10 Tips for Effective Learning and Adjustment to Higher Education
- Set a Goal
Goal Setting helps you to focus your actions in the right direction and keep things on track. However the goals should be specific, achievable, measurable and with a time frame. Creating a “to-do” list can help you at the start of the plans but also think about the execution too!
- Manage Your Time
Maintaining study/life balance is very important. However it is not possible to manage millions things in life at once. You may have to prioritize your tasks, plan actions and organize your time effectively. The objective is to plan ahead and not rushing to complete everything at once. After a busy day, you can create some “me-time” or treat yourself after achieving the planned tasks.
- Attend Your Class
Since you will no longer have a “set” time table and it is unlikely that someone may remind you to go to class. Evidence suggests that you will constantly be tempted to miss your courses; if you begin skipping your first lecture for a variety of reasons, it will soon become a habit. Simply take all lectures and tutorials as important, and never give yourself an excuse to miss a class!
- Think Critically
Unlike in secondary schools, you will be expected to deal with issues and questions which do not have a single answer. It is very important for you to develop your critical and analytical thinking abilities. Instead of repeating what you have heard in class or searched from the Internet, try to apply what you have learnt, think about different approaches, evaluate the credibility of information you obtained and develop your own argument. You may find it interesting to discover that there are plenty of possible solutions based on people’s experience in different setting.
- Sharpen Your Writing and Reading Skills
You will probably be allocated a significant amount of reading throughout your course. You have to digest vast amount of information in a short time; at the same time, you may have to relate ideas to one another, as well as making connections and comparison. The ability to write and communicate effectively in English is crucial. If you encounter any problems, you can approach SGEL/CLE for advice or the WriteAdvice service might be able to support and help.
- Ask the Right Questions
People often judge others by the questions they ask while being curious is an important quality in life. Particularly when you are studying for a degree and information is always cumulative. If you don’t know the answer to A, it is hard for you to understand B. Therefore, if you have any questions in mind, it is important for you to dig deeper by searching for the answers as soon as possible. You can always start by asking your tutors in class or discuss it with your peers. Often, tackling problems collectively and learning how to ask the right questions are already an important part in your learning journey.
- Take Notes and Review Notes
Before attending the lecture, familiarize yourself with the topic that it is going to cover. You can enhance your understanding of the lecture by completing the relevant reading in advance. During class, try to write clearly and take notes as this will help you process the information you are learning. Also, if you notice that your teachers mention something twice or more, it should be something very important. After class, you may spend time to review your class notes.
- Form Your Own Study Group
Like any other journeys in life, it is good to have companions on your study journey. For each course, make friends with at least one classmate (better to have more) whom you could study with. Working with classmates encourages an interactive environment to keep you engaged, test each other on the subjects, deepen your understanding of the course and provide mutual support. Most of all, your classmates can also serve as part of your support network. People who can support you through ups and downs.
- Understand Plagiarism
Plagiarism can be defined as presenting someone else's work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. Sometimes students may omit to take down citation details when taking notes. Any student who commits plagiarism is liable to disciplinary action which can result in penalties for academic misconduct – ranging from lowering of marks to expulsion. To avoid plagiarism, we strongly advise you to understand and to learn the proper way for referencing. You can also make use of tools such as Turnitin in Moodle.
- Gain Support within THEi
In the campus, helping hands and support is always around. In Faculty, you will have your programme leaders, professors and lecturers to explore your academic and careers options. At Learning Commons, librarians can help you to find your learning resources, learning advisers are also happy to help you with your time management and study plan. For more personal advices on how to adapt to student life at THEi, you may also seek advice from our SDO colleagues/counsellors.