Online guide sets scene for studying and living in NZ

News News & events

06 Sep 2016

A new online guide, Effective learning in New Zealand: Study skills for international students, will help to prepare international students for studying at Ara – before they even arrive.

Students will become familiar with Ara life, New Zealand culture and strategies for succeeding in their studies in the new interactive resource hosted on Moodle, which was launched at Ara on 2 September at the City Campus, Christchurch.

A screen grab from the new interactive, self-paced, online guide for international students.

Through videos, activities, quizzes and interactive tips, the course will ease the transition of new international students into New Zealand study, enhance their study experience and appease anxiety about studying in a new country.

The course gives students an overall understanding of the New Zealand tertiary environment, tutor expectations, and also provides advice for study skills.

“One of the keys is three stage learning,” Learning Services Coordinator Kevin Brennan says. “Showing students what they should be reading in preparation for a class, how to get the most of a class – active listening and note taking, and how to revise material afterwards. Classroom participation, unfamiliar for some students, is also addressed.”

“A lot of International students are unfamiliar with independent and applied learning, so the course helps students by showing what is necessary when they study here.”

Learning advisors have worked with external consultants, Like-Minded, to design the course, and have adopted the best techniques of successful online courses.

“We’ve made it as interactive and interesting as possible. There are self-reflective activities, drag and drop activities, and discussion forums.”

The content was informed by feedback from current international students, who also contributed to the videos.

Although the course is designed principally for International students, much of the material is applicable to New Zealand students too.

“One of the great things about this course is that it is modular and we can take material and place it on different platforms.”

The content also covers a brief introduction to Māori culture and places to visit in the South Island, which are drawcards for students from 50 countries who currently attend the institute.