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Rebecca's comments

What is different about a VCE and a university assignment?

I found with VCE that they give you the criteria of... if you want to do well, this is what you've got to put in and how much detail has to be given. Whereas I'm also...and I find that TAFE is a lot more practical and the questions don't so much... you have to go into detail, but you have to find all the knowledge behind it. It's not so much about the detail and how much you can write, it's about your research and what you've found and what you find useful.

What is it like to do an assignment at university?

My Economics assignment, I found I could relate some parts of it to my normal life; which probably helps with writing the assignment. Learning like; oh, well if there's a shortage of this then the supply will decrease and stuff like that. So I could relate it to my personal life, but I also found it hard - there was topics about tax and stuff like that and I am not really educated in the world of Economics or Accounting or something like that. When I was in VCE, I did a lot of Science subjects, I didn't do any business subjects. So I didn't sort of know what I was talking about when it came to taxes or stuff like that; which probably might be general knowledge to some people, but to me it was just a new experience where I didn't know what I was doing. I'm sure reading up on stuff like that did help a little.

What are some differences between TAFE and university subjects?

I do find TAFE a lot more practical because a lot of the stuff I learnt there I can put into everyday use and I can see it all happening once. I'd agree I could go out somewhere and I could go, "Oh, that's what I learnt at TAFE, and that's it happening there." Whereas with Uni subjects, the ones I've done so far have seemed to be very theoretical and not something that you can probably go out and do, "Oh, well that's what I learnt at Uni today." It's a lot more theory based, and hopefully later down the track or even when I get a job that a lot of the theory will come back into use. I suppose Economics is a bit different because with the changing in prices and stuff like that you can sort of see where the Economics I learnt in one semester comes into use. So it is a bit more practical than some of the other Uni subjects that I've...

How do you cope with the terminology at university?

I suppose you take the terminology for our Uni subjects from just what you read and what they tell you in the lectures and what you read in your textbooks and stuff like that. It's just stuff that you have to pick up, it's not so much given to you. They don't so much say, "You have to use our terminology", but you are marked down heavily if you don't use their terminology and if you don't grasp their theories and stuff that you learn during the lectures...

What is a difference between teachers' assistance at school and at university?

I think with the Uni assignments, the language has to be precise and the genre of the subject. It's hard to know, if you've never done the subjects before, if you're on the right track, or if you're writing what they want to know - if you're information is what they want. It's very different, what detail they want you to go into...

What is a difference between university and TAFE assignment questions?

The TAFE questions are very different from Uni questions. I find that they have a lot more, they're sort of loaded questions - they've got a lot more in the questions. So that helps you with what you have to do. I don't find them as hard to know where to start, whereas the Uni questions are very broad and I find TAFE questions very specific and you sort of know where you're going with TAFE questions. I find the TAFE teachers are around a lot more and they're a lot easier to find and ask questions...

What is a difference between writing in Economics at university and at TAFE? (part 1)

Well, I know I have trouble expressing myself and knowing what to say and what parts of the theory to bring in and if you should be technical or if you should be explaining what you know - showing your knowledge to the lecturer, tutor or whoever is marking your assignment. That I didn't know what to write, and I found I was under the word limit. I think my problem with that was because I was too broad; I knew what I was doing and I didn't know how to elaborate on what I had written and what I knew...

What is a difference between writing in Economics at university and at TAFE? (part 2)

I found it very hard to crossover from the Uni and TAFE expectations. I find when I am writing a Uni subject, I have to really sit down and think, "Oh this is a Uni subject, I'll have to go into a lot more detail and I have to use proper English." Whereas with TAFE you can write things in dot points and your assignments they don't so much put a word limit on you very much, they just say, "Well, you write what you want to write." Whereas with Uni they give you the word limit and you feel that you have to meet that word limit. It's very different.

What is a difference between writing in Economics at university and at TAFE? (part 3)

Well, the Uni questions are very ambiguous and very broad, you don't know where to start and what they really want you to write about. I find that if you don't listen to your lecturer very carefully when they're going over what they want in the assignment - it's not written down anywhere for you, so you've really got to listen to them; and they speak so fast you can't write it down anyway. But they tell you what they want and they sort of give you a starting point but it's only if whether you pick up on their clues where they're going, or else you're out there by yourself and you've just gotta guess I suppose.

What else is different about a VCE and a university assignment?

I think it's also, when you're doing VCE, you get the criteria and you can hand in your assignment a different criteria at a time. Where with Uni assignments, you have to do the whole assignment at once and you have to hand it all in at the one date. I find you don't have as long as when you were doing VCE to do like a ...or an assignment that you had there. You could draft it and re-draft it and give it to the teacher and they could give you feedback. Whereas with Uni, you do the whole assignment, and you probably only got about three weeks to do it and you can't see your tutors or lecturers...

What was your first reaction to your Economics assignment task? (part 1)

When I first got the assignment, I think it was in the first lecture and they gave us a whole heap of sheets and a whole...there was probably about twenty of them and a booklet, which was the student manual. Which I sort of put aside and started focusing on my lectures because I was really stressed about catching up... it was a new subject that I'd never done before. Then, I think it was brought up by a lecturer in the lecture, "Oh, and your assignment's due..." And I think I was shocked, I was like, "Oh my God, I better get the sheets out and start looking." So I had a quick look and I went to tutorials that week. And the tutor gave us an example of Question 1 and showed us the types of things they were looking for; not so much the exact question, but she gave similar ones which sort of made me think I should get my assignment out and have a look.

What was your first reaction to your Economics assignment task? (part 2)

When I got the questions and I started looking over and trying to interpret them, I was shocked and it got me, I really didn't know what I was doing and I suppose if I hadn't gone to my tutorials and probably used my textbook and done a lot a reading I would have been lost, but interpreting the questions I started from the base point and went "well, what are they really looking for?" and hopefully from there I went on the right track.

What do you think about the way you approached your Economics assignment?

My approach to the Economic assignment was in effect if I wrote dot points down when I was doing my graphs or whenever I thought of something, I think it was effective but maybe not for that assignment. I lost my momentum because I only wrote those dot points down and when I went to write down the questions, I didn't do one question all at once, I only elaborated on one dot point, so therefore I think I sort of lost my momentum of what I was writing about. In the end it sort of didn't come off that well.

How would you describe Economics assignment questions?

I suppose I was able to call the questions broad, because they only give you the starting point and they sort of say "this is what we want you to do" but it doesn't really say where they want to you start and which bits they would like to hear more about and which bits in details and what part of the questions you only have to into a little bit of detail about.

What did you draw on to complete your Economics assignment?

When I got my Economics assignment it wasn't so much a research assignment, there was a lot of which you could have used resources to read it over. But it went off your general knowledge of what you've learnt in the lecturers and what you have read in your text book, it wasn't so much a research based assignment it was more an interpretation of what you knew and showing your knowledge of the task.

What was your first challenge in completing your Economics assignment?

I find there is a concern when you start the assignment, because if you stuff up at the start or you do something wrong in the first part of the question the rest of the question is sort of gone and that can ruin the whole thing, because if you start on the wrong track you are always going to head down that same wrong track.

What was of assistance in completing your Economics assignment?

It was very much a big learning curve. I find that once you've handed the first assignment in for a new subject that you have never done before you can sort of see where you're going from. Where you probably need to go from there if you've got three or four assignments for one new subject, you find with the first one you do what you think you should be doing and then from there you can either talk to your lecturer or read over the notes written on your assignment. That can point you in the next direction for the next assignment and say "well this is the bit where they want us to do better or they want us to write like this."

How can you learn to use language appropriate for Economics?

Uni students are supposed to very independent. I suppose that's because tutors and lecturers aren't there all the time like in VCE and even as much TAFE people are always there and are always around for you to ask questions too. With Uni lecturers you can't find them a lot of the time and when you can find them they can only talk to you on a broad level, they can't really talk to you specifically about the assignment and stuff like that. I think it's good because I am friends with quite a few people at Uni that we could all talk about what we'd done with the questions and where we're having troubles and I think that's good, but it also can cast out into mind over what you've done and what they've done and who's right and who's wrong. You can't really tell, you just go by the majority of what the class has done and even the majority have all done the wrong thing...

How are you expected to use language in Economics?

I am lucky because I'm at TAFE. The group that I'm at TAFE with go across to Uni with me so all my friends that I have from TAFE are at Uni, too, so when I started I didn't feel overwhelmed by the number of people there, the lecturers and all the scary things that go on at Uni. I think it's because I'm at TAFE with these people that I've got a big group of friends there and it made easier to make friends at Uni because my TAFE friends knew a few people and I knew a few people and we've all integrated

What would you do better with this type of assignment next time?

I'd probably, if I had to do the assignment over again, I probably would of started a lot earlier, instead of ... I probably would of made a time to sit down and do, because it was broken into three, ... I'd probably sit down and do one question and then probably leave it for a couple of days, go over, reread the question again and see where I may of gone wrong or made it better. Yeh, I probably would of gone to a lot more resources and read a lot more text books about what to write and stuff like that, I'd probably, yeh, maybe ask my tutor a lot more questions......

How did you feel when you received the mark for the Economics assignment? (part 1)

I found with economics I know what I am doing and when I'm sitting in the lecture or when I was doing my assignment, Oh yeh, I know what I am doing here, this is breezy this is breezy and maybe because I was too broad or maybe I didn't elaborate on the bits that they wanted more detail over. I didn't go as well as I thought I would and it was a bit upsetting when I got my assignment back but I think in the end, like it's all a learning experience and it helped me sit back and go oh well ..., next assignment or for the exam I know that I have to go into more detail over this or I have to learn this bit of it, or you know, oh well that bits good, yes but you didn't elab.....

How did you feel when you received the mark for the Economics assignment? (part 2)

Yeh, I think it very much is, um, hard because the marks are so broad, there's like, you know, pass the hardest things and there's not many marks in-between and um, you know, you can be a really high pass but you still just get a pass, and it, or you could be a really low high distinction but you still get that high distinction back. You know, its really hard to stay positive when you get an assignment back and you don't go as well as you probably hoped you would or what you expected to get. I think, yeh, you've just got to lean to stay really really positive.

How do you balance your time when completing university assignments?

Time with Uni assignments I find very difficult, er, they sort of creep up on you, when its due and having time to find how to do an assignment along with tutorial questions you might have and the readings for the lectures and interpreting what you have learnt in the lectures, its very time consuming....

How can friends help you with your assignments at university? (part 1)

I have a very busy Uni and TAFE schedule so I have time slotted away each week hopefully to do questions and readings for my Uni subjects but I find that the assignments are always left up to the last.....

How can friends help you with your assignments at university? (part 2)

I think friends are very good at Uni because, yeh, they do help you stay positive and they are always there but it's also hard when you are sitting there and you know you studied very hard for that test or you did a lot of work on that assignment and your friends got better than you and you know they only did it the night before but I suppose you have just got to learn that they just interpret it a different way, or, you know, you wrote about something that they probably didn't write about and they probably went into detail about something you probably should have, so that's why they got the higher mark than you.

How can friends help you with your assignments at university? (part 3)

Yeh, I think having a big group of friends and good friends at Uni can help if, you know, if you seem to be struggling, because you can't, you know, they, well hopefully will let you look at their assignments and you can see where they went better than you and you could probably sit back and say oh well that's the bit I should of elaborated on and so can help you for your next assignment saying oh well this is the bit where my friend elaborated last time maybe I should elaborate this time there.

What help did you get from your lecturer and tutor for your assignment?

After we got the assignment, our lecturer sort of, the lectures from there on, like the next three lectures were sort of based around what we had to do on the assignment so then when we went to tut... our tutors seemed to go through questions which were very similar to the ones in the assignment, but not exactly the same. So there are pointers saying oh well do this and then you do this and its sort of, examples of what to do and what to write but not exactly what had to be done in the assignment.

Where can you get help with your assignments?

In getting assistance with your Uni subjects and assignments is very difficult, I don't know if this is just at my campus or if its like campuses all over the place but there's not so much anyone that can help you. You can go to your lecturer or your tutor with very broad questions but you can't go with direct questions about your exact assignment. Or if you are having trouble with your assignment you can't really go up and say, well I've done this, is this right. They will say, well we can't tell you that, this is the question and they sometimes emphasise things or say, oh well, this chapter would really help you in the text book but they can't really, yeh, they're not as direct as they ...

How do you feel when you are completing an assignment?

It's a very stressful time when you've got a Uni assignment but I think it's very, you are very glad once you've handed it in. You may not think you've gone well with it, you're excited and relieved that you have got rid of it. Um, I found it very hard, it's very stressful.

How did you feel when you had handed in your Economics assignment?

Um, ... out of my way but I was very uncertain in how I went and I was very, I wouldn't of been able to say, oh yes I went very well in that assignment, I think I was very unsure of how I went in what parts I had done right and what parts I had gone badly in. If you'd asked me I would probably say the whole assignment....

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