STUDENT: Yes, hello. I've been referred to you because I'm enquiring about the refresher coursesthat you run. I'd like to find out a bit more about them.
OFFICER: OK. Well, we run quite a few different short courses for students who are either returning to study or studying part-time. Um, tell me about your situation.
STUDENT: Well, I think that I really need some help in preparing for the coming semester, especially to build up my confidence a bit and help me study effectively because, you see, I've been out in the work-force for nearly twelve years now, so it really is a long time since I was last a student.
OFFICER: Yes, it can seem like a long time, can't it? Um, well, let me start by telling you what courses we have that might suit you. Are you an undergraduate or a postgraduate? Arts or Sciences?
STUDENT: Undergraduate, and I'm in the Business faculty.
OFFICER: Right then. First of all, there's our intensive 'Study for Success' seminar on the first and second of February. It's aimed at students like you who are uncertain about what to expect at college, and looks at a fairly wide range of approaches to university learning, to motivate you to begin your study and build on your own learning strategies.
STUDENT: Mm, that sounds good. What are some of the strategies that are presented?
OFFICER: Well, we try to cover all aspects of study. Some of the strategies in writing, for example, would be improving your planning for writing, organising your thinking and building some techniques to help you write more clearly. With reading, there'll be sessions aimed at getting into the habit of analysing material as you read it, and tips to help you record and remember what you have read. It really is very important to begin reading confidently right from the beginning.
OFFICER: There's also advice on how to get the most from your lectures and practice in giving confident presentations, as well as how to prepare for exams.
STUDENT: What about the motivational side of things?OFFICER: Ah. Well, there's a range of motivational exercises that we do to help the students feel positive and enthusiastic about their study. The process of learning and exploring a subject can lead to a whole new way of looking at the world, and the study skills and techniques that you build up can be applied in all sorts of different ways.
STUDENT: Actually, I... I'm very excited about the whole thing of taking up studying again but, you know, I'm a little nervous about whether I'll manage to get everything done. I suppose it's the same for all mature students?
OFFICER: Of course it is. Two of the key components of the course are time management and overcoming procrastination. People discover that, once they learn to plan their days, all the work can be accomplished and there'll still be time for leisure.
STUDENT: Is there an enrolment fee?
OFFICER: Well, er, oh, just a minute, let's see... Ah, the cost is thirty pounds, which includes all course materials and morning tea. You have to arrange your own lunch.
STUDENT: That wouldn't be a problem. I already make sandwiches for my three kids and my wife and myself every day. I won't have to change my routine.
OFFICER: No. Now, I need to tell you that this is a very popular course and it's essential that you book well ahead of time. In fact, the Course Convenor tells me that there are only five places left.
STUDENT: What other course might be good for me?
OFFICER: There is one other that you could benefit from. It's simply called 'Learning Skills for University Study' and is on three consecutive mornings starting on a Monday, from nine to twelve, and costs twenty-five pounds. This is aimed at upgrading the study skills most school-leavers have and help them cope with the increased demands of university study. It focuses mainly on making students more responsible for their own success.
STUDENT: What sort of things are covered in this course?
OFFICER: Well, basically it's more advanced thinking, note-taking, reading and writing strategies, but also some input about stress management.
STUDENT: I think I'd be better off starting from the basics and looking at all the strategies, don't you?
OFFICER: Yes, from what you've told me, I think that's more in line with your situation.
STUDENT: Alright then, um, can I book a place on the 'Study for Success' seminar course now?
OFFICER: Yes. Let me just get out a registration form and take down your details.