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

  • Attend faculty welcome, introduce yourself
  • Come to staff/student BBQ
  • Ensure mentors are actively involved with their mentees
  • Promote relevant FedUni social media to students
  • Encourage students to join/follow FedUni social media
  • Wear your name badge
  • Learn 20 students' names
  • Be approachable
  • Say hello
  • Open door policy
  • Welcoming corridors – acknowledge students
  • Smile
  • If someone looks lost, help them
  • Get to know the mentors/PASS leaders (add them to your Moodle shell if you are teaching first year course)

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
  • Upload navigational documents onto your Moodle page
  • Make sure your name and timetable is clearly shown on your office door
  • Remember to smile
  • Wear your name badge
  • If someone looks lost, help them
  • Send introductory Moodle forum email including timetable for lectures and tutorials. Consider doing this also in video form
  • Undertake icebreaker activity in class during first week. 'Learn 20 students' names'
  • Connect with students and have students connect with each other in lectures/tutorials
  • Review and discuss course descriptions, identifying relevant dates/information
  • Outline carefully to the students attendance requirements
  • Invite PASS leaders to attend courses with PASS
  • Spend some time covering how to use your Moodle shell
  • Show students how to use the library website in lectures/tutorials
  • Show students the timetable for Library skills classes and how to enrol.

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 appointment times/availability
  • Advertise best contact method. What form of communication to most readily respond to?
  • Spend a small portion of lectures/tutorials covering key requirements for study and assessments.
  • Respond to emails within 24 hours
  • Encourage students to communicate with you re: any special consideration application.
  • Smile
  • Be on time to lectures/tutorials
  • Ensure your lectures/tutorials are finished at or before 20 past the hour (11.20)
  • Remind staff to consider using LSA or Library staff to deliver referencing workshop prior to written assignments

Week 3: Study skills

Develop students' awareness of the academic skills required to succeed and the support services than can assist them with those.

Staff action checklist

  • Promote ASK, PASS and YourTutor to students
  • Advertise availability for check in week – promote available times
  • Prepare for week 4 at risk and any associated timelines
  • Email from Moodle regarding 'studyskills' website and current student website
  • Include reference to Study Skills website during your lectures/tutorials
  • Show students where to find information and contact details for academic support services on the current students website
  • Encourage students to seek assistance from academic support services
  • Familiarise yourself with academic support and referral procedures
  • Provide time either in tutorial or extra session revision for mid-term/prepare for assignment
  • Use an LSA or Library staff to deliver referencing workshop prior to written assignments
  • Remind students of the timetable for Library skills classes and how to enrol.

Week 4: Check in week

Aims to provide students with an opportunity to voice their concerns, seek assistance and assess their own study progress thus far.

Staff action checklist

  • Staff to email 'at risk' students – students whose attendance is poor or failed first assessment, who have expressed concerns, who academic staff in their experience believe student is struggling
  • Discuss study options in lectures/tutorials
  • Discuss who students need to talk to in regard to talking about their study options.
  • Reinforce intervention task 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 then end of their semester. Frame it in a positive fashion
  • Email from Moodle advertising Check-in-Week – contact lecturer with any needs/concerns.
  • Be available during office hours
  • Promote census date during lectures
  • Explain the importance of census dates and the financial implications associated
  • Support Check-in-Week activities in your Faculty and School
  • Post University opening times / library opening times / what library offers over the break Visit Library website.
  • 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.
  • Encourage students to take time out for family/friends over the break

Week 5: Staying connected

This week aims to get students reconnected as they return from the lecture break.

Staff action checklist

  • Remind and refer students to special consideration regarding assessments
  • Welcome students back and remind them of your lecture times and that you look forward to seeing them there.
  • 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)
  • Check in with students and have students check in on each other

Week 6: Getting involved

This week aims to get students more thoroughly involved with their study and campus opportunities.

Staff action checklist

  • Encourage students to join clubs or societies of interest to them.
  • Direct students to speak to staff in the student experience office: http://federation.edu.au/current-students/life-on-campus/getting-involved
  • 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: http://studyskills.federation.edu.au/category/managing-your-study/
  • Promote PASS (where available)
  • Promote Library Subject Guides, a one-stop-shop for the subject areas.

Week 7: 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 8: Health check

This week aims to have students ensuring they maintain their physical, mental and emotional health while studying.

Staff action checklist

  • 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 studyskills website
  • Advertise counselling services Counselling and Support

Week 9: 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 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
  • 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: Re-read, review, revise

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

Staff action checklist

  • Revisit the work learnt thus far
  • Discuss good revision practice
  • Promote the studyskills website
  • Provide time in class for discussion about final assessment
  • Promote PASS
  • Encourage students to form study groups

Week 12: The final countdown

This week students and staff will be counting down to SWOT Vac and exams.

Staff action checklist

  • Take the time to congratulate your students
  • Promote the SWOT Vac study event.
  • Discuss what still needs to be done to finish of the semester
  • Play 'The Final Countdown' at the end of your final lecture
  • Allocate a portion of lecture time to question time from students
  • Include information about the health centre during your lecture
  • Include information about special consideration, disability support, etc. in your lecture
  • Include your contact details over SWOT Vac and exams
  • Include information about ASK, PASS and YourTutor in your lecture

SWOT Vac

  • 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 not to waste it (nicely)
  • Promote balance during SWOT Vac, refer students to appropriate sections of the studyskills website
  • Respond to student enquiries within 24hrs

Exams

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