If you’ve been at UTS for a while, you’ll know that we changed our learning calendar in 2016. Since then, refinements have been made in response to student and staff feedback. So yes, there have been changes, but there is also a clear official answer to the question: What can students do in Week 1? 

The Principles for Setting the Learning Calendar approved at Academic Board in June 2017 say: 

Activities in Week 1: The intent of Week 1 is to provide preparatory activities for students. Each faculty will determine its week 1 strategy. However, no summative assessment is allowed in week 1.

So faculties can decide on the mix of preparation activities, in and out of class, face-to-face and online. This could include activities that enable students to develop a sense of belonging, meet other students, gain an overview of the subject content, ask big questions in your subject area and start to explore, become excited about ideas, develop relevant learning skills, or do diagnostics to self-assess and gain feedback. Yes, timetabled classes are possible (although it’s a bit late to let students know). Just don’t give students summative assessment (ie assessment that counts towards subject marks or grades). 

Week 1 starts on March 12, so it’s not too late to develop new activities. Our Successful Student Transition guide has ideas that can help, even if you’re not teaching first year.

Before week 1 is important too

UTSOnline sites will become available to students on March 5, and subject outlines need to be available. It’s good practice to contact students with welcome messages, and to have relevant activities and resources on your site that help students to feel welcome, become interested in your subject, and get a clear sense of how to get started. Need help with ideas? Check out the LX.Lab event schedule or just come to a drop-in.

Feature image by: Anna Zhu

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