusions, and style.

Paraphrasing and Quoting Sources
This document from the UW-Madison writing center will walk you through the step of formatting an adequate, successful paraphrase. It also contains information on what constitutes general as well as field-specific common knowledge-i.e., information that does not need to be cited. Be sure to read the entire document.

Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
This StudentLingo workshop will help you to avoid unintentional plagiarism which can result if you do not understand what constitutes plagiarism.  Includes a discussion of what is considered common knowledge.  Enter your name and click on the workshop title.

Using Commas (and other punctuation) Correctly
This document compiles all of the rules for the use of commas and other punctuation as well as specific rules for APA style

The Blue Book of Grammar & Punctuation 
This resource can be considered your complete guide to grammar and punctuation, confusing words (e.g., affect vs. effect), apostrophe use, and other topics.

Help for Writing Your Resume
Although this guide is titles The Complete Guide to Resume Writing for Nursing Students and Alumni, there is valuable information for you, no matter what program you are in. If you have questions or would like some help with your resume, please contact the Student Success Office. 

APA Resources
Writing Style
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (latest edition) is required in all courses at Allen College and is considered the final authority should any questions arise regarding style and form. The manual can be purchased at University Book and Supply across from the UNI campus. There are also copies on reserve in the Allen College Barrett Library. The Manual is also available from or may be purchased in electronic formats online.

APA Formatting and Style Summary
This presentation was given by Dr. Brenda Barnes at the Spring 2021 Allen College Orientation. Dr. Barnes has summarized many key pieces of APA formatting and provided a variety of resources for the mastery of this writing style.

APA Formatting-7th Ed.
This Panopto reviews the basic rules for formatting a paper in APA style-including margins, spacing, and font-and shows you how to change the default settings so that your papers will comply to these guidelines each time you open a new document.

APA Citations-7th Ed.
This Panopto reviews the basics of citing your sources appropriately in APA Format.

APA References- 7th Ed.
This Panopto reviews the basics of formatting the reference list and includes examples of the more common reference formats.

APA Grading Key-7th Ed.
This guide identifies the most common APA-Style errors that your instructor will be looking for in your papers. Paying careful attention to these points will help prevent the loss of points due to errors or lack of knowledge concerning APA style requirements. This should not be considered a substitute for your APA Manual; it is meant as a quick guide. Print a copy and refer to it often as you work on your papers. If you need additional help, refer to the sections of your APA manual that are referenced. This document will also be a handy guide for interpreting your instructors' comments on your papers.

APA Crosswalk - 6th Ed. to 7th Ed.
This document will show you the changes that occurred with the printing of the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual compared to the 6th edition.

Creating a Running Head
If your instructor requires you to include a Running Head in your student paper, this document is a step-by-step guide to creating a running head that conforms to APA guidelines (for Word documents).

Bookmarks for Your APA Manual
Use this document to help you bookmark the most-used sections of your 7th Edition Manual.

"English as a Second Language" Resources
Article Use
The use of the English articles (a, an, and the) is often a challenge to student writers who are not native English speakers. The authors of this University of Toronto document did an excellent job of explaining the rules for using articles and added a quick-reference chart that you can use to review those rules as needed.

Grammar Guide
English grammar rules can be confusing and frustrating. This book will assistance you in areas such as distinguishing between the use of similar words, (can/may, continuous/continual), and determining when to use the various verb tenses. Quizzes are provided to allow you to test your knowledge.

ESL Writing Resources
Writing resources for students for whom English is their second language.

English Learners Dictionary
Ideal dictionary for English language learners. Easy to understand definitions and pronunciations. 

Writing and Vocabulary Guides
Handouts/Worksheets to assist with writing, taking notes, building vocabulary, using graphs, and other topics.

UWB ESL Student Handbook
This handbook has helpful advice on the topics of writing, vocabulary, speaking and email communication.

Medical Dictionary and Pronunciation Guide
Learn not only the meaning, but also the correct pronunciation of medical terminology.

Study Aides
5-Day Study Plan

Lab Values Cheat Sheet

Allen College Resources

  1. The Tip of the Week is a regular feature of the Student Success course in Blackboard (the eLearning portion of many of your courses). You should be enrolled in this course; contact the Office of Enrollment Management (319) 226-2014 if it is not listed in your Blackboard courses. The Tip of the Week will be in the announcements of this course and should appear every Wednesday or Thursday. These tips will cover a variety of topics, from common punctuation mistakes that I see in papers to how to reference a site that you found on the web to tips for time management and more. Check them out on a regular (weekly!) basis and let me know if you would like additional information on any of the topics.

  2. Student Lingo offers two workshops. One is entitled "Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism" and should be viewed before you start your first writing project at the college.  The information presented in this workshop will help you to determine if you are citing where necessary and whether or not you are paraphrasing adequately. The first time you use StudentLingo you will need to register by providing your first and last name and your email. Create a password that is at least six characters in length and click Register. On the next page, select the workshop you would like to watch. The next time you go to StudentLingo, you will use the SIGN IN link and provide your email and the password that you created.

  3. TurnItIn can be used to check your papers for plagiarism issues before you submit them to your instructor. Student drop boxes for TurnItIn can be found in the Student Success course in your Blackboard account. Open the current Student Success course and click on the TurnItIn link on the left side of the page. When TurnItIn opens, take time to read the instructional documents.

    • The drop boxes in the Student Success course are for your use as you work through the early drafts of your paper. Follow your instructor's directions for the submission of your final draft.
    • TurnItIn is a tool to help you detect plagiarism in your written work; in is not a definitive indicator of originality or plagiarism.
    • When reviewing your similarity report, regardless of the similarity index obtained, be sure that you review all of the matches identified by TurnItIn to assess whether or not you have paraphrased adequately and cited appropriately for each match.
    • Due to the way that TurnItIn is set up, if you resubmit a paper after making alterations, you may have to wait up to 24 hours to receive the similarity report. Please plan accordingly.
    • SafeAssign, a Blackboard plagiarism resource, and the Grammarly plagiarism tool are also available to you. Neither of these resources are as robust as TurnItIn and will not detect as many matches as TurnItIn. Their data bases consist primarily of internet sources. TurnItIn is your best option for plagiarism detection.
  4. Tutoring:
    NetTutor provides you with writing tutoring and subject-matter tutoring for many of the classes that you will be taking.  You have the option of synchronous or asynchronous tutoring.  In a synchronous/live tutoring session you will connect one-on-one with a live tutor to answer your questions about your paper or course content.  Upon your request, the tutor can activate audio and video, otherwise you will communicate by texting.  With asynchronous help, you will receive a response within 48 to 72 hours, depending on the availability of tutors and the number of students seeking assistance at that time. Certain times of the semester, such as midterm and the final weeks of class, may have higher usage and require longer wait times. Please plan accordingly.

    For information on how to access and navigate NetTutor for tutoring assistance, please go to the NetTutor Landing Page.

    The tutors have hours of availability five to seven days a week. If you open NetTutor and see a message that the tutor for the content area you have selected is not available at the current time, click on the calendar icon that is located near your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page to view the current tutoring schedule.

  5. is an automated grammar and punctuation tutor and revision tool for academic writing. After uploading your draft, you will receive immediate instructional feedback on over 100 points of grammar and some punctuation. The first time that you use Grammarly, click on Join Your Organization in the upper right corner and fill in the requested information (Name, Allen email, password). Using your email will give you access to Grammarly free of charge.  If you are asked to purchase the service, you are on the wrong website.  You will receive an email containing a link that you will use to activate your account. The next time you sign in, use your email and the password that you created.

    Grammarly can also be added to your computer if you would prefer to have the advantage of receiving real-time correction suggestions as you write rather than submitting the document to Grammarly after writing it. For access to Grammarly's plug-ins and extensions, please click here.

  6. Student counseling services are available through Allen's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) office, which offers unlimited, free, confidential assessment, short-term counseling, and referral, if necessary, to Allen College students. To learn more please visit the Health Resources page.

  1. Contact the Allen College Student Success Office for assistance if you are experiencing any academic difficulty or would like help developing or improving the skills that you need for success.  Feel free to call, email, or drop in if you have concerns.  Contact information is found above.

  2. The Allen College Student Ombudsperson provides a safe, confidential place for students to be heard and to receive impartial attention without the fear of loss of privacy. Please click on the link to learn more about reasons you may wish to contact the Ombudsperson and what you can expect.

Academic Accommodations

If you are interested in seeking academic accommodations, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities policy.  If you wish to have special accommodations for your licensure or certification exam, you may need to show that you received those accommodations while you were completing your course work.  Such proof is required for the NCLEX-RN; for your specific certification/licensure, check with the issuing organization for requirements.