New skills program welcomes thousands of students

As almost all Brock University students settle into the routine of learning online, many have taken extra steps to ensure continued success.

More than 3,100 students, including more than 2,000 first-year students, have taken part in the new BU101 academic skills program led by A-Z Learning Services this fall.

Serving as a key part of Brock’s BU4U online orientation experiences and first-year supports for students transitioning to the University, BU101 is a free eight-hour, non-credit, asynchronous online academic skills program that aims to help students build their technology, scheduling, notetaking and studying skills, with additional lessons that focus on science, math, statistics and academic writing.

A-Z Manager Maggie Whitfield said the large number of participants has demonstrated how committed Brock students are to meeting and exceeding their educational goals in a new learning environment.

“We’re absolutely thrilled about the uptake of BU101,” she said. “We knew that students had reservations about the Fall Term, but we had no idea so many students would take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their skills before the term even started and continue to do so as it progressed.”

That enthusiasm and motivation is echoed by many of the students who have completed the program.

First-year Applied Linguistics student Kelsey Cere said BU101 helped to ease her nerves going into university.

“I was honestly a bit nervous to begin my studies, having had little previous guidance on how to tackle time-management, choose a note-taking style and use the Sakai platform for a predominantly online semester,” she said. “Thankfully, BU101 provided me with extensive resources, videos, modules and downloadable content that I will now use to assist in completing my work on time and with integrity.”

Cere was also thankful for the simplicity of having all of the resources in an easy-to-find location.

“To have all these components accessible in one spot on Sakai made it incredibly easy to follow and track my progress,” she said. “I will certainly be utilizing what I learned from BU101 during my future years here at Brock.”

First-year Consecutive Education student Alizeh Khan said the program was particularly useful for mature students who needed some extra practice using Sakai and learning how to submit and access assignments online.

“Having been out of school for a while and not knowing what the virtual climate would be like, this program helped me understand where to find important resources, submit assignments and find relevant material for classes,” she said. “It helped me navigate a new platform and be prepared before classes began. I am really grateful for that.”

Whitfield said the many participants have exceeded her team’s expectations, and that their passion for learning boded well for student success going forward.

“This initiative and openness to accept challenges speaks volumes about the calibre of our incoming class,” she said. “There’s a lot of fresh energy this year, and we can’t wait to work with these students again as they access additional A-Z resources.”

To learn more about BU101, visit the BU101 website.

Read more stories in: Education, Faculty & staff, News, People, Social Sciences
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,