a framework for designing student learning environments for the future

Archive for the 'Design Prototypes' Category

Student Narratives: Student Journey from residential to formal class

My name is John, I am a third year Student at the Thurgoona Campus, I have set my alarm early today to make sure I get the best seat in the lounge room in the residential college.  The lounge has a wireless network and I complete with nine others for a spot.  As a typical student I am not really too interested in logging in to the Learning Management System, but I would much rather send an email to my girlfriend who lives 200 kilometres away – I really miss her…  and of course I need to satisfy my daily dose of facebooking.

My house mates are also getting up; looks like some have definitely been out partying, others are trying to do some last minute homework, and I think some just enjoy catching up over breakfast.

I’m studying Education and it is a short walk across campus to my morning lecture.  It’s an old but cosy lecture theatre which fits about 30 students. Today’s lecture is on independent learning, it has really made me think twice about how I should approach things.

After my lecture I head to the 24/7 learning commons in the library, I’m meeting with three of my classmate to discuss the latest assignment.  It really helps to talk about it with others, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do.

I’ve found a quiet corner in the learning commons to complete the individual section of the assignment, I try to finish as much work as I can but realise that I won’t be able to complete it before lunch.

Either way, I pack up my stuff and head to the Gums Café just outside the commons to meet my mates for lunch.  We enjoy our meal, joking and laughing, doing anything we can to distract ourselves from the fact that exams are approaching.

Lunch over and I’m back to the learning commons to look for some books, and to use Google scholar to find some articles for my essay.  I’ve logged onto the online discussion forum to clarify some issues with my classmates about the assignment.  I am hoping to finish it within a couple of hours.

I pack up from the library and call my girlfriend on my iPhone as I walk back to the residences.

The best part of the week – Friday night drinks at the local pub with my friends.

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Student Narratives: A day in the life of an International Business Student

My name is Coral and I am studying business in Australia.  It is exciting studying in another country, though I feel a lot of pressure to do well – my family overseas has made big sacrifices to enable me to be here.  I am really lucky to be sharing a house with Felicity, who is now one of my best friends. She has taught me a lot about Australia.

Today I start my day rather late with a coffee and begin by making use of on-line forums for students to share their ideas. For me this is great as it allows me to communicate to other student without making the trip into university.

However with tomorrow’s finance test, I still need to study the old fashion way and hit the text books and look at some practice exams on the computer before I go to work.

At work, I use a point-of-sale system to look up products – today the scanner isn’t working properly – which is really annoying.

Time to go home and rest up for the test tomorrow.

It’s a new day – I started today with the finance test which I think I have done pretty well on, now I am at the library studying for the upcoming exams.  I’ve brought my mobile with me in case my parents call from overseas.  The library provides lots of computers, which I am going to use to check my email just in case the lecturer sends out any hints for the exam.

My life in Australia is very busy – so I make use of all the technology available to make sure I keep on top of things.  My phone and laptop are crucial for studying and keeping in touch with home, and organising my social life here! The University provides a lot of resources for my subjects online, I am very grateful that I can access these at home and in the library – it adds variety to the long study days!


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Student Narrative: The Nanotechnology Lab


My name is Josh, and I’m a First Year student at an elite university which specialises in the sciences. Normally I am pretty exhausted by the end of the day as our course workload here is really heavy, and we all want to do well, but today i am pretty psyched as i am about to start my optional class in Nanotechnology. Me and my mates love this class as it explores the creative side of the course, not just the ‘same old same old’ academic grind.

The Nanotech Lab itself is awesome! It’s a great contemporary space with large windows with a beautiful view of what’s a snowy courtyard at this time of year. We have state of the art lab benches and equipment up one end of the room and at the other is a flexible lounge space with a kitchenette.

The class focus is on a group project. We have chosen to create a cell counter, the project is going really well, and in fact we are starting to wonder if a patent might be possible.

Halfway through the class I encounter a massive problem, it seems no matter how I approach it I can’t solve it. I ask one of my group members to take a look for some suggestion but he too is out of ideas. One by one the other group members join in until we decide it’s just too crowded and we’re getting nowhere, so we decide to disperse to the lounge area for brain some storming.

In the lounge we discuss the problem over a coffee. Some of us jokingly throw in ideas that are outside the box, but after some thought they may work. Quickly a member grabs his laptops (iPad) and tests the idea, surprisingly it works!

We all help clean up the kitchenette and excitedly head back the to the lab benches. Class is about to end soon, but we will probably stay back to get more done. We all look forward to the outcome of the project.

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