Mum is more excited because studying means she can have a different job that she will enjoy. That makes her happy … (teenage son)

Teaching and Supporting FiF Undergraduate Learners

Strategies for success


  • Remind, repeat, re-emphasise the support services available on campus

    Some Student Comments

      At the information session they try and give you as much information as possible but I don’t think they quite prepare you for the amount of administrative stuff you have to do yourself. (Adele, 62)

      I never knew where to access help and I was very scared about it so I wish that someone just had have been like “Okay, if you need help with this you go here, if you need help with this go here” or that “It’s totally okay to rock up to their office and ask the stupidest question” or maybe if there was like from earlier on, a mentoring program with somebody who’d been in uni for four years so that you could just meet with them and they could tell you “This is what it’s actually like. If you do this amount of work you’ll get these kind of marks”. (Nelson, 22)

      If I needed help, I would know where to go. I find there’s a lot of friendly people around, there’s a lot of help if you ask for it and there are a lot of programs, like they have (0:37:19.1) the wellbeing and all that… (Ally, 39)

      Well they do sort of put it in the first lecture they put up on the PowerPoint and in the – what are they called – it’s the guide to... the subject outline. They do mention where you can go to get information and get help and that. I think for me, the biggest problem is I often feel like I’m bothering people. Only just recently in my biology class, I went to my lecturer four different times about different things to do with my… I had three assignments given back to me in this one class – I went to him four different times with four different queries and I felt like I was bothering him because I was giving him so much to think about (Anthea, 21)

  • Explain the patterns / rhythm of the semester

    Some Student Comments

      I think it was just being overwhelmed at the start. Like anything new, once you get yourself into a rhythm and a routine and start to find a lot of things become more familiar than strange – you seem to adapt a little bit better unit by unit I’ve discovered. (Donna, 36)

  • Emphasise and then emphasise again the importance of time management

    Some Student Comments

      Time management was one at first obviously. Going from TAFE which was very relaxed; it was very, very relaxed, then coming here and it’s “Next week assignment due, online assignment every week and quiz is worth 2% every week” – there was none of that. I think time management was one. I wish I’d been a bit better prepared but really it never reflected on my marks originally. But yes, pretty much just preparation.

      Time management’s a big one that I’ve learned but I think I could only have learned that through trial and error … in terms of “Oh, it’s week one, that’s okay, it’s fine” and everyone thinks that and then eventually it’s Week 10 and then you go “I haven’t done anything” sort of thing. But I suppose I haven’t really learned that either because every session I go through I do the same thing. I don’t know. (Eric, 22)

      I don't sleep (laughing). No, I do sleep but… how do I manage my time? I do what I can with the time I’ve got and I think perhaps working three jobs as well as uni has taught me to manage time well. I know my schedule and I know when certain things have got to be done and why and I kind of have to fit those in around each other thing but, perhaps, I wouldn’t say that I’ve got the luxury of any one of those four things having to give. So, it’s taught me excellent time management skills and I certainly think that, you know, perhaps, oh actually I’ll definitely acknowledge that my social life has definitely suffered because of the stringent requirements of what I do. (Lachlan, 24)

      from watching some people around the campus and watching what they do. Some of them are coming in almost every day to study, like not study, but do assignments or lectures. Now I’ve gotten the swing of things… do your pre-readings, then you do your tutes and you do your lectures throughout the week and you do your assignments in between and you plan your assignments weeks … that’s one thing that I’ve definitely realised is start your assignments ASAP because it just rolls around so fast and then you’re going “Oh, I’ve got three assignments to do” and they’re due in two weeks and you did just not see it coming. Even if I was preparing slightly, you’ve got to really get stuck into them. (Marlee, 19)

      I think it’s week seven now but it was only week six, week seven and I was already behind and I had a major essay due that I had two weeks to do which isn’t that long and I just really had to knuckle down and do it. Obviously you need to prioritise your time better. I didn’t do that so it really did impact on my uni but, as I said, it also impacts on a social life as well but each year progressively, first year I had more of a social life and then second year, less. I’m in third year now and it’s like I’ve got no social life whatsoever now. (Naomi, 19)

      And as long as you keep consistently tugging away at it, it’s not that hard. (Yvonne, 38)

  • Assignments often mean much more than marks or grades…

    Some Student Comments

      My first ever assignment I handed back and I got 10 out of 10 and I was just like “Wow, it’s only 10” but that’s massive for somebody who threw away their HSC and didn’t go through with that to, you know, always have this thing inside me that I always knew I had the ability but I would never both to apply myself. So that was kind of a big milestone, that was, you know, if I hadn’t got such good marks and enjoyed the subject and my understanding of it was so thorough, I probably wouldn’t be here now today. (Asha, 34)

      Because you’re in this history of like: “Am I any good at this? “Is my writing any good”? And then I got good results and that gave me confidence. It gave me more confidence (Ursula, 45)

      I don't know. I think with uni, starting uni, I think that was a really big thing for me. I don't have a whole lot of confidence in myself really thinking that I’m capable so getting a couple of distinctions was really awesome, really good feelings. I think you takes the knocks a bit harder though when that doesn’t happen but you’ve also got to be realistic. (Hailey, 41)

      When I got my first assessment back and I thought it was cringe-worthy and [lecturer] was so positive about what I’d done I felt like that was a big step forward for me, gave me a lot of confidence to keep going with it. (Noeleen, 47)

      It’s kind of really frustrating when you’ve spent so much time on something and they just write “Good” or something. You know, they should at least put a paragraph I think. (Abbey,22)