Author – Miss Rikki Mawad, University of Tasmania, Australia
Rikki held the position of President of the Tasmania University Union Inc (TUU) from November 2005 to May 2008 and is currently working as a Communications Officer in the UTAS Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT). She has been an enrolled student at UTAS since 2003 and whilst working in CALT is completing her final year of a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws.
Further information is available from the University of Tasmania.
First Year Curriculum Perspective
This commentary examines first year curriculum design and the case study exemplars from the student perspective (pdf 1.73MB). The commentator is uniquely placed to contribute to the Fellowship work on the strength of her experiences as a student, as a student representative, as a member of various student groups and organisations, and also as a student mentor for UTAS.
Student reflections on the first year are included under the three headings of Expectations, Experiences and Evaluations. A strong message that again is sent to the sector is the perennial potential for a significant mismatch between entering students’ expectations of their tertiary experience and the reality of that experience was encountered and the element of “culture shock” that all new students feel. A common theme to emerge in the student evaluation of their first year experience was that they wished “they knew their way around the university and the facilities better”. They also “wished that they had a better orientation into what the university environment would be like. They all came with their own expectations, but there was nothing that really spelt out to them what they should expect in relation to teaching and learning, but also the whole of campus experience”. Encouragingly, the commentary concludes with the observation that “The themes emerging from the student reflections on first year are well aligned with the issues that have been dealt with throughout the case studies”.