Learning Skills Unit - Learning Lab

Expectations of students - Siphiwe

Were your experiences at RMIT different to your expectations?

Yes from what I thought was expected of me they were quite different, academically. I suppose that's what you mean.

They were to a greater extent from what I am used to, and from what I did in my undergraduate study.

I would have my lecturer in front of me teaching, and from the lecture I would just get most of the things. Whatever other reading would be mostly additional reading.

Whereas what I've found with RMIT is that I basically have to do most of the reading myself. It's more like directing that they do, and then also you do most of the learning all by yourself, even just with an assignment, and then also, they use a lot more different techniques, I suppose, or styles of teaching.

It's not just the classroom situation, you do presentations, there's online stuff, it's very interesting. It's quite interesting and diverse.

For instance, the online learning stuff, some of the teaching that they do - it would be like a learning blog, some kind of a chat room, and you exchange information with your classmates, and your lecturer, and they respond to that, and you do some research.

You may do research on a topic, and you get some articles, and you come and discuss what you found on the topic, and your thoughts, and you give the links, and they, the classmates or your peers, give input, and add info to it, and then your lecturer will look at all that, and it will be graded.

And that was very new to me.. very very new, especially because, I wasn't used to using computers so much. I was just used to the good old writing down an assignment, and submitting it.

Once you get past the phobia, because it can seem a little intimidating, but then you realise that well, it's either you swim or sink. If you embrace it and you face it, it's not rocket science at all, and it's quite easy to use, and it's very user friendly, and especially because there's also always lots of help and support.

I think it helps to speak up. My mum used to say that if you ask you will only be a fool once, but if you don't ask, you'll be a fool forever, so it's better to just ask, even if you think it's probably a stupid question.

Just ask and then you will learn a lot from peers. You will learn a lot from your lecturers too. You will learn a lot from everyone.

There's plenty of help if you are willing, and you must have enough courage to ask once. Usually the next time it's a whole lot easier, and in the process you actually help others, whilst you are getting helped.

You find that there's a whole lot of other people that need the same help, and you become a community, and you work a lot more better as a team.

< back