Showing posts with label orientation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label orientation. Show all posts

10 February 2017

Welcome to all new students

Hello to those who are newly enrolled. We hope you all had a wonderful summer break and are looking forward to your time at University.

If you're new to Monash, we've put together the Library orientation guide to give you the basics about using the Library.  You will also find Library activities in the Orientation planner.

But first, some interesting facts: did you know that research shows that students who use the Library achieve better results than those who don't? [1]

At Monash 79% of students who used the Library achieved at least a Distinction, based on students' best estimates of their academic results. In the user survey, “Library use” meant either coming in to the Library or accessing it online daily or 2-4 days a week. [2]

Study spaces and facilities

The big Library refurbishments are progressing really well and will finish during semester one. New students will find that they are using smart refurbished areas with facilities like bookable discussion rooms for group projects and study, in both the Caulfield and Matheson libraries. 

At both libraries temporary entrances and some inconvenience will apply until the building projects are finished. Study facilities are available throughout and regular services continue.

At Caulfield, to start off with, you will enter the library from the arcade level 1 between Buildings A and B (opposite Monash Connect). 
At Matheson, the temporary library entrance is from the eastern side in the Performing Arts courtyard near Robert Blackwood Hall, until further notice.  

Programs, resources and activities

As well as working with you in your courses and units, we provide a range of programs and drop-in sessions related to your assignments and other tasks. Drop-ins begin from Week 2.

We’ve developed a new Research and Learning Online site as your gateway to the Library’s online learning materials. Check it out to access online modules such as academic integrity, citing and referencing, and more.

Visit the Students’ page for a complete list of Library programs, resources and activities.

Don’t forget to check this blog for useful articles with tips and advice for your study. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

1   Soria, K. M., Fransen, J., & Nackerud, S. (2013). Library use and undergraduate student outcomes: New evidence for students’ retention and academic success.  Portal : Libraries and the Academy, 13(2), 147-164.  

2  2015 Monash University Library User survey

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26 July 2016

Taking notes - with or without lecture slides

If you're a returning student here at Monash - welcome back! You’ve had some experience of being in lectures and tutorials, and have seen what works for you...and perhaps also what doesn’t. If this semester is your first, welcome to Monash! You can review our tips and tricks from last semester, but for those seeking to build their skills, look no further...

Materials used in lectures (such as slides) are typically made available to students either before or after the lecture - you’ll usually find them in Moodle. But what if the slides aren’t published? This does happen sometimes, for a number of reasons - it could be connected to the way the unit’s content is assessed, for example. It can be frustrating, but try to remember everyone else in that unit will be facing the same situation, so it’s still a level playing field.

Key ideas

So with no slides to guide you, how can you approach note-taking? Try to resist the urge to write down everything that you can see on the slides, along with everything that your lecturer’s an impossible task, and while you may be able to manage it for the first week or two, you’ll soon run out of steam. Think about information in terms of key concepts and explanations: Write down the key ideas presented on the slides, and listen to what the lecturer says to fill in your knowledge of these ideas. This handy infographic gives you some tips to help determine what information is going to be most useful for you later on, as well as some nifty shorthand for when the pressure’s on!

Get organised

Organising your notes once they’ve been written is an important step that is easier said than done - it can be difficult to find the time to go through what you’ve written, especially when assessments start rolling in. Try and set aside a few hours each week to go through the week’s notes for each of your units. Aim to organise them into something that will be useful later on, when you’re beginning your research for assignments, or revising for exams. You don’t have to do it all in one block - half an hour before dinner each night can make things a little more manageable. Apps such as Evernote are a popular organising tool, and if you’re a more visual person, a mind-mapping tool such as XMind may be the answer. It can be tempting to try to skip a step and just use these apps in class, but things move at such a fast pace, that it’s rarely a good idea. Plus, using tablets and other devices in class means infinite distractions at your fingertips, which only those with the strongest willpower will be able to ignore! Best to keep it lo-fi in class, and save the fun gadgetry for later on...

It goes without saying, of course, that during lectures you should not only try to minimise distracting yourself, but also distracting others - in other words, please don’t talk during lectures, unless you are asked to! It can be hard to concentrate for two (or more…) hours at a stretch, but you’ll receive far fewer death-stares from your classmates if you save the chatter for the all-important post-lecture coffee. If you were feeling really dedicated, you could even invite a few friends from your class and swap notes...okay, I’m pushing things a little too far here, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds!

Don’t forget to have a look at the Library Class Booking System - we run a variety of skills classes throughout the semester. Search using keywords such as ‘note’ ‘skills’ ‘lecture’ ‘listen’ or ‘study’ to see if there are any relevant classes you can go along to! Or, chat to a Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser at your Library’s Research & Learning Point - check for opening times here.

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20 July 2015

Get to know the Library

Everyone in second year and above likes to think they have a map of campus in their heads and know everything there is to know - but the truth is, we were all Just Another First Year at one point as well, and we are definitely still learning. There were things I didn’t know (everything), things I wish I knew (everything), and things I definitely needed to know (... everything). Luckily I had help, and can pass that knowledge on to you new and future Sara Nyhuis

Unfortunately I can’t provide you with an in-depth guide of where to and not to eat, the best spots to nap, that one carpark that’s always free or the answers to all your tests. I can, however, provide you with information that is just as valuable as all that.

The library how-to guide.

Shake off any notions of the library being ‘uncool’, because you are about to find yourself there far more than you realise. When you’re at university, the library is exactly where you want to be - it has all the answers to all your questions (except the answers to tests), quiet places to escape the manic bustle of the first few weeks of semester (be prepared to fight for it), and honestly - it’s actually super valuable.

Which library is where?

All the libraries are different on each campus, with the smaller campuses like Berwick, Peninsula and Pharmacy having smaller libraries mostly focusing on nursing and teaching or pharmaceuticals. Clayton has three (because the more the merrier), and each one specialises - there is the Law library (pretty self-explanatory), Hargrave Andrew Library (science, technology, engineering, medicine), and Matheson Library (arts and humanities). Caulfield library is the busiest during exams, so you have to get in early to grab a seat before the rest of the vultures flock to it, but it has a large focus on art theory and literature books. 

Get to know your library

I strongly suggest doing a library tour during O Week. I was lucky enough to already be familiar with the Matheson Library when I started at Monash, but the amount of friends I still have in my final year that don’t know how to borrow books is astonishing. An O Week tour will tell you all the basic things you need to know such as opening hours for that library; where the group, quiet and private study spaces are; how to find books; how to borrow them; how to print (which is so confusing and so very, very important) and where to find your friendly library staff to ask any further questions you might have. The tours are usually run by current student volunteers who understand the library in a way that the staff behind the desk don’t, because for students it is as much a social space as it is a place for study.

Your online library

You don’t have to be physically in the library to use it to its full potential either, with most of the study resources accessible online. The most important aspect of the online library that I seriously encourage you all to get familiar with is the library guides. They’re currently working on creating a guide for each unit, and when they’re all up these things are going to be your saving grace come survival week. I’m talking cloud-parting, ray of sunshine, angels singing type of thing. Right now these guides have reading lists, related databases, external websites, your go-to subject librarian, information on assignments and referencing guidelines.
See? Angels singing. 

Make the most of it

While you’re doing the tour, you might as well do a class, too. You can access the class booking system through the library homepage to see which classes are being run and when. If you only take one library class in all your years at uni, take the Search class. This class will teach you how to use Search to navigate the labyrinth that is the library catalogue for books, journals, and multimedia specifically related to what you’re researching. I recommend it because while Google seems like the fountain of knowledge for all your questions, but when it comes to researching academic sources, it’s definitely not credible.

So now that you’re a library master…

Talking about your own experience can be really helpful to others who are unsure of how to tackle O Week and their first week of university. We encourage you to get involved and discuss if and how you used the library when you first started, and how you use it now. 

Sara Nyhuis is a Monash student who works as part-time casual staff in the Library.

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Welcome to a super new semester!

Orientation Week for Semester 2 runs from 20 to 24 July,  and is an important time to prepare for your studies, explore your campus and the services available, and make new Melissa McKenna.

Congratulations and welcome to all of our new students joining us for the first time this semester!  Be sure to engage with the Library to make the most of your learning and research experience at Monash. Throughout Orientation we provide tours, tips on how to get started at University, and training on how to search electronic databases for researching a topic. This will save you time in the future when you have assignment deadlines. Be sure to check out the Orientation ePlanner for Session information.

Psst! - Did you know research shows that students who use the library achieve better results than those who don't?  You will find that the library is a very popular place on campus for both individual and group study.  Some of our libraries even have bookable meeting rooms available, and can be reserved online.  For those students not on campus, we haven't forgotten about you - there are plenty of resources and services to support your study and research needs.

Here are some other super handy tips for new students:
  • The Library website is your access point for information resources. Using the Search function will open up a world of information beyond Google.
  • Visit the Students’ page for a quick guide to your Library resources.
  • As well as working with you in your courses and units, Library staff provide a range of programs and drop-in sessions associated with your assignments and other tasks.
  • Keep up to date with the Caulfield and Matheson Library refurbishments. Visit the website for more information and view the fantastic images. 
We understand that it can get a little overwhelming at times for new students, so we're happy to answer questions and receive feedback on your experiences. You may contact us via the comments box below or via  You can also engage with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Happy O Week, everyone!

Image  rpavich, under CC 2.0 licence.

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13 March 2015

Numbers tell a story

 It was a very busy start of the semester for the Library and we know why... by Heidi Binghay

The start of semester is a much anticipated time not only for students but for Monash staff. As with other areas of the university, Library staff put in a huge effort during Orientation Week and Week 1, and in the weeks beforehand in preparation.

We know that this is just the beginning and the momentum will continue to build through the semester, past survival week, through assignment deadlines and towards exam time. We are there with students every step of the way.

Some key insights drawn from collecting the data:

  • The number of people coming to the libraries confirms that our libraries are some of the largest learning spaces on campus where students spend time doing academic work outside of lectures. 
  • The use of our collection in print and electronic formats and the number of recorded lectures streamed is evidence of the availability and accessibility of the scholarly collections and resources provided by the Library. 
  • The skills development programs delivered by the Library are increasingly built on partnerships with faculty to ensure students develop the information research and learning skills within disciplinary content. 

Here is a neat little summary of what happened in O-Week and Week 1.

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3 March 2015

Lectures, listening skills, and note-taking

Whether you’re in a first-year class with 200 others, or a cosy, intimate third-year lecture featuring you and 15 classmates, your listening and note-taking skills are crucial for Romney Adams.

Doodles on a notepad

Nothing is worse than getting to the end of the year and finding stuff like this in place of notes =>

Entertaining? Yes. Useful? ...not so much. Here’s our quick guide to surviving in the lecture theatre.

Sit down, shu-- ... be quiet

While of course, you are welcome to ask questions in lectures, your primary concern is to listen, and take notes. Talking is an obvious distraction, not only to yourself, but also to your neighbours - you’d be surprised at how far two whispering voices can travel in a lecture theatre!

Mary and Lucas had this huge fight, but then....Listen up, and take notes

Generally speaking, your lecturers will make their slides available to you, before or after class. So, you shouldn’t think of note-taking as simply copying down what your lecturer has on their slides - chances are these will be given to you, so writing their content down will simply be a waste of time.

What’s better is to listen out for important pieces of information you can use to strengthen the content of the lecture slides. If you’ve been given the slides beforehand (check Moodle!), you can print them off, and annotate them in-class.

It’s not necessary to write down everything your lecturer has to say - you can usually tell simply by the lecturer’s tone of voice, emphasis, or even body language, as to whether the information you’re about to receive is of particular importance.

Tablets and laptops are great to bring to class, but, as we all know, they can be incredibly distracting. Consider going back to Classical times and just bring pen and paper - you won’t find yourself scrolling through StalkerSpace, and any doodling you do may actually help improve your concentration!


When using Allocate+ to submit your preferences, you may have noticed the lecture component of your classes are sometimes referred to as ‘seminars’, or ‘workshops’. These still follow the basic principles of a lecture, however greater participation is encouraged - it may even form some of your overall mark for the unit. Participation does not simply mean being present - you’ll be expected to engage with the teaching staff and ask questions - another good reason to listen to what’s being said!

What if I can’t make it?

The life of a student is busy, and sometimes, due to seen or unforeseen circumstances, it’s not always possible to attend your lectures. If this is the case, don’t worry! Many lectures are captured and stored for your viewing pleasure on MULO. This is also a great source for exam revision at the end of semester.

If your lectures aren’t recorded, things are a little trickier - but not impossible. Teaching staff are usually understanding if you have a good reason for not being able to attend, and may be able to email a copy of the slides to you - it goes without saying that the after-effects of partying are not considered to be ‘good reason’! You can also ask your lecturer if you can have a quick consultation/appointment with them, to catch up on anything important you may have missed. If you know you’re going to miss a class, you can also ask friends to take notes for you - it helps if you shout them coffee or a pint in return, to show your appreciation.

Do you have any tips or tricks for listening and note-taking in lectures? Or perhaps a suggestion of how not to behave? Comment below!

[Illustrations created by Romney Adams]

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24 February 2015

Tips for 'first in family' students

Are you the first in your family who is going to university? Isn’t it amazing? Yet, do you think it is going to be challenging at the same time? Anita Dewi

Yes, it is amazing. You are the awesome pioneer in the family! If at the same time you also feel a bit anxious about what to expect in this new environment called “the university”, don’t worry! If others can do it, you can too.

The Library provides a wide range of resources and services that will guide you through your university journey. To start with, here are some tips from your very own learning skills adviser on how to get ready with university life as a first in family student at Monash.

Quick hints for creating new study patterns and developing a study strategy will help you to start off on the right track.

There is also a mentoring program that you may find helpful for support in your discipline.

While it is certainly not true that university life is without stress, the level of stress can be managed. It helps to know where to go for support.

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23 February 2015

Welcome, new students 2015!

We're glad you're here. Engage with the Library to make the most of your learning and research experience at Monash.

Image: Jeni Rodger (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Did you know research shows that students who use the library achieve better results than those who don't? 

You will find that the library is a popular place on campus for both individual and group study.  

Here are some handy tips:
  • The Library website is your access point for information resources. Using the Search function will open up a world of information beyond Google.
  • As well as working with you in your courses and units, Library staff provide a range of programs and drop-in sessions associated with your assignments and other tasks.
  • At Orientation the libraries provide tours, tips on how to get started at University, and training on how to search electronic databases for researching a topic. This will save you time in the future when you have assignment deadlines. Session information can be found in the Orientation ePlanner.

We would like to hear from you. Put in a comment to this post or submit a question or feedback through Ask.Monash.

And by the way, you can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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27 January 2015

Orientation 2015

The year starts for new students properly in Orientation Rosemary Miller

It is wonderful to see students who have recently accepted an offer to enrol in a course for 2015 visiting their campus.

Links from the Orientation page to Academic orientation and the Orientation ePlanner will introduce you to Library services, resources and programs. Orientation is held between  23-27 February.

You are welcome to visit the libraries on campus at any time; please feel free to call in.

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About the Blog

Welcome to the Monash University Library blog. Whether you are engaged in learning, teaching or research activities, the Library and its range of programs, activities and resources will contribute to your success. Here you will find useful information, ideas, tips and inspiration. Your comments on any of the articles are welcome.

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