“What do I say after I say hello…?”

Whilst it is understood that the content herein will be obvious to tutors already experienced in offering support to students, it is felt that it will be of use to those new to tutoring. The content below does not relate to curricula choice, but as Personal Tutors with a pastoral role.  You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, you may wish to make a record of your meetings.  You can use this  pro forma (or in Word format).

September

This meeting to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs - details will vary per school

Level 1:
September Initial welcome, introduction to Graduate Attributes

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
  • A mutual introduction and setting the scene: ask them about themselves and tell them a little about you. Encourage them to relax, be friendly and easy going and ensure they know PTs are there to help them. Set atmosphere of assistance so they will be happy to come back!
  • Highlight that 2014-15 is the first cycle MyCurriculum being introduced to work alongside the PTS. Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).
  • Set expectations/parameters of what it means to be a student at Aberdeen University:
    1. Out of 16,000 applicants, they have been successful.
    2. Studies at university are much more student-led than they may be used to – there will be less people telling them what to do than they may have experienced to date, so they will have to manage workloads, deadlines, social life and finances themselves.
    3. There are support services available to them across the University if they need help with any matters and the PT is there to signpost this help.
    4. Much of a University career is about self-reflection and self-motivation.
    5. Their work ethic needs to remain high, and not be allowed to slip with new-found freedom.
  • General ‘housekeeping’ – check that students are happy and that they have considered:
    1. GP registration
    2. bank accounts
    3. accommodation
    4. attended academic fairs
    5. attended AUSA societies fairs
    6. the University week – when are their lectures, Weds afternoons are free for co-curricular activity
    7. free time should be used constructively
    8. any other salient points you might think of
  • Find out if they have missed anything. It is important not to overload them at this meeting; keep info brief.
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.

Introduction to Graduate Attributes

Before the meeting: the students could be asked to look through the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes (www.abdn.ac.uk/graduateattributes) and come prepared to talk about why they think we have them.

At the meeting:

  • Now that you have had time to look at the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, let’s discuss why we have them.
  • Do you have any questions about them?
  • Which skills do you think you might seek to develop during year 1 at University?
  • How can students reflect upon and develop them during their time at University?
  • What is the difference between the curriculum and the co-curriculum?
  • Where can students find resources to support them in recognising and developing these attributes?  ACHIEVE

Level 2:
September Initial welcome, Graduate Attributes and Co-curriculum 

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

A mutual introduction to any new tutees. Setting the scene: ask them about themselves and tell them a little about you. Encourage them to relax, be friendly and easy going and ensure they know PTs are there to help them. Set atmosphere of assistance so they will be happy to come back!

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is and what it is not.
  • Highlight that 2014-15 is the first cycle MyCurriculum being introduced to work alongside the PTS.  Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Reflect on their first year.
  • Reflect about what they wish they had known this time last year – [feed this back to the SPTF so that materials can be enhanced if needed for new students; similarly within the School].
  • Think about their career aspirations and consider whether they have changed. Does this impact their course choices?
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Use these guidance notes for discussions on co-curricular activities - what are the involved with; what else could they consider?
  • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
  • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc. Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support.
  • Have they checked their student portal – if anything is flagging up, then they can come and see their PT individually.
  • Using University email - user guide for managing email account.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Graduate Attributes

Suggested questions to explore with returning students:                                 

  • Which of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes seemed most relevant to you in your Year 1 curriculum and/or co-curriculum? Why? Can you give examples?
  • With a thought for the future, which of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes do you think you might seek to develop or enhance during Year 2 at the university?

Level 3:
September Initial welcome, Feedback and Co-curriculum

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
  • Highlight that 2014-15 is the first cycle MyCurriculum being introduced to work alongside the PTS. Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Reflect on the previous year.
  • This will be the final year for some students - how are they going to make the most of it?
    It will be the start of Honours for others – highlight that the 1st year of Honours can be reasonably unstructured with autonomous work, before finals in the subsequent year.
  • Ask them to think about learning strategies to cope with changes, and signpost SLS courses to support them.
  • Using University email - user guide for managing email account.
  • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
  • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc. Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support.
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
  • Talk about co-curricular activities - what are the involved with; what else could they consider?
  • Highlight internships – what they are, how they apply, when deadlines come up.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How would you identify and articulate your development of Graduate Attributes to potential placement/internship providers and employers?
  • How could you evidence or provide examples to support what you say? Remember that the Graduate Attributes will be developed and enhanced through both the curriculum and the co-curriculum.

Suggested activity:

  • Repeat the DIAMOND NINE exercise. Have your priorities changed since Year 1? If so, why?

Level 4: September Initial welcome, Graduate Attributes and Employability

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
  • Highlight that 2014-15 is the first cycle MyCurriculum being introduced to work alongside the PTS. Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Reflect on the previous year.
  • Using University email - user guide for managing email account.
  • This will be the final year for most students - how are they going to make the most of it?
  • Discuss deadlines they might need to know about in different aspects of this year. Deadlines for Carnegie Trust PhD and Nuffield Summer bursaries etc.
    NB:Application for PG students in Aberdeen is later than in other institutions, so don’t be caught out.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
  • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
  • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc. Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
  • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
  • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Employability Level 4 September

Download this resource for Level 4

Suggested Meeting Agenda

  • Remind students about the opportunity to discuss their options and job-hunting strategy, or lack of them, with a careers adviser.
  • Encourage students to search and apply for vacancies in the autumn, whether this is for work or further study.
  • Remind students that they can meet employers to find out more about what they offer at careers fairs and employer presentations.
  • Ensure students are aware that they can receive feedback and advice on their applications before they submit – the Careers Service has a 15 minute quick query service (bookable online) from 10.30-4:30pm every weekday with an extended service until 7.30pm on Tuesday in term-time.
  • Ensure students know that they will receive Enhanced Transcript as a supplement to their degree certificate, and encourage them to find out what their transcript will include, and if they are involved with any approved co-curricular activities that could be recorded on it. The Enhanced Transcript has impact on students’ employability as it functions as evidence to recruiters and helps students to identify their skills.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • What are your ideas about what you would like to do after you graduate? (Online career planning tools are available on the Careers Service website).
  • Have you signed up to receive email vacancy alerts from the Careers Service? (http://abdn.prospects.ac.uk/)
  • Which careers fairs or employer presentations are you planning to attend on-campus?
  • How do you plan to make use of the resources and support available to enable you to create an up-to-date and targeted CV, write effective applications and prepare for interviews?

See Appendix A below for Careers resource.


Level 5:
September Initial welcome, Graduate Attributes and Employability

(integrated Masters programmes or 5 year language programmes)

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
  • Highlight that 2014-15 is the first cycle MyCurriculum being introduced to work alongside the PTS. Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Reflect on the previous year.
  • This will be the final year for most students - how are they going to make the most of it?
  • Using University email - user guide for managing email account.
  • Discuss deadlines they might need to know about in different aspects of this year. Deadlines for Carnegie Trust PhD and Nuffield Summer bursaries etc.
    NB:Application for PG students in Aberdeen is later than in other institutions, so don’t be caught out.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
  • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
  • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc. Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs)

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
  • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
  • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Employability

Download this resource for Level 5

Suggested meeting agenda:

  • Remind students about the opportunity to discuss their options and job-hunting strategy, or lack of them, with a careers adviser.
  • Discuss the importance of work placements/study abroad to employers, and the importance of communicating this experience to recruiters.
  • Encourage students to search and apply for vacancies in the autumn, whether this is for work or further study.
  • Remind students that they can meet employers to find out more about what they offer at careers fairs and employer presentations.
  • Ensure students are aware that they can receive feedback and advice on their applications before they submit – the Careers Service has a 15 minute quick query service (bookable online) from 10.30-4:30pm every weekday with an extended service until 7.30pm on Tuesday in term-time.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • What did you enjoy most about your work placement/study abroad? How has the experience changed you?
  • What are your ideas about what you would like to do after you graduate? How will your work placement/study abroad experience help you with your career planning?
  • Have you signed up to receive email vacancy alerts from the Careers Service? (http://abdn.prospects.ac.uk/)
  • Which careers fairs or employer presentations are you planning to attend on-campus?
  • How do you plan to make use of the resources and support available to enable you to create an up-to-date and targeted CV, write effective applications and prepare for interviews?

Appendix A: Careers Service Provision 

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance: 
    including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About Us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Vacancies: 
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations: 
    A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service: 
    This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information: 
    The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources, including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the

MyAberdeen careers tab

 

November (Level 1 only)

Meeting for Level 1 tutees focused on feedback and exam preparation, understanding exam format and formalities.

Level 1: November meeting

Exam Preparation

Across their Level 1 curriculum, students will experience a range of different types of assessment. Some courses will conclude with a traditional end-of-course unseen exam; others will have 100% coursework assessment.  Students taking a 6th-century course, for example, will have 100% coursework assessment and no exam.  Some courses have exam exemption if students achieve a certain level of marks in their coursework. 

Most students, however, will have to take one or more exams in the December and May diets.  It may be helpful for Level 1 students to have an opportunity to discuss revising and preparing for exams, including what is involved in the exam process.  Some students worry more about the logistics of the exam process than the actual exams themselves. 

Exam revision:

Ideally, revision is a planned process!  It is generally not a good idea to leave revision until the last minute.  While some students do seem to thrive on last-minute 'cramming', it is widely accepted that for most students this is not the best way to approach an exam.

Potential discussion areas include: What does revision involve?  What works?  What might you try? What resources are there to help?

Some suggested resources for revision and exam techniques:

  • Course-specific information about the format of each exam should be given by the relevant course coordinator/team.
  • Past exam papers are available through the Exam Papers Database. These can guide students as to the type of exam questions to expect and can be used as timed practice questions before the exam. Students should check that the past papers are still a relevant example of the exam that they will be taking.
  • Revision/exam techniques sessions will be offered by courses in the Structured Revision Week.
  • ACHIEVE generic resources on Revision and Exam Skills for students include tips on planning and managing revision and exams.
  • Student Learning Service Revision and Exam Techniques Workshops will run during November-December 2014. All workshop places will be bookable in advance through the SLS website.

Some points for students to consider:

  • Which of their courses have exams?
  • How long is each exam?
  • What is the format of each? Examples: Will there be multiple-choice / short answer / essay questions? 
  • How many questions will they have to answer?
  • Will there be a choice of questions?
  • How will the exam be marked? Will there be equal weighting given to each answer?

Exams: the process

How does it work at Aberdeen?

  • Students receive their exam timetables through their Student Portal, which include the time, date and location of each exam. Students with special provisions/adjustments (extra time/use of computer/own room etc.) are informed of their particular arrangements. There is exam timetable information for students on the Infohub website:
  • Students are advised to arrive at the exam location in good time as they are normally admitted into the exam hall/room approximately 10 minutes before the start of the exam.
  • Students are not allowed to join the exam after the first 30 minutes.
  • Students will be given all necessary stationery (exam booklets/graph paper) but must bring their own pens and pencils.
  • Food is not allowed; bottled water can be taken into the exam room.
  • Mobile phones must be turned off and left with bags/coats in the designated place in the exam room. Phones cannot be used as clocks / calculators or dictionaries.
  • It is sometimes possible for students, for whom English is not their first language, to take a paper copy of a dictionary into an exam but they should check in advance that this is permitted. No electronic dictionaries may be used.
  • Students are not permitted to leave the exam room during the last 30 minutes of the exam.
  • Course results, which will appear as a single Common Grading Scale (CGS) grade for each course, will be issued to students through their student portal during February. The pass grade for all courses is D3.

How can a Personal Tutor include discussion of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes in PT meetings?

First Year - November meeting

Introducing the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes

Before the meeting: the students could be asked to look through the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes and come prepared to talk about why they think we have them.

At the meeting

  • Now that you have had time to look at the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, let’s discuss why we have them
  • Do you have any questions about them?
  • Which skills do you think you might seek to develop during year 1 at University?
  • How can students reflect upon and develop them during their time at university?
  • What is the difference between the curriculum and the co-curriculum?
  • Where can students find resources to support them in recognising and developing these attributes? ACHIEVE
January

LEVEL 1: or Direct Entry (DE) students - January meeting

Meeting focused on exam reflection

As this will have been the first diet of exams for this cohort of students, there may well be questions in their minds as to what happens next. At the time of your meeting, the students will not yet have received their course results. Some of the students may not have had any formal exams but instead will have had to submit course work for their final assessment(s).

Receiving and interpreting the results

  • All course results for the December diet of exams will be delivered via the student portal. 
  • For each of the courses they took, students will receive a final course grade, which will be expressed as a single grade on the Common Grading Scale (CGS), which will be issued to students through their student portal during February. 
  • They will need to understand that a final grade of D3 or above indicates a pass and they will see noted ‘A’ (for achieved). A final grade of E1 or below indicates that they have not passed the course and they will see noted ‘NA’ (not achieved).
  • The calculation of a final course grade will take into account all marks achieved in summative (the results count toward the final grade) assessments.  Each assessment will form a percentage of the final grade (see relevant Course Guide or the Undergraduate Online Course Catalogue for the percentage weighting of each assessed element).

What happens if a student does not pass a course?

  • If a student does not pass a course there will be a resit opportunity, during the resit period (which for AY2014-15 will be 17-31 July 2014) to try to complete the course.  The prescribed resit format for each course can be found in the relevant Course Guide or the Undergraduate Catalogue of Courses
  • If a student was unable to sit an exam due to notified illness, or other circumstances, there will not be a final course result. The opportunity to complete the course (in the prescribed format for that course) will be during the resit period in the summer.

Will there be feedback on exams?

The University policy on providing feedback on exams can be found in the Institutional Framework for the Provision of Feedback on Assessment (page 2):

Feedback on examinations should:

  1. Be provided as soon as possible after the exam diet.
  2. Where appropriate, be offered as generic feedback.
  3. Be available to individual students upon request.

 Feedback and feedback logs


Level 2: January Meeting

Focus on exam reflection and feedback. Any relevant school deadlines.

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again? This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc? These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers? The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (eg. Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?

 Feedback and feedback logs


Level 3: January meeting

Focus on exam reflection and feedback and any relevant school deadlines.

Resources for exam reflection

ALL STUDENTS

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again? This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.? These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers? The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/dbs/qgdbs007.pdf

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (eg. Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

HONOURS STUDENTS

  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?

ALL STUDENTS

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?


Level 4: January meeting - Exam Reflection and Employability

Aberdeen Graduate Attributes in practice - suggested questions to explore:

  • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
  • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
  • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Employability

Please download this resource for Level 4

Suggested Meeting Agenda

  • Remind students that a range of employers continue to visit the University in the second-half session, depending on their circumstances encourage your tutees to attend these employer events.
  • Ensure students are aware that they are welcome to continue using the Careers Service after they finish their studies at Aberdeen. 
  • Let students know about completing the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey and that they will be contacted six months after their graduation.
  • Discuss reference requests as the majority of students applying for work or further study will need to include at least one academic reference. Encourage students to gain permission from their academic referee before supplying their contact details on applications.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • At our September meeting, we discussed your plans for after graduation, how are your plans progressing?
  • How have you sought advice on making employment or further study applications from the Careers Service?
  • How will you use the Careers Service to help you prepare for interviews or assessment centres?
  • Have you thought about who will provide an academic reference as this is a usual requirement for graduate applications and postgraduate study?

See Appendix A below for Careers Service Provision 

Exam Reflection

Resources for exam reflection for all students

ALL STUDENTS

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again? This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.? These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers? The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/dbs/qgdbs007.pdf

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (e.g.: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

HONOURS STUDENTS

  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?

ALL STUDENTS

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?


Level 5: January meeting - Exam Reflection and Employability

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How do the challenges of final year dissertations/projects draw on your development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?
  • How do the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes relate to the qualities and competencies sought by employers or postgraduate course (academic or professional) recruitment teams?
  • What sort of evidence/examples will you be able to give to support your employment/course applications?

Resources on exam reflection for all students

Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again? This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc.? These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers?  The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/dbs/qgdbs007.pdf.

 Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy?  Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (e.g.: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)

HONOURS STUDENTS

  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?

ALL STUDENTS

Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?


Level 5: Employability

Download this Employability resource for Level 5 meetings.

Suggested Meeting Agenda

  • Remind students that a range of employers continue to visit the University in the second-half session, depending on their circumstances encourage your tutees to attend these employer events.
  • Ensure students are aware that they are welcome to continue using the Careers Service after they finish their studies at Aberdeen. 
  • Let students know about completing the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey and that they will be contacted six months after their graduation.
  • Discuss reference requests as the majority of students applying for work or further study will need to include at least one academic reference. Encourage students to gain permission from their academic referee before supplying their contact details on applications.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • At our September meeting, we discussed your plans for after graduation, how are your plans progressing?
  • How have you sought advice on making employment or further study applications from the Careers Service?
  • How will you use the Careers Service to help you prepare for interviews or assessment centres?
  • Have you thought about who will provide an academic reference as this is a usual requirement for graduate applications and postgraduate study?

See Appendix A below for Careers Service Provision 


Appendix A: Careers Service Provision

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance:
     including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About Us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Vacancies: 
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations: 
    A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service: 
    This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information: 
    The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources, including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the

MyAberdeen careers tab

 

March (Level 1-3 only)

All year levels have Exam Reflection element to their March meetings - you can download this relevant resource (pdf) which contains suggested meeting content for this topic.

You could start by asking students to complete the ISS/NSS student surveys which are advertised now - incentives may apply!

Scroll down for additional materials for this March diet of meetings:


Level 1: March Meeting

Exam reflection and co-curricular opportunities

Exam reflection materials can be found under Resources

Co-curriculum - download this Co-curriculum information for Level 1 tutees to form the basis of your discussions.

This meeting might include a recap and discussion of the students’ thoughts on and experience of the Graduate Attributes thus far.

Suggested activity:

  • DIAMOND NINE

This can be done as an individual exercise, or in pairs or small groups.

Explore the pack of 19 Aberdeen Graduate Attributes cards. Arrange your top NINE Aberdeen Graduate Attributes into a diamond hierarchy, in which the top line (only one card) is the most important, the second line (two cards) features the next most important, the third line (three cards) the next, and then decrease through two cards to the final one card to complete the diamond. Each can then discuss why and how decisions were made to select and prioritise the final DIAMOND NINE.

Download:

Download: Graduate Attribute cards

Co-curriculum - download this Co-curriculum information for Level 1 tutees to form the basis of your discussions.


Exam reflection and feedback resources

Level 2: March Meeting

Focus on assessments, honours entry and self-reflection of progress with Graduate Attributes

Suggested questions to explore:

  • How do you think you have progressed and developed during this academic year? 
  • What challenges have you faced or overcome?
  • Can you give examples to evidence this?

They could also be directed to the Bringing Graduate Attributes to Life website.


Level 3: Personal Tutor Meeting - Employability - March

Focus on aspects of employability for Level 3.

Suggested meeting agenda

  • Encourage students to use the employability timeline resource (available via the online site ACHIEVE) to map their engagement with career and personal development opportunities.
  • Encourage students to explore their career ideas by undertaking some work experience. Experiences from university, co-curricular activities or a part-time job can often help inform decisions about their future.
  • Remind students of the importance of starting their career planning early. If your tutees are keen to generate some careers ideas. Prospects Planner, an online career planning tool will help your tutees start thinking about options. Students need to register with an email address, registration is free. Encourage students to discuss their results with a Careers Adviser.
  • Remind students about the importance of participating in employability events (e.g. careers fairs, employer workshops etc) offered centrally through the Careers Service as well as those offered through their academic School(s) or taught courses.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • How have you made use of the Careers Service this year?
  • What careers or postgraduate options interest you? What do you know about the careers or postgraduate options that interest you? What ways can the Careers Service help with your career planning?
  • How can you complete your CV to enhance your employment or further study prospects? Who can help you with this?
  • What are your plans for the upcoming summer vacation? Have you managed to secure a work placement, internship or some form of work experience?

Suggested reminder question that could be part of this discussion:

  • In what ways could you identify and articulate your development of Graduate Attributes to potential placement/internship providers and employers?

Appendix A 

The Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to support students with career decisions and career planning. The Service is located on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building, and is available to all students at the University of Aberdeen and this is also extended to recent graduates and alumni. The Careers Service provision includes:

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance:
    including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Work Placements:
     There is a dedicated Work Placement Team that sources local and national paid internships, summer placements, year-long placements and co-ordinates the Aberdeen Internship Programme.
  • Vacancies: 
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations: 
    A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service:
     This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information: 
    The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the MyAberdeen careers tab.