How to organise my time better

how to organise your time effectively and how to organise study time
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Published Date:04-07-2017
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‘Moving On’ A package of information and workshop materials addressing skills for Higher Education, to assist in building confidence and success.section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: Introduction Introducing this Package This study skills package aims to help you to feel confident about moving on to Higher Education by making you more familiar with what to expect, and what will be expected of you. The package contains information on the following topics to help you prepare for university, and to be a confident student and successful student during your Higher Educational experience. ■ What is expected of you and how to organise your time. ■ Preparation for study, what you can do now to get ready. ■ The learning experience and teaching methods at university. ■ Other resources at university and how to use them. ■ Working with others. ■ Research with the World Wide Web. ■ Academic writing. ■ Further help. You can concentrate on any of these topics in any order, on your own, or with the help of a tutor, or with friends. For each section there is an optional practical workshop sheet. These materials have been produced by Dr Jill Terry (based at University College Worcester) for the Collaborative Widening Participation Project (Coventry University, University College Worcester,The University of Warwick). For further copies please ring Jenny Eborall on 024 7688 7109 or email on 12section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: Contents Is Higher Education University Procedures for Y ou? and Skills for Succeeding at University Preparing for 3 THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND TEACHING METHODS AT UNIVERSITY University and Lectures 17-18 Seminars 18 Organising Y our Tutorials 18 Private study 18 Studies Appointments with tutors 19 Notetaking from lectures and seminars 20-21 1WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AND Notetaking from books 21 HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME Worksheet 3 23-24 Contact hours and time commitment 7 4OTHER RESOURCES AT UNIVERSITY Study time 7 AND HOW TO USE THEM Deadlines 8 Library 25 Time management 9 Internet 26 Worksheet 1 10 People 27 A glossary of research terms 28-30 2 PREPARATION FOR STUDY - WHAT Worksheet 4 31-32 YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY 5WORKING WITH OTHERS Read actively 11 Group assignments 34 Academic books 12 Making a presentation 35 Writing practise 12-13 Giving a presentation 36 Computer skills 13 Worksheet 5 37-38 The internet 13 Creating a study environment 14 6 RESEARCH WITH THE WORLD WIDE Worksheet 2 15-16 WEB Electronic material 39-40 Worksheet 6 41-43 7ACADEMIC WRITING Forms of assessment 45 The essay 45-48 The essay checklist 49 Writing reports 50 Exams 51-53 Assessment 54 Punctuation 55-56 Word processing and filing information 57 Plagarism 58 Compiling references and bibliographies 58-62 Worksheet 7 63-64 8 FURTHER HELP Suggestions for other sources of further advice 65-66 34section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: Is Higher Education for You? Q What can I do if I need to develop these Is Higher skills before applying to Higher Education? A Education Your local Further Education College offers ‘Access’ and other courses, such as a Foundation Year, that will prepare you for all aspects of university. You may decide that you for Y ou? just need to enrol on a course to give you some background to the subject area that interests you, or to develop a specific skill, More and more people are entering Higher such as computing for example. Education and at every age and stage of life. You may feel apprehensive about embarking on university study, particularly if you have been away Q What subject will you choose? from education for some time. The guidelines here are intended to help you to evaluate whether you A You might choose a subject that follows on are ready to take the next step towards Higher from a course that you have been doing, but Education and, if you do take that step, what this you might choose a subject that is new to experience may mean in practical terms. you. You can often combine more than one Here are some basic questions and answers,to subject and keep your options open. If you give you more idea about whether Higher have a particular career in mind you should Education may be for you: check which subjects will be appropriate. Examine prospectuses carefully to get a good idea of what subjects and combinations are on Q Do you have the qualifications to do a offer and what they will involve. Speak to a degree? Careers Officer or College Admissions Advisor about this. On Access courses you A These days there are a number of entry will be able to try out three or four subjects routes to Higher Education. You do not before picking a Higher Education Course. necessarily need A-levels. The previous experience that you have will be valued, and Q mature students (21 and over) can apply Why go to University? without formal qualifications. Look at prospectuses for universities in your local A You will have your own reasons, but you can library or college. Speak to the admissions include the following as good ones: officer at the university to find out whether you are ready to apply. ■ To make good friends. ■ To get a good degree. Q ■ To get a different job. How much help will you get? ■ To develop creativity. A Studying at university is different from other ■ To develop new interests. types of education in that you will be ■ To do something for yourself. expected to work much more independently. ■ To develop new skills. There will be support, but quite a lot of the ■ To have lots of fun. time you will be doing work on your own in the library or at home. This will bring its own ■ To improve career prospects. rewards as you gain confidence in your ■ To work with others. independent learning and enjoy the flexibility ■ To develop confidence. of making your own choices about the ■ To think differently. direction of your research. Many of the skills ■ To try out new things. that you will need are ones that you may have developed through working and organising ■ To enjoy learning. home life so don’t underestimate yourself. 56section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 1: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AND HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME Contact Time Preparing for As a rough guide, your contact time might look like this: Two semesters (similar to ‘terms’) of University approximately 16 weeks. Of these 12 weeks will be contact and time with taught classes. (The other four will usually be a ‘reading week’ and time for assessments.) The 16 week Organising semesters will run from the end of September to the beginning of December, and Your Studies from the end of January to the beginning of May. WHAT IS EXPECTED OF OR YOU AND HOW TO Three terms of approximately 10 weeks. 1 ORGANISE YOUR TIME 1 Like school terms, but beginning later and ending Use this section to acquaint yourself with the earlier. demands of university life before you go, and to prepare in your pre-university time. In each week full-time students may expect 4 or 5 classes, each of approximately 3 - 5 hours duration. CONTACT HOURS AND TIME This may be split between an hour-long lecture and 1 COMMITMENT a 1 /2 hour seminar. This will vary according to the subject you are studying as courses in nursing, Before you can think about teaching and science for example require greater what your life is going to be time in class, commitment for practical work and like when you are at longer terms to account for work placement. university, you need to have a very clear idea about just So, your contact time (when you must be in how much of your time is college) may, for example, be 12 - 16 hours a week going to have to be spent in for 2 blocks of 12 weeks if you are a full-time class, researching and writing student on a humanities course, but may well be assignments.You can then assess more than this. how much time will be left over for you to squeeze the rest of STUDY TIME your life into and how much co-operation you will need from your friends and family In addition to the time when you are required to be in a class, you will need time on ‘campus’ to Different subject areas and different universities research in the library, complete set reading, to talk require students to be available for varying amounts with your fellow students, to use the computers of ‘contact time’ (the time when you are in face to and to relax The amount of time needed for your face contact with the tutor). It is very important own personal study will increase when you are that you ask an advisor at the university (someone approaching assignment deadlines.You will find that in ‘Admissions’ or ‘Registry’, or the relevant there will be periods when you are working academic department) to let you have the timetable intensively on assignments and everything else may for your course/s as soon as possible. Although have to go by the board. universities may not circulate this information until near the start of the course, they generally have it available much much earlier (in the Spring of the preceding year) and can supply it on demand. 7‘Moving On’: section 1: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AND HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME DEADLINES You will be given assignment deadlines, usually at the beginning of each separate course or module. These dates do not mean that you should leave all work until they arrive. It is common for assignment deadlines for different courses you are studying to fall in the same week – usually mid-way through the semester/term and at the end – and you will not be able to work on them all at once. You will find that universities are not flexible about deadlines. This is because of the large volume of work to be marked by tutors and because of the need to have work marked, a sample double marked, and a sample marked by an external examiner prior to ‘Exam Boards’ which happen at fixed times. You will need to recognise this fact about university deadlines and plan your work accordingly. Of course, in exceptional circumstances, where something untoward happens to prevent you handing in work on time, there will be formal mechanisms for arranging extensions. In this event, you will probably be required to produce evidence, for example a doctor’s certificate, so bear this in mind. The university will have printed regulations about how to apply for extensions which you should study just in case. ● For further advice see section 8:‘FURTHER HELP’. 8 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 1: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AND HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME TIME MANAGEMENT Preparation: How will you manage to get the assignments done? In order to prepare your time-management skills you might consider the following points: There are some simple things which you can do to lessen the panic of running out of time for ● When you first return to formal study you assignments. will find tasks take you longer as you are not used to these activities, and will not be ● First of all, you should use a year planner to quick at finding resources and using them. mark all the actual deadline dates for the Many aspects of study will take much semester/term. (If you are attending a course longer than expected. now, e.g.,Access, Foundation,A-levels, start working on your time management.) ● As you progress you will find that you can get tasks done in less time but schedule ● Next you should mark all of your personal time for unforeseen events and for time commitments that you know will prevent you off. from working on assignments, e.g., family birthdays, weekends away, commitments with ● Prepare yourself by working through children and periods of particular demand in Section 2:‘PREPARATION FOR STUDY’ your job. and getting used to ways of saving time researching, reading, and writing notes. ● Next you should share out your own assignment deadlines and tasks into the spaces. This will ● Prepare your friends and family by making give you time for working on assignments sure they are very aware of the through the term. Yes, this does mean that you commitment that you are going to be may be researching and writing notes before you making. Make your time planner very have had a lecture on a topic. It will encourage visible to all so that they are aware of the you to be thinking about, and working on, periods when you will be most in need of assignments continuously and you will have a their support. bank of research and notes ready for adding to, and be prepared for the final write up. ● Recognise that you may not be able to carry on life as before. Even if no ● Help yourself by being housework or gardening gets done in term organised. time, you will be able to blitz it all in the summer. ● Try to visit the library on the same days as ● You have to find out what works for you, your teaching sessions. and for those close to you. The same Keep a diary with a list pattern of work doesn’t suit everyone. of everything that you hope to achieve in that Some people find it useful to stick to a day. If you need to meet work-style 9 to 5 pattern. Others have to certain people, tutors, be (or prefer to be) much more flexible. other students, arrange to see them at times ● You will find some weeks will be more or close to your teaching sessions. In other words, less productive than others during the capitalise on the time term. when you are in college to make the best and ● Think about the 3 D’s – what can be fullest use of your time. deferred until the holidays, what you can Wherever possible avoid duplicating effort by delegate to other people, what you can teaming up with a study delete completely. partner and attacking the library together, sharing lecture notes and ‘brainstorming’ ideas. 9‘Moving On’: section 1: WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU AND HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR TIME  WORKSHEET 1 TIME MANAGEMENT You have spent all your mature life being a time-manager. The life you live at home, at work and in your studies requires that you manage your time. You have already developed the skills that will help you. It is simply a matter of directing these skills to the demands of a new environment and towards new goals. Task 1 Identifying the time that can be freed-up for study ● Make a list of all the different activities that currently make demands on your time in a typical week. ● Against each of these activities, fill in the approximate amount of time taken on each day of the week. Assess how much time is left in each day. Divide this in two – one half is for time off and the other is for study. ● Are you left with a realistic amount of time to complete 12 hours ‘contact time’ a week, and 12 hours personal study? (We are not calculating travelling time here, but you might make a note of this.) Don’t Panic It can be done. Millions of people like you prove this Task 2 Deciding on priorities ● Look again at your list of current activities and discuss each with a friend, family member or fellow student. Which can you have help with? Which can you/will you have to give up? Share ideas on ways in which you can free up more time. ● Draw up a priority organiser sheet and think hard about how high up on your list of priorities you want your university work to come. (You could use this later to discuss with your family and friends whom, given the opportunity to share your hopes and fears, may be more understanding and supportive when the time comes.) 1. Rate each task on scale of 5 (unimportant) – 15 (Crucial) 2. Now put in order or priority. Use the ‘3 D’s’ – defer, delegate, delete 3. Discuss the implications of your priority list. 10 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY 2 2 READ ACTIVELY The biggest change in your life on returning to study will probably be the amount of reading that you do. You can prepare yourself immediately by setting aside some time of each day to read – the more reading you do, the more quickly you will be able to read and absorb information. It is like anything else you do, proficiency comes with practise. Get used to reading material that is a bit more challenging than that which you normally relax with. Read a ‘quality’ newspaper daily. Read a book a week. Try to read at a faster pace. When you are reading for academic purposes, you are reading with a particular framework of knowledge – the subject area – and you are reading for a particular purpose. Academic reading is selective reading. You are reading to gain specific ideas or information. For your reading to be effective you must be active and to be active you must be doing something. Get in the habit of always having a notebook and pencil to hand whenever you are reading and practise the following: ● Highlight, or make a note in pencil on the piece you are reading the key points of a page, or article. ● Note down the key points of what you are reading – try to write down a few key words rather than copying out chunks. ● If you are unsure of the meaning of certain words, try to follow the meaning of the sentence as a whole. Keep a dictionary to hand. ● What is the general point of view, or argument of the section you have read? Write a sentence in your notebook which sums this up in your own words. If appropriate, note whether you agree, or not. ● Note down your thoughts on the piece/book you are reading. Reading in this way ensures that you are actively sifting the information and thinking about what you have read. The more of this you do, the more natural it will become. ● For further advice see section 3:‘THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE’ - Notetaking and section 6: ‘RESEARCH WITH THE WORLD WIDE WEB’. 11‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY ACADEMIC BOOKS Unlike novels, academic books are not best read by starting at the beginning and continuing to the end. You must take on the role of the detective and seek out the bits and pieces that will serve your own purpose. For example, if you are reading a book from a reading list for an essay you will find that the most useful information can be found by using the following: The contents page The bibliography and references This can save you hours of wasted The bibliography and references will effort. The contents outlines will guide allow you to speed up your search for you to the section of the book most other information on your topic. By relevant to your topic, or alert you to starting with a relatively recent book, the fact that your topic is not covered. you can use the author’s own research efforts by noting the references that The index have been cited for information which is particularly relevant to your The index is at the back of the book purposes, and looking up the full and it is very useful indeed. It is an publication details in the bibliography. If alphabetical listing of the key words you are lucky, your library will stock used in the book and gives the page some of these books too. The numbers where these are located. You bibliography is an excellent way to read can look up the keywords which you more widely as it will lead you to other have in your assignment title, or the key writers whose work may be of interest. words for your topic. The index will point you to related ideas but it will certainly save you time by taking you directly to the topic you are studying. WRITING PRACTISE Just like reading, writing is something that you can practise in order to improve your efficiency. If your writing skills are very rusty, try giving yourself short exercises where you spend just 5 minutes (regularly) writing on any subject that comes to your mind e.g., something you dreamt, something you overheard. Try and extend the 5 minutes to 10 minutes and gradually increase your limit. A good way to increase the amount of writing you do in preparation for university is to keep a reflective diary in an A4 book and aim to complete at least a page a day. In your diary you might write on the following: ● A piece summarising a conversation that you have had that day. ● A summary of something you have read. ● A description of a television programme you have watched. 12 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY This process will allow you to practise some academic skills: Noting key ideas, reflecting on those ideas, summarising, critically evaluating. At the end of each week, look back on what you have written with a critical eye and think about how fluent you have been, how adventurous have you been with your language use. In each following week, try to consciously ‘improve’ the standard of your expression. Writing for academic purposes requires you to follow a pattern of analysing the demands of a particular task, planning and decision making, research and notetaking, argument and evaluation, drafting and editing within a particular structure and formal conventions. You undertake these processes in separate steps. ● For further advice see section 7:‘ACADEMIC WRITING’. COMPUTER SKILLS It is generally the rule in Higher Education that assignments are presented as ‘word processed’ on a computer. In preparation for university it is clear that word processing skills will be of enormous benefit to you. You should take every opportunity to practise these skills and if you have none, to enrol on a beginners’ course at your local college. Word processing will save you an enormous amount of time when you are used to it. It will allow you to edit easily, to delete or add text, and to correct errors without having to rewrite the whole text for each draft. The presentation of your work will be good, and you will find it very helpful to use tools such as spell checking, page numbering and word counting. THE INTERNET In most towns, in internet cafes, colleges, and public libraries, there are facilities for using the internet. In your time preparing for university it would be very advantageous for you to spend some time familiarising yourself with the world wide web. Although your university will provide courses to help you use this technology, time spent in becoming a confident user before moving on will be of very great value to you. You will find introductory courses at local Further Education colleges. Via the internet you can have access to unlimited quantities of information e.g., newspapers, statistics, film clips, computer programmes, study skills advice, dictionaries, academic journals, shopping At most universities use of the internet is free and you will be expected to make use of it for researching. The internet is increasingly used as the only method of communicating information to students, such as subject options. The internet also allows you to send e-mail messages to other users and your tutors may use this method as their primary means of communicating with you. For home use you need a telephone line and a computer with a modem to connect to the internet. There are various internet service providers who provide connections to the net and charge a monthly fee and these are advertised widely. Consider the various cost options carefully – phone bills will grow 13‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY ● For further advice see Some final advice: section 6:‘RESEARCH WITH THE WORLD WIDE All students feel apprehensive when they are about WEB’. to begin university study, mature students probably more so.You will be sent lots of information and may feel it is impossible to remember everything. Don’t try to – you will soon get a feel for what is important to you. CREATING A STUDY ENVIRONMENT Before you go: Before you begin your course, it is wise to organise a place where you can work at home. You will find ● Check your dates and registration times you need a place that is yours for at least part of the carefully. day and which is understood to be your dedicated ● Take plenty of photographs with you. study space. You should aim to have the following: ● Sort out domestic arrangements as far as possible, including when and where you are ● A space that is quiet and where you can work going to study, arrangements for childcare and undisturbed. other people who depend on you. ● A table or desk that you can keep your work on. ● Check your finances carefully: grants, benefits, ● A chair which is comfortable and the right tax, etc. height. ● Make sure you have sorted out ● Shelves for your books and files. accommodation, if appropriate. ● Good lighting. In the first few weeks: Consider if you need a computer or if the college facilities will do. If you have one at home, you will ● Learn how to use the library. need to have priority of use and you must always ● Make contact with your personal tutor. take back up copies of your work so that it is ● Look out for any mature student meetings or not sabotaged by technical faults or other users events. ● Don’t rush out and buy all the books It is important that your space is organised and as recommended but ask about the key texts. uncluttered as possible for this will enable you to ● Find out where you can buy second-hand think clearly and work efficiently. Your study space books. will also act as a trigger – when you enter it you ● Get involved. will be helped into the right frame of mind for ● Ask questions. work. Other tips for before you go: ● Organise childcare and back up plans in advance. ● Check enrolment dates. ● Familiarise yourself with local bookshops, libraries. ● Do your Christmas shopping in the summer. ● Fill up the freezer ● Visit the university, several times if it is near, and familiarise yourself with the locations of loos, phone boxes, cafes, notice boards, classrooms etc. 14 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY  WORKSHEET 2 PREPARATION FOR STUDY – WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY There are two workshop suggestions here to encourage your reading and writing skills. You might try either, or both Task 1 Writing a summary You will need a copy of a newspaper article or a passage from an academic book. Writing a summary develops your powers of judgement, concentration and expression. A summary requires you to re-write a passage in fewer words than the original, identifying the main ideas. A good summary is: ● Fluent and direct. ● Uses language correctly. ● Contains the essential points and arguments from the passage. ● Uses different vocabulary from the original (where appropriate). It should not: ● Contain your own opinions. ● Include examples of your own. ● Discuss the opinions given. ● Contain additional information. ● Alter the balance of the arguments. 1. Identify the main points of the passage. Try to sum up each paragraph in a couple of sentences and write each paragraph summary on a separate piece of paper. (The main points are often found at the beginning of each paragraph.) 2. Try to replace phrases with a single word where possible. 3. Look at your summaries of each paragraph, decide if you would like to change the order to make it more fluent. 4. If working with a partner, swop your summary sentences and discuss these. 5. Draft your summary. Check it against your original for content. 6. Write the final version. 15‘Moving On’: section 2: PREPARATION FOR STUDY- WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW TO GET READY Task 2 Getting over a writing block This is a group exercise. The group must decide on a topic for writing. 1. Everyone write down an agreed number of key words, (say 6 or 10) on the topic. 2. Collect all the key words together, perhaps on the board. 3. Collectively, group them according to common characteristics. 4. Next, agree an order of importance for each group by numbering the groups of words. 5. Allocate each group of key words to a pair of your colleagues. 6. Each pair must now compose the opening sentence of a paragraph using these key words. (If you would like to make this a discussion, everyone must now pass around the sentences written by others and should make notes on each other’s contributions, and these notes can form the basis for the discussion.) 7. Read out the results in the order of the priority, or, if you prefer, pass around the notes. You should all now be inspired to write a short essay on your topic individually 16 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 3: THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND TEACHING METHODS AT UNIVERSITY Getting the most out of lectures University Before the lecture Ideally, your course programme will give you information about the topic for the lecture and you Procedures will be able to prepare yourself by looking up the topic in a library book or your course text book. Look for themes and headings related to the topic and Skills for and look up any unfamiliar technical words. If you are given suggestions for prior reading, then do it Although you may find your preparatory reading does not make the topic ‘gel’, you will find that it Succeeding will help you make sense of the lecture, whilst the lecture will help you to make sense of the reading. During the lecture at University Lecturers often speak very quickly and you will have to learn to take clear notes of key ideas, and not try to write down everything that is said. Good THE LEARNING lecturers will identify their main topics for you at EXPERIENCE AND the beginning and you can write the headings down ready. Listen for clues as to when a key point is 3 TEACHING METHODS 3 being made or when the lecturer is moving on to AT UNIVERSITY the next heading, e.g.,‘Now, I want to consider....’ Use a ‘spidergraph’ system to take notes, or write YOU’VE ARRIVED your notes as headings and sub-headings and leave plenty of space to fill other detail in later. (See The teaching methods that you will encounter at ‘notetaking’ section 3). It is better to keep listening, university will differ depending on the size of the rather than to frantically write. If you absorb what institution where you are to study and the subject you hear, your headings will act as memory joggers that you take. However, here is some idea of what and you can write further notes in your own words to expect and how to make the best use of these later, perhaps with the aid of your text book. methods. ● Note key words and phrases. LECTURES ● Use clear headings, subheadings, underlining and circling. There may be anything from 30 to 200 people ● Leave margins and spaces so that you can add attending a lecture and it will normally last not information later. longer than an hour. You may, typically, have a ● Write your own questions, comments, lecture each week for each course of your study. criticisms on your notes. Lectures are used to give an overview of the topic. After the lecture Usually students do not receive any personal attention in a lecture and may not have the ● Go through your notes as soon as possible and opportunity to speak. You will listen and take notes try to fill in details and clarify any abbreviated whilst the lecturer speaks to you. They may read bits. It is best if you can discuss the lecture from their notes, write on the board, use overhead with another student, and swop notes, so that projectors to show you both get a clear picture. You may be you bullet points of tempted to rewrite your notes but you will key ideas. They may soon find that there will not be time for this. use films and they may show you images and ● Try to sum up the three most important points information direct of a lecture. Which is the one most important from the world wide point? Make brief notes of questions that arise web via a computer. from your consideration of the lecture so that 17‘Moving On’: section 3: THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND TEACHING METHODS AT UNIVERSITY you may either ask these in your seminar or twice a term, or you may be invited to make an tutorial, or try to answer them from your own appointment for an individual tutorial with your reading. lecturer. It is important that you make the most of this infrequent opportunity for personal attention ● Make sure that you have labelled your notes, by preparing in advance any questions that you wish and any handouts, with the date, the lecture to raise or particular study problems that you may topic and the name of the lecturer. File the have and would like advice on. notes carefully for future reference. PRIVATE STUDY ● Use the information given in the lecture about references to other reading and also aim to Perhaps the most striking change students encounter consolidate and build on what you have heard when moving on to Higher Education is the amount by going back to your pre-lecture reading. of time that they must spend in private study. This requires a great deal of motivation and organisation You will get the most out of lectures if you are as, apart from timetabled lectures, seminars and linking new information to what you already tutorials, most courses require students to work on know, so some preliminary reading will give their own. You might spend this time researching in great extra value to your lecture. the library, reading and making notes and working on preparation for assignments, or it might suit you SEMINARS better to work at home. How you organise your time to ensure that there is sufficient for private A seminar group will generally involve a lecturer study will depend on your individual lifestyle, but it and a group of between 15 and 30 students. It will will require good time management strategies. The typically follow a larger lecture session and will independence and self-motivation required is both meet at least once a week for between 1 and 2 attractive and challenging. hours. The seminar may take the form of traditional classroom teaching where the lecturer ● For further advice see leads by delivering information and then asks the section :1 ‘WHAT IS students to work in groups on set tasks. It may EXPECTED OF YOU AND take the form of a large discussion. In any event, as HOW TO ORGANISE a student you will be expected to take an active YOUR TIME’- Time part and will grow in confidence as you find that management. you are able to contribute. Many students find that working in groups with their fellow students on an assigned task in a seminar is their most preferred experience of learning. It is important to prepare for seminars by reading through lecture notes and by completing any background reading set. If you don’t, you will find that you are at a loss and embarrassed during the seminar. You may be wasting your time, and that of other students, by attending. It is, of course, unfair to expect others to do the work for you TUTORIALS These are usually used to give feedback on your work and to discuss your general progress. A tutorial will involve the lecturer and either one student, or a small group of students. The tutorial may be timetabled on a regular basis, once or 18 section 8 section 7 section 6 section 5 section 4 section 3 section 2 section 1section 1 section 2 section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 ‘Moving On’: section 3: THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND TEACHING METHODS AT UNIVERSITY APPOINTMENTS WITH TUTORS It is worth pointing out that university lecturers are employed to teach and support you. For this reason you should not be hesitant about seeking help and advice from them. Of course they have many demands on their time; you must recognise that you will need to make an appointment and that you may not be able to see someone immediately. You should not feel that you are making unnecessary demands or wasting people’s time. It is often the case that tutors will allow specific blocks of time in each week to see students and they may advertise these times on their study doors. Examples of the kinds of things you might wish to see your tutor about could include: ● You unavoidably missed the lecture and would like to have copies of the handouts and a brief conversation about key points and work to be done. ● You do not understand an issue that has been discussed in class and need further help. (Of course you should first make your own efforts to clarify matters through your reading and by asking fellow students.) ● A marked assignment has been returned to you. You would like clarification of comments made by your tutor, or advice on ways of improving your work. ● You have a personal difficulty that is in some way interfering with your studies. You may require an extension to the deadline for an assignment. 19

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