Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Meet Connor: a Student Learning Assistant who's ready to help you

The Study and Learning Centre is THE place on campus to get free study and learning advice. Open to all RMIT students it helps you build your academic skills in a friendly environment. The centre is staffed by experienced Learning Advisors and with Student Learning Assistants (fellow students). 

Today we're profiling Connor Jolley, one of the amazing Student Learning Assistants (SLAs). He's interviewed by Adam Browne, an RMIT University Library Attendant and published sci-fi author. The bearded gents discuss what it's like to be a Student Learning Assistant.

Two bearded men
Connor (left) and Adam (right) beard bumping
Adam: I interviewed Connor in the Study and Learning Centre's drop-in space in Building 80. The Student Learning Advisors (SLAs) are the sort of people you instantly feel comfortable with; they’re energetic and merry and clearly on your side
Connor graduated from the Bachelor of Environment and Society program last year and is about to commence the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) program this semester. Before studying he was frustrated “It was either become a student, or work in a call-centre for the rest of my life.” Perhaps because of this, he’s keen to ensure the students he works with have every opportunity to realise their potential.
Adam: So what made you decide to become an SLA?
Connor: It w
as about getting a part time job, and also the opportunity to work on campus. I was quite taken with the teaching aspect of it -- we get a lot of experience in facilitated teaching environments. I’m considering taking up tutoring. I might be able to do it if I do a PhD.
Adam: What are some questions you get asked at the SLC drop-in?
Connor: A lot of people come in asking for us to check their grammar and so on. But we don’t do proofreading -- what we do is teach them how to proofread for themselves.
Note that RMIT subscribes to the Smarthinking Writing Centre, where students can submit work online. It’s free for students. Again, this service doesn’t proofread, exactly, but they can focus on certain areas, like grammar and spelling.
Adam: When you’re dealing with students, what do you specialise in?
Connor: For me, writing. I’m pretty good at explaining essays; I mean the high-level, structural stuff. I can sit down with someone and look at their introduction, then look for a clear logical progression of points leading to an overall argument; I look for this in each paragraph along the way. I often help with essay planning too. Of course, we have people who are good at maths and physics, and so on, but I can still help. I can tell them they need to approach it in a certain way -- ‘your lecturer is asking these questions; this is what you need to get out of those questions…’
Adam: Do you have any tips for students new to university studies?
Connor: I would advise them to get a good understanding of what the expectations on them are. They need to know what their lecturer is asking of them -- if it’s an essay, or a project, know the basic mechanics of those things.
Adam: Do you get feedback about improvements?
Connor: If stu
dents come in regularly, we can see a good, clear progression in their development. A common problem is that they need to learn how to think about a question, or how to follow a set of instructions; when we explain that to them, it can be a bit of a revelation for them; we see great developments then.
Adam: What will you take from your experience of being an SLA into your future career?
I think it builds up confidence. I feel I’m able to walk into any situation and quickly assess it and be able to speak to whatever it is that somebody’s doing. We do quite a few workshops too -- these are with students from English Worldwide. Public speaking, for example -- it’s a skill that I’ll certainly be able to carry over into my working life.

So now it's over to you, drop-in to the Study and Learning Centre on your campus. There are lots of great people who can help you maximise your academic success! 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Welcome to the Library! Tips to get you started.

Welcome to all students! Now is a great time to find out how the Library can help you succeed with your studies.

Whether you're newly enrolled at RMIT University or starting back for semester one, here are some great tips to get you started in the Library:

Photo by RMIT University (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Remember to Book It! 
Don't miss out on a computer or study room - each Library site has bookable computers and study rooms, which you can easily reserve using BookIt. 
Book now

Use Easy Cite referencing tool
A great new tool designed by the Library, Easy Cite makes referencing easy! 
Find out more

Play Library Quest and win!
Want to get a head start at uni? Play Library Quest for all the best tips and tricks to make studying easy, save the world from a meteorite and enter a prize draw for one of two Coles/Myer $500 vouchers. Play Library Quest

Visit the Study and Learning drop-in learning centres
Set yourself up for success! Come to these friendly learning spaces and work with experienced Learning Advisors to develop your skills in assignment writing, maths, physics and chemistry, study skills and computer basics. Find out more

Discover the Learning Lab
If you prefer to learn online, check out the Learning Lab. It's full of helpful information on developing and improving your study skills. Find out more

Ask a Librarian
Whether you need assistance on campus or at home, you can chat or email our friendly Librarians for help with Library services or resources. Find out more

Library opening hours and locations
Opening hours are generous and include weekends and late nights to support your study. Find out more

Printing, scanning and photocopying
Each Library site has printers connected to the RMIT printing system. Use your student card to print, scan and photocopy and easily add credit to your card using the top-up kiosks in the Library. Find out more

Get started with the Library
Getting to know your Library is easy with these six tips.
Find out more

Remember whatever Library service you choose, you're in good hands. We're here to help.

Monday, 13 February 2017

At Swanston Library this week

Update 27 February

This week at Swanston Library we welcome back our higher education students for 2017.

We've been busy over the break and you'll certainly notice some changes around the place! We've opened some amazing new Library spaces as part of the NAS project, they are ready and waiting for you to use.

The Library is in two parts until the end of March, after which it will all come together. 

In Building 8, Level 5 and 6 (enter via Level 6) you'll find the book, journal and audiovisual collections and study spaces including the newly refurbished Level 5. You'll also find our friendly librarians there, who are ready to help you.

Couch in Library
Refurbished spaces. Building 8, Level 5

In Building 10 and 12, Levels 5 and 6 (enter via Building 10 Level 4)  you'll find fabulous new study spaces including a room with rocking chairs and the bean bag lounge. 

Bean bags galore. Building 12, Level 5
You can return your Library items in the returns bin in Building 8, Level 2 or near the Library service desk in Building 8, Level 6.

If you have any questions Ask a Librarian is here to help.

Don't forget to jump online and play Library Quest, the game that helps you master some great Library skills plus you can go into a draw to win one of two $500 vouchers!

The Library is for lovers!

Happy Library Lovers' Day❤❤❤

In the spirit of St. Valentine's Day, here are more reasons for you to love RMIT University Library today:
  1. Brunswick Library is now open both Saturday and Sunday. Hurrah! Find out more. 
  2. Looking for love in the Library? type the word Love into LibrarySearch and you get over 7 million results. Lovely. Try it yourself.
  3. A new Library is on its way! Swanston Library is being refurbished and transformed. We look forward to sharing the new Library space with you soon. Find out more. 
  4. Library Quest: Win, win, win! Learn about the Library, save the world from a meteorite and go into the draw to win one of two $500 vouchers just by playing Library Quest. Find out more.

The origins of St. Valentine's Day, the story of its patron saint and customs associated with it are shrouded in mystery. But the tradition of sending messages to loved ones on 14 February thrived in the 18th century and remains popular to this day.

Fun fact: the odd tradition of 'Mock Valentine' originated in the early 19th century, and involved sending mocking St. Valentine's Day cards to persons of authority! Read more about the quirky history of Mock Valentine.

Remember whatever Library service you choose, you're in good hands. We're here to help.

Friday, 10 February 2017

National Apology Day @ the Library

National Apology Day is held on 13th February each year and commemorates the anniversary of the formal apology by the parliament of Australia to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly the Stolen Generations. Find out more.

Kevin Rudd’s apology viewed by a crowd on Federation Square, Melbourne. Photo: Virgina Murdoch, Flickr

2017 marks the 9th Anniversary of the National Apology to Australia's First Peoples. To acknowledge National Apology Day, as part of our Indigenous Collection Spotlight series, RMIT University Library is highlighting some of the outstanding Indigenous e-resources held in the Library’s Indigenous collection, including eBooks, streaming videos, journals and databases:

Streaming Videos: The following is a selection of the indigenous streamed videos available to the RMIT community (login required).
Journals: Most journals in the collection are available electronically and key titles include:
With a broad range of international Indigenous research resources brought together, the Informit Indigenous Collection offers a variety of content on both historical and topical issues within Indigenous studies.

Looking for more Indigenous resources @ the Library? Find information on indigenous culture, education, environment, film, health, law, land rights, reconciliation and sport in the Library’s Indigenous Resources subject guide. RMIT University Library is committed to enrich its growing collection of Indigenous resources in support of RMITs vision for reconciliation,‘promoting a learning and research environment that engages partnerships and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, cultures and diversity’.

RMIT University acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the land on which the University stands. RMIT University respectfully recognises Elders both past and present.

Monday, 6 February 2017

On the move at Swanston

Changes at Swanston Library
As we move one step closer to opening the new Swanston Library we have to move the collection around. During February and March there will be disrupted access to the collection and some Library spaces may be unavailable. If you need to borrow anything from Swanston Library try to do it before 10 February to avoid disappointment.

Friendly Library staff will be on hand to assist you through the changes.

Student taking a book from a shelf in a Library

When are the new spaces opening?
From 20 February the refurbished spaces on Level 5 of Building 8 will reopen. By mid-March we expect the first of the newly built Library spaces in Buildings 10 and 12 will open.

Ask a Librarian for more information about Library services.

Find out more about the NAS project.

Friday, 3 February 2017