FEEDBACK: Just finished your first semester?; What do you wish you had known?

Published On June 22, 2010 | By ED | News

The Student Support Team (and a bunch of other staff across campus) are currently putting together Mid Year Orientation (July 15 & 16) … and we want to know what you think we should be including? So, if you’ve just finished your first Semester what do you wish you had known before starting? Hit us up in comments with your thoughts so we can include them in our plans.

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15 Responses to FEEDBACK: Just finished your first semester?; What do you wish you had known?

  1. Jade says:

    Learning styles and how to best study for different learning styles.

    As an external student, I also feel things like how to make the most of time when studying. I’ve now got a list of things that I can do in 5 mins, in 10 mins, in 15 mins etc. I also make sure that I always have things like flashcards etc on me, just in case I’m waiting longer at appointments etc – then I can fit some study in.

  2. Grace says:

    Don’t take an elective just because it has been recommended. By all means, take elective units that are recommended, but check them out first and if you’re not sure if it is suitable, ask for more information.

    I almost did this, but didn’t because I didn’t understand electives properly and just went along with things. It’s been my biggest regret all semester.

  3. C.A. says:

    I wish I knew what to do when things ‘go wrong’ – i.e what to do when you can’t submit an assessment? What to do when you can’t contact a lecturer? What is the procedure for submitting assessments when E-Submission is offline/down/just plain broken? What happens if I can’t attend residential school? What happens of I fail an assessment? How do I know I am eligible to graduate?

    So many things – some easier to find answers to than others – and often its 11pm when you need an urgent answer because you have 1 hr left before the assessment is due!

  4. Cheryl says:

    I found getting readings, essays and notesl organised the most difficult, and only established a user-friendly system towards the end of my first semester – histories. This was achieved by =
    1. One folder per unit.
    2. Check out the topic notes and download all required reading and section into folders. Do not download all readings until it is established they are required.
    3. Make notes on each reading as it is completed.
    4. Establish at the outset which essay topics you wish to undertake for essays. Plan your essay early, set up a card system and as you are taking notes include a reference on each relevant card so it becomes easier to locate references when the time comes to write essay.s
    More information is needed for helping students write essays in the style relevant to their unit. Each unit seems to differ.
    Hope this helps

  5. Jade says:

    Cheryl – that system sounds great – might have to implement it for S2

  6. Chris Wood says:

    I’m really cheating as I’m in the later part of a double degree … but here are some tips for beginners.

    1. Don’t expect all lecturers to behave the same. Establish a baseline expectation for lecturers and structure your study style according to this. It then becomes a bonus when you get a good lecturer who’s very conducive. You are still able to survive the subject however if you have a demanding, uncooperative, uncommunicative lecturer.

    2. Look up some research on ‘Positive Psychology’. I have attended some management seminars recently where they have discussed this together with ‘resilience’. The point of this reccomendation is, prepare for and establish mechanisms by which you are able to deal with preasure and dis-appointment.

    3. Work out a study method early on and re-use it. E.g. In the law school there is pre-dominately open book exams. Therefore I find it easier to have an index style summary page of brief notes that point me to where I can find more detailed information about particular issues within topics.

    Hope this help from a seasoned studier.

  7. rebecca says:

    cheating too but never mind
    I really wish I had known that most access codes are a waste of time find out if they are actually required for the unit before you pay for a brand new book

  8. Sonia says:

    rebecca – I am starting in a couple of weeks and the thought of saving money appeals – but I dont know what you mean by “access codes” to know if it is relevant to me… are you able to elaborate?

  9. Kath says:

    About the books; just wait until they are used in class before buying them e.g. page references and quotes, otherwise we buy them for no reason. Check out the books recommended for ANPR417 for example; I’d be broke before buying half of them and often the study guide along is sufficient and the books are only mentioned incase we want to read further into the topic. Hope this helps.

  10. Paula says:

    I found that it was ALL new knowledge for me. I would have liked to have known the following BASIC information:
    What does the average unit entail – for example: The average week may involve downloading and viewing / listening to a lecture, reading through prescribed and suggested reading materials, participating in required activities, and preparing assignments.
    Each unit will provide with a Unit Information booklet, and an Assessment booklet. Some units may also provide study guides, topic notes, etc in addition to these two booklets. Some units may send you information on a disc, other u8nit content will be completely online.
    You may be required to collaborate with others students through the use of a wiki tool within your online learning system. You can find out more about what wiki’s are and how to use them here
    An e-reserve is a chapter or section of reading that your lecture has placed on a central depository for you to access that is highly relevant or essential to your study. (Include details of how to download them.)
    Other basics to include – how to use Sakai, how to use Blackboard, maybe even set up a ‘trial run’ of how to use Turnitin and e-submission. It was really nerve wracking using these tools for the first time, and it would be good to use them on a dummy run before you used them for a real live assessment when the pressure was on.
    How to source a student card and why external students need one.
    How to source extra information from the library – for example chapter photocopies of reserve readings. How to source journal articles from databases.
    How to buy your text books. I am not sure if it just me, and my poor internet navigation skills, but it seems both the United Campus bookshop link and Second hand bookshop link are very hidden in the UNE website. Try typing ‘second hand textbook’ into the search function of the UNE website and nothing comes up, but I know it is there somewhere….
    How to source your student diary and wall planner.
    I could go on and on here with all of the information I fumbled my way to find at the start of Semester 1. But I think you get the picture. The good news is that I got there in the end.
    I understand that most of this information is on the UNE website SOMEWHERE; however, it would make the life of a new student so much easier and less stressful if it was all included in one kit or downloadable file.

  11. Megan says:

    TOPIC SUMMARIES!! We all know they are a bit of effort during the first semester when you are settling in, it can be difficult to find the time, but doing a review of each chapter pays off around exam time.

  12. Catherine says:

    I do agree with Paula. Many external students are mature age, and are ICT migrants who do not know naturally how to do all the online things. The Uni web site is pretty confused and confusing, as is MyUni (when it works). Sakai, Blackboard and wikis can be bewildering for people who’ve never used them before. But there’s very little that’s helpful in the way of instructions. I suppose what there is is written by people who think it’s all clear, because they know exactly how it all works. Perhaps they need to consult with students, including some older ones.

    I didn’t even know there was a student diary and wall planner, and I’m just finishing up my degree …

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  15. I pressed the “Notify me when new comments are added” box and now every time a comment is made I get lots of emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can delete me from that service? Thank you

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