Preparing for University Study – Reflections

The PREP03 (Preparing for University Study – Intensive) unit has been all that it promised to be in helping people return to formal study at tertiary level, especially for those of us who have never studied at university before.  This is evident from many of the blogs posted to the online forum on the OUA Moodle website at http://moodle.open.edu.au/login/index.php.  Most of the students enrolled for this unit come from a diverse set of backgrounds and education levels, and, without such a primer, it would be difficult for us to be aware of university conventions and requirements for our projects and written assignments.

On a more personal level, I have, over the years, engaged in my own private research into history, philosophy and literature, which has enabled me to maintain good written communication skills, although it has been a long time since I have applied these skills in a formal study environment.  Having said this, we can never do enough to sharpen up our writing skills, as this in an ongoing process no matter how much prior experience we may have, and I am always happy to keep going back over old ground to search for the gems of wisdom I may have overlooked the first time around.

The topics of research and referencing were a real eye-opener for me.  Before commencing study at Open Universities Australia, I already had my own personal method for referencing sources, but I soon found that this does not meet university requirements.  Referencing university style is far more technical than I first anticipated, and I am glad I had the opportunity to learn from my mistakes in this ‘pre-course’ unit, before moving on to the accredited units that will count towards our final results.  Also, some of the reading and writing techniques were familiar to me; some were not.  I am now confident that all of this material will make me more efficient and effective in research and in preparing my written submissions.  Any remaining defects in my methodology can be ‘ironed out’ by constant revision and practice.

After having revised my study notes to take into account the feedback from my tutor, I am ready to continue my efforts in Study Period One with the units “PREP04” and “Engaging in the Humanities”.  My aim is to be at a standard where I can proceed with the remaining units for the Bachelor of Arts – Internet Communications.

~ Adrian McG

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