Read your Unit Information Guide (UIG)
Do not underestimate the value of your UIG! It may include:
- Where to get help - it is OK to seek help. Do it early.
- Aims, objectives and graduate attributes - these are linked to your assessment tasks.
- Syllabus - gives you a clear picture of the unit content.
- Prescribed texts and materials - you need to read these.
- Recommended reference material - revisit this list for each assignment
- Referencing style - have this with you when you write.
- Assessment details - know your due dates, word limits and marking criteria from the beginning.
- Suggested study timetable - use the weekly outline of topics to plan your study.
Print out your UIG and keep it nearby at all times. Refer to it often!
Answer the following questions by searching for information in the sample UIG below:
- Go to the Assessment Details section. What type of task is required for Assessment 3?
- What is the due date for Assessment 3?
- Go to the Marking Criteria for Assessment 3. What is the weighting for the Presentation criteria?
- Go to the Suggested Study Timetable. Which week of the study session should you read the topic titled Information technology - digital divide and global inequality?
- Go to the Recommended Reference Materials section and find one reference source related to this topic?
- If you had a general enquiry regarding this course, what is the email address you would use?
Answers: 1. Essay (p.15) 2. Monday, 1 February 2010 (Week 12) (p.15) 3. 12 marks (p.16) 4. 10. Week 8 (p.17) 5. Poster, M. 'Cyberdemocracy: The internet and the public sphere', in Virtual Politics: Identity and Community Cyberspace, D. Holmes (ed.), Sage, London, pp. 212-229. (p.10) 6. firstname.lastname@example.org (p.3)
Know your assessment tasks
- In Week 1 read through all your assessment tasks for the session. Think about how they relate to the unit objectives.
- For each assessment task, ask yourself, "What is this about? What is the main topic?"
- Write down the topic and display it somewhere obvious. This will help you to read actively and purposefully as you work your way through the study material.
- Start recording or highlighting any information that may be related to your assessment tasks from Day 1. This will save you time locating this information later for assignments and exams.
- When you have a choice of assignment topics, the earlier you make your choice the better.
Code information related to each assessment task using different coloured post-it notes or highlighters. When you find useful information record the details so you can locate it again easily.
Understand the purpose of study materials
Most study materials can be found on MySCU. Go to the Learning Site for the unit and look in Unit Documents. Study material is also provided on CD for some units.
Study materials will vary from unit to unit, so always check your UIG for details. They may include:
Study Guide - is broken up into modules or topics and provides the main ideas and concepts for the unit. It guides you through the unit, directs you to readings and other study material, and often provides activities to reinforce your learning.
Prescribed Text-is essential for your study in the unit as it presents the main ideas and you will refer to it often in your assessment tasks.
Readings-are a valuable information source and may be available in different formats: as a printed book, on CD, or through the eReadings service.
Learning sites- may also provide updated assignment information posted by your lecturer.
Regularly check your Learning Site and email for assignment updates.
Learn to navigate MySCU and Learning Sites
MySCU enables you to access resources, communication tools and links that are integral to your study. From MySCU you can access the Learning Site, often called Blackboard, for each of the units you are enrolled in.
MySCU Home Page
- Spend time navigating your way around this page - notice all the support services at your fingertips
- All the Learning (Blackboard) Sites for your enrolled units are listed in the centre of the page - click on the unit name to go directly to the site.
- Find direct links to Webmail, Timetables, My Enrolments, Library and ITTS.
- Go to the Student Guide if you need help in MySCU-this is in the Quick Starts on the left hand side.
- Spend time navigating your way around this page - pay close attention to the links on the left (these will vary from unit to unit).
- Check the Noticeboard regularly for important messages posted by your lecturer/tutor.
- Go to the Unit Documents to find most of your unit material and links to eReadings and other resources.
- Read and participate in the Discussion Forums, especially those related to assessment tasks.
- Most units require you to submit your assignments from the Blackboard site.
- Find all contact details for staff members here and email them and other students directly from the site.
Use Session and Weekly Planners to manage your time
To reduce study stress and succeed at university, it is important to be organised, to manage your study time and life commitments.
Time Management Tips
- Follow the suggested study timetable in the UIG.
- Read through all assessment details at the beginning of the teaching session. This will help you to estimate the time needed to complete each task so that you can plan ahead.
- Use class and tutorial time to find out more about assignment tasks and to clarify what is expected.
- Use a Session Planner to help you map out the due dates for all assessment tasks for all units you are currently enrolled in.
- Use a Weekly Planner to help you map out regular commitments including classes, unit study session, work, child care and so on.
- Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Use lists to plan, prioritise and organise study sessions.
- Reward yourself when you complete set tasks.
- Ask questions and seek assistance early.
- Be realistic when setting time management goals - remember, taking time out for family and fun is just as important as study!
Make use of services and strategies to beat the stress
Coming to university is such a big change and it is not unusual to feel overwhelmed or stressed during the first semester of study. Developing a healthy balance between study, work, family and lifestyle will help you beat study stress and succeed at university.
There are many support services and resources to help you beat the stress. Visit the University's Orientation site for links to services including counselling, gym and student mentors.
It is just as important to take time out to relax and have fun as it is to spend time studying - it's all about balance!
The Unit Information Guide (UIG)
- Print or download the UIG
- Read through the UIG
- Read through all assessment tasks
- Write down the general topic for each assessment and display somewhere obvious
- Have all required study material at hand
MySCU and Learning Sites
- Know how to navigate the MySCU homepage
- Know how to navigate each of your Learning Sites
- Find study material and other useful resources in Unit Documents
Managing Your Time Effectively
- Follow the suggested study timetable in the UIG
- Fill in Session Planner for all units you are currently enrolled in
- Fill in Weekly Planner
Beat the stress
- Check the SCU Orientation site for support services
Updated: 05 March 2013