UP has a “100% for 50%” campaign. This campaign aims to promote that a lecturer and a student are each 100% responsible for their 50% share in the student-lecturer relationship. In order to assist students with their individual queries, lecturers have scheduled consultation times every week during which students can consult with them about their questions on a one-on-one basis. A meeting outside normal consulting hours can also be arranged with a lecturer to discuss any problems relating to the study material. First-year biological and agricultural sciences student Robert Price says, “Lecturers are often quite helpful. I have contacted lecturers over email and they have answered.” Price recommends that, in his experience, students should consult with their lecturers as they “see the dedication in students and they often give tips”.
A student-centred teaching approach is mostly taken in lectures. Students are expected to prepare for each lecture in advance. The goal is to make sure that students have a basic knowledge of the topic being taught before the lecture commences in order to derive maximum benefit from the actual lecture. In order to enforce preparation, many modules have online multiple choice quizzes which test basic knowledge and count towards the final mark at the end of the year. These tests are usually per topic or chapter which have to be completed before the lecture on that learning area. Short and random class tests can also be taken before the beginning of a lecture to test whether students have prepared for the class.
Each lecturer has their own approach when it comes to presenting a lecture. Many use Powerpoint presentations and some use videos. According to Moorcroft, “Most of the lecturers give you an overall picture and you have to go into detail by yourself. They try to be interactive by asking questions.” Going into detail on your own would entail a lot of self-study.
Tuks has a large number of international students, which increases the chance of meeting people of many cultures and from various backgrounds. Price says, “I have met one person in my class [who is] from America. It is interesting talking to her about varsity culture that is different. People at Tuks are a lot more open. She saw that as a big difference.” Price believes that it is easier to meet new people at university than at school as your interests and goals are often similar to the people in your course and many people in the same courses are like-minded.
Photo: Brendan Fraser