International Students Webinar Series, Academic Expectations, July 10, 2019

International Students Webinar Series, Academic Expectations, July 10, 2019

September 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


– Welcome, everybody! My name is Andrew Staples and
I am the student success coach for international
students here at McMaster. Today, we’ve got quite a few panelists joining us, to talk about
really what you need to start thinking about, to be successful once you arrive here on campus. So a few sort of house keeping items. We would ask that you use the chat, sorry not the chat. Use the Q & A feature,
if you do have questions. We do encourage this
to be very interactive. So if you do have any
questions about anything that we’re talking about, please feel free to use the Q & A. As well as this session
is really focusing just on your academic expectations. So we’ve had previous webinars on housing and immigration and health insurance and getting involved on
campus and living in Hamilton. So you would be able to find
the recordings of those online. So the next thing I’m going to do is, hand it over to our panelists,
who introduce themselves. So maybe, Jill, if you
wanna get us started? – [Jill] Sure. My name is Jill McMillan and I am one of the academics skills program
coordinators here at McMaster. I previously have lived in
Singapore and Costa Rica. – Great, thank you. And Kim? – [Kim] Hi, everyone, my name’s Kim Mason. I’m the academic integrity
officer at McMaster. – Great, thank you. And Jennifer? – [Jennifer] Hello, everyone,
I’m Jennifer Hamilton. I am one of the academic advisors here at McMaster University. – Okay, awesome. So I think our panelists might
disappear for a little bit, until their time is back. So the first thing we wanted
to talk a little bit about, is sort of what your schedule is going to be like when you arrive. So hopefully you know this by now, the classes start on
Tuesday, September 3rd. A typical semester, so at
McMaster we use the term, we use the words semester, or term, typically means the same thing. So, the fall term begins
on Tuesday, September 3rd. You’ll be in classes and
then you’re going to have a time period, which is
called a Reading Week, where there’s no scheduled classes. So that’s from October 14th to 20th. Then all of your classes
are going to be over by December 4th. Then what happens is,
you enter what’s called an examination period,
which would be between December 6th and 19th. During this time, you’ll be
getting your exam schedule, when you’re going to
be writing those exams. Now some of you who have
registered for courses, you might be in a multi-term. So what that means is, you’re
in course for the same course for the fall and the
winter, in which case, the exam period is when you
would write your mid-terms. Very similarly, in the winter semester. Classes begin January 6th. You have a Reading Week. Classes go til early April and
then you’ve got a few weeks til the exam period at the end. We did wanna kind of go
over some of the vocabulary that you might hear today
and once you’ve arrived. Just to sort of clarify. So course outlines, or course
syllabus, or course syllabi. This is sort of where you
would find a bit more details about each specific course that you’re in. How you’re being graded,
maybe what you’re going to be reading each week,
the textbooks required and who is teaching it. You might also encounter
the word scantron. So a scantron is used a lot at McMaster, for multiple choice tests. So here’s a sample. You’ll probably get instructions
on how to fill this out. Please, please, please listen
to the instructions carefully, because there’s nothing
worse, than putting in your correct answers, but not filling out the scantron card correctly and then not doing well on your test. So it is really important. I’m sure all of you will be
using a scantron at some point. PowerPoints, or slideshows, or slides. This is something that you’re sort of participating with right now, so you might be given your
slides, or PowerPoints ahead of time, or after the class, or maybe a professor might
not share them at all. It really depends on the
individual professor. An MSAF is a term you’re
going to hear probably fairly regularly and I
know Jennifer’s going to talk about that in a little bit. Mid-terms are typically
tests, or evaluations, half way through the term,
or through the semester. Reading Week, as I explained before, that’s when you do not
have any scheduled classes. An iClicker, these are tools,
as you can see on the screen, that you can use to
participate in classes. So some courses might require
you to have iClickers, in which you might have to
answer certain questions A, B, C, D, E, using the iClicker. Then a section, this could refer to, some of you might be taking
the exact same course, but you might be in different sections. So because some of our first year classes can be quite large, you may have friends in the exact same course,
maybe with the same professor, but the section might
be at a different time. So just be mindful of that and
really follow your schedule as you’re going to classes. Okay, so next we are going
to invite back, Jill. She’s gonna talk a little
bit about your first year, when you get here. – All right, thank you. So if we go to the next slide, thank you. I just wanna say hello again, to everyone and thank you for joining us today. One of the key messages that I’m going to return to frequently,
during this session, is that the transition into
university can be difficult, but there are supports
to help you succeed. Reach out, connect, ask questions. You are not expected
to do everything alone. The first year of university is often a challenging adjustment, for both domestic and
international students. A lot of what I’ll be speaking to today, applies as much to Canadian students, as it does to international students. In university, you will usually have fewer assignments and tests,
compared to high school, but these assessments
will be worth a lot more. During the first semester,
and the first year, you will need to adapt to
new academic standards, as the professors may hold
higher expectations of students. Some students will find that
their grades might drop, but this is something that you shouldn’t get too nervous about. The more familiar that you get with how assignments are
structured and graded, the better you’ll be able to meet to your professor’s standards. In addition to testing for content, professors are often interested
in seeing how students approach problems, how
they make connections and how they demonstrate
original thinking. This focus on critical,
analytical and lateral thinking, means that students cannot
rely on pure memorization, in order to do well. If you were focused on
cramming in advance of tests and exams in high school, you might need to change
your study strategies, to be successful in university. You can attend workshops on
effective study strategies, that are organized through
the Student Success Centre, or make an appointment to talk to an academic coach for support. Lastly, many incoming students will find that their writing does not meet the standards of professors. This is a common point of
stress for many students. If you are in writing intensive programs, it is strongly recommended
that you connect with campus supports early
in your academic career, so that you can work on enhancing your written communication. Being an effective writer, is more than meeting a word count. It means demonstrating an
awareness, audience, context, organization and purpose. Writing is a skill that
is continuously developed and experienced writers know that they need both time and feedback, in order to best develop and
communicate their message. Later, both Andrew and I, will speak to some of the supports that are available here at McMaster, that are in place to help
students become stronger writers. Another common challenge
that students encounter in university is, time management. Students have a lot more
independence and flexibility, once they get into
post-secondary and we recommend that students make use
of four month calendars, planners, to do lists, to keep on top of their
work and obligations. By staying organized, it will
help you avoid the stress of competing deadlines, as well as make your university experience a bit more enjoyable. Another challenge is that,
some professors will have open ended due dates for some assignments. Which is often quite unusual for students, transitioning from high school. So if you encounter this, you should create very concrete
deadlines for yourself, in order to complete the work, so that it doesn’t pile up
at the end of a semester, or before a major test, or exam. Beyond classes, students
will also need to decide what they want their
university experience to be. In order to feel connected
to the McMaster community, we suggest that you get
involved, by joining clubs, volunteering, or working, because having some of these
co-curricular activities, can help you make connections
with fellow students, which in turn, can help you better manage your academic challenges and stresses that are a common part of
the university experience. You’ll also need to be
aware of how much time it will take to manage
the rest of your life. Everything from feeding
yourself, to doing laundry. So if you are living
independently for the first time, these responsibilities
can be easy to overlook, but need to be balanced with
your academics, as well. Next slide, thanks. Returning to my central take away message that I shared earlier, I
wanted to remind everyone to think about the supports
that will help them become successful university learners. Learning does not end in a
classroom and successful students will connect to campus supports early in their university career. This includes making
connections with professors and teaching assistants,
making use of help centers, meeting with librarians,
as well as connecting with the Student Success Centre. At the Student Success Centre,
we have skills workshops, academic coaches, affordable tutoring and free writing support. Don’t wait to connect to these resources. By reaching out early,
it will help you manage your academic workload and help you meet your academic goals. – Okay, thanks Jill. So I’m just gonna take a
pause and just remind people, you know feel free to ask questions. I know in the other webinars,
people have been very active. So again, you can just use the Q & A, ask them throughout and we will
try to answer them for you. There’s no questions yet, Jill, so we’re just gonna keep on
going to the next section. – All right, sounds great. So next we’re going to look at
some of the physical teaching and learning spaces, that you’re going to encounter here at McMaster. So McMaster is quite a large university, with a wide range of
teaching and learning spaces. First year students
usually attend a mixture of lectures and tutorials. So we’ve included some examples of what these spaces look like. Here we see a lecture space
that holds up to 400 students. So one of the larger
lecture halls on campus. But then, when we look at something like the McMaster active learning classrooms, we have spaces that hold
roughly 100 students. These are really fantastic spaces, because they allow a lot of
interaction and collaboration and are wired with up to date technology. Next, we see an example of a more, of a smaller lecture space. For those of you who are
coming from high school, it’s going to more closely resemble what that conventional
classroom space looks like. So expect to have a wide range of spaces to have your learning. So if we move on to
the next slide, thanks. We wanna provide a little
bit of advice and guidance on how you can best prepare
for being in a lecture space, because this is something that’s often very new for students. In order to make the most
of your lecture time, you’ll want to first
review material beforehand. So this is something that will be outlined and communicated to you by your professors and it could involve
reading textbook chapters, or material that the professor has noted in their course outline. During lecture, you want to keep track of all the important information that your professors are sharing. This will include developing and adopting a note taking strategy,
so that you can keep track of this information most effectively. We do strongly recommend,
when we look at the research, handwritten notes tend to be better, when it comes to the
retention of material. So experiment with handwritten notes and you can also enroll
in a note taking workshop, that is run by the SSC. So that you can receive
more advice and guidance on how to take effective notes. If you do decide to use
a laptop during class, you want to be very
cognizant of distractions. We are not good multi-taskers as humans, and so be very realistic
about whether or not having that laptop is going
to be a help, or a hindrance. Please note that if you want
to record, or take photos of lecture slides, you will need to first ask your professor’s permission. This information is considered
intellectual property and recording it without permission, is not acceptable. During lectures, professors
may ask questions of students. This is quite common. When professors are asking a question, they generally want students to respond. So be prepared to participate
in these large classes. As Andrew noted before, in some classes, you will be expected to have an iClicker and this, as well as other
activities, will be used to help with student
engagement in these spaces. So now let’s turn our
attention to tutorials. Tutorials are smaller
classes that are used to complement the information
that has been shared during lectures. Typical tutorial rooms, are quite similar to the one on your screen right now, that can hold upwards of 50 students, but most tutorials are usually
between 15 and 30 students. So much more intimate teaching
and learning environment. Then we move on to the next slide. Tutorials are usually
run by either upper year, or graduate students. These are known as teaching assistants, or more commonly, TAs, and they are responsible
for running the tutorial. They might also be responsible for grading your work as well. So more to lecturers, you’ll be required to read or prepare material in advance and this will be communicated to you. In these contexts, there’s
a very strong focus often on discussion and
classroom participation. Grades may be assigned for both attendance and participation. If you have presentations
in your first year, they will often happen in this space, in the tutorial space, as well. So to move on to the next slide. How to participate in
lectures and tutorials? This can be a little bit challenging, if you are a quiet, or a reserved person. I recognize that the
emphasis on participation and class discussion in university, can be a bit stressful. But my hope is, that by explaining why it is valued in a Canadian context, I hope this will be valuable
for you to understand why this is so present in
university classrooms and also, help you feel more
prepared for the challenges, but also opportunities of participating in
lectures and tutorials. Professors really view participation
as evidence of learning and it also reflects on their
perception of their teaching. So if they see that
students are really engaged and are responding to questions, they’ll feel that they are
doing their job effectively. If there is silence when
questions are asked, it will be interpreted as the
students not understanding the material and so there
will often be explanation, follow up questions to try
and re-engage the class. In North America, learning is seen as a
very dynamic process, where by knowledge is created, rather than simply transferred as fact from one person to another. While there is recognition
that the professor is considered the expert on a topic, professors want students
to create their own ideas and discussion is viewed as
part of this knowledge creation. In this context, students are free to
challenge other students, as well as their professor. Though always in a respectful way. In North America, original
thought is highly valued and so when students
share their own thoughts, this is seen as a very visible
form of critical engagement and this is positively received
by both TAs and professors. If you are nervous about participating, you can prepare questions,
or speaking notes in advance of tutorials, so that you have a bit of confidence going into this scenario. Having questions is
often very well received, simply because it will signal, “Hey I’m really interested
in this course.” As such, is appreciated by
both TAs and professors. I recommend connecting
with professors and TAs, during office hours. It’s a easy way to feel
more comfortable interacting with these individuals. That comfort can then
transfer into a tutorial, or a lecture context. If you are concerned
about your spoken English, please be assured that most other students are going to stay focused on
the ideas that you are sharing, rather than any grammatical errors. We also have opportunities
here at McMaster, where you can connect with other students, so that you can practice speaking English in very social, low stress environments. So again, we recommend
that you get involved in co-curricular activities. Okay move on to the next slide. Your professors are also
going to make use of an online platform,
called Avenue to Learn. This is a platform where they’re going to post learning materials,
post online discussions and share other forms of information. It is very important that
you have a regular habit of checking Avenue, in order to make sure that you don’t miss any important due dates, or announcements. If professors share their lecture slides, they will also be posted on Avenue. I recommend checking at least once a week, to make sure that you haven’t
missed any important news, but it can be even more
effective, just to make a habit of checking every day. Depending on the courses
in which you’re enrolled, you might also have online
modules to complete. These online lessons contain material that reinforce, or
expand on lecture content and may include readings, videos, quizzes, or discussion boards. The challenge of online modules, is that they require
students to demonstrate a lot of independence in their learning, as well as to be well organized, because it’s up to you
to complete this work outside of lecture hours. Some modules, as well,
might have open due dates. So if you, you really wanna make sure that you complete this work, far before the end of the semester, to avoid the stress of uncompleted work. I recommend scheduling your due dates, or creating due dates and
putting them into your calendars, so that you don’t end up with a bunch of uncompleted modules, before an important test, or an exam. So a really significant part of academic success in university, will be the connections that you make with your professors and your TAs. Each is going to have
a very distinct style, depending on their personality and I always recommend
trying to match, or mirror the style of the individual
that you’re reaching out to, especially when you’re
first starting to establish a relationship with them. So if a professor is, presents
him or herself very formally, I recommend matching that
formality when writing an email, or meeting with them during office hours. As a general rule, it
is I think, quite useful to begin in a formal way
and then try and gauge whether or not your
professor, or your TA is going to appreciate a more
informal relationship. It’s very strongly
recommended that you make use of office hours. They’re there for a reason. So if you have questions or concerns that you need addressed, go and
see your professors and TAs, during their office hours. This time is intentionally
dedicated for professors to meet with their students. So make use of this time. It can also be a very fantastic way to start connecting
with professors and TAs and establish a working
relationship with them, because in future years, you don’t know, you might become interested in applying for a research position, or a TA position. So getting comfortable
directly with professors can be a great way to start
building toward these goals. If you have a question about a grade, present this concern diplomatically. Professors will hear these concerns, but just be aware that the
grades might not change. So keep that in mind (laughs) when you want to speak about a grade. Lastly, the vast majority
of professors and TAs here at McMaster, are deeply interested in helping students learn. But you’ll also need to be mindful that some professors
have hundreds of students and as much as they want to really connect with each one of their students, we have to be a bit pragmatic, in terms of understanding how quickly we can expect
replies to emails, for instance. So don’t expect instant replies to emails. I always recommend avoid
asking about assignments, or tests within 24 hours of a deadline. It doesn’t create a good impression. So if you have questions, or concerns, ask well in advance in order to show respect and
consideration of the limited time that your professor and your TA have. All right, so I’ll turn
it back over to Andrew. – Actually, Jill, before you leave, – [Jill] Yes?
– we do have a couple questions. – [Jill] Okay.
– That you could maybe help with. So one question, “Is it
necessary to speak up in class “regarding doubts, or is asking
personally to a professor “also considered a suitable approach?” If you maybe just wanna
clarify, if a student should ask more of a public, or is it better to go for their office hours? – [Jill] It’s really going
to be dependent on the nature of the question. If it’s course related, in terms of a concept that’s unclear, maybe a question about the assignment, if there is a sense of confusion
about how a theory applies to a specific context. Often there are going to be other students who have the same question,
especially if you find you are in a lecture of
100 or 200 or 300 students and you have a question, there’s probably a dozen other students who have that question. So if you think that
the question is going to reflect concerns of other students, asking that kind of question publicly, I think, is absolutely fine. Again, some professors are going to be a bit pressed for time in terms of the content that they want to deliver, but often those kind of questions are welcomed by professors. If it relates more to personal
concerns that you have, in terms of meeting the expectations, having a little bit of
uncertainty about whether or not how you’re approaching an assignment, is going to be well
understood, or well assessed by a professor or TA. In those instances, I would suggest making
use of office hours. – Okay, great. Then, we’re just gonna do
one more question for you, just because I’m aware of the time. So, “What professors
upload PowerPoints online?” – [Jill] It’s dependent on the professor. A lot of professors do
and if they are going to share their PowerPoint slides, it would be through Avenue. Some professors might share
in advance of a lecture. Some are going to post afterwards,
but it’s not a guarantee that every professor’s
going to post their work and you really wanna attend lectures, regardless of whether
or not this information is provided by the professors,
because the PowerPoints, are just a very small slice
of the teaching and learning that’s happening in the lecture. – Okay, great.
– Okay. – Thanks very much. Okay, so next we are gonna
talk a little bit about sort of textbooks and supplies. So I know there was already
a question about that. So what’s really important
is that you review the course outline, to see
what textbooks are required. Some textbooks might be optional. Some courses, depending
on what program you’re in, may have other required
supplies that you need. So lab coats, goggles,
clickers, a calculator, maybe a specific calculator. When you are, once the
first day of class happens, all of your courses will
show up on Avenue to Learn and there may be a list, or a post, that sort of goes over
these in more details. They’re generally, I
know a lot of students are really eager to get
textbooks right away, which is fine, that’s great, but just keep in mind, that
in some specific courses, your textbook might not be required. So sometimes, it’s good
to know that before you purchase a textbook, because it can be a little bit expensive
buying textbooks in Canada. So just make sure that you
know if it is a required and also, sort of what
version that you need and I’ll go into that in a minute. As sort of Jill mentioned,
it is up to the professor if PowerPoint slides are
posted before, or after. Some professors might
post the full slides, some might only post part of the slide. But as Jill said, the most important thing is that you are physically there in class, when you are able to do so. So to purchase textbooks, there are a couple of options. So the one that probably
most students utilize, is right here on the campus store. That’s located in Gilmore Hall. What you can do, using your course codes, you can actually sort of look
up to see which textbooks you do require. Now used textbooks might be something that you might be interested
in, to save some money, but just be very cautious
with buying used textbooks, because you need to make sure that you have the correct version,
that your professor requires. Also, sometimes, courses
do have an online access that you might need, above
and beyond the textbook. So if you buy a new textbook,
that might be paired automatically with the online access code. If you buy a used textbook,
that might not have a valid access code and then
you might have to purchase that access code on top
of buying a used textbook. Sometimes that access code on it’s own, can be very, very expensive. I know there is an unofficial
McMaster textbook website, through Facebook, so you know
you can keep your eyes out on that, but again, I
really, really urge you to make sure that you are
purchasing the correct version, of the book that you need
for that specific class. Don’t necessarily trust
a student that says, “Oh I used that last year.” Because that might not be
what you’re using this year. You could also look on Kijiji, which is sort of like a
local Canadian sales site, or Amazon for textbooks. Another thing that a lot of students are interested in, is printing. So you can print on campus. The prices are here on the screen. You can also scan a lot of the printers, I believe also function as scanners. So, Annette just posted a link, if you wanted to check that out about more information about printing. Okay, so next, we’re gonna invite Kim and she’s gonna talk a little bit about what academic integrity is. It’s really important, so you should all be
really actively (mumbles). – Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate everyone
taking the opportunity to come today and watch
this, because I think there are so many important tips that are tied to academic integrity, that will help you to
succeed in your academics. So first and foremost, I wanted to let you all know where I am. So my office is located in Gilmour Hall, which is actually where
the registrar’s office and financial services is. For those of you who may
be graduate students, I’m directly across from the
School of Graduate Studies. So you’re welcome to come
and ask me any questions that you might have, if
you need a clarification on the policy, or if
you’re looking at something with a specific course
and you’re questioning whether or not there’s a concern. You’re welcome to reach
out to me by email, to take a look at the
website that’s there. Next, thanks. So I wanted to highlight a definition that we have in the policy. I oversee two policies. The first is the Academic Integrity Policy and that’s the policy that’s
most going to affect you, in terms of your studies. It deals with preventing
instances of academic dishonesty, so cheating. The other policy that I oversee, is the Research Integrity Policy. It addresses issues concerning
research misconduct. So that might be fabricating
results in a study. Or it might be a concern
around authorship. So these aren’t typically
things that will apply to a first year student, or even a student in their undergrad. So today, we’re gonna focus on the Academic Integrity Policy. I wanted to point out this statement at the very beginning, that
talks about how the university demands scholarly integrity
from all of its members and that academic
dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive to
the values of the university and that it’s unfair and
discouraging to those students, who pursue their studies honestly. I’m not bringing this
up, because I anticipate that you are going to be a student that has an issue with the policy, but rather, I expect that
you will see other students trying to take advantage of opportunities by maybe chatting about something online, when it’s a closed quiz. Or you might be aware that somebody’s sharing their assignments. I want you to know that
there’s a policy there that’s protecting you
and the other students who are acting with integrity, who are completing their
assignments on their own. So that’s the primary
purpose of this policy, is to address what that
small percentage of students, that choose to go a different direction. Next slide, Andrew. So we define academic
dishonesty as knowingly acting, or failing to act, in a way
that results, or could result, in unearned academic credit, or advantage. I think this is important, because we often will
have students, domestic and international, who say, “Well that isn’t the way we did it, “back at my home institution.” I think it’s important
for you to recognize that that’s not an excuse,
or an acceptable reason for engaging in that type of activity. It’s really important that you
learn that the expectations here at McMaster, that you
speak with your instructors, that you read your course
syllabus, to find out information about what the expectations
are, from your instructors. Each course is going to
have different expectations around academic integrity. Around the type of citation
method that will be used. What is acceptable, versus what isn’t? So it’s very important
that you take that time and if there’s questions, that you have, that you reach out and ask those. So when we look at academic work and that last definition,
we define academic work as a bunch of the different things that are up on the screen right now. So a lot of those will
be really obvious to you. So an academic paper, or a test, an essay. But some areas, you may not be aware that you’re expected to engage in appropriate and ethical measures. So one of those is like
a co-op, or a placement. So with some programs, you’ll be asked to participate in working
at a local business, or within Ontario. There’s an expectation
that you’re getting credit for that work and that
you’re going to complete that work with that employer,
in the best possible way and with the highest level of integrity. So often, these will require
things like signatures for attendance and so forth. So if there were to be a problem, where a forged signature was found. So a signature that
somebody had done yours and you weren’t present that day. Then that would be a
charge under the policy. So there’s many different
areas that we’re looking at. Another area would be in
terms of academic work, would be presentations. So the expectation is that
you will cite all pictures and material that you’re
using, that are not yours, that you don’t own in a presentation. So it’s important to
recognize that academic work is not just those assignments
and essays you’re submitting. Now I wanted to highlight the
academic dishonesty offences that we have in the policy,
because it’s important for you to recognize the types of things that people can be charged with. I’ve highlighted and had
Andrew kind of enlarge some of the offences that we
see most frequently occurring. So as I’m sure you can imagine, plagiarism is one of the highest offences that we see coming in to the office here. Plagiarism is when you
take somebody else’s words, ideas or thoughts and you
put them into your paper, or your presentation, but
you don’t cite that material. So you don’t give credit to
the person who created those. That’s what it means to plagiarize. So that’s one of our highest offences, that we see the most frequent
that comes through the office. We have software that we use on campus. It’s called Turn It In and it’s a company that’s used worldwide. So when you submit an assignment online, you’ll find that your
paper will go through this screening service, Turn It In, and it will compare your paper to other McMaster
students current and past, that have submitted papers, as well as other institutions
across the world. It also pulls from
material from the internet and journals and publications. It will tell an instructor if
there’s a specific percentage of an assignment that’s been
taken from somebody else without being properly given credit. The other offence that we see
that happens quite frequently, is improper collaboration. This happens when an instructor
has clearly stated to you that an assignment is an
individual assignment, that you’re to complete it
on your own and submit it. But you would work with another
student on that assignment. So the instructor may charge
you with improper collaboration for benefiting by using
two brains, two thoughts, two ideas on that assignment,
when the intention was for it to only be your ideas and knowledge being projected into
that actual assignment. It’s really difficult for students, because you’ll see instructors will change the different
types of expectations that they have for assignments
throughout the term. So you may find that the
first two assignments are individual assignments, but that an instructor then requires you to work with other students and submit a group work
assignment as your third. You’ll also find that
with different faculties, that it’s more common that you’ll see, you’ll be asked to collaborate,
or work with other students. So the important thing to do,
is to ensure that you know what the expectations
are from your instructor and if it’s unclear,
reach out to them and ask. Or ask your teaching assistant, for clarity on that information, so that you can ensure
that you’re producing an assignment that has
met their expectations. Then the other most frequent that we see is cheating on a test, or examination. So this can be done via social media use. So chatting with other people online about an online quiz
question, or it could be done within an actual examination
by having cheating notes and so forth. So I put these up here not to scare you, but rather to highlight different offences that your instructors
would be looking for, things that you might witness that your fellow students might be doing, so that you’re able to
let an instructor know, or reach out to me if you’re concerned, but also, so that you can ask questions and ensure that you
meet those requirements. So let’s focus a little bit
more on the positive here and talk about how you can have the highest level of integrity, in terms of your academics. So first and foremost, I encourage
you to protect your work. Often times, in the past,
you may have been asked by a friend, or someone who knows that you’ve taken a course before, to share your assignments,
or share your tests. It’s important for you to know, that that’s not acceptable here. So your work is your individual statement to that instructor, of
what your knowledge was. So it’s really important that then, when you’ve completed
and received a grade, that you don’t share that
information with other people. Even when it’s a best friend. I will often see situations
where unfortunately, students have shared an assignment, because their friend said, “I just wanna see how it’s set up.” Unfortunately, once you share
that assignment with them, then they’ve taken the
material and used it directly. An instructor then will
charge that student with academic dishonesty for
plagiarizing your material, but then they could also charge
you with academic dishonesty for aiding and abetting
another student’s dishonesty. So it’s really important
although hard to say no, to tell your students, “I’m
sorry, I can’t help you. “I can’t provide that to you.” It’s important to remember that also, with regard to testing that
you may have completed. It’s not to be shared,
unless you have permission from your instructor to
share it with other people. The next is to submit work
of the highest academic and moral quality. So making sure that
you’re doing the things that Jill had just
previously talked about. We find that, often students will engage in academic dishonesty,
because they ran out of time. Because they didn’t know
and didn’t have the skills to be able to do that. So it’s really important that you then don’t find yourself in that situation. To prevent that, the best
way that you can do that, is to take advantage of
those resources that we have, to realize that the time management skills that worked for you when you
were in your former school, are not necessarily
gonna work for you here. And that’s okay. There’s a lot of resources
online and sessions that the Student Success Center runs that will assist you in
terms of having that success and improving your quality of work. So take that time to make sure that you are on top of
due dates for assignments, that you have your questions answered and that you’re prepared to
dedicate the time that you need to produce quality work. Always reference and
cite all ideas, concepts, facts, phrases, sentences, data, pictures that you use that you did not create. So we have a lot of manuals
that are available to you. I have two today. The MLA and APA publication manuals. These are manuals on how to cite in specific academic faculties. So you can get those manuals online. You can also go to, say
the bookstore on campus and find that information there, so that you’re able to ensure that you’re citing things correctly the way your instructor has highlighted, that they would like you
to in that course outline. Social media and the use of internet. You just need to be careful. We’ve had some instances where people have participated in chatting
online and in doing so, have shared information that
they weren’t permitted to, or they’ve been a part
of a private chat group and participated in
passing on test answers to other students. These are not acceptable things to do. It doesn’t benefit you. It actually benefits somebody else. What you need to do is,
focus on your academics. If you have questions, you should be asking
those to your instructor. That’s the last point there
that I’m gonna leave you with, is that if you’re unsure, ask for that clarity from your instructor. They’re here and available
and open to speaking with you. You can utilize those
office hours that they have. Pop down to talk with an
instructor after class and also, send an email. I often recommend to students, if it’s not clear in the
assignment directive, what you should or can
do, in that assignment, then send an email off
asking that question, because your instructor
will respond to that. Then you’ll have that in writing to say, “You know, I did what this
instructor’s asked me to do.” So we’re gonna do a little
kind of quiz, if you will. Some questions are gonna
pop up on the page here and I just ask for you to answer those. We’re not grading these (laughs). Please just honestly answer
them as best you possibly can. What I’m going to do,
is just take a moment to let you do that and then speak about those specific questions. So first being, can I buy an essay online and submit it as work for my
own work for academic credit? Then is it okay to share my
essay with another student? So is it good to go ahead now, Andrew? – [Andrew] I think so, I’ve
got about 85% have answered, so let’s go ahead – Wonderful.
– And share what the actual answers should be. – Sure, sure. So, when we’re looking at, can I buy an essay online and submit that as my own academic credit, the answer to that is no. Instructors are looking to
hear about your knowledge on that specific topic and
so to purchase an essay from somebody else, is
providing that instructor with that individual’s knowledge. And it doesn’t benefit you,
because you haven’t shown the instructor what your knowledge is, but you also haven’t then taken the time to learn the material. The other thing that I’ll caution you on, is that there are a lot of services that offer to write essays for you, to complete tests for you, assignments. But I would be very
leery of these services, because you’re not dealing
with the highest of integrity, or ethical people. So we’ve had some students
who’ve come to the office to say, they utilized a service like this, because they were under
a high level of stress and thought it was their only option and in doing so, they
submitted an assignment that had been written by somebody else. That service then reached
out to them afterwards and started to ask for
significantly more money than they had originally paid, or else they were going to
report them to the university. Often times, in those cases, the students paid the additional funds and then that individual, the ghostwriter, as we call them, still reported them. So, it’s important to recognize that if you’re feeling stressed, like you’re not gonna meet a deadline, that you go and ask for an
extension from your instructor. That you reach out to them
to express how you’re feeling and your concerns that
you utilize the services that Jill talked to you about before through Student Success Centre and that you reach out
to your academic advisor, which Jennifer, who has yet
to speak with you today, will touch on shortly. Because these are the
individuals that can help you to avoid a really tricky situation that would end up with
you being in my office with a plagiarism charge, but also, potentially engaging
in activity with people that aren’t of the
highest level of quality. Then is it okay to share my
essay with another student? You probably already
heard me speak to this, it’s not. And so, if you have a friend
that’s reaching out to you and asking for your assistance in terms of looking at your assignment, my recommendation is that you decline to offer that essay, or test to them. It’s your academic work
and it’s best to protect that academic work, so that
you don’t end up with an issue down the road, where that
material has been accidentally, or intentionally used and
you have an instructor asking you to speak to you about a concern around academic dishonesty. Instead, why not share some resources that are available to those students, as an alternative to providing
them with the easy way out, which is your academic work. – Okay, great. Thanks Kim and I think
this, we do have a question that goes really nicely into what you were just talking about. So, “When, or if a student’s
work is being plagiarized “by another student, what
happens to the student “that has it copied from them?” – [Kim] Sure, so if you’ve
participated in that and shared that work with somebody else, enabling them to participate in that, then you would be required
to meet with the instructor, even if it’s an instructor for a course you took three years ago. It doesn’t matter. That instructor’s gonna
ask you what occurred and once they hear your
response, they’ll make a decision on whether they’re going
to charge you with aiding that other student. So the normal outcome for a first offence, under the policy is a
zero on the assignment. In a case like that, it
might require it to be sent to a hearing, with a faculty adjudicator, who would oversee that,
because we’re talking about a course that’s already concluded. So often times, we see a zero
on the assignment in question. There are other incidents
where we could see something, if it was more serious and
many students were involved, where suspension happened,
or something to that effect. – Okay, great. And one last question for you. “Can I still help my friend study?” – [Kim] Sure, I think there
are some great benefits in sitting down and studying, together. And there’s probably also some benefits of doing that individually, on your own. But there isn’t a problem sitting down and studying and preparing and prepping for an examination, with somebody else. If you’re talking about an assignment, or an essay, sitting down with a friend, might be problematic, as
you might be talking about the ideas about what you’re going to write and then essentially,
producing the same assignment. So what I would recommend
on something like that, if it’s not for testing, that you actually just
reach out to your instructor and ask, “Is it okay if
we prep and study together “for writing this actual assignment?” And your instructor will let you know if they have concerns with that. – Okay, great. Thanks very much, Kim. And so next, we’re going
to invite Jennifer back and she’s gonna talk to you all about a very important person that
you should be meeting with, your academic advisor. – Hey! Hello, everyone. Again, thank you for joining. I think the information
that’s been presented here, is so valuable and
especially when you’re new to the university. So definitely re-watch
some of this information and go over it, if you
kind of misunderstood. I think it’s fantastic, so. I wanted to start by just introducing myself
quickly, once more. I’m Jennifer Hamilton and
I’m an academic advisor, here at McMaster. I’m actually in the
faculty of engineering. So, I look after
engineering students here. If you’re not an engineering student, you will still have an academic advisor. Each faculty, whether it’s
science, social science, humanities, health science. We all have a team of academic advisors that help students. So, make sure that you,
if you haven’t already, you find out who your advisors are, so you know who to reach out to if you do need us for anything. And you probably will. So I just wanted to start by going over sort of what an academic advisor is, because the role’s a
little bit different than maybe what you experienced, maybe in a different institution, or coming from your high school education. So we’ve often been referred
to as guidance counselors and I don’t know, depending on what part of the world you’re
in, you may have access to someone who helps you navigate on your academics in high school. But academic advising is
a little bit different in university, just because we deal with so many other things in
regards to the academics. So, and I’m gonna go over some more of those in detail, very soon. So on a general scale,
we’re there as sort of a first point contact for
any of your academic goals that you’re trying to
achieve, which essentially, for most students is graduating. We’ll help you right up
until the end of that. It is our job to know what those
policies and procedures are and how to get you there. So generally speaking, anything
to do with your academics, your academic advisor is
gonna be there to help you. Next slide. So as I mentioned, I wanted
to go over a little bit more about some of the details of what the academic advisor rules are. And this is a short list. There’s a lot more things
that we can help you with, but these are sort of some of
the things that will come up, I think, right away for you. So I mentioned a little bit
about navigating university policies and procedures and there’s been a lot of discussion about that already, today. There’s a whole book and a website, called ‘The Undergraduate
Calendar’, and it lists all the general and academic procedures under the university. It’s quite a read (laughs) I think that maybe most students don’t, but your academic advisors
can help you navigate that. If you have a question about something in regarding a policy, or a
procedure at the university, definitely reach out to your advisor, for the most accurate information. We do read the academic calendar. We go over it very detailed. It is your source for
all your information, but sometimes it’s easier
to talk about these things person to person, so you
get a clearer understanding. Something that maybe you’ve all
been dealing with right now, is trying to get into your
courses and figuring out what your course requirements are. So each program is gonna have, you know, your list of course requirements. So your advisor can help you say, “Okay, these are the courses that you need “to take in the fall term. “These are the courses you need
to take in the winter term. “This is a course that
maybe you could take “in the summer term, if you
felt like you maybe wanted “to reduce your load a little bit.” So we can help you
navigate the whole degree and getting you to the end goal. Academic strategies and
any concerns you might have in your academics. We talked a little bit
about the transition from high school into university, or just coming from another
country to a new country and then starting this
thing called your degree. There’s a lot of changes
that are gonna be happening, so if you have a misstep,
or if you’re concerned about your academics, whatsoever, go to your academic advisor. I can’t stress it enough how
important it is to reach out before it’s too late. There’s things that we can do. There’s strategies we can
put in place to help you, if you’re having any issues whatsoever. So don’t be afraid. I talked a little bit about
the different faculties, the faculty of engineering,
the faculty of science, the faculty of social science, et cetera. We handle a lot of the
higher level documents in regards to your academics. So I’m gonna talk a little
bit more about your MSAFs, different exams and a special
request for consideration. So a lot of these types of forms, are handled by your faculty office. So it’s a little different
than your department office. So it’s good to get to
know sort of the difference of those two. Something else you’re
probably dealing with, which is kind of pertaining
to your course requirements, is enrolling in time tables. So your academic advisors, we’ve been doing a lot of this right now, we’re very, very busy,
trying to get students into all their courses. So if you’re having any
problems with getting into your required courses, you’re
running into a conflict, you’re getting all these strange errors, like a reserve cap error,
which is a popular one, reach out to your academic advisor, maybe there’s something
that we can do to help. Or at least explain what’s going on, so you have an understanding and you’re not completely frustrated. So we are there to help
you with any enrollment and time tabling issues you
might have, or questions. So you’ve had a bit of a taste, I know there’s been other webinars about some of the resources on campus. We again, as I mentioned, as
being a first point contact, what I sort of mean by that is, often times students don’t
know where to go on campus and so we encourage them to come into the academic advisor’s office as a first point of contact. And the reason being, is that
we can give you referrals to other things on campus. So if you’re ill, if you are struggling, if you just need a tutor. We have a huge slew of
resources on campus, academic and otherwise,
and we can kind of get you in the right place where you need to be, depending on what the situation is. I always like to mention this. I have a lot of students who maybe attended IB or done AP,
coming from high school, especially international students. Some faculties, including engineering, we will process some
transfer credits from those and it will be your academic
advisor who does that. Again, each faculty is gonna
run a little bit differently. My suggestion would be to reach out to your advisor via email first. Be sure to include your student number in all correspondence and
see what the process is for each faculty. But it is the faculty
office who would deal with those transfer credits. As I mentioned, we’re gonna be there to help you right through until
the graduation experience. So we’re the staff who go through make sure you’ve met all
your degree requirements and clear you for graduation. So definitely as that wonderful,
exciting time comes up, checking with your advisor to make sure all those
requirements are met, is gonna help you. So as I mentioned, we do do a lot more, but in the sense of time and the list, I didn’t want to go
through every single thing, but if you have any questions, I’m happy to go over any of those as well. Slide, yeah. So I wanted to just
mention a little bit about, often times I hear students
coming in who said, “You know, I didn’t reach out sooner, “because I was scared. “I didn’t want you to tell my parents, “or, I was scared what
the consequences of me “dealing with this.” I can’t stress enough
that your academic advisor and your academic advising offices are a private space. We can’t share any
information about your grades. Anything that you disclose
in our meetings, is private. We operate under a law in Canada, which means that we have to
keep that information private. Even if you’re under
the age of 18 years old, meaning if you were 17 and
coming to a university, we are not allowed to
disclose any information to your parent, without your consent. Immigration without your consent, anyone. So, that is a rule that
we have to abide by. So it’s a very safe and private space and therefore, it should be
welcoming for you to feel like you could come in and talk to us about any situation that arose. So this is a question
that comes up quite a bit and it’s kind of a scary thing, because if you’re new, you don’t know sort of
what the procedures are. So the question is, I
know you can all see it, what happens if I’m ill and I cannot attend school,
tests or a final exam? So, we have something called a McMaster Student Absence Form. And the MSAF, as you’ll get
to know, it’s short form, it’s an online form that
students can use at McMaster to move grades from one
weighting to another. The policy is a little bit confusing in just that it is sort of long. So I’m just gonna go over it
briefly, so you understand. So students are allowed
to have one MSAF per term. So that means, if you got sick on Monday and you couldn’t write a mid-term, then you could fill out a form online and your grades for that
mid-term would be moved to whatever the instructor
felt was necessary. It can only be worth less
than 25% of the grade. So if your mid-term was worth 27%, you’re not gonna be able
to use that online form. Furthermore, there’s a three day window. So if you got sick on a Monday and you submitted an MSAF on a Monday, that would cover you for
the Monday, the Sunday and the Saturday. If you felt like you were gonna
be sick Monday and Tuesday and you had a mid-term and a lab due, then you’d wanna be submitting
that MSAF on the Tuesday to cover the Tuesday and the Monday. So it’s a little bit confusing and there’s definitely
students who’ve made errors. Again, our academic
advising offices are here to kind of help you through the process. So let’s say in October, you fell ill and you used your online MSAF form and then in December, your final exam, you got sick again. And this happens, there’s lots of, there’s flus that go around,
there’s colds that happen and it is good to find out what the, not to write when you’re seriously ill. So then you would contact
your faculty office, when you are better and you could fill out what’s called the deferred exam request. Now, there’s no, deferring a final exam, is quite serious and you
wanna make sure that you have documentation for
that from your doctor. So we don’t just approve deferred exams, without you going to see a doctor. That would be the case too, if you’ve already used your first MSAF and you needed a second MSAF. You need to go see a doctor and we have wonderful doctors on campus that you’ll have access to. So, there are polices that
are there for you to use, but I do caution you to use them for if you really, really need to. It’s, I have seen students
get into a lot of trouble by MSAFing multiple amounts of work. As I briefly mentioned,
it’s the instructor who decides where the weighting goes. So if you MSAF the 25% mid-term, it’s the instructor who’s gonna decide, “Okay, I’m gonna put that
now 25% onto the final exam.” So that could make a 50%
exam worth a lot more. It’s just a lot of pressure. So use them carefully, but
they are there for you to use. That’s the same with the deferred exam. You don’t just defer your exam and then get to write the following week. There’s a deferred exam period
that happens much later. It’s usually two or three months later. Sometimes students forget material. So they’re there to help you,
but they should be a crutch. Always reach out to your academic advisor, or someone to make sure what
other strategies are in place, so that you can, you don’t
get yourself into trouble, by trying to catch up on work and things like that with the MSAFs. Just briefly, I wanted to go
over the grade point averages. McMaster uses a 12 point scale, which is a little different
than other institutions, even in Canada. A lot do use the same scale, but it might be something new to you. So it is posted up there. You’ll be given a letter grade. So and that letter grade will correspond with sort of an average
of equal percentage. So if you got a 76% in the course, you’d receive a B. We calculate it using the 8.0. So I didn’t go into a lot of detail about how to calculate it. It is a fairly simple way to calculate your grade point average. But you can find that information online, but what I do suggest is,
don’t just average out what the grade points are,
because your GPA will be off. So, it’s a very simple calculation and it is available online,
if anybody wants to Google it. – Okay.
– Okay, great. Thanks, Jennifer. So we do have a couple of questions that I think pertain to you. – [Jennifer] Okay. – So, “What are the
implications of taking, “let’s say, 24 units instead of 30 units, “or taking less units in their
first year of their program?” I know that’s dependent on the program, but if you maybe wanna just
generally kind of answer that. – [Jennifer] Yeah, for sure. So it definitely depends on program. Before you decided to reduce your load and take courses, I
would definitely talk to your academic advisor about it. Each program is different and sometimes, courses are offered in the summer. So if you decided to drop a course and take it in the summer,
you’d wanna make sure through your academic
advisor that that course is gonna be offered. You wouldn’t wanna be end
up missing a prerequisite for the following fall. So it’s very program specific. In most cases, students can do it, but again, before you do make any changes to your required courses,
great opportunity to sit down, talk to
your academic advisor, get to know them and find out what the implications of that are and maybe there’s a better route and they’re gonna know about that. So generally speaking,
go and have a sit down, make sure what you’re doing is on point. – Okay, great and just to add to that, again, you should always meet
with your academic advisor, but know that from an immigration
study permit perspective, there are requirements that
you have to be studying as a full time student. So just keep that in mind. I know that’s not what
this question was asking, but just be aware of that. So this is another question
that I’m not too sure who’s best to answer. But I’m gonna see if you can, Jennifer. So in terms of bringing a laptop, “Are there different requirements “based on different programs
that you’re aware of? “Do you know of any programs
that have specifications, “or should a student just buy any laptop? “Could they bring one from home? “Should they buy it here?” – [Jennifer] Yeah, it’s a great question. I get it a lot and I know
that engineering students, they do a lot of technical work and they’re quite concerned
about what they use. I never tell students to
use social media (laughs) as a form of information, but
for this particular question, I think it’s great to hear from students who are already in the program,
have done the course work. Unless it’s really
specified in the program that you need something specific and we don’t even do that in engineering, I would assume that most would work. But yeah, if you reached
out and asked the question to people who’ve already
maybe been in the program, they’re usually pretty good to say, “I had this, but then I ended
up going out and buying this.” Or, “I had this and you’ll be just fine.” There’s lots of resources
on campus as well, in the sense of computers. So if you have something
that you think will work and you get to campus
and it’s not good enough to run a software you need. Typically, the library’s labs and things are open for students
to have access to them. So anyway, so again, I’m
not technical whatsoever. I do have a little blurb from one of my software
engineering students, who said this is what you
need for software engineering, but other than that, I would say, ask some students who’ve kind
of been through the program. – Okay, great. And so I know that there
are other questions, but we do have a Q & A section. So we will get to those questions. So thanks very much, Jennifer. Okay, so very quickly, because
we are quite short on time. Jill and I are just gonna
sort of recap a little bit of some of the resources
that are available on campus. Over to you, Jill. – All right. So some of this information
will be a little bit reminiscent of what I’ve
shared already today. So as mentioned earlier,
the Student Success Center has a lot of different supports
available for students. It’s all to support your
success here at McMaster. We have academic coaching,
so that you can connect with a fellow McMaster
student, to receive guidance on time management, study strategies, or other academic concerns. You can also meet with a
professional staff member to talk about these issues. We also run what’s called the
English Conversation Program, which organizes one to one pairings, so that students can
practice speaking English in a very low stress, social environment. We also have a range of
academic skills workshops, ranging from test taking strategies, to writing essays. If you need content support,
you can connect with, we have a low cost tutoring service, that is supplied through the Undergrad Care Tutoring Network. While there’s free
writing support available through the Undergrad Writing
Center in Mills Library. If you have questions about
any of these supports, or would like to connect with an academic skills professional, you can always contact us via email at [email protected], or visit our website to learn
more about these programs. We’ve chosen to highlight
the Undergrad Writing Centre, in part because it’s a
really fantastic service that’s available to
all undergrad students, whether or not they’re
domestic or international. It’s free. You can attend multiple
sessions a semester, in order to receive one to one
support from a trained tutor. Tutors can’t fix, or edit,
or write your work for you, but they help you work
through your assignment to help you understand how you
are communicating your ideas and to also provide guidance
on how to make the most of your message and make it as
clear and direct as possible. They can also help identify if there are some recurring
grammatical errors that are appearing in your work and provide some strategies for you to self correct these on your own. So I really recommend that you connect with this service on campus. We get really great feedback from students who make use of the
Undergrad Writing Center. Just moving on to the next slide, something that is currently available to everyone around the
world, is our online program. It started this Tuesday,
July 2nd, and it will run until Friday, August 16th. It’s a free online program, that is available through the
link provided on the slide and it features content generated
by students for students and spotlights a wide range
of skills and strategies that will help you meet all of
your goals here at McMaster. It features different blogs and videos to help you connect
with your new community. So I recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t done so already. – Okay, great. Thanks, Jill. Another service that a lot of students use is what we call MODEL. So that’s the McMaster Office with the Development of
English Language learners. As you can understand, that’s
why we just call it MODEL, because that’s quite a long name. And so MODEL is a really,
really amazing resource that is available to you and it is free. So it’s free English language support. All of the workshops and content is actually developed and overseen by ESL certified instructors. So this is a really, really
great opportunity for you to practice your English, ask questions. They have workshops. They have drop in times, you
can meet somebody one on one and really, really recommend that, especially if English is
not your first language and maybe you feel that you
need some additional support, it’s really good from
week one, or week two, once you arrive and get settled, start utilizing these supports. So MODEL really is an excellent resource for you to connect with. We’re saying this one again, because it is so important. So as Jennifer talked about, please meet with your academic advisor. They’re a huge wealth of
information and support for you. I believe, yeah, so
Annette just in the chat, just posted a list that
will actually link you to your academic advisor based
on which program you’re in. So if you’re not too sure who it is and you do have questions over the summer, please click on that link. That’s also available on this screen and they will be able to
answer those questions for you. So to summarize today, we
really hope and encourage you to ask any and every type
of question that you have, whether it’s before you get on campus to whether it’s you’re here, to whether it’s a few weeks in and that can be asking a
classmate, an academic advisor, you can come and meet with me in the International Student Services, if you’ve got a buddy, you can ask them. Really anybody, it’s
just very, very important that you sort of take
that first step and say, “Hey, I’ve got a question.” And you’d be amazed with how
many supports and resources that we do have on campus. But it is really important, I
know it’s difficult sometimes, but to sort of take that first
step and ask that question. We would encourage you to use
all the supports and resources that are available to you. A lot of these supports are
free to you as a student, there’s no additional cost. So we really would
encourage you to reach out and connect with them. As we mentioned before, meet
with your academic advisor, even if you don’t necessarily
have specific questions about your program and even
if things are going well, just stop in and say hello,
make that connection. That’s especially important
to do in your first semester. We also really encourage in Canada, have a really healthy
school and life balance. So your academics of
course, are important, but it’s also important
to get involved, have fun, have the social life, have some you time, take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, all of those things that
will allow you to thrive and succeed while you are here. And of course, as Kim mentioned, please make sure you complete
work with academic integrity. We know that maybe this
is a new idea or concept, or maybe we say there’s consequences and you don’t actually think
there are consequences, but there are consequences
if you do cheat, or plagiarize, or do any of those things that Kim was talking about. So really I think the
most important thing is that you ask questions
and get clarification. It’s good to ask friends
too and other students, but sometimes the rumors that
we hear in our offices here are very imaginative and we’re not too sure
how they originated. So I would always recommend
that you reach out to a staff member on
campus, or a professor, or a TA to just get clarification. So thanks for everybody
who joined us today. If you can believe it, we only have one more
webinar that’s coming up and that one’s really exciting. So it’s gonna be a student panel Q & A. So it’s actually really
just going to be you as international students and we have senior international
students that are here, that will be available. You can ask them any question you want whether it’s about your academics, or about your favorite restaurants. Really anything and so I
would really encourage you to join us, either on July
17th, or on August 1st. So thanks to everybody
who joined us today. Thank you to Jennifer,
Jill, Kim, Annette, Anna, for helping facilitate this. We will stick around, because I know there
are a few more questions that are available. So I will just read those out and hopefully we can get those answered amongst all of us here. Okay. So one question, “Can
we download books online “instead of buying them?” So, maybe Kim, maybe if you wanna come on and talk about this, because
I’m not sure the direction that this question is. So you might be able to get
E-books, legally, no problem, that’s okay, but just you’re not able to download illegal PDFs, or, at my other previous institution, I once caught a student
photocopying a textbook in the hallway for a friend. So all of those things, are not okay, but if you wanted to get an
E-book, that would be okay. Kim, did you have anything to add to that? – Yeah, yeah as long as it’s a purchased from an actual legitimate
vendor, then that is acceptable. It’s really important to
connect with your instructor, to make sure that the
material that you’re getting is actually the correct version, that there isn’t a
reduction in that material, but you’re very correct
that copying a textbook from somebody else is not acceptable. Or buying it from somebody
who’s illegally selling that. That’s copyright infringement and so that material is protected. The people that have written it are looking to make a living off of that and so we have to make sure that we’re respecting those rules. Now there are options
to buy used textbooks. I think some of those
resources have been put up and are available to you to utilize, that can help you in terms
of kind of reducing cost. – Okay, great. This one, I think may be for Jennifer. So “How much do exams weigh per term?” – Again, it really depends on the program. When you first go to your first class, you’ll be given your course
outline, or your course syllabus and I know Andrew went over
most of what those are. So all the detailed
information about your course, will be in that document. Some instructors would hand it out to you, in the sense of a paper
form, but some just email it and it’s available on Avenue to Learn. So once those courses are
there, you can see them. It will outline exactly how
much your mid-terms are worth, how much your finals can
be worth, when they are, all the course material, the textbook and sorry, Andrew, I know
you went over some of this. So that’s really gonna be where you find out that
kind of information. It varies from course to course. Some courses, don’t
even have a final exam. You might have to write
an essay for your final. So every course is gonna be different, depending on what the requirements are. So that’s, again, it’s
very specific (laughs). Nothing sort of broad. Again, that’s where your
academic advisor can help you. – Okay, great. Thanks, Jennifer. Jennifer, I’m actually gonna ask you, so there is a question here in the Q & A that maybe if you wanted
to type out the response, because I think you had mentioned that you have a copy and paste about the software
engineering requirements. – Oh okay. – Are you able to do that? – Possibly. – Yeah, okay. So there is a question about, “What laptop would be needed
for software engineering?” – Oh, somebody wanted to know? (laughing)
– Yeah, yeah. – Okay.
– So if you wouldn’t mind, just going into the Q & A and maybe just if you had an answer. – Yeah, I might have to– – Or is it better for them to email you? – Yeah, I think so. Yeah, sorry about that. I’m very happy to share
with everyone here, but yeah, I would be more
than happy to email that out. I might have to just leave
to get into my email. It was dinging as we were
speaking and I didn’t want it coming through the mic. If you’re okay with
that and give me a sec, I can do that. – Yeah, or it looks like Nigel
was the student that asked. And Nigel, maybe if you
just wanna email Jennifer and she can then follow up with that. – Happy to do that, yeah. – That’d be great, perfect. Okay. I’ve got a question about tutoring. So, “Is there any available math tutoring “for students who have
difficulty in math?” Maybe Jill, if you wanted
to answer that one? – Sure. One of the things I would
first recommend checking out is the Math Help Centre. There’s also I believe, the Physics and Chemistry
Help Centre, as well. But, some faculties will have that sort of formalized extra support,
when it comes to tutoring. You could always also connect
with TAs and professors. But if you’re looking for peer tutoring, you can connect with a tutor through the Undergrad
Peer Tutoring Network. There is a fee associated with this, but it’s fairly affordable. The screening process
for prospective tutors is that they needed to have
received an A- or higher in the course that they are tutoring. So you would be connecting with someone who has gone through that
course and has done quite well. You would connect through
the online platform of the Undergrad Peer Tutoring Network. – Okay, great. I think we are down to our
final question for the day, which is, “When do we get our
final term exam schedules?” I actually don’t know
when those come out, so. Jennifer, do you have any
idea when that comes out? – It’s usually in, we don’t
have the specific document yet, we do get it. They haven’t posted anything for fall yet. It’s usually like mid-November. I say that kind of generally,
again, because yeah, sometimes, it does seem kind of late for a lot of students who
are wanting to travel home. But unfortunately, you do,
you cannot miss a final exam, because you need to travel home. So kind of keep that in mind. Do not book any flights, until you get that final exam schedule. It’s very important that, the university policy will not allow you to miss a final exam, due to travel. So it’s usually out in mid-November. Just hold off booking those flights, until you get it in your hands. – Okay, great. Well I think that is everything. So thanks very much, again, to
everybody who joined us today and to our panelists, our
behind the scenes folks. So I’m now gonna end it and
we’re all gonna disappear and wishing everybody has a great day. Thank you! – Bye! – Thanks, bye.