WHAT IS A UNIVERSITY?
When an individual is offered admission to study a course in the university, what follows is the registration. Registration involves payments of school fee, student union fee, departmental fees, faculty fee e.t.c Registration is more than just “paying fees”. It authenticates your “studentship”.Registration also involves screening of results to ensure that the result with which admission is offered is authentic.Registration procedure varies from one university to another. While some universities conduct theirs online others still stay put with the manual registration process.The need for early registration cannot be over emphasized because a good number of potential undergraduates have lost their admission to late registration.Late registration can also result in payment of additional fee which serves as penalty for late registration (a more lenient measure when compared to forfeiting the admission).In some universities, registration is carried out online. The procedure to follow is laid down step wisely on the university’s website. All that is required is to log on to the website to get first hand information on how registration is to be done.Do not rely on here say (dem say, dem say).Before filling out registration forms, care must be taken to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the information required. Therefore it is advised that you read through the forms before filling them. Where you are confused make enquires from the appropriate quarter. Information supplied on registration must be correct. Do not give false information because it consequence is outright expulsion.During registration a lot of receipts are issued, these receipts should be photocopied and properly documented as you will need them when occasion demands and in the final year for clearance.
Early in the semester, the school authority organizes an orientation programme for all freshmen. It is designed to acquaint the new students with the school system, facilities, rules and regulations e.t.c the orientation programme is very important and compulsory. Therefore, all fresh students must make it a point of duty to be in attendance.
The Advance Oxford Learners Dictionary defines Matriculation as “the formal acceptance of an individual to study a course in the university”.
The matriculation ceremony takes place early in the semester. By matriculation the new students (undergraduates) accepts to study in the chosen university and to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution. Highlights of the ceremony includes:
- Taking of the Oath of allegiance and
- Signing of the matriculation register.
Undergraduates are issued matriculation numbers which is a unique number that identifies every individual-no two persons have the same matriculation number.
Matriculation must not be taken with levity. All laid down rules that concern the day must be strictly adhered to. Most of these activities are time bound. Therefore, ensure that you fulfill your own responsibility as and when due. Failure to adhere to instruction has cost so many individuals their admission. This will not be your lot.
THE SCHOOL IDENTITY CARD
The school identity card is issued after registration. Always have your identity card at your disposal within the school environment and where necessary. It may be demanded for at any time. Failure to provide the I. D card when occasion demands may result to payment of fine.
In most universities, accommodation is on a first come first serve basis. Make effort to see that you get accommodation on campus. Personally, I always advice undergraduates to live on campus because I think its advantages far outweigh it disadvantages. Below are some of the benefits of living on campus:
- Electricity is more stable on most Nigerian campuses.
- The availability of studying materials and resources (library)
- You don’t have to shuttle between town and school – the stress factor.
- Finally, most times it is economically wiser to stay on campus.
THE SCHOOL LIBRARY/ E-LIBRARY
(An institution may have either or both of a physical or e-library).
The school library provides an ideal environment for studying. The library consists of different sections for the various departments. In the library, you find relevant textbooks, journals, encyclopedias etc. Asides the provision of study materials; an individual may also take is personal materials to the library for study.
In certain Nigerian universities, lending of textbooks is through online services. Use of library is preceded by registration. After registration you are issued the library card which allows you to freely use the library.However, you may be denied the use of the library if you fail to abide by the rule and regulations applicable to each institution.
The electronic library comes handy when finding solutions to assignments, writing projects, researching seminar topics e.t.c it is located beside the Science Lecture Theater (SLT).
THE SCHOOL CLINIC
The school clinic offers first aid services to undergraduates. They also handle health matters that are within their “powers”. In the case of emergency, arrangement is made to transport the patient to the University Teaching Hospital. For freshmen, it is very important to register with the school clinic. Details about the clinic registration are made available in the clinic and sometimes on the schools website.
In the case of illness, it is important to report at the school clinic rather than turning elsewhere for treatment. In a case where an individual misses a test due to illness he/she stands the chance of writing a make-up test. If treatment was administered in the school clinic the doctor in charge will write a note to that effect but if otherwise it may not be possible to write such make up test.
Moreover, at the end of your stay in school you’ll be required to sign your clearance form from the school clinic. So, it’s better to register now than wait till some other time.
These are lecturers who primarily provide undergraduates with the necessary information required on what courses to offer. They offer useful advice when the need arises. They sign undergraduate’s course form. They also compile results. If you have any problems with your academics, the best person to see is your level adviser.
Note: I have not in any way exhausted the functions of a level adviser.
In the University Community, there are a lot of groups/societies (religious groups, cultural groups, social groups, departmental group’s e.t.c). Before you consent to be a member of any of these groups, you must ensure that the group is registered and identified by the office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Again, before you take allegiance with any group it is important to weigh the consequences of joining the group.
This can be done by answering these questions:
- What is the aim and objective of the society?
- Will the aims and objectives of the group help you in achieving any of your goals?
- Is the club registered with the student affair unit?
- Can you combine the responsibilities (demands) of the group successfully with your primary assignment?
- Will the club activities affect you positively by improving your talent?
The answers to these questions should help you determine whether or not to join the club. If you answered NO to any of these questions, I will advise that you have a second thought before joining such group.
GETTING THE RIGHT INFORMATION.
Access to information is very crucial. As in the larger society, the University Community has it shares of half-truths (rumours, false information). One way to get the right information is through the use of Departmental and Faculty notice boards, the schools website, the school quarterly bulletin.
Form the habit of visiting your Departmental notice board during your free time. Also, log on to the school website whenever you have access to the internet. You can also find out information from you Class Representative.
PITFALLS YOU SHOULD AVOID
Below are some of the pitfalls I identified as an undergraduate and by way of research. Do your best to avoid these pitfalls.
Procrastination is said to be, “the thief of time”. It is the tendency to put till tomorrow what we can do today. This syndrome accounts for a good number of failures recorded in our tertiary institutions.
In their research, Mojeed Kolawole Akinsola, Adedeji Tella and Adeyinka Tella (1997) noted that, “the issue of procrastination is no more a thing to toy with in academics but something to deal with.” They further wrote that, “This [procrastination] is recognized to be doing more harm than good to the academic achievement of undergraduate students…….”
A. I Ajayi and P. M Osiki (1998) pointed out the following as some of the causes of procrastination:
- Laziness and sluggishness.
- Fear for making mistakes.
- Lack of decision and determination.
- A feeling that “there is still more time to do what should be done now”.
- Abuse of lecturer’s leniency.
- Fear of social disapproval.
Akinsola et al also pointed out the following as causes of procrastination:
- Lack of proper time management.
- Waiting till last minute to study.
- Not taking studying seriously.
- Just want to pass mentality of undergraduates.
- Lack of self-confidence.
- Focusing on unproductive activities.
- Fear of failure among others.
At this point, I want you to reflect on those habits or thought patterns that make you procrastinate with the view of doing away with this time wasters.
A student who has reasons to justify his procrastination attitude is invariably piling up reasons to justify is failure in life (Ajayi et al).
To minimize procrastination, we have to see time as a precious commodity and form the habit of regularly asking ourselves the question, “What is the most important use of my time right now? If your answer to the question negates what you are doing at that moment then you must stop such act immediately and do what you are supposed to do. For one, to curb the mentality of, “there is still ample time to do my assignments or study”, I have resolved that no time is too early to complete a given task because the earlier these tasks are completed the better. There is a kind of joy and satisfaction that is derived from completing assignments on time
Here is an excerpt from the works of Ajayi et al on the solution to Procrastination:
“Procrastination as a form of incompetence has to be eliminated
in order to cure it. Since incompetence is the opposite of or lack of
competence, the only way to eliminate it is to be replaced with
competence (Wikibooks, 2006).
Personal competence is comprised of five elements: emotional strength, well-directed thought, time management skills, control over habits, and task completion abilities (Wikibooks, 2006). Improving on these personal competences is a surest ways of overcoming procrastination. Some of the practical steps are for the students to be well organized by starting out small to accomplish the larger goal. In order words a student may need to prepare a scale of daily preferences dividing major projects which seems overwhelming into little pieces. What is not getting done in one day can be added to the next day’s list Also a procrastinator may need to start with the easiest task and proceed from there to a more rigorous and demanding tasks.
Success in the easier task is likely to motivate and ginger him to more difficult task and hence building up confidence in his ability to tackle academic matters. One of the major reasons why people avoid the very tasks that free them from mediocrity is their lack of self-confidence (Plessis, 2006). A lack of confidence in one self according to (Plessis, 2006) will automatically keep one from those things which ordinarily one is capable of doing. Procrastination which is not just a device for avoiding mundane things but on a higher level, is avoiding the big decisions and big actions then set in and prevent one from making
real difference in one’s life.”
According to Ajayi et al,
“Procrastinators give a lot of excuses, which they claim do
not let allow them to take actions at the appropriate time.
Some procrastinators are busy here and there doing nothing
and leaving something else important undone”.
Effective time management is the ultimate way to minimize the effect of procrastination. This means identifying time wasters and doing away with them. These time wasters includes: “lack of planning, lack of priorities, over-commitment, meetings, indecision, unclear objectives, postponed decision, lack of delegation, lack of self-discipline, unnecessary meetings, inconsistent actions, socializing and interrupting others”.
From experience, I have found out that undergraduates are overwhelmed by the many assignments, tests that sometimes confront them. This sometime incapacitates them – they seem not to know where to begin preparations.
Some just fold their arms and give in to self-pity and lamentation. For those who fall into this category, I want you to practice the art of positive thinking. Think positively when faced with so much work you feel you will never sail through. Think positively on your outlook to your studies, for things will always be better no matter how bleak they seem. For obstacles are those things we see when we look away from our goal. I charge you to be goal-oriented!
PEER GROUP/ PEER PRESSURE
There is a common adage that says, “Show me your friend and I will tell you whom you are”. Be careful of the friends you keep. Birds of the same feather are known to flock together. My secondary school principal always emphasized the saying, “There is no permanent Friend, no permanent enemy but permanent interest” this implies that you can’t afford to stick to those who don’t share your dreams, goals and aspirations. Walk in the company of those who can help you achieve your goals. Those who share your dream and aspirations will help you remain focused rather than detract you from achieving your dreams. If you want to fly like eagles you can’t afford to scratch with ducks.
A good number of undergraduates with good intentions and plans have lost their values to bad peer influence. Again, if you find yourself in a circle of friends who do not share your goals and are working against your set goals; the best time to pull out of such peer group is now.
Most of the riots/ unrest that occurred in time past in the tertiary institutions would have been averted if undergraduates resort to laid down procedure of getting justice or making their grievances known. In this regard, it is advisable that we should always channel our grievance/complaints to the right authorities, instead of taking laws into our hands. We live in an imperfect world – nobody is perfect. There are times when we experience some inconveniences such as inadequate water supply, erratic water supply e.t.c whenever this situations arises, the way and manner we react to them matters. Exploring such avenue in causing rancor and unrest is uncultured and unacceptable and should not be heard in an academic environment.
Debating and discussing our grievances with fellow undergraduates do not solve our problems. Therefore, when things go wrong; effort should be made to channel our complaints to the appropriate authorities. For instance, if the toilets are not properly cleaned, instead of exchanging words with the cleaners, the situation will be best addressed by the Hall of Residence Chairman who will report the matter to the appropriate quarter so that the necessary action will be taken.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED YOUR EARS WITH
Some undergraduates are in the habit of feeding freshmen with stories like:
- Once you make it through remedial/first year, you do not have to study as much as you did in your first year.
- A particular lecturer is very wicked and it is difficult to pass his/her course.
- A particular course is difficult and the best you can have in it is a C.
The list is endless.
Do not allow this negative stories to affect your studies as most of them are either false or exaggerations. Consistency is required throughout ones stay in the university. Those who graduate with good grade points did not begin in their final year. They laid the foundation in their first year and sustained the performance through the other levels to their final year. Adequate effort must be channeled at getting the best out of every level.
For those who secured admission through remedial; do not fall into the trap of relenting in your efforts to studying. Disregard the story that you do not have to study as much as you did during the remedial programme. It is an outright LIE!
History and records are meant to be broken or rewritten. When you hear stories like nobody does well in a particular course, have it in mind that you can change the course of history by being the first person who will have an A in such course. Be courageous and work hard. This way you will find yourself breaking records positively.
Technology can affect our studies positively as well as negatively. It all boils down to the use to which we put them. The addiction that results from playing games both on the computer and phone is a salient factor that steals away effective time that would have been set aside for studying. We should learn to employ caution on the amount of time we spend playing games on laptops and phones. An internet enabled phone should be used for browsing and downloading study materials.
Many undergraduates are “shareholders” in the midnight free calls by the different telecoms service providers which spans from 12:30a.m – 4:00p.m Too much of everything is said to be bad. Therefore, if you must make calls at night, caution should be employed so that night calls will not take the place of the time you should spend studying at night. Moreover, the aftermath of night calls during the day is weariness and dizziness. It takes it toil on our studies when over indulged in. I define night calls as “having a nice night and having a bad day”.
The University education is intended for all round learning. But care must be taken that you do not over indulge in extracurricular activities to the detriment of your studies. In most Universities, the second semester is filled with various activities/parties. The various cultural associations marking their days, handover ceremony of different bodies- Man ‘O’ War, Final Year Brethren, Cadets, the various departmental societies. Coral presentation organized by all the Church Fellowships. End of year parties organized by several societies. There is no harm attending some (one or two) of these activities. Attending all these activities will not be in the best interest of your academics. Most of these parties as they put them last till “Mama Calls” – Till dawn. So it is important to choose between which to attend and which not to attend.
FALSE SENSE OF FREEDOM
There is a false sense of freedom amongst freshmen. In reality, there is a limit to the “freedom” you have in the University. Whatever you do with your freedom is not without its consequence. Your freedom must not infringe on any of the school rules and regulations. Also, it must not pose any threat/danger to fellow undergraduates. So care must be taken on what to do with your supposed freedom.
The University is to mould undergraduates both intellectually and morally. Therefore, it is not enough to be brilliant; it has to go hand in hand with sound moral values. Being morally upright is to abide by the school rules and regulations which are intended to protect the students’ rights and interest while the students undertakes to obey those rules and regulations to avoid tampering with other people right and interest and to ensure decent behaviour, peace, security and smooth running of the school [Uninterrupted Academic Programme].
Below are some of the behaviours that should be avoided both within and outside the school environment as they are frowned at by the school authority and attract penalties ranging from outright expulsion, suspension, deferring of academic schedule
- Fighting.(Instead of fighting, report should be made to appropriate authority e.g. School security)
- Vulgar Words.
- Examination Malpractice.
- Cultism/Secret Societies.
- Indecent Act or Behaviour.
- Illegal Demonstration.
This has been the ruin of a good number of undergraduates. A lot of undergraduates get entangled in the web of what they call relationship. This is what I have to say about this: There is time for everything under this planet. Do what is right at the right time. Particularly, for freshmen the task ahead of you requires a lot of planning and focus. Tying yourself to the emotional demand of been in a relationship may not be without it consequences.
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- Attending lectures.
- Past Questions.
- Time management.
- Group assignment.
- Continuous Assessment Tests.
- Note taking during lectures.
- How to plan/need for a good plan.
The Need for a Plan and Goal Setting
On admission into the University, majority of undergraduates desire to come tops their respective fields of study. In reality, very few achieve this feat. This can be traced to the fact that many undergraduates do not have set down goals and do not have a plan towards achieving their desires.As any good student knows, if you don’t plan for success, you are infact planning for failure. The core of good planning lies in knowing how to stake out your goals. These goals will then function as milestones, helping you reach your destination much quicker.Planning and goal setting go hand in hand; in goal setting you decide what you want then, you plan on how to go about achieving your goal. For instance, in your first year you have resolved to graduate with nothing less than a 2nd class honours (upper division) – It is a long term goal.
To reach the long term goal you will need to make many short term goals. Part of which is to perform excellently in your test and assignments, make a good GPA (Grade Point Average) in the 1st semester of your first year and in successive levels. To achieve your goals, you must have a plan towards it realization.
Goals are tasks with deadlines (line of action) this differentiates goals from fantasies or mere wish.In his book Goals, author Brian Tracy ‘hammered’ on the importance of Goal setting and having a good plan. With regards to goals he wrote, “Most people just throw themselves at life like a dog chasing a passing car and wonder why they never catch (achieve) anything or keep anything worthwhile”.
On planning he wrote, “The number one reason for failure is action without planning”. He continued, “People who say they are too busy to plan in advance must be prepared for unnecessary mistakes and great losses of time, money and energy”. To buttress this fact, Herbert Prochnous once said:
“There is a time when we must
firmly choose the course we
will follow or drift of events
will make the decisions”.
Robert T. Kiyosaki, in his book Guide To Investing asked this question, “could you imagine what could happen if someone just called in some people and began to build a house without a plan?” my answer to the question is this, “The house will not stand. If it does, it will fall at the slightest wind”. He said that investment is a personal affair which starts with planning. In a similar manner, education can be said to be an investment into the future.
A plan is the roadmap which gives a direction and purpose. With it; you can measure your progress to see if you are on the right path or whether you have deviated from your set goals. The best time to plan is from the onset. That is, in your first year (100) Level.
In planning, you need to define your purpose. Purpose here answers the questions:
- Why am I in this institution?
- What grade do I intend to graduate with on graduation?
From experience, I found out that a good number of undergraduates settle for whatever grade that come their way. This attitude results in mediocrity.
To choose the path of honour (success) entails: planning, hard work and determination.
What type of grade do you want to graduate with?
1st class honours?
2nd class (upper division)?
2nd class (lower division)?
If you have 1st class or 2nd class (upper division) in mind, know that you cannot settle for scores below 60. A credit in all your courses will only land you in 2nd class lower division. Go for A’s and B’s; avoid the C’s as much as you can, make on room for D’s on your report sheets, Erase E’s and place a ban on F’s.
There is a Yoruba adage that says, “A child who is good at asking questions will never lose his way”. Asking important questions is paramount to success. Ensure to interact with others who have passed through the level you are on the important things you ought to know.
Having the lecture time table for the semester is also essential. This is used in mapping out how to engage your free periods and to accustom yourself to the lecture venues and time.
AFTER GOAL SETTING AND PLANNING – WHAT NEXT?
ACTION AND EVALUATION.
After goal setting and planning, the necessary line of action spelt out in the plan must be executed. Also, it is important to review (evaluate) our goals regularly. This helps us to measure our progress. To see how many goals we have been able to achieve. To know what lapses there are with the aim of effecting change where it is required. It also helps us to consolidate on our strengths.
When a soup is being prepared, the cook tastes the soup to see it if tastes just right. Evaluation should be an ongoing process. “Too often, people think that evaluation should come only at the need of something. But, an evaluation at the end only helps one to plan for the future it comes too late to help you change if it’s done at the last hour” (Navamaga). Therefore, self-evaluation needs to be carried out as regularly as possible.
ATTENDING LECTURES AND NOTE TAKING
Some undergraduates form the habit of not attending lectures. This I tag, “the beginning of failure”. Most times, this “I don’t care” attitude towards lectures makes me wonder if such students really know why they are in school and if they know the consequences of their action/inaction.
In most Universities, 75% attendance is mandatory before an undergraduate is allowed to sit for examination. Lecture attendance also makes up part of the Continuous Assessment grades.
Furthermore, some lecturers do not give lecture notes. For such lecturers, all you have to fall back on is the note you take in class – proper note taking becomes inevitable. How is it possible to take note when one absconds from lectures?
For lecturers who give notes, some deliberately leave out some explanations in their note. These explanations are said verbally during lectures. They employ this approach to fish out undergraduates who abscond from lectures. When scoring test/examination scripts they look out for the keywords and illustrations which they mentioned in class but deliberately left out of their lecture notes. Where these keywords are found missing – it tells on the scores.
Attending lectures go a long way to aid understanding and quick assimilation of what is being taught. Lecturers employ examples and illustrations that will aid the understanding of what they teach. They also have a way of stressing the possible questions they will draw from the topics they teach.
A number of lecturers are in the habit of ‘serving’ impromptu tests. What becomes of the perpetual absentee?
For those who have the mindset of always photocopying other peoples note; this option should only be employed when it cannot be avoided.
This section on attending lectures will be incomplete if I don’t talk about punctuality for lectures. It is not enough to attend lectures. Being punctual for lectures is also very important. Punctuality avails an individual the opportunity of attending lecture in a vantage position. The reality in our Universities particularly for first year students is that they outnumber the capacity of the lecture rooms therefore; being punctual for lectures becomes imperative
Lecturers can’t help but give assignments; this is intended to aid learning. Sometimes, the assignments from various lecturers seem insurmountable that we are tempted to write and submit anything to fulfill all righteousness.
Assignments are aimed at helping student gain a better understanding of what they are been taught in class. Also, assignments play a major role in the computation of continuous assessment. Therefore, effort must be made to see that all assignments are given the deserved attention.
Dubbing (copying other people’s assignments) can sometimes be inevitable but efforts should be made to revisit the “Dubbed” assignments so as to have a good understanding of the solution to the assignment.
Sometimes, assignments are repeated as test questions or form part of examination questions. It is advisable that you make photocopy of solutions to assignments and keep them for revision for tests and examination.
“What goes around comes around”. The University Curriculum is not so dynamic in it designs. This is to say that the course content for a particular course remains the same for at least four years or more. As a result, test and examination questions are sometimes repeated from those of previous years. Other times, they may not come in the exact form they take in the past questions.
Past questions, provides us with insight on how questions are drawn from the various topics treated in class. They test an individual’s level of preparedness for examination. Also, it gives one the confidence needed to confront examination.
Tutorial are classes organized to uncover grey areas on the topics that have been taught in class. They come in different folds. Whichever form it takes, they provide opportunity for better understanding because learning is carried out under a relaxed atmosphere when compared to the lecture period.
Lecturers employ these classes to identify areas students are finding difficult. This avenue should be optimized by asking questions on areas of our notes we don’t understand. Some lecturers treat likely test and examination questions as examples during tutorials or give them as tutorial questions. This examples and tutorial questions should be properly internalized.
Tutorial classes are also organized by co-students. This type is more interactive. Again, it serves the same purpose as those organized by the lecturers. The purpose is to give better understanding to topics that have being taught in class.
There are instances where class work/assignment is given in groups. Here, there is the temptation of withdrawing to the rear thereby leaving the assignment to others without contributing any input. This is a very common practice.
Whatever group work you find yourself; ensure to participate actively.
During my SWEP programme JULY 2004, I was in the Mechanical Workshop. In the fitting and assembling section we were divided into groups and instructed on the procedure of making a bolt and nut.
Afterwards, we were provided with the necessary materials and asked to produce a bolt and nut. Initially, I was tempted to leave the work to my group members but I had a change of heart- I took active part in the production of the bolt and nut.
The following morning, without any prior information, we’re asked to individually give an account of how we made the bolt and nut. Imagine what will have become of me if I had not taken active part in the group work.
One of my favourite saying is this, “tests are examination in disguise”. The only difference between a test and an examination from my own point of view is the fact that tests come earlier in the semester while examination follow later in the semester. I advise that the same effort put in preparing for examinations should also be put in preparation for tests as they are examination in disguise.
I have found out that poor performance in tests account for the poor/average performance recorded by a good number of undergraduates. Tests form part of the Continuous Assessment which account for 30% of the overall performance.
The optimum use of time is paramount to success in life. It is an essential ingredient to success when used positively. Time they say is money but time is valuable than money. If you lose money you can make it back but if you lose time it is not recoverable.
Time is said to be a statement of our priorities. What do you do with your time? At the beginning of a semester, the lecture time table and the year planner for the session is made available by the school authority. Ideally, these ‘materials’ are meant to be studied. This would help in optimizing time. It is not enough to do the right thing, doing the right thing at the right time is more honourable.
During my 200 level first semester, I had problems with managing my time. As a result, I was in the habit of submitting my reports and assignments late. These almost birth a sour relationship between me and my class representative (Babatunde Samuel). I knew I had to improve on how I managed my time. 200 Level second semester saw me improve on my time management skills and my result was better for it.
Those who excel are those who make the most (best) use of their time. Have it in mind that every moment counts. Misuse of time by way of traveling unnecessarily and other unprofitable ventures should be done away with.
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frustration, and low or failing grades. It’s your life,
your time, and your future.Irrespective of the study habit you choose; your mindset to studying will go along to determine what you make out your education.WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?
Motivation is a powerful force and often times successful people have an abundance of it and people who have no motivation often just settle for anything in life.My motivation in school was to be an authority in my field, make my parents proud and graduate with a good grade.I found the motivation I needed to succeed.
My motivation was making something out of myself so as you read this find your motivation. Maybe you want to make more money, make your family proud or maybe just you want to feel good about yourself. Whatever your reason is, embrace it and run with it.
HERE IS MY MINDSET TO STUDYINGI learnt to see studying has fun. Something interesting and worth doing; remember that what is worth doing is worth doing well.
Your mindset has a great way of influencing your performance and approach to studying.
How do you see studying?
Is it a difficult task you carry out grudgingly?
A burden put on you by your parents/society?
An attempt to whirl time away?
Something important and necessary?
In life, hard work is paramount to success. As an undergraduate, if hard work means studying my notes regularly. Then I should do it whole heartedly with joy.What do you say of the illiterate who spend nothing less than eight (8) hours daily in the scorching sun offloading goods from trailers? What about the house help who spend all his/her youthful age serving his/her master? Where what is paid as monthly allowance is not enough to take care of his personal bills needless to say those of his family.
These people end up in financial crisis the day their physical strength fail them. No pension to fall back on. No matter how hard they have worked.Compare these illustrations to that of a young man who studied Computer engineering in the University (A four year course). After graduation he gets employed in a government establishment where he gets paid at the end of the every month – for doing what he likes to do and takes pleasure in doing. He saves money for about three (3) years to establish his own computer institute while retaining is Job.
When he eventually retires he is paid gratuity and in position to be paid pension.With this kind of picture in mind, I see that the gain of studying far outweigh it pains. In my opinion the price paid for education is nothing when compared to the price paid for ignorance.
How wonderful is it to know that it does not take forever to bag a first degree.Take some time to answer these questions:
- What is my driving force?
- Do I really want to make an impact in my field?
- Do I want to be a force to reckon with (an authority) in my field?
It is important to clarify your values on what keeps you going.
First year students have a lot of advice about studying thrown at them during the first few weeks of college. This can be intimidating and confusing, but studying isn’t as hard as you may think. Sure, it takes time and effort, but if you follow a few proven study techniques, you can decrease the amount of time you spend at the books and increase the amount you learn. In fact, we’re convinced that study skills play as important a role in college success as intelligence.
Eighteen Ways to Study Smarter
1. Attend classes. Don’t make the mistake of skipping class and trying to teach yourself from the text. Since it’s the information your instructor thinks is important that will appear on an exam, it makes sense to go to class and find out what that is. You’ll also be more likely to remember something from class than something from a text, because of being involved. Get involved. Sit at the front of the class. Ask and answer questions.
2. Know your instructor. Take time to learn what’s needed to get through each subject. Study the course outline and refer to it periodically to make sure you’re on track. Find out your instructor’s testing format, marking scheme and expectations. You’ll be able to tailor your work to meet his/her requirements.
3. Schedule regular study periods. If you don’t set aside a specific time to review, chances are you won’t review. The most effective way to learn anything is to rehearse it regularly. Be realistic. When you make up your schedule, decide how much time you want to study and divide that time among your courses. It’s better to spend half an hour on each subject than to plan one hour for each one and not follow through.
4. Establish a regular study area. When you study in the same place every time, you become conditioned to study there. Your mind will automatically kick into gear, even when you don’t feel like studying.
5. Do not disturb. Shut yourself away from noise and other distractions. Don’t give yourself a chance to be diverted. Television, phone calls and nearby conversations will all hamper your concentration.
6. Study short and often. Your brain takes in information faster and retains it better if you don’t try to overload it. Four short study periods a week are more effective than two long ones because:
a) Frequent repetition is the key to building your memory; and
b) If you leave along time between study periods, you may forget a good portion of the material you studied.
7. Study when you are wide awake. Decide what your best time is and try to schedule your study time accordingly. You accomplish more when you are alert.
8. Study your most difficult subjects first. You’re most alert when you first sit down to study, so you’ll be in the best shape to tackle the tough stuff. You’ll also feel better getting
9. The worst out of the way and you won’t be tempted to spend all of your time on easier or favourite subjects.
10. Be selective. No one is able to retain everything they ever read or hear and it is not necessary to do so. The Dutch scholar Erasmus once said that a good memory should be like a fisherman’s net – it should be adequate to hold the big fish but be able to let the little fish go
11. Get organized. Usually categorizing the material will make it more meaningful. You may wish to use diagrams, charts or lists. Pictures can be especially effective … like they say; a picture is worth a thousand words.
12. Find meaning in it. Information that is meaningful is learned more quickly and remembered longer. When you are trying to learn something you don’t understand or is unrelated to anything you know, it’s very difficult to retain. If you can associate it with something you’re familiar with, you will have a much easier time committing it to memory.
13. Like what you learn. When you are interested in something, the details are easier toremember. A baseball fanatic, for example, can remember batting averages without any difficulty. If you can turn the material into a personal interest, it will be easier to retain.
It may help to see the course as part of your long-term career goal.
14. Take good notes and review them regularly. The best way to learn anything is to review the information often. When testing time comes, you’ll only have to review rather than learn it all.
15. Problem solve. For courses that require you to solve problems, such as math, chemistry, physics and statistics, spend a good portion of your study time working on problems. Much of the testing content will be presented in problem form, so you’ll be preparing yourself for exam time. If you get stuck on a homework question, don’t spend the rest of the night on it. Go on to the next question and ask for help the next day.
16. Reward yourself. When you complete one of the goals you set for yourself, give yourself a reward. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – a magazine, snack, or TV show. The reward system gives you an incentive to reach your goals and a pat on the back for achieving them.
17. Start assignments as soon as they are given. A little work on an assignment each week will allow you time to give attention to its quality. Your workload will be spread out, so you’ll avoid a logjam near the end of the semester.
18. Keep on top of it. Letting work pile up can leave you with an overwhelming task. It’s easy to feel that you’ll never get on top of it. If you find yourself falling behind, you may need to improve your study skills. Identify the problem as soon as you can and don’t let it become unmanageable.
19. Don’t worry about it. Try not to spend your study time worrying about personal problems. It’s easier to say than do, but try to put your problems aside while you’re working. If they continue to dominate your thoughts, then switch your attention to the problems and try to come up with solutions. Consider talking things over with a friend or making an appointment
Sources: Adapted from Fraser, L. (2003). Making your mark (6th ed).
[citem title=”WRITING EXAMINATION” id=”citem_89″ parent=”collapse_33″]
This section seeks to address the essence and meaning of examination and how to approach it. At the end of this section, you will have a better understanding of:
- Examination ethics
- Essence and use of examination time table
- Basic tips on writing examination
- Basic examination materials
- What is a carry over and it consequences
- Examination Malpractice.
It is not unusual to see some undergraduate panic when examination is near. This I attribute to lack of adequate preparation. To confront any examination, a lot of confidence/courage is required. Ones level of preparedness is a major source of confidence. How is it possible to be confident when you are not prepared for an examination? One way to gain confidence towards an examination is by preparing adequately for it.
Examination should not bring about fear rather we should confront it with boldness and calmness.
These are the rules guiding examinations. Depending on the examination and the examiners; the rules guiding examination defers but common among the rules are
- No borrowing of examination material (Calculator, biro e.t.c)
- Foreign materials must note be introduced into the examination hall (handouts, note, textbooks)
- Student must identify themselves by means of the school identity cards, course form and examination card were applicable.
- No talking/ whispering during the examination
- Copying from other students is prohibited in the examination hall.
- Undergraduates must be present at the examination venue 30 minutes before the examination.
- Handbags, handsets are not admitted into the examination hall.
Examination materials include:
- Writing materials (biro, mathematical set, calculator, pencil)
- Course form
- Identify card
- Examination card where applicable.
EXAMINATION TIME TABLE
Before the commencement of any semester examination, the examination time table is being released at least a fortnight before its take off. Early release of the examination time table is advantageous as it allows us to schedule our studying towards the examination.
In the University of Ilorin, the first examination time table is tagged provisional time table this connotes that it is subject to change – if there are any clash on it, complains are made from the affected quarters.
For one, I do not copy the provisional time table; I use it to schedule my studying. I wait to copy the final examination time table.
There are accounts of students who copied the provisional time table and forgot to copy the final examination time table on which some slight change in (time/venue) is made as a result; they miss one or more examination.
A night before the commencement of my examinations, I make it a point of duty to go to the faculty to ‘validate’ my time-table. This is to ensure its correctness in terms of time, venue and course.
GOING EARLY TO THE EXAMINATION VENUE
For university of Ilorin, undergraduates are required to be at the examination venue at least 30 minutes before the commencement of the examination. This is very important. Lateness for an examination has a ‘destabilizing’ effect, it makes one lose composure.
During my NECO examination in secondary school, I went late for my Further Mathematics examination. Asides from the tension that had built up within me, I further lost composure when I was told the answer sheets had been exhausted. It was not funny watching my colleagues writing the examination while I was waiting for the examiners to help me get an answer sheet. When I was finally given the answer sheet it took me about ten minutes to compose myself. This incidence taught me not to go late for my examinations.
READING INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
Obedience they say is the first law in Heaven. Prior to writing an examination it is very important to read the rules guiding such examination- before attempting to provide solutions to the questions.
There are examinations where you are expected to answer one compulsory question and any other 2 or 4 as the lecturer pleases. Failure to attempt the compulsory question is penalized – loss of marks.
After students are admitted into the examination hall, answer sheets are been distributed. The first thing to do is to make sure that the answer sheet is stamped. Then you enter the required information in the provided space on the answer sheet. Primary amongst such information is the Matriculation number.
TIME MANAGEMENT AND OPTIMIZATION
Time management is very crucial to examination. I have heard a lot of people complain of inadequate time for an examination. Different people have different approaches to time management. Personally, before attempting to provide solutions to examination questions, I take time to read the examination questions to identify the ones I can successfully answer/attempt.
In situations where all the questions carry equal marks, I answer the simpler ones first. Also, where I am not obliged to answer all the questions; I take time to choose the questions I can answer best.
Some individuals allot time to each question that make up the examination. For example, if you have four (4) questions to answer in two (2) hours. Logically, you can allot 30 minutes to each question. After the time elapses you proceed to the next question whether you have finished answering the question or not. Not all the questions will take up to thirty minutes to answer. Therefore, you ‘steal’ time from such question and add it to question that require more time to answer.
I do not allot time to questions. I read through the questions carefully, then, identify the questions to answer. Finally, I answer them from the simplest to the most difficult. I mean, I answer the ones I understand very well and those that will take less time first. This way, I leverage on the use of time.
When writing an examination it is not wise to stay bent on answering a particular question first except you are asked to do so.
In the case of objective questions, you should answer the ones you know first then come back to the ones you are not sure about. There is no point ‘sleeping’ over a question you do not know.
For most examination, attendance list are passed, ensure to put down your name on the attendance list. In the case of a missing result, the examination officer would first find out if you actually sat of the examination. Before you leave the examination hall make sure you sign out on the attendance list.
Examination malpractice in a broad term is any act that violates the examination rules and regulations. Such acts include:
- Introduction of foreign material into the examination hall
- Use of complex programmable calculator for examination
- Copying from fellow students e.t.c
Examination malpractice results from lack of adequate preparation and a wrong notion that copying other peoples work is not a crime.
Some individuals are of the opinion that it is not wrong to help their fellow colleague in the examination hall. It should be clear that any help to be rendered must be before the examination. Examination malpractice must be frowned at in all its ramifications. The time taken in perpetrating examination malpractice if channeled to effective studying will yield abundant success story.
The punishment for examination malpractice can be outright expulsion. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Let him that has ear listen.
Some people (perhaps yourself?) take an examination two or three times. Once on the ride to school, once during the exam proper, and once on the ride back home. Unfortunately you get credit for only one of these. Make an effort to avoid ‘previewing’ on the way over and especially avoid talking about your prospects with other students. You can only get depressed and dispirited by recalling the topics you should have paid more attention to but for some reason have not. Keep to yourself and remain confident that you have done everything possible. It is much too late now to worry about anything except getting to the test on time. You know that you have prepared and prepared well, that should be enough. Spend at least the first three to five minutes reading through the exam paper to get a feel for it. First look at the instructions. What, exactly, is required of you?
Even if you think you know what is coming, sometimes an instructor changes the format just enough to cause the unwary to fall off the edge. This was not done to you on purpose, mind you, the instructor assumes that you read all the instructions carefully first and act accordingly. Your own presumptions have no place here. Some people develop a mental block when the exam paper hits their hands.
It happened to me once. For at least 15 minutes I was unable to solve a single simple problem (algebra), nothing on the first two pages made sense. I was in shock, ready to give up and go home. In desperation I thumbed through the other pages and there, on page 5, one problem looked familiar. I solved it right away, and the next, and next. What a relief! Then I went back to the beginning and through the entire test. Result: a solid “A”.
Therefore, the first order of the hour is to relax. Close your eyes and recall how well you did on your homework, in your test preparation studies. Remember how confident you were two days ago. Let that feeling flood over you. Visualize how well you are doing (DOING! not going to…) on this test. Draw yourself a mental picture in which you go through the exam with deliberate haste (not in blinding speed, which is unrealistic!). Then give yourself the ‘go ahead’ signal. You can do it! Now open your eyes and start.
[citem title=”SIWES/SWEP” id=”citem_2″ parent=”collapse_33″]
This chapter provides essential information about:
- SWEP (Student Work Experience Program)
- SIWES (Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme)
SWEP- STUDENT WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAM
The student work experience program is aimed at exposing engineering undergraduates to practical workshop experience and practices. Knowledge acquired cuts across the various engineering fields:
This is a book for keeping records of the day to day activities during the SWEP program. These include:
The lessons learnt and knowledge gained.
The procedure for carrying out practical work
There is a space provided for diagram/sketches and illustration. Drawing should be made as legible as possible. Additional drawing should be attached to the log book where necessary- where the provided space is inadequate.
FILLING OF LOG BOOK
In filling the log book, words like ‘I’ and ‘we’ should be avoided. Passive sentence should be used. For example, a sentence like ‘we produced a bolt and nut’ should be replaced with ‘production of bolt and nut’. All entries in the log book should be reported in the past tense.
The log book entry on the first day may look like this:
General introduction to the SWEP program; Introduction of co-coordinators heading the different units”. Other entries should look like this:
Production of bolt and nut. The procedure in order of sequence include: cutting, filling, e.t.c
Introduction to the electrical unit
Introduction to the different brick laying patterns which include (list them)
Note: “as above” in filing your log book is not allowed.
The SWEP program should not be taken with levity. For drawings, practical workshop textbooks are very important. Some are available in the school library. The use of the internet is also very important. Ensure to ask questions from the instructor when in doubt. Attendance and punctuality is of great importance.
Ensure to participate actively in your unit/ group.
The importance of safety in engineering (workshop) and the sciences (laboratory) cannot be over emphasized. Safety methods and rules must be strictly adhered to. Below are some safety rules:
- The use of overhaul is compulsory (safety equipments, hand gloves, welding goggles e.t.c)
- Faulty machines should not be used.
- Wearing of loose: clothing and hair is not allowed in the workshop.
- When using the welding machine, make sure you wear the welding goggle
- Do not operate any machine without the knowledge of an instructor
- Do not operate any machine in the absence of a guard
- Report any accident immediately it occur
- Avoid physical contact with reagents
- Eating should be avoided in the workshop
- Wearing of gloves, boots, masks where appropriate and applicable.
SIWES (STUDENT INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERIENCE SCHEME)
SIWES was established by ITF in 1973 to solve the problem of lack of adequate practical skills preparatory for employment in industries by Nigerian graduates of tertiary institutions.
The Scheme exposes students to industry based skills necessary for a smooth transition from the classroom to the world of work. It affords students of tertiary institutions the opportunity of being familiarized and exposed to the needed experience in handling machinery and equipment which are usually not available in the educational institutions.
It exposes students to various work methods and work processes, making transition from school to work easier.
It provides the opportunity of bridging the gap between the theories taught in school with practical experience.
It affords employers of labour to partake in the educational training of the nation.
MATERIALS/DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR SIWES
- FORM 8
- SPE1 FORM
- LOG BOOK
- PLACEMENT LETTER
OTHER OPTIONAL DOCUMENTS ARE:
- ADMISSION LETTER
- CURRICULUM VITAE
Form 8 is divided into two sections. Part A and B. part A is filled by the student while part B is filled by the industry based supervisor. It must be ensured that the form is stamped by the industry based supervisor. This is done towards the end of the SIWES program.
SPE 1 FORM
The SPE 1 form when filled must be taken to the Industrial training fund (ITF) area office under which the industry you are working falls. Ensure that it is properly signed and stamped by ITF after which you make a photocopy of the form and send it to the school SIWES UNIT (Within two weeks of resuming work). I believe the use of e-mail will soon take the place of posting of the SPE 1 form to the school.
The log book is for keeping records of day to day activities in your work place. It takes records of what is learnt, job assigned e.t.c
At the end of every week, it is required that the industry based supervisor signs and stamps the entry for that week. Make it a point of duty to fill your log book regularly. Also ensure to sign the space provided for student (your) signature.
The log book has a space provided for drawings, diagrams, sketches and illustrations. Provide such drawings where applicable. In the event that the provided space is not enough, you can draw on plain sheets and attach them to your log book.
Ensure you attach a recent passport photograph to your log book.
At the completion of the industrial training, you are required to take your log book to the industrial training fund (ITF) office for stamping. For more information on log book see SWEP section above.
INDUSTRIAL TRAINING GIST
When you are set to go for industrial training, the first thing to do is to go to the SIWES UNIT, make the necessary inquiries as regards the industrial training and follow up with the necessary action.
The SIWES unit gives you the necessary information and materials; one of such is the placement letter with which you will seek placement into the potential industry. When giving the placement letter it is very important to seek placement into an industry which is relevant to your field of study.
The earlier you seek placement into an industry the better, this gives you the assurance that you will spend the required time set out by the school authority for the training. Moreover, the number of undergraduates seeking placement to industries compared with the number of industries available shows that there is a limit to the number of undergraduate that can be absolved.
There is always a conflict between going for experience or to go in search of money. Opting for money in place of experience is not a healthy decision- there is time for everything. Let the time for SIWES be time for SIWES. “It is not good to rob Peter to pay Paul”.
The industrial training period is a time for adding value to oneself. Do ensure you have a list of set down goals for the span of your industrial training. My goals during my industrial training period looked like this- in order of priority:
- LEARNING AUTOCAD
- SHARPEN MY WRITING SKILL
- WEB DESIGNING
- HAIR WEAVING.
At the end of my industrial training I was able to achieve the first three (4) items on my list.
CONDUCT DURING INDUSTRIAL TRAINING
As earlier mentioned, the industrial training is primarily aimed for practical experience. All students on industrial training must have this on their mind.
Below is a set of advice in regards to conduct during the SIWES program.
The first law in heaven is said to be OBEDIENCE, you must make effort to stick to every instruction given by your employer and superiors.
All employer of labour know too well the monetary powers of time. Put yourself in the position of a worker. If you can resume work earlier than the workers -it is just fine.
Learn to use your phone to your advantage; the alarm/reminder feature on your phone can be of great help in ensuring you get up early in the morning to prepare for work.
When it comes to learning from others, the virtue of humility is very important. If you find yourself learning from a technician or a person who you feel is not a graduate, do not lose your calm. With humility you can learn from anyone. Also, form the habit of asking questions where you are confused.
As regards to log book, it is very easy to put filling it to another day. Such act should be guided against. During my SIWES, I had a 40 leaves notebook in which I entered my every day activity at the close of work. Then, I transferred it into my logbook at the end of the week. If you do not keep records of your daily activities you might lose track of what you have learnt.
WRITING YOUR SIWES REPORT
After six month/three month industrial training it is disturbing to know that some undergraduate put the writing of their report till resumption. Do your best to write, type and spiral bind your report during the holiday. Three (3) copies of the report are to be made. One, for the SIWES unit, 1 for your department and the third your personal copy.
TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING
Ideally your industrial training report is a submission of the experience gained during the training period. The format for writing report may vary for different institutions but the following is common to all reports. The format discussed below is peculiar to the University of Ilorin.
The cover page/Title page
Table of content
List of figures (where applicable)
List of tables (where applicable)
This is a short summary of the entire project. It provides at glance the main highlight of the report.
Chapter one (INTRODUCTION)
Chapter two (DESCRIPTION OF ESTABLISHMENT)
- Location and Brief history
- Objectives of organization
- Organizational Structure (including Organogram)
- Departments and their Functions
Chapter three (EXPERIENCE GAINED)
Chapter four (EXPERIENCE GAINED)
Chapter five (SUMMARY,CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION)
- Summary of attachment activities
- Problems encountered during the programme
- Suggestions for improvement of the scheme
[citem title=”PROJECT WRITING/PRESENTATION” id=”citem_47″ parent=”collapse_33″]
The final year project provides undergraduates an opportunity to showcase what they can do with the knowledge they have acquired over the years.
Project writing is a partial requirement for the award of B.Sc, B.Eng, HND e.t.c the number of credit units defers for different institution. The project must be successfully completed before any student is deemed to have met all the requirements for the award of the training. It is a fundamental requirement for acquiring a first degree in any discipline (course).
Project writing is carried out in the final year. The practices vary for different faculty/department/institution. A basic approach is described below:In some institutions project topics are made available from which undergraduates are required to choose. In other institutions/ departments undergraduates are allowed to propose a project topic.
Reviewing the Topic
Students usually have some freedom to choose the subject of themes or reports. When you make this choice, be sure that the topic is acceptable to the teacher, and is as interesting to you as possible. Another consideration is that of availability of resource material. Your task is made much easier when there is a good amount of reference and resource material available.
Using Correct Punctuation and Grammar
As in writing essays questions, good grammar and punctuation are a must. Most students use word processors to write papers. Be sure to use the spell checker that almost all word processors have built in. Many word processors also have some sort of grammar checker. Learn to use a grammar checker, as it can point out serious flaws in your writing and help you become a better writer. Most grammar checkers explain the grammar rules that apply to the suggested corrections to your writing.
Gathering Materials Before You Write
Before you begin writing, assemble the materials you will need. Use index cards, notes, bibliographies, summaries, reports and reviews as part of your preparation process. Using index cards for references is an excellent way to organize your materials. Computer database programs can also help you classify and organize reference materials.
Preparing an Outline and Writing the Paper
Once you have your topic, have gathered and organized your materials, it is time to outline your paper. Put your outline on paper! Don’t make the mistake of trying to keep everything in your head. Make your outline in the form of main headings or ideas with sub-headings fleshing out the flow of the paper. Using the outline as a guide, begin writing.
Begin by asking yourself what the paper is going to say and what conclusions you want to reach. Doing this ahead of time will help keep you focused and prevent you from straying from the purpose of the paper. Making up the outline as you go along; often results in a less than satisfactory product.Writing is important in high school and is a key to success in college and in many professions.
Become a good writer by writing, revising, and reviewing your work. Don’t be afraid to ask other students to critique your work. Try to write in your own natural style, be aware that most good writers go through many revisions, and be prepared to do the same. Writing and test-taking are the end results of developing good study skills.
There is no magic formula for success. If you follow the suggestions in this guide, apply them and think about them, you’ll have taken a giant step toward becoming a successful student.The formats for report may vary for different institutions. Therefore, the format that will be illustrated below is subject to change depending on the institutions/faculty/department. Basically, a report is made of:
- Cover page
- Title page
- Certification page
- Chapters 1-5
- Literature Review
- Testing and Result
Seminar presentation is common to science students; it involves reviewing other projects related to your own project. The purpose of project review is to furnish your audience with the background information they will need to know to appreciate the relevance of your project. By your review, your audience should know want obtains in the area you are researching on.
The quality of your project review helps to establish your credentials in the mind of your audience. By demonstrating sufficient research, your audience is assured that you are knowledgeable about the research topic and possess the capacity to draw sensible conclusion after carrying out your own research.
Project defense is an oral presentation of your research work. It is an avenue to show how much you grasp your research topic. Your lecturers are looking at how thorough your research is, your understanding of the underlying theories and principles behind your research work, the research methodology and results. They also need to be convinced about the originality of your research work.
The project defense is as important as the written project; therefore much effort must be put into preparing for it. Before the actual presentation ensure to practice personally – before a mirror, present to your friends and take note of areas you need to improve upon. Adequate preparation will help boost your confidence level.
Your appearance for the presentation is also important, ensure you are appear smart, neat and comfortable in your clothes and shoes. Wear a nice haircut.
Important things to know about Project Defense.
- Never enough time to talk about everything
- All of them reflect on you & need practice/polish
- Focus on a clear goal and message.
Preparing a PowerPoint Presentation
Your choice of colour for the slide background and the Text are very important (if slides will be projected on a screen). Consider using these colours as background – Text colours:
Green on purple, white on black, violet on yellow, blue on green or red.
When using graphics in your presentation, try to choose one or more colors from the graphic to use as text colors. The color combinations will tie the elements of your slides together for a uniform look.
As a guide, you may use two or three additional colours of text with your background. For example, each slide heading may carry a separate colour from the bullets or Sub-titles.
Things to consider for a good presentation.
- Your slides should be neat – slide background colour and text colours must be carefully chosen.
- Avoid trying to cram too much into one slide. Don’t be a slave to your slides. Consider using bulleted points on your slide.
- Be brief – use keywords rather than long sentences.
4. Avoid covering up slides when making your presentation, always
ensure you are not covering up your slides.
5. Use a large font (font size 30- 40 depending on the font type) for your headings. Most times, Slide headings are in Capital letters.
6. Do not use animations except where compulsory
7. Use illustrations to get across key concepts
8. Make eye contact
9. Be ready to skip slides if time is short
10. Practice !!
A “TYPICAL” PROJECT PRESENTATION OUTLINE
- Title/author/affiliation (1 slide) – Who am I?
Should bear your Name, Matriculation No., Dept, Project Topic, etc
- Forecast (1 slide) Optional- What is the Problem?
- Outline(1 slide) – Presentation outline
- Project background,
- Motivation and Problem Statementn(1-2 slides) – why is it important?
- Related Work(0-1 slides) – what others have done
- Methods(1-3 slides) – what is my approach?
Explain your approach.
- Results(2-6 slides)
Present key results and key insights. This is main body of the talk, but don’t try to show ALL results.
- Summary(1 slide) – Three things to remember.
- Future Work(0-1 slides)
- Backup Slides(0-3 slides)- Optionally have a few slides ready to answer expected questions.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Oral communication is different from written communication
- Keep it simple and focus on a few key points
- Repeat key insights
- Be sensitive to your audience
- The same talk may need to be adjusted for a different audience
- Make the audience want to learn more.
- Handling Q&A is as important as the formal talk itself.
[citem title=”GOOGLE SEARCH BASICS/REFERENCING” id=”citem_53″ parent=”collapse_33″]
To find out about more about search engines, check out Search Engine Watch. This site has the latest information about the best search engines available, searching tips, and much more.Google search basics: Basic search helpSearch is simple:
just type whatever comes to mind in the search box, hit Enter or click on the Google Search button, and Google will search the web for pages that are relevant to your query.
Most of the time, you’ll find exactly what you were looking for with just a basic query. However the following tips can help you refine your technique to make the most of your searches. Throughout the article, we’ll use square brackets [ ] to signal queries, so [black and white] is one query, while [black] and [white] are two.
How to read search results
Google’s goal is to provide you with results that are clear and easy to read. The diagram below points out four features that is important to understanding the search results page:
1. The title: The first line of any search result is the title of the webpage.
2. The snippet: A description of or an excerpt from the webpage.
3. The URL: The webpage’s address.
4. Cached link: A link to an earlier version of this page. Click here if the page you wanted isn’t available.All these features are important in determining whether the page is what you need. The title is what the author of the page designated as the best short description of the page.
The snippet is Google’s algorithmic attempt to extract just the part of the page most relevant to your query. The URL tells you about the site in general
After getting some results…
…examine them carefully and see if they are what you were hoping for. Advice on evaluating search results is available; one key consideration is can you trust the information! If you are not happy with the results, don’t give up! A successful search on the Internet will often take several tries. You can always refine your searches by adding new terms which spring to mind once you have seen your initial results; or you may choose to limit your results if you feel you have retrieved too many.Always remember to look at the “Help” or “Search tips” pages offered by the particular search engine you are currently using. Not all search engines operate in the same way, and you should never make assumptions.
WHAT IS REFERENCING?
Referencing is a standardized method of acknowledging sources of information and ideas that you have used in your assignment in a way that uniquely identifies their source. Direct quotations, facts, and figures, as well as ideas and theories from both published and unpublished works, must be referenced.There are many acceptable forms of referencing. The format that will be described below is a brief guide to the APA reference style for in-text citations and for creating the reference list (examples are below). Within the text of the assignment the authors name is given first, followed by the publication date. Include page numbers for direct quotations and also where it is useful to provide a page number. A reference list at the end of the assignment contains the full details of all the in-text citations.
Referencing is necessary to avoid plagiarism, to verify quotations, and to enable readers to follow up and read more fully the cited authors arguments.
Steps involved in referencing
Note down the full bibliographic details of the source from which the information is taken. Include the relevant page number(s).In the case of a book, bibliographic details refer to author/editor, year of publication, title, edition, volume number, place of publication and publisher as found on the front and back of the title page. (Not all of these details will necessarily be applicable).In the case of a journal article the details required include, author of the article, year of publication, title of the article, title of the journal, volume and issue number of the journal and the page numbers.
Insert the citation at the appropriate place within the text of the document
Provide a reference list at the end of the document
In-text citation refers to quotes within the text while full reference comes at the end of the book/report.
Use the name of the author, followed by the year of publication when citing references within the text of an assignment. Where authors of different references have the same family name, include the authors’ initials in the in-text citation i.e (Hamilton, C.L., 1994) or C.L Hamilton (1994). If two or more authors are cited at the same point in the text then they are included in the same in-text citation, separated by a semicolon e.g. (brown 1991; Smith 2003). They are presented alphabetically by author. When directly quoting from another source, the relevant page number must be given and double quotation marks placed around the quote. When paraphrasing or referring to an idea from another source which is a book or lengthy text, include the relevant page number, as it is useful to provide a page number for reader.
How to Create a Reference List
A reference list only includes books, articles e.t.c that is cited in text. In contrast, a bibliography is a list of relevant sources for background or further reading.
The reference list is arranged alphabetically by author. Where an item has no author it is cited by its title, and ordered in the reference list or bibliography alphabetically by the first significant word of the title.
The APA style requires the second and subsequent lines of the references to be indented.
APA STYLE REFERENCES LIST
- Bibliographic entries for all works cited in a paper are listed in alphabetical order on a page entitled References
- The first line of each entry in the reference list is indented five spaces, and the second and subsequent lines are flush with the left margin.
- Give the last names and only the initials of the first and middle names of authors.
- The year of publication, in parenthesis, follows the author’s name
- For a book, capitalize only proper nouns and the first word of the title and subtitle; underline the title.
- If a book is edited, place the abbreviation Ed. Or Eds. In parenthesis after the name(s) of the editor(s).
- If a citation names two or more authors, each name is reversed and an ampersand (&), not the word and, is placed before the last name.
- For an article, book chapter title of an essay in a collection, capitalize the as for a book title and do not use quotation marks or underlining.
- Capitalize the first letters of all important words in the name of the periodical and underline it.
- Use the abbreviations p. and pp. for inclusive page numbers of articles in magazines and journals, except when volume and issue number is given. If volume number is given, place it after name of the periodical and underline it. If an issue number is also given, place it in parentheses after the volume number.
- Hamby, A.L. (1999, Spring). An American Democrat: A reevaluation of the personality of Harry S Truman. Political Science Quarterly, 106, 33 – 55
- If two or more works by the same author appear on the references list, put them in chronological order. Repeat the author’s name each time, followed by the date of parentheses
- If you cite two works of one author published in the same year, alphabetize them by title and give each entry a lowercase letter(1996a),(1996b)