I would only spend money on university resources if I found it completely necessary, if there was no other option or if i thought that a certain book would have an enormous value in my course. At this point I must say, as I have also said in St. Alban’s at the SAGE Booksellers’ conference, that I have only bought two books for my studies (so far). One of them was new (can’t remember the price but it must have been reasonable) and the other one second-hand. The reason for me purchasing those book is that I will be using them throughout my whole course, i.e. all three years. I would never spend money on a book that would be only useful for a term. Not only because I’m a student and students usually live on a tight budget, but also because I expect my university library to have all the resources I need to complete my course with a grade I desire. I am after all paying £9.000 per year for my degree.
Following that, I only use resources that are peer-reviewed or recommended by tutors and/or lecturers. I always check library online search for my resources first. Online library consists of articles that I can trust and am confident to reference in my coursework. For better understanding I also use YouTube videos, where people explain concepts in a more illustrative way (ASAP Science or IFL Science comes to mind). I wouldn’t however reference such videos, since I’m not sure how they’d be accepted among my tutors.
I have accounts over all sorts of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. I use Twitter when I want to connect to a certain hashtag (such as #sussexug) and LinkedIn for career/job-related searches. Facebook on the other hand can be used for both personal things and studying. We have a group for psychology students, where people can post if they have any questions or if they came across an interesting topic related to course. If I saw a post like that, I would definitely check it and then decide what value it holds.
But for studies I probably use our Study Direct (VLE) forum even more than Facebook. I can ask any question related to any module and I will get a response from either another student, but (almost) always from a tutor/lecturer as well. I’d say that the answers we get there are the ones of the highest value since tutors and lecturers know what they are talking about. They are also the ones assessing our coursework and any tips are welcome before our deadlines.
Before I submit a lab report or an essay or any other type of coursework I try to use everything mentioned. I always ask my friends how they did it, I check all discussions on Facebook and Study Direct forum. I like to think that using social media helps me get better grades.