The Welcome Programme 2016 at Christ Church University (CCCU) gave us a delightful opportunity to welcome our new 2016/17 undergraduate students to Computing.
Students were provided with a timetable of stimulating, introductory and fun activities/events to socialise, make friends, and discover what it means to learn at CCCU in Computing. A social gathering welcomed students to meet the team, get to know each other, and get to know their lecturers.
First week (26 – 30 September) of teaching for our new students, and a welcome back to existing students, we hope you are all settling into the swing of things. We would like to provide our new students with a few tips for keeping organised from the beginning of your studies.
So let’s get started …
Do not rush yourself-
Arriving well ahead of time or 10 minutes before is better than being late, especially for a morning lecture. Excuses of … “but it is 9am on a Monday morning” are common, but really you should find a way to make yourself get out of bed. An alarm across the other side of the room maybe! Registers will go around the class at the beginning of the lecture or lab and you do not want to miss out.
Get yourself a calendar–
This year we have seen the introduction of individual student timetables used to help you keep track of when, where and what lectures, seminars, labs, workshops and other study activities you have. To access your timetable you can use Portal, Blackboard or OnTime and you can also sync your calendar with your mobile device. After all, you are a computing student, gone are the days for the flip chart wall calendars or diaries!
If you want to buy yourself a fancy diary to keep on top of things other than your studies like your daily dinners, birthdays, late nights out!! etc., then there are plenty to be found, and you can even find some in our University Bookshop.
Your calendar will not only be useful for your study and social activities, but also for noting when you receive an assessment or examination date. Ensure you add the date of the exam or the date the assessment is due it into your calendar. It may also be helpful for you to note the time, room or method of submission. Keeping this important information can help you organise your revision, the order you complete your assignments and the time you need to spend learning yourself.
To-Do Lists and Extra curricula activities-
Do to-do lists help you? Preparing a to-do list can help you know exactly what tasks you need to accomplish that day or week.
Signing up for extra curricula activities, societies or a part-time job can be useful for you and your Curriculum Vitae (CV). However, be careful not to overload yourself with too much. Look at your university calendar and determine how much study time you need on top of your contact hours. Check your module and programme handbooks to see how many hours we expect you to contribute in your own time, then choose one or two extras that you will enjoy.
Teaching yourself –
Yes, we know! What are my lecturers for? We can only provide you with so much knowledge and experience, you should ensure you study outside of your lectures and labs. Do not fall behind, make notes, write-up your lecture materials and boost your reading with suggested materials or even the latest technological news.
Making notes in lectures is important, not only does it provide you with the chance to develop your note jotting and listening skills but also could eventually provide you with revision materials for later assessments. Notes made in lectures and labs may also provide you with rich information which your lecturer does not go into depth in on content uploaded to BlackBoard.
Some cases you may find it more beneficial to record your lectures, in this case you MUST ask permission of your lecturer prior to recording.
When learning to program, some of you may find it difficult to grasp, do not give up. We recommend practice. We hear the phrase “practice makes perfect” a lot. It may seem like practicing programming is not the most important of tasks in comparison to a night out on the town or drinks with the lads, but putting in the additional hours will help you in the long run. Practice, practice, practice.
Make use of the library-
CCCU library facilities provide you with plenty of computers, revision space and meeting rooms to learn. With a number of on-shelf books (standard and 7-day loans) in Computing, Digital Forensics and Cybersecurity it is a great place to start first for your assignments.
Furthermore, the online library is full of rich sources used for research purposes. With a number of journal subscriptions across a range of subjects and topics – another great place to start researching or even just for some general reading.
Know your best study style-
Are you organised? Do you know how you work best? If not, do not worry … University will help you find this out! Once you know the style that suits you the best, you will boost your potential at university, in your studies and grades and your ability to know your own level of knowledge.
Scared of speaking out-
There are many people who have the fear that they might answer a question with the wrong answer or ask something “stupid”. Try not to let yourself fall into this bracket … yes we all know generally people can ask silly questions, however for the most part you will not be the only one sitting in your class wanting to ask the same or similar question or provided the same answer. Be confident in yourself and know your knowledge limits.
If you do not understand something in a lecture or lab, do not be afraid to ask for help. Ask someone you think can help you e.g., your lecturer, friend or housemate. Do not leave it and let it pass, make sure you understand the point.
So, you came to university to further your education to provide you the opportunity with a future career. Yes you will have fun too, ask any student! Try to stay organised and focussed with your work and stay calm … only you can truly organise and motivate yourself and your studies.