Showing posts with label research and learning skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research and learning skills. Show all posts

20 February 2017

First-day memories

Are you excited for your first day of university? Or perhaps nervous? Believe it or not, once upon a time all our librarians were freshers too! This week, four staff  - Romney Adams, Clinton Bell, Roland Clements and Romany Manuell - share their memories from when they started uni.


The main thing I remember about my first day at uni is getting lost. I went to the University of Melbourne, where there were three nearby buildings called the Richard Berry, Redmond Barry and Raymond Priestly Buildings. I had lectures in both the “Lowe Theatre, Redmond Barry Building” and “Love Theatre, Richard Berry Building” - and of course, on my first day I ended up at the wrong one.

The other thing I remember is that at orientation there was a company handing out free cans of their new super-strong iced coffee, which they were trying to promote as an energy drink. It was basically a can of really awful, cold espresso. Not only did it taste terrible, anyone who actually finished one ended up with a headache from caffeine overload. Don’t drink weird things just because they’re free!


I was from the country, and I didn’t know anyone! The city kids seemed so cool, and I was wearing beige cargo pants (hey, it was the 1990s!). But I struck up a conversation with the other conscientious students who were WAY too early for First Year Anthropology and we all went to see Frenzel Rhomb together. It was the best of days, it was the blurst of days.

I don’t think I found the library until week 6… Go to the library early, and go often!


My first day at a tertiary institution was a very long time ago, and what I remember was not the best at first. I felt lost, bewildered, beguiled and bedevilled. I remember it was a very, very hot day and I walked on to the campus grounds and all I saw was a mass of people heading somewhere, I had no idea. I saw a conga line and decided to just join the queue not knowing what the line was for and when I reached the table they were handing out lollies and a pen, “big deal”.

So, I turned around and saw a big sign saying “Library”. I expected to be told that you needed some sort of ID to get in but it wasn’t the case and found it to be the ‘coolest’ place on in ‘cold’. The librarians in there looked the way I felt. I found a nice spot and watched the madness outside. I saw a lot of students sitting in the sun to get a tan and that is one problem I sure did not have. So, I hung around for a while and then decided to see what tomorrow would bring. Things changed for the better as time went by and I met other students in my Psychology and other classes. You quickly settle into a routine and happy times follow!


My most vivid memory was having a free can of Red Bull thrust into my hand by an overly-enthusiastic salesperson (who was probably some second-year marketing student trying to make ends meet) wheeling around a cart full of the stuff. I would love to write an emotional tale of spiral into addiction and eventual triumph through my rise from rock-bottom, but the reality is that Red Bull tastes vile. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it already…just don’t. I had to rely on a more traditional route - coffee - to maintain stimulation through the wee hours while desperately finishing off assignments.

What would have been more beneficial was visiting the library, and speaking to staff to find out how I could research effectively, so I didn’t have to rush everything in a mad panic three days before my essays were due. But I was young! Nobody told me! I didn’t know! But now that you’ve read this, you can’t use that excuse. Come visit, we’re here to work with you so you can get the most out of your time with us at Monash!

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14 February 2017

Are you a Library lover?

Did you know February 14 is also Library Lovers’ Day? Declared so by the Australian Library and Information Association, it is a day of spreading library love.

Having a healthy relationship with your library while studying means you're significantly more likely to achieve higher grades. A healthy relationship means that while you engage with the Library by using information resources and spaces available, the Library cares for you in return by providing a welcoming and inspiring place of study and the resources you need so you can do your tasks efficiently and achieve your learning outcomes. 

Not only will your grades improve, you'll be less stressed while you're working on them, too. Library staff work with you so you can develop skills to research your topic, write your assignment, finish that dreaded reference list or prepare for an oral presentation.

So for Library Lovers' Day, we're taking a moment to step back and share with you the many ways Monash students love the Library, and some "love letters" we've received over the past year. This day only happens once a year, but our staff are working hard every day to find that elusive resource, answer the difficult questions, and solve all (well, most) of your information problems.

Love letters

One of our librarians received this glowing praise from the VCAL coordinator who appreciated how she engaged well with the students.

“Today I took a group of my students to Monash to participate in a library session.  I have been bringing my students to Monash since 2010 and really appreciate the library staff giving these students an introduction to library skills.

I teach students who attend an alternative school and can be quite difficult to engage.  Romney had great presence in the classroom and was able to very quickly form a connection to the students.  She made the session both fun and informative for my students and really engaged them in the process.  The students tested her on a few occasions and she handled it with grace, humour and professionalism.  All of the students found the day to be highly engaging and enjoyable and Romney really helped to set the tone for that with the introductory session.” - Mark Hunt, VCAL Coordinator
One of our learning skills advisers got a special mention in a SETU survey last semester. In their comments students singled her out and the session she delivered as some of the aspects of the SCI2010 unit that they found most effective. The unit had its best ever ranking.
The Library workshop and tutorial
The Library classes that helped with the assessment tasks
I really enjoyed the Library session and would encourage future students to attend
Tami and the Library staff are extremely helpful and lovely
Another learning skills adviser received this feedback from a grateful student – we’ve got more than just research tips up our sleeves!
“Thank you so much. I have backed up all my work just as you taught me this morning. That is really helpful and I will not worry about that anymore. You and all the Library and eSolutions staff do such an excellent job for us. Many thanks.”
One of our Law subject librarians received a heartfelt thank you from a postgraduate student. A great example of Library staff helping students achieve greater learning outcomes.
“I just wanted to say, thank you so much for helping me with research. There was a notable difference in my marks because I had improved on research. I couldn’t have done that without your help. So I truly appreciate what you do for students!”
And this Arts student was able to find what she was looking for through our Library services:
Thank you all so much for making my research easier and more worthwhile – today I found ten much-needed books in the Holds section. This is an excellent service and so helpful and prompt.”
So go on, share something with us! We appreciate any and all comments here at the Library, and are continually aiming to improve our services for both staff and students alike, as well as the wider Monash community and all who enter our doors.

Happy Library Lovers’ Day!

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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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30 August 2016

Why do citing and referencing and how not to freak out

It’s that time of the semester where lines start to form at the Research and Learning point. Many of the questions we get are about citing and referencing: “Do I need to include a reference for this?”, “Am I doing this correctly?”, “What on earth is ‘Turabian Style’?”. There’s no doubt citing and referencing can be confusing. Don’t freak out! Romany Manuell is here to help...  

Why do I need to do it?
Well, I don’t want to make you panic, but when writing a piece of work at university, you actually have some pretty serious moral and legal responsibilities in terms of giving appropriate credit to the ideas of others.
Throughout your time at university, you will be developing your own “academic voice”. When you cite and reference correctly, your readers will be able to hear that voice, and see where you have used the work of experts to support your ideas. If you’ve integrated your sources well, it will also allow your readers to see how well you’ve understood the material, and if necessary, they will be able to track down the items you have mentioned. In a sense, you are also showing respect to those researchers who have come before you, as you are acknowledging their hard work by referring to it. Have a look at the Library’s Academic integrity modules - they contain examples of what to do, as well as what to avoid (e.g. remix and retweet plagiarism).

You can gain more understanding of citing and referencing by watching this video:

What do I need to do?
Firstly, you need to find out what style of referencing you should be using. This information is usually in the Unit Guide for your subject, but if in doubt, ask your tutor or lecturer. Common styles at Monash Uni include APA 6th, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian (but many others are also used!). The Demystifying citing and referencing tutorial explains the basic principles behind all the different styles of citing and referencing, and is great if you’re feeling a little unsure or just want to test your knowledge.

How can I remember everything?
The Library fully understands how complicated citing and referencing is...particularly all the finicky formatting rules! We can’t remember every rule, and you’re certainly not expected to either. You’re going to have to look up the requirements of the style using the Library’s Citing & Referencing Library Guide and find the appropriate example to follow. You can also check out some faculty-specific resources, such as the Faculty of Business and Economics’ Q Manual, MADA Creative Integrity and FIT Academic Integrity.
There are some things you can do to make the citing and referencing experience a bit easier. To protect your privacy, the Library doesn’t keep a list of the items you’ve borrowed, so maintain your own list by using the e-Shelf in Search. Make sure you are logged in to Search, and click on the tiny star next to an item to add it to your e-Shelf:

Then, you’ll always have the details of the items you’ve used when it’s time to write up your Reference List or Bibliography! Even if you don’t use e-Shelf, try to keep your references organised right from the start by adding them to a Word document, or trying out a bibliographic software package such as EndNote.
You can always get help with citing and referencing from a Learning Skills Adviser or Librarian at your Library’s Research & Learning Point - you’ll find the listed times for your library here.

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20 July 2016

Time management - Many approaches, one goal

This post points you in the direction of some great time-management tools, whether you’re a first year returning for second semester, a PhD candidate, or one of our brand-new students! Librarian Romney Adams has a wealth of ideas. 

With semester one a speck in the distance, you're probably feeling more confident balancing your uni workload with other parts of your life. The mid-year break and the boundless freedom it offered may still be fresh in your mind and it can be tricky re-adjusting to uni and all its expectations.

Keeping short-term and long-term plans are a great way to manage your time well, and to avoid situations with nasty last-minute discoveries - you know, the “I had no idea I had three assignments due next week! I thought I only had one! Is it time for mid-semester break yet?!” kind of situations. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your progress both at a week-to-week, as well as semester-long level. For some people, planning ahead and setting goals comes naturally - they’re born organisers. For others, it can be more of a chore. If you fall into the latter category, why not check out some apps?

There's an app for that

Todoist has a simple design - no frills, yet visually appealing, which is great if you’re the type of person who gets distracted easily by shiny things. Habitica is a tool for those who get motivated by the idea of collecting points and winning rewards for chipping away at bigger tasks in smaller doses - and you get to create your own avatar! Producteev is great to use for group work, allowing for multiple people to manage tasks and deadlines.

These apps may help make time management more fun (or just more doable), but to really make them work for you, you need to build your own time management skills. Staff at the Library are real task masters, and we offer plenty of online resources and face-to-face sessions to put you on the right track.

Library resources

Our Research & Learning Online site has some great infographics on short- and long-term time management, as well as some time-friendly study strategies for you to consider. We also have some information on optimising your study space, and the difference between research and writing, and how you can approach both.

If talking things through in person is what you like best, come along to one of our workshops! Log in to the Library Class Booking System and search for ‘time’ or ‘study skills’ to see what's on offer from our expert staff. Or, if you don't have time to attend a workshop (how ironic!), you can chat to a Learning Skills Adviser at your Library’s Research & Learning Point. At 15 minutes, these sessions are shorter, but provide one-on-one time with expert staff. You don't need to book, just check out our advertised times and turn up!

It can seem like a boring topic, but nailing time management early on really does make your life so much easier, and enjoyable. It doesn't matter how you go about it, just do it!

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22 September 2015

Critical thinking at university

At school you might have focused on learning the “right” answer, but in the real world things aren’t always so clear-cut. That’s why it’s essential to develop your ability to think and write critically. By Clinton Bell

The world is complex, and filled with conflicting information. It’s not always clear what’s true, and even ideas which seem plausible and are widely accepted can turn out to be wrong (the geocentric model of the solar system is a famous example). Often there is no answer which is objectively correct - only different approaches with different benefits and tradeoffs.

Because of this uncertainty, it’s important that we don’t just accept information or ideas at face value. Instead, we need to establish how strongly they are supported by evidence, what the alternatives are, and what the broader implications of accepting an idea might be.

This kind of evidence-seeking and analysis is what we call “critical thinking”. It’s also what your lecturers want when they say your work is “too descriptive” or that you need to “show more analysis”!
Evaluating sources of evidence

When you’re looking at the evidence for a position, you’ll often rely on information from sources such as research articles, media reports, and others. However, not all sources provide the same level of evidence, and no single source ever provides all the evidence you need. This means you need to look at a variety of sources and carefully consider what evidence they provide.
One way to evaluate your sources is to ask “What, Who, Why, How, and When?”
  • What is this source?
    • What type of source is it - opinion piece, research article, statistical information, case study, something else?
    • What does it say?
    • What doesn’t it say?
  • Who created this source?
    • Do they have any expertise in this field?
    • Do they have biases or interests which might influence their work?
  • Why was this source created?
    • What is its purpose?
    • Who is it aimed at?
  • How did the creators of this source formulate their position?
    • What evidence do they use to support it?
    • Are there any weaknesses or limitations in that evidence?
    • If they conducted research, was it done in a rigorous manner?
      • If they refer to other sources, are those sources reliable? Are they represented accurately and fairly?
      • Are their conclusions logical, based on the evidence they’ve used?
  • When was this created?
    • Is it still relevant?
    • Are there more recent sources or events which cast doubt on its findings?
(Adapted from Woolliams, M, Williams, K, Butcher, R & Pye, J, 2009, ‘Be more critical!’: a practical guide for health and social care students, School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brooks University, Oxford.)

Putting things together

As well as being able to compile and evaluate evidence, you also need to be able to interpret what you’ve found. This means considering how each piece of information relates to the others, as well as developing an overall assessment of what you’ve discovered and how it relates to the topic at hand.
Some key questions might be:
  • What are the alternatives you’ve identified?
    • Are there any similarities between them?
    • What are the major differences?
  • On the whole, how strong is the evidence for each alternative?
    • Are some better supported than others?
    • Is there strong evidence for any of them?
  • If there are conflicting opinions or evidence, why might that be?
  • Based on your analysis, what actions should we take, or what viewpoint should we adopt?
    • What result do you expect from those actions, or what are the implications of that viewpoint?

If you’re writing an essay or a report, don’t be afraid to show original thought when performing this analysis. While you need to ground your work with the evidence you’ve found, in most units you’re expected to build on what you’ve learned rather than simply describing it.

Want to know more?

If you want to know how critical thinking is like choosing an apartment, check out this video on being a critical student from the University of Leicester.
If you prefer the written word, try this helpful introduction to critical thinking from Edinburgh Napier University.

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15 September 2015

5 strategies to manage your group assignment

Nearly every unit requires some type of group project or assignment and it can be challenging, no matter how many times you've done it. If you missed this article written by Sebastian Borutta, one of our Learning Skills Advisers, we are publishing it again to give you practical strategies to manage the challenges of working in a group.

Do you dread working on a group assignment?  Are you sick of group members dropping off the radar, and having to carry the group across the line? 

Research into attitudes towards group work among undergraduate students would suggest that you are not alone.  One study revealed that more than half of undergraduate students surveyed had a negative attitude towards group work, with around 40% stating that they would rather work alone[i].

According to the study, the most significant factors that contributed towards negative attitudes were difficulty coordinating schedules and “free riders” in the group, followed by members not contributing equally and differing grade expectations[ii].

Why have group assignments at all?

Unsurprisingly, the ability to work in a group is an increasingly important skill required by employers; therefore, students who have experience working in groups are better prepared for the collaborative nature of work in their future careers.[i]  Consequently, as a student it is useful to develop strategies to effectively work in a group setting.

So how can we try to manage these challenges?

The following five-part plan will offer prompts to consider when you embark on your next group task.

1.  Group formation and expectations
  • If given the choice, select group members who you can work with effectively. Friends are not necessarily the best option.
  • Develop ground rules to guide your group’s behaviour and activities.
  • Assign roles based on members’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ensure that all members are involved in initial planning discussions. Members who feel that their voice is heard during these discussions are less likely to disengage from the group.
  • Ensure members have compatible availability, or options to maintain regular contact with the group.
  • Set goals such as grade expectations early, and together as a group.
2.  Scheduling and meetings
  • Organise regular meeting times from the beginning of the task, including expected outcomes for each meeting.
  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face VS online meetings when deciding on meeting format.
  • Record decisions made, and the allocation and progress of tasks.
3.  Division of work
  • Before dividing work, ensure that the group has a clear understanding of the task, and all the associated work involved in the task’s completion.
  • Determine an equitable method of dividing work.
  • If this is difficult or not immediately obvious, share initial tasks and then divide the workload. For example, share the initial research stage of a task and then divide up the written component once you have a better idea of task expectations.
4. Communication
  • Be polite and respectful when communicating with each other.
  • Ensure team members listen carefully, and with an open mind to each other’s suggestions.
  • Be aware of your non-verbal communication when engaging with the group
  • When giving feedback, also focus on positive aspects rather than only negative aspects.
  • Don’t take constructive feedback personally.
5. Dealing with conflict
  • Be polite and respectful when communicating with each other. 
  • Problems usually arise due to group dynamics or task progression.
  • If conflict arises, as a group, clearly identify the problem.
  • Consider solutions to address the problem, allowing specific and constructive discussion.
  • Focus discussion on ideas rather than individuals.
  • As a group, make necessary changes and revise initial plans. 
Group work can be challenging and rewarding, both in an educational setting and in the workplace. Through planning and by anticipating and managing potential challenges, you can help your group work experience be a more positive one.

For more information on group work, or any other aspects of your approach to learning, take a look at the Library’s online resources, meet with a learning skills adviser at a drop-in session, or attend a workshop.

[i] Gottschall, H. & Garcia-Bayonas, M. (2008). Student attitudes towards group work among undergraduates in Business Administration, Education and Mathematics. Educational Research Quarterly, 32(1), 2-28.
[ii] ibid
[iii) Hansen R. (2006) Benefits and problems with student teams: Suggestions for improving team projects. The Journal of Education for Business, 82(1), 9-11.

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21 April 2015

How to write critically

Have you ever been told that your writing is “too descriptive” or that you need to “show more analysis” or “adopt a more critical approach”? You may need to work on your critical thinking skills..... By Clinton Bell

‘Critical thinking’ does not mean being negative! In an academic context, being critical means that you don’t just accept things at face value. At school you might have focused on memorising the ‘right answer’, but at university there is more emphasis on being able to determine for yourself whether you should believe something and how certain you can be.

To do this, you need to go beyond just describing what other people have said, and start asking questions. There are a lot of questions you can ask, but let’s start with two big ones: “Why should I believe this?” and “What does that mean?”

Why should I believe a particular article?

It’s a sad fact that you can’t believe everything you read. This means two things for your writing:
  • you need to explain why your reader should believe you
  • you need to consider how credible your sources are.
As a student, the most common way to support what you say is to refer to evidence from other sources and making a logical argument based on that evidence. This leads directly into the second point: you need to choose your sources carefully, because the strength of your own argument depends on them!

If you’re not sure how to do this, check out the Evaluating sources section of the Library’s Academic research on the internet tutorial. Although it’s aimed at internet sources, it’s a useful guide in general.

What does that mean?

So you’ve got some high-quality sources. Great! But remember, we’re trying to make an argument based on evidence, not just provide a big list of information. That means we need to link our sources back to our topic and to each other. Again, asking questions is a great way to do this:

  • How does this information relate to the topic at hand?
  • What conclusions can we draw from it?
  • Are there any alternative explanations?
  • These two sources disagree. Why is that?
  • Should we believe one over the other – or perhaps they both have some merit? What are the implications of accepting one or the other?

Don’t be afraid to show original thought! If you just repeat what someone else has said, what do you accomplish? Why wouldn’t I just read the original source? Instead, you need to build on your sources and add value through analysis or critique or interpretation.

Further reading

If you’re still not sure where to start, there are several resources on the web that can help!
Do you know of any other useful resources? Let us know by commenting here or on Twitter @monashunilib.

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31 March 2015

Incorporating research into your assignment

How much of the assignment should consist of my ideas about the topic, and how much should consist of researched ideas? When my tutor’s feedback says “Where is your voice?”, what does that mean? How will my tutor know what my thoughts are in contrast with those of the authors I’ve read? This blog post will answer these questions and more …  by Damian Gleeson

It’s (mostly) all about you

Your tutors are interested in your response to the assignment topic. They are more than familiar with the experts’ thoughts on the matter; they may indeed have contributed significantly to the body of expert knowledge on the issue themselves. What your tutor wants to know is: after listening to the lectures, attending tutorials or labs and reading widely on the topic, what do you think about it? What is your stance? What can you prove and how can you prove it? For these reasons, the majority of most assignments should consist of your considered response to the topic.

Show your working
In terms of attribution, the majority of your assignment should comprise your particular response, but not all of it. Of course you need to incorporate the research you’ve done:

a)      to show off all the reading, note-taking, critiquing, evaluating and synthesising you’ve done
b)      to have published experts support what you want to say, adding weight and credibility to your academic position.

The voice
So the majority of your assignment comprises your response. The research you’ve done is introduced to back up your contribution. In doing so, you demonstrate your control and authority. Nice! Of course the ideas you’ve borrowed need to be acknowledged in-text with citations and at the end of your assignment with referencing. Check out the blog post on this, see the Library’s guides to citing and referencing to learn more, and always have one of these guides open when you are writing.

Some points about incorporating research
Borrowed ideas should generally not appear in the first sentence of a paragraph. You should show control of the topic by stating the point you want to make first. In simple terms, your paragraph should consist of

        a topic sentence summing up your main point,
        further explanation of that main point,
        evidence and examples to demonstrate the point in action and
        a link back to the topic and your point’s relevance to it.

Paraphrasing is preferred to quoting as it shows deeper understanding of the literature. Your choice of reporting verb (‘state’, ‘claim’, ‘assert’,  etc.) also demonstrates deeper understanding, and reminds your reader that you have processed published ideas and incorporated a response to them in your work.
If you remain uncertain about how to incorporate the thoughts and work of others, don’t forget a friendly Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser is available to speak with you at a drop in.

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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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25 February 2015

Designing rubrics for learning

Rubrics, are they a tool for making marking easier and more consistent? Or are they also a powerful tool for learning? by Katalin Mindum

Rubrics are designed to make marking easier and more consistent and they provide students with the expectations for each assignment.  A rubric which has been well designed and either marked-up or accompanied by verbal feedback on the assessment task, will provide students with a tool for self-evaluation, reflection and valuable insight on how they should proceed with subsequent learning activities.  

This short Rubrics for Learning video outlines how to design learning rubrics that will serve both the person marking the assessment and the student. 

Links to get you started:

 1.RSD Generic Skills Rubric (PDF) - links to Monash Arts Assessment Portfolio
Blank Rubric Template (Word Doc)  - links to Monash Arts Assessment Portfolio
Constructive Alignment and the Research Skills Development Framework (article)
RSD Framework

The video and handouts have also been included in the Arts Assessment Portfolio site (Monash staff only).

Why not transform your marking rubrics into a powerful tool for your students to enhance their learning.

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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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20 January 2015

Social inclusion at the library

Academic staff interested in developing programs to improve participation and retention for low SES students may wish to contact the Library.

As a result of Monash University’s receipt of Federal Government funding through the Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP), the Library is developing services and programs that focus on improving access, participation, retention and success for students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds.

The social inclusion-related programs, whilst being led through a regional focus across Berwick and Peninsula, may also be implemented at other campuses. These programs are developed in consultation with academic staff and students.

Faculty staff should contact Learning Skills  Adviser Anita Dewi or Subject Librarian Tracey Whyte to find out more.

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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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