With the effective use of your academic time, you develop core lifelong skills, graduate attributes and values. By attending your classes and tutorials in-person, the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is maximised. By taking on board the advice presented in the four sections below, you will have the opportunity to develop skills and the ability to: note-take; plan; goal set; organise; critically think; prioritise; manage time; effectively communicate; work in teams.
What I can do: Attend Lectures, Listen, Take notes, Tutorials, Lab Sessions, Field Trips, Tutorial Attendance
Developing my graduate attributes with in-person learning
Attributes are traits that define our personality and how we approach different situations in our lives. In-person learning and getting involved in student life will support you in devloping core graduate attributes to become:
A creator, evaluator and communicator of knowledge
An independent and creative thinkers
An effective global citizens, who recognise and challenge inequality
Sometimes it can be difficult to understand how we embody core attributes. They continuously develop throughout our lives and understanding their importance can help you to become who you want to be. It can often be difficult to recognise these traits in ourselves. You can take the Your Compass self-assessment to gain a greater understanding of what core attributes and values you have already developed, and explore learning experiences to help you to develop yourself further.
Formal learning is planned and guided by your lecturer, tutor and other members of the academic team. It can also take place throughout training you receive as part of an internship or work placement. Formal learning is traditionally delivered through lectures, tutorials, labs, workshops, seminars or the workplace.
Information learning is less structured and takes place away from formal learning settings. It is often unplanned and can be self-directed or with classmates, such as in group study sessions. You might also engage in informal learning through community work and extra-curricular activities.
Critical thinking allows you to openly ask about a subject area. It opens discussion on a subject matter and is a major step in the journey to becoming an independent thinker. As a university student in the Digital Age, you need to be able to think critically about the resources and information that you use as part of your studies and research.
Effective communication is the ability to convey information and ideas effectively. Being able to communicate effectively is a key life skill to learn and it helps you in all aspects of your life. Strong comminication is once of the most sought-after soft skills amongst employers.
Both critical thinking and communication skills can be developed through interactive learning and engaging with other students. Networking events are a particularly great way to develop your communication skills. Visit the UCC Skills Centre to learn more about becoming a strong critical thinker and an effective communicator.
We ask questions to gain more information about a topic, to seek clarity and to gain support. In-person learning provides you with the opportunity to seek clarification from teaching staff, get the support you need to enhance your learning and your questions can support the learning of others.
Questions are useful tools, they open lines of communications; give us information; improve interactions, facilitate analysis and diagnostics of a situation; allow us to propose our own ideas; help to understand the priorities of others; stimulate motivation to learn; motivate creativity and research.
The below recently published paper provides a fascinating insight into the importance of asking questions.
In-person learning allows you to make strong connections. Not only does it enable you to better connect with and understand concepts, it helps you to build a network. Building connections within your academic department and with your classmates often results in the development of long-term friendships that can support you in achieveing your goals. In a Digital Age it is easy to make connections through online networking sites, but these are often fleeting acquaintances, and developing deeper connections with your peers face-to-face will have much greater value.
Making connections within your community can also support your personal and professional development. Volunteering can be a great way to engage with dynamic groups of people. You may be looking ahead to life after graduation and at this stage it is important to start building connections with potential future employers. UCC Career Services regularly host employer events on campus, you can learn more here and start building those connections!
Creating a healthy routine and using the learning and study spaces available on campus will help you to focus on the task at hand. Planning out your time on campus effectively and utilising the resources available to you support you in achieving your academic goals.
The Everyday Matters – Healthy Habits for University Lifedigital badge will support you to explore some practical everyday things, based on the latest scientific research, that you can say and do to support yourself during this important time of your life and establish healthy habits and routines for your university lifestyle. This digital badge will enable you to explore how you spend your time across study/work, leisure, self-care and sleep and cultivate positive habits of mind including mindful self-compassion, growth mindset and joy & gratitude. You will learn about brain and body health, and how to create and maintain daily habits and routines that support physical and emotional wellbeing for learning and life.
If you need some space to focus, the library and The Hub have spaces you can book free of charge so you can get some quiet time to complete your tasks. The Global Lounge in The Hub is also a wonderful space to connect with friends and take a little bit of time out between study sessions.
It is important to stay on track throughout your studies. It supports your learning and helps to avoid stress later on down the line, as you prepare for exams and assignments. Peer to peer engagement can help you to achieve your goals. Connecting with your classmates helps you to create a support system and making an effort to build these connections through group study sessions, for example, will motivate you.
Taking effective notes in class and spending time reviewing them afterwards will help you to absorb the learning content. You will also have a strong set of notes available when you need to reference them. This Skills Centre Notetaking Guide will help you to take good notes and support you in learning techniques to effectively review them.
Your academic performance can be improved by taking feedback on board. This in turn will help you to achieve your desired results. When attending lectures and tutorials in-person there is greater scope to discuss feedback so your lecturers and tutors can support you to understand it.
Sometimes, we can react negatively to feedback and perceive it as criticism, however in a learning environment feedback is key as it helps you to grow, learn and improve your academic performance. Feedback is provided to help you in your overall goal. To ulitise feedback to its maximum potential it is important to develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is characterised by believing that your abilities are not innate, but can be improved through effort, learning and persistence.
In-person learning provides you with more opportunities for future engagement. You build connections with staff and classmates here in UCC that will support you now and into the future. Many academic departments offer opportunities to engage outside of your course of study. They may host seminar sessions, coordinate events or offer award programmes.
The social aspect of university life enjoyed through clubs, societies and a range of other extra curricular activities and initiatives helps you to identify opportunities for both personal and professional development. Learn more about the services available to you to maximise your student experience here in UCC.
In-person learning: what’s in it for me?
Make the most of your degree with in-person learning. With the effective use of your academic time, you develop core lifelong skills, graduate attributes and values. By attending your classes and tutorials in-person, engaging with your peers, and getting involved in campus life, the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is maximised.