Weekly themes

The Retention and Success team developed 'student-centred' strategies that they believe all FedUni staff can embrace with student success in mind. Each week of each semester provides a focus for students and staff, and a list of actions staff can undertake to help support students. These themes are promoted around the campus and online so make yourself familiar with them and utilise the staff action checklists to create a positive and supporting student environment. The themes are tailored each semester in order to sit well with breaks and holidays, ensuring appropriate support is focussed on at key times during the student study experience.

Look at the promotional tools below the weekly themes for helpful resources.

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O Week: Getting to know each other

This week focuses on the students familiarising themselves with each other and staff. Read through the checklist and keep these actions in mind this week to help our commencing students start their FedUni journey in the best possible way!

Staff Action Checklist

  • Create 'welcoming corridors' - acknowledge students, say hello, smile
  • Wear your name badge, introduce yourself to students and start to learn student's names
  • View the timetable of Orientation activities happening at your campus, attend relevant faculty sessions, and participate in informal get-togethers such as BBQs etc.
  • Get to know the mentors and PASS leaders and encourage student interaction
  • Promote relevant FedUni social media to students, and encourage students to join/follow up - remember to #FedUni
  • If someone looks lost, ask if you can help

Week 1: Navigating your uni-verse

This week aims to have students familiarise themselves with their campus (including available facilities/services) and Moodle.

Staff action checklist

  • Show students where to find key navigational tools on the FedUni website
  • Spend some time covering how your Moodle shell is organised, and how to use it
  • Upload navigational documents onto your Moodle page, and send an Introductory moodle forum email
  • Undertake icebreaker activity in class this week to connect with your students, and to encourage them to connect with each other
  • Explain and discuss course descriptions, identifying relevant dates/information and outlining clearly any attendance requirements
  • If your course has PASS, invite PASS leaders to attend your lecture
  • Show student how to use the library website in lectures/tutorials
  • Show students the timetable for Library skills classes and encourage them to enrol
  • Continue to create 'welcoming corridor' - acknowledge students, say hello, offer help
  • Make sure your name and timetable is clearly shown on your office door

Week 2: Getting organised

Focuses on time management and students ensuring they understand study requirements, as well as when they can contact lecturers/tutors.

Staff action checklist

  • Advertise your appointment times/availability
  • Advertise best contact method; what form of communication do you most readily respond to?
  • Let students know your time frames for communication (eg. you usually respond to emails within 2 days)
  • Encourage students to communicate with you if they are having difficulties
  • Be on time to lectures/tutorials and show your enthusiasm
  • Ensure your lectures/tutorials are finished at or before 20 past the hour (11.20)
  • Spend a small portion of lectures/tutorials covering key requirements for study and assessments
  • Explore using Learning Skills Advisors (LSAs) or Library staff to deliver referencing workshop prior to written assignments being due.

Week 3: Checking in, Checking up, Checking it out

This week is one of the most critical of the semester - we ask our students to 'Check in with your mates; Check up on yourself; and Check out the services we have to help you through FedUni life'. The University offers a range of support programs for students to help them feel settled, and we ask that you complement these by checking in with your students and reaching out to anyone you have concerns about, encouraging them to seek assistance and support. We are in the lead up to census date and if a student does not feel comfortable at university at this stage, they are likely to withdraw.

Staff action checklist

  • Inform students about upcoming census date (31 August) during lectures, to put it on their radar
  • Staff to identify 'at risk' students – students whose attendance is poor, students who have failed an assessment, students who have expressed concerns, students who academic staff believe, in their experience, are struggling
  • Reinforce intervention tasks and any submission requirements. Emphasise to students that this task is simply an early check point for their progress and not doing so well in it is not the end of their semester. Frame it in a positive fashion
  • Allocate time in tutorials or provide an extra revision session for mid-term/assignment preparation
  • Discuss study options (varying study load) in lectures/tutorials and advise who they should speak with in regard to this
  • Help students feel connected to the university by emailing them from Moodle advertising that it is check in week and encouraging them to contact you with any needs/concerns
  • Support check in week activities in your area and encourage your students to participate as well
  • Be available during office hours

Week 4: Study skills

The aim of this week is to develop students' awareness of the academic skills required to succeed and the support services than can assist them with those. Students are asked to explore the different types of assessment, and encouraged towards our online resources for helpful hints and tips. We also need to promote census date, with Semester 2 census date fallig next week, Thursday 31st August.

Staff action checklist

  • If your students have an assessment due this week, reinforce the submission requirements and emphasise that this task is simply an early check point for their progress
  • Promote census date during lectures and explain the importance of census date and the associated financial implications
  • Promote the ASK, PASS and YourTutor services to students
  • Use a Learning Skills Advisor or Library staff to deliver a referencing workshop prior to written assignments being due
  • Familiarise yourself with academic support and referral procedures
  • Encourage students to seek assistance from academic support services
  • Show students where to find information and contact details for academic support services on the current students website
  • Include reference to 'studyskills' website during your lectures and tutorials
  • Send an email from Moodle promoting the 'studyskills' website and current student website
  • Advertise your availability for check in week -  promote available times

Week 5: Getting involved

The aim of this week is to help students strengthen their connection with FedUni, and find a balance between their studies and extracurricular activities.  We encourage them to explore ways to be more involved with the University, on campus or off, such as joining a club, writing for the student mag or becoming a student rep on one of our many boards and committees.

Staff action checklist

  • Encourage students to join clubs or societies of interest to them - remember that online students can also join clubs and societies
  • Direct students to speak to staff in the student experience office
  • Provide students with networking opportunities relevant to your area of expertise
  • Promote relevant professional groups that you are aware of
  • Advertise and organise LSA help or online support for assignments if required
  • Ensure assessment requirements and other marking guides are clear and available to students in advance of due dates
  • Promote time management and goal setting available on studyskills website
  • Promote PASS (where available)

Week 6: Maximise your marks

Reflect on feedback and continue to develop academic skills.

Staff action checklist

  • Provide students with general feedback from previous cohorts final assessments (these are the common mistakes students have made in the past)
  • Present general feedback from any assessments completed thus far
  • Spend time discussing how to successfully complete an assessment to a high standard
  • Promote access to ASK, PASS, YourTutor and LSAs
  • Be available for students to seek assistance with final assessments.

Week 7: Reward yourself

This week looks at the importance of recognising your own achievements, how far the student has come, and congratulating themselves on their accomplishments thus far.

Staff action checklist

  • Congratulate students on commitment and hard work
  • Remind them to use this reward as motivation to continue the hard work
  • Remind students of FedUni opportunities (awards, etc.)
  • Give students a 'high five' as they leave your lecture/tutorial
  • Take the time to discuss with your students ways in which they can use rewards as motivation to complete small tasks.
  • Spend a moment to ask students to reflect on what they have achieved so far this semester
  • Ask students to set three goals for the remainder of semester

Week 8: Health check

This week aims to increase awareness of the importance of physical, mental and emotional health while studying, and encourages students to maintain contact with lecturers/tutors over the lecture break and increase awareness/use of facilities.

Staff action checklist

  • Acknowledge that many students are exhausted in the lead up to lecture break, but that they can make it!
  • Include information about how to access the university’s health and wellbeing services in your lectures/tutorials
  • Encourage students to seek support from available health services
  • Include information about access to Unisports and its opening hours in your lectures/tutorials
  • Encourage students to take time out for themselves (work/life/school balance)
  • Promote online time management available through Learning and study website
  • Advertise counselling services  Counselling and Support
  • Post University opening times / library opening times / what library offers over the break, found here
  • Readvertise student online support links on Moodle shells
  • Promote regular use of online resources (e.g. Moodle,’ YourTutor’, studyskills website)
  • Readvertise PASS & Ask Desk (availability times, although PASS programs may be on break also)
  • Post and remind students via Moodle of office hours and contact details for lecturers/program coordinators as appropriate, as well as availability
  • Make sure lecturers post lecture schedule on doors and any arrangements for the break if applicable
  • Consider having an online presence over the lecture break, advertise days and times clearly on Moodle
  • Remind and refer students to special consideration regarding assessments
  • Encourage students to take time out for family/friends over the break

Week 9: Re-connecting

This week aims to get students reconnected as they return from the lecture break, and shift their focus back to university.

Staff action checklist

  • Post a message in your course Moodle shell, welcoming students back
  • Have students reflect on why they came to university
  • Encourage students to reconnect with other students and staff
  • Reiterate your availability and preferred contact methods
  • Include information about how to access the university’s health and wellbeing services in your lectures/tutorials
  • Encourage students to seek support from available health services
  • Readvertise student online support links on Moodle shells
  • Promote regular use of online resources (e.g. Moodle,’ YourTutor’, studyskills website)
  • Readvertise PASS & Ask Desk availability times and encourage their use

Week 10: Staying motivated

Aim to build/maintain student motivation as we near the end of semester, prevent stress, and promote good time management.

Staff action checklist

  • Discuss end goals/outcomes of course
  • Promote services to assist with time management/stress
  • Refer/remind students to use ASK, PASS, YourTutor and the study skills website
  • Remind students to contact you if they need assistance re: special consideration or extensions
  • Include information about the university's health and wellbeing services, in particular counselling in your lectures/tutorials
  • Allocate time for students to ask questions relating to remaining assessments.

Week 11: Just keep swimming

This week aims to support and encourage students through what is typically a very stressful week with final assessments due.

Staff action checklist

  • Provide time in class for discussion about final assessment
  • Allocate a portion of lecture time to question time from students
  • Increase your availability so students can get in contact as the need arises, and try to respond to emails and phone calls on the same day wherever possible
  • Congratulate students on commitment and hard work to get this far, and encourage them to finish strong
  • Include information about health and wellbeing services in your lecture
  • Include information about special consideration, disability support, etc. in your lecture

Week 12: Re-read, revise, review ... it's the final countdown!

This week aims to build skills around revision, and encourage students to look back at the amount they have accomplished and learned. It should emphasise that they do know more than they might think.

Staff action checklist

  • Take the time to congratulate your students
  • Discuss what still needs to be done to finish off the semester
  • Revisit the work learnt thus far
  • Discuss good revision practice
  • Promote the studyskills website
  • Promote PASS
  • Encourage students to form study groups
  • Include information about academic services (ASK, PASS and YourTutor) and health and wellbeing services in your lecture
  • Include your contact details over SWOTVAC and exams
  • Include information about special consideration (which has different paperwork for exams), disability support, etc. in your lecture
  • For those that are brave enough… Play “The final countdown” at the end of your final lecture!

SWOT Vac

Even if your students are not on campus or attending classes, they should still benefit from your presence.

Staff action checklist

  • Post on Moodle to students about study activities being held during SWOT Vac
  • Promote the studyskills website
  • Remind students that SWOT Vac is a valuable week to prepare themselves for exams
  • Tell them (nicely) not to waste it
  • Promote balance during SWOT Vac, refer students to appropriate sections of the studyskills website
  • Respond to student enquiries within 24hrs

Exams

An incredibly stressful time for students. Be vigilant to your student's needs.

Staff action checklist

  • Respond to student enquiries within 24hrs
  • Attend student exams for your course
  • Provide students with alternatives where reasonable
  • Regularly post on Moodle

Promotional tools

Below are some tools to help you promote the academic support services to your students throughout semester.

Throughout the year we also have promotions and incentives to encourage students to interact with these services. We will share these resources here when information about each activity becomes available. Would you like to know more about these services? Check out the Student Futures section of the website.


SWOT Vac Super Study