Working through online modules in first-year
By: Tory Dockree, Tabatha May, and Emily Meilleur-Rivers
We’re sure that each and every one of you knows the rumours or have been told that the academic expectations in university are very different than what you are used to. While this is true when talking about marking schemes, it is also important to note that the teaching styles themselves differ greatly as well.
Since many of the classes here at Mac are quite large, especially in first-year, and there is so much content that each course needs to cover, the university uses a variety of teaching methods in order to ensure that students are exposed to all of the information they need. Depending upon the class, instructor, and subject, these methods may vary, but one of the most common ones used in first-year are e-learning modules. In today’s blog, we are going to break down some of the best strategies when approaching these new academic hurdles.
E-learning modules are frequently used throughout first-year. These are meant to help support your learning by providing additional e-learning lectures that accompany your weekly in-person classes. However, this might be the first time that you are interacting with this type of learning style. As a result, we have compiled a list of study tips to help you navigate module learning effectively.
- Since you cannot ask your questions directly to the professor, write them down and bring them to either a TA, a help centre, or to the professor later on.
- Pause the video when you are prompted and do the practice questions to make sure that you understand. Don’t just assume that you have solidified the information because you listened to it once.
- Rewatch portions of the module that you did not understand. The module is a video; take advantage of the fact that it will always be there if you need concepts re-explained.
- A module may seem like it should only take 20 minutes because that is how long the video is, but trust us it takes much longer. There isn’t any fluff in these videos so plan to spend about an hour on every 20-minute section to give yourself time to pause, process and take notes.
- It is also important to have a quiet space to work through the modules. Working in groups may seem appealing, but we can speak from personal experience that these modules are very important as far as testable material is concerned, and you should do your best to focus your undivided attention on what they are saying.
- Modules place emphasis on independent learning and as a result, it can be hard to truly absorb the information. One way to overcome this is to collaborate with peers while completing practice questions. This ensures that you can talk through the content and do more than simply memorize.
When we were in first-year, we found modules dreadful. Why? Because we didn’t approach them as we should have! Letting modules build-up is a big mistake that you will regret later on (like we did). They require good time management skills because they are a consistent task that will not simply disappear if you ignore them.
Hopefully, you’re able to learn from this blog and not be like we were!