Be prepared: Getting the best out of Study Solutions!

" Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!" By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

” Day133: Flickr keeps you studying!” By Abdulrahman AlZe3bi. CC BY-NC 2.0

At the Library, there really is no such thing as a stupid question. Did you know that the most common question we get asked is, “Where are the bathrooms?” Helping you to find the bathroom is just one of the many ways we can help in the Library.

Many students get stuck with pesky research, writing and referencing questions over the course of the semester. At every branch Library, you can have your researching and referencing questions answered straight away at the Library Helpdesk. Our staff are trained to help you get started and point you in the right direction to get your assignments started.

If you have a longer or more complicated question, the Library can provide support for your studies through a Study Solutions appointment. By booking a Study Solutions appointment, you can get a 25 minute face to face appointment for help with your study, research and assignments. From understanding your assignment question, providing feedback on a draft, to working in groups, or organising your work/study load, we are here to help.

You can book a 25 minute consultation from Week 3. Bookings open a week in advance and fill up quickly – so be prepared and book early.

If you miss out on an appointment, never fear! Drop-in sessions are available at both Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove libraries from 12pm-2pm, Tuesday to Thursday. The time of your consultation will depend on how many students are waiting – so be prepared and have your burning question ready and waiting to maximise your time.

So! You’ve booked a consultation or you’re planning on coming to a drop-in session…. what can you do to prepare yourself to get the best out of your Study Solutions session?

1. Be on time! Make sure to note the date, time, and location of your consultation. Write it in your phone, diary, or the back of your hand. Remember you can keep track of your bookings online.

2. Come to your consultation with something specific to work on. Whether it be your assignment question, your draft, a particular study issue you’ve been having, or a question about a resource – this helps us to tailor the support specifically to your needs. Please remember that library staff cannot proofread assignments for you, we can give you tips and strategies so you can proofread yourself (hint: read your assignment out loud to the mirror!).

3. Check our online study resources and see if your question is answered there. If you familiar yourself with resources such as Cite Write, Studywell, and Studysmart, you’ll be well on your way to being a top student on your own!

4. If you’re looking for specific academic language and learning support you can get in touch with Academic Language and Learning Services (ALLS) to arrange an appointment. Language and Learning Educators are specially trained to help students and staff who need help with speaking and writing.

 

Mythbuster Series: Shhhhhhh!

Myth #1: You can’t talk in the library.

Not-A-Librarian: “You must love telling people to be quiet all the time.”

Please Keep Quiet in the Library By Enokson (CC BY 2.0)

Librarian: “Only when people ask that question.”

Contrary to popular belief librarians don’t revel in shushing people all day. The days of the library being a silent place of study are long-gone and librarians are embracing the community spirit. We like to think of the library as a place where students can not only do individual silent study but come to work on assignments or study with peers.

To help facilitate your collaborative study needs we have group study rooms available for you to book in advance. If you need to blow off some steam after an exam or assignment, why not get a group of friends together and play some games in the Games Lab. Students are free to talk to their peers on each level of the library – except those areas that are marked for silent study (the top two floors of Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove Libraries).

So remember, the library doesn’t need to be the kind of place you can hear a pin-drop but be mindful of your fellow students and keep noise to a respectful minimum (or we’ll have to shush you!).

Get your group work organised with shareable room bookings

study_spaces2

All Rights Reserved Queensland University of Technology

It has never been easier to organise a group study meeting at your QUT Library!

Our updated study space bookings tool allows you to easily…

  • pop your booking into your Outlook Calendar
  • share a link to your meeting with your group – via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or send the URL
  • choose who to share with – to Facebook  timelines, to a group, or as a PM

After you complete your booking, click on one of the icons as seen below.

Try it today!

Share room bookings

 

 

 

Working in teams – tips for success

So it’s that time of semester when a lot of us are completing group assignments.

In good teams we can produce better results than when we work alone. Teamwork is a reality of the workplace and we use our group assignments at uni to help us build and improve our skills in collaboration and negotiation.

So why is the process so painful sometimes? The most common problems that occur in team assignments include:

  • Personality clashes
  • One person doing all the work
  • Misunderstandings about responsibilities
  • A perceived or real lack of commitment in some group members

To give your group the best possible chance at success, try the following process –

  • Introduce yourselves – take the time to talk about your skills, assign roles and duties to each group member, and swap contact details.
  • Meet ASAP – meet regularly and set an agenda. Record the minutes and actions, and make sure all group members acknowledge and agree to timelines.

You can download meeting agenda and minutes templates from Studywell > Working in Teams

  • Set ground rules – agree on and set expectations for attendance, confidentiality of group information, consideration of group members, amount of effort to be given to the assignment and timelines for completion.
  • Analyse the task – ensure all group members are clear about the assignment task and divide duties according to each group member’s strengths.  Set deadlines, and review the group’s progress at each meeting – this helps to avoid last minute panic.
  • Assign roles – each team member can take on a variety of functional roles such as – coordinator (keeps track of the project); initiator (suggests new ideas and plans); information seeker (performs research); goal setter (evaluates and set targets for the group); evaluator (critically analyses the assignment); planner (organises schedules); finisher (edits and proofreads).
  • Create strategies for dealing with problems – agree on how decisions will be made (e.g. consensus, majority, compromise). Consider the perspectives and personal situations of all team members and record any decisions, actions and incidents in your meeting minutes. Finally, consult with your tutor or lecturer if your group cannot resolve the problem.

Remember that proactive people + planned process = successful team!

Find out more about working in teams on Studywell  > Working in Teams

Working in teams – tips for success

So it’s around that time in the semester when the dreaded group assignment looms.

A good team can produce better results than individuals working alone, and teamwork can improve the abilities of each individual, teach you to cope with challenge and criticism and help you to consider different perspectives.

However, due to the nature of group work, group members can sometimes find that they are not working effectively. Some of the most common problems that occur in group assignments include –

  • Misunderstandings about responsibilities
  • (Perceived) lack of commitment in some group members
  • Personality clashes
  • One person doing all the work

Sound familiar?

To give your group the best possible chance at success, try the following process –

  • Take the time to introduce yourselves– this might sound obvious, but talk about your skills, assign roles and duties to each group member, and swap contact details.
  • Meet as soon as possible – meet regularly and set an agenda. Record the minutes and actions, and make sure all group members acknowledge and agree to timelines.

You can download meeting agenda and minutes templates from Studywell > Working in Teams

  • Set ground rules – this means agreeing on and setting up expectations for attendance, confidentiality of group information, consideration of group members, amount of effort to be given to the assignment and timelines for completion. Write them down and distribute to all group members so there are no misunderstandings.
  • Analyse the assignment task – make sure all group members are clear about the task and divide duties (try dividing duties according to each group member’s strengths).  Set deadlines, and build a review of the group’s progress into each meeting – this helps to avoid last minute panic.
  • Assign functional roles – each team member can take on a variety of functional roles such as – coordinator (keeps track of the project); initiator (suggests new ideas and plans); information seeker (performs research); goal setter (evaluates and set targets for the group); evaluator (critically analyses the assignment); planner (organises schedules); finisher (edits and proofreads)
  • Create strategies for dealing with problems – decide on how decisions will be made (e.g. consensus, majority, compromise). Consider the perspectives and personal situations of other team members and record all decisions, actions and incidents in your meeting minutes. Finally, consult with your tutor or lecturer if your group cannot resolve the problem.

Find out more about working in teams on Studywell  > Working in Teams

Remember that proactive people + planned process = successful team! And you might just make some wonderful new friends in the process…

Studywell

Study better.

Your grades are important. Your time is precious. Are you ready for extreme study?

Time management, reading, notetaking, researching, writing, referencing, teamwork, presenting and exam preparation … Studywell has something for you just when you need it most.

With practical study tools, guides, videos and links to useful resources, Studywell is your one-stop shop for academic success.

Go on. Get your edge. www.studywell.library.qut.edu.au

Top tips for group assignments

Group assignments can be a stressful part of the semester. These are our top tips to get stuff done and avoid any major conflicts.

1. Get Together. Meeting on campus is usually the most convenient for all group members. Coffee can be a nice way to bond early in a project; a library study room can be more practical for computer access and completing a project. Avoid wasting time looking for a free space, by booking a study room in advance online or through the QUT iPhone app.

2. Divide and Record. Sharing the workload is the advantage of group work, but miscommunication about who is doing what by when is a cause of problems. Writing down and circulating your planning, means that everyone is on the same page, literally. There are even templates to make this simple.

3.  Keep in touch. Being proactive about communication helps avoid blow ups, which is often a better solution than resolving conflict.  Proactive steps include: swapping contact details at the beginning of project; deciding in advance how issues will be resolved (compromise, majority, consensus); and maintaining open communication outside the group, e.g. with lecturers and tutors. For more effective teamwork strategies, check out Studywell.

4. Share. A lot can happen between weekly group meetings (and not necessarily the project). Sharing documents online, where everyone can monitor changes and contribute can save time. As well as cut down on email confusion and multiple versions.  We’ve used Google docs, wikis, and experimented with zoho, but there are lots of alternatives freely available on the web.

We’d like to hear what other solutions you have for working with group documents online. Do you use wiki spaces? Do you find Google docs easier to use?
Or have you got everything in a shared Dropbox folder?

students working at QUT Library