Hi again friends! I hope by now you have attended an Enrolment Day and sorted out the subjects you are interested in, signed up for this year, plus paid your fees and collected your student ID. How much do you love your new ID photo? Smile!
If not, go back over my first two blogs to familiarise and make sure you attend one of the last few Enrolment Days soon! If you have, now’s the time for step two, to prepare yourself for O-Week and the start of semester, in short, Ready4Uni! Below you will find some handy tips about getting used to the La Trobe Uni website and the various links and logins – simple reading to help you prepare ahead of O-Week and classes!
LEARNING TO NAVIGATE THE LA TROBE WEBSITE:
learn the main student pages for quick access
I will always say, make the La Trobe Uni website your best friend, because it’s your first stop for easy-access information. There are many key pages to access and be familiar with through O-Week, your first weeks on campus and beyond. Like the Library site, Email and LMS, the Handbook page and Timetables, the Ready4Uni, New Students and Current Students pages, as well as the Scholarships, Get Involved, Student Union, Clubs and Societies and the Sports Centre pages. The Library, Email and LMS pages you will probably visit daily in semester, so having a browse over them is a good idea, while the rest you will probably only go to as needed or according to your interests and circumstances. Timetabling and the Handbook are useful when choosing subjects and at exam time. The Ready4Uni, New Students and Current Students pages can give you a feel for uni life and answer many of your questions. I strongly suggest looking into Scholarships as these offer between $100 and $1000 on average for first year students – just take your time to submit the best application as they can be competitive. Getting Involved informs you about volunteering and associated awards that will provide you with a good foundation for your career and is a great addition to your CV. Lastly the Student Union, Clubs and Societies and Sports Centre pages are handy for looking into both the social side of uni and the services on offer, to help you find your feet, have something fun to add into your week, and as a great way to make some new friends on campus.
Trolling these sites gives you the initial information you need to then ask informed questions to the relevant people during O-Week, and may even give you extra ideas and options you hadn’t considered before. Learning to navigate the uni website is a key part of learning to become independent and to seek knowledge for yourself; both of which are big parts of going to university. Of course in O-Week everyone is on hand to help the first year ‘newbies’ get through the information overload, but beyond that asking for help should always go in tandem with seeking answers on the web. And don’t trust the search engine, your actual answer will be surrounded by a ton of results that are totally irrelevant.
CONNECTING UP TO EVERYTHING:
watch out for your Statement of Account in the post for your username and password
Another thing you can do in preparation for O-Week is to set up your student email and LMS as soon as you have received your Statement of Account by post. This important letter has your email address and password on it, so when you have received it you can login to Students Online, Email, Oasis, LMS, Library and the Career Hub.
Students Online gives you access to all the administrative facets of uni specific to you, so your subjects including all cores throughout your degree, your enrolment and fee information and your results. After first year you will enrol in all your future subjects through Students Online, which usually occurs between October and December for the following year.
Your student email account will give you access to emails including initially from your subject lecturers and tutors, who will announce when signups for tutorials and workshops will go live online on Oasis or the LMS. Because these usually happen around O-Week, be ready to sign up that day or soon after to get your preferred timeslots. Your email address will be written as firstname.lastname@example.org, the username typically being your first and middle initials (+ sometimes a number for common names) and surname in full. When you receive notification to sign up for your tutorials, you will also be told whether to sign up through Oasis or the LMS.
Oasis can be accessed from the Current Students page in the right-side menu under Tutorial Booking (Oasis). Here you navigate your way by campus then selecting ‘student’ before signing in by username and password. Subjects will only appear as they become available, so don’t worry if not all your subjects are listed simultaneously. Be early to book in for your preferred times, but know you can change classes so long as there is a spot available in your second choice.
Signing in to LMS (the online classroom – click left menu to login) will give you access to all your subjects and the work, notes and lectures provided to you by your academics. Sometimes they will have an option here to sign up for tutorials. The first thing however that they will provide is the subject guide and initial information to help you plan your semester, your deadlines and study schedule ahead of the first weeks. Aside from that the LMS may also contain your degree as a ‘subject’ to click on and view news and events managed by your course convenor and perhaps a couple of students. Watch it regularly as it can provide useful links and information relevant to your degree and career, such as industry conferences or volunteering opportunities.
The library has a large amount of books and journals available online once you login and will prove very useful when researching assignments or just accessing the weekly readings. From the homepage click on ‘Catalogue’ and under ‘Collections’ select ‘Search by Subject Code’ to enter in your subjects by code one by one. Here you can take a look at some of the semester’s readings or extra readings specifically highlighted by your lecturer as useful either for classes and topics, or for assignments. Select a link or article and login to take a look where your interest and time allows!
Finally Career Hub is a search page for jobs looking specifically for uni students, and a portal to finding out and enrolling in workshops, seminars and master classes related to your career and developing skills. I have been attending these for quite some time as they usually run in the library in lunchbreaks 1-2pm, which can easily fit between classes.
Getting a feel for these sites before O-Week and learning how to login means that if you have any issues, you can go to the IT desk in the library and get them resolved in O-Week. You can also take your laptop or tablet onto campus in O-Week and set it up for the free wireless internet which gives you instant access on all La Trobe campuses.
WATCHING OUT FOR TUTE SIGNUPS:
Remember to sign up early on Oasis or the LMS to get your preferred class timeslots!
Once you’ve decided which classes you want to attend (as described in my last blog), watch for the LMS and email notifications about signing up, as I explained earlier. You do not need to sign up on both LMS/Moodle and Oasis for the one subject. It’s either/or. Don’t worry if you have clashes or a tute is full or you come unstuck in any other way. La Trobe is a very friendly uni, and all the lecturers and tutors are there to help you, so ask around/investigate online and approach them direct either in person or via email, or wait till first classes and approach them then.
This blog was written with the intention of getting you prepared ahead of the “information overload” that comes with O-Week. Regardless of your degree, being well read and having visited the website a few times will ease a few of your nerves and increase your familiarity with La Trobe ahead of O-Week and your first semester. The uni and certainly I don’t expect you to feel completely organised or prepared even going into the first weeks. Many students will be in a panic as something goes wrong at some point. But O-Week is a chance to smooth out any initial issues you are having, as well as meet the people and places important to your studies. You will meet your course convenor (head of your degree), other students, your mentor and a bunch of helpers around campus, as well as have a tour of campus specific to your faculty, and the opportunity to attend a bunch of great lectures and seminars about uni life. Having access to so many wise and helpful people sharing their knowledge is what O-Week is all about! We are here to ease all of your qualms. You can sneak a peek at the O-Week schedule (scroll down to campus specific programs) ahead of my upcoming blogs, which will come out weekly in February and throughout the semester. The schedule is a great way to help you plan to make the most out of your O-Week.
Feel free to comment with any fears or tips you may have to help connect with other students, and I can certainly address questions or concerns either in the comments or future blogs. I would love to hear what you think! See you soon! Bec.
One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.