Dictum Society has put together a letter to address student concerns about the Block Mode. Please see letter below:
Dictum Society has been working closely with the University to clarify the details of block mode and the implementation of the latest policies. It is our understanding that students have raised many concerns regarding this implementation and to what extent this will impact them. Dictum Society wants to ensure the students of the College of Law and Justice that its concerns are prioritised and the University will have adequate extensions of support during this phase and beyond. The Victoria University Block Model is a learning style which emphasizes on collaboration and interaction. The model requires students to actively participate in their learning and reciprocate that through discussion with their peers. The structure of the seminars require the classrooms to be student centred rather than the traditional teacher centred environment.
The interactive seminars are consistent with peer to peer learning and therefore does not allow for a traditional lecture where students listen and take notes, rather it is intended that students collectively collaborate to enhance their learning experience. Dictum Society has acknowledged the students concerns and have requested for clarification. In regards to the discontinuation of lecture recordings, this method of learning requires facilitators to provide adequate study materials to be published on the VU collaborate site. Whilst there are no live recordings, there is and will be an extensive level of resources at the student’s disposal; such as, short video/audio modules that will discuss and explain certain topics, which will be accessible online.
Victoria University is moving towards a more sustainable approach and have recognised the need to be more environmentally conscious, hence the introduction of Electronic Exams. Electronic Exams will be conducted in the 11th session on campus and in class time. During the 3rd session, there will be a workshop to assist students in downloading the required software and performing a test session to ensure that devices are compatible. In the instance that a student does not have a reliable or compatible device, they are able to request to one. The university has invested in new devices so that students are not disadvantaged and can sit the E- exams with ease.
Victoria University prides itself on being a diverse university with a broad range of students, as such the university will work closely with students who require an Access Plan to ensure that their needs are accommodated. All students who require any adjustments to their studies are required to contact their teacher and accessibility advisor to organise this.
Special Consideration is an avenue that students can take when faced with unforeseen extenuating circumstances. The University will accommodate students with Special Exams in the Special Examination period if their application is successful and where appropriate. The special examination period will be held the Friday following the conclusion of the block period. Please ensure that your teacher is notified as soon as possible of your intention to make an application.
Further, if any student still has some concerns and require further clarification or assistance with their learning, please do not hesitate to contact their Academic, the college CUA or Dictum Society.
I work full time and I simply cannot attend all of the sessions and/or I am parent/guardian/carer and I cannot commit to all this face-to-face learning. Am I at a disadvantage?
While there are various sessions available for students to attend (8am, 11:30am, 2:30 pm and 6pm), we understand that sometimes it just doesn't fit into your schedule. What you will find different from previous years is that there are resources available on VU Collaborate. These resources are now peer reviewed, and you can be sure that there will be plenty of resources to keep up with your learning if you cannot attend a class. On top of that, in time, lecturers will be implementing short videos to enhance the students experience.
I learn better when I attend classes, but I cannot undertake full time studies due to the session times. What can I do?
The university has tried to ensure that all classes are offered at different times of the semester to try and cater to every single student. However, despite the University’s efforts, this may not suit everyone. Please contact the CUA (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can sit down with you one on one and create an accommodating timetable tailored to your individual schedule. There will also be classes running in winter and summer period as well.
I need some more assistance with my learning, I have always studied part time and I can’t manage to attend every class. It’s too overwhelming for me and I just can't work that way. How can I manage in Block Mode?
We understand that everyone learns differently, and what might work for some, won’t work for others. The Block Mode is student centered, so you are essentially in control of your own learning. There are more resources at your fingertips than ever before on VU Collaborate. Another great way to stay on top of things is to interact with your peers.
In conjunction with the University, Dictum Society will be introducing a new program that allows students to join study groups. You will be able to discuss and relate to students who are just like you and doing the same class in the same block. Registrations to join and create a study session with your peers will open 28/02.
I am a bit of a slow typer, and I am worried that I won’t be able to get the exam finished in time. What can I do?
Dictum Society is setting up weekly typing workshops to assist those students. There will be a registration link for you to set up a time with one of our committee members who will help you enhance your typing skills.
I am on an access plan, how can my learning still be tailored to me?
If you are on an access plan, please alert your teacher and Accessibility Liaison Officer of this. They can ensure that your learning is tailored to you. As you have probably already heard, there are no supplementary exams. However, there is a special exam period which is held on the Friday following the block.
I don't have a laptop/My laptop will not hold charge for 3 hours. What can I do? Can I even sit the exam?!
E-exams are certainly different to what the university has done in the past, however you can be assured that they will still cater to everyone. The university has just purchased 40 brand new laptops for students in that situation. In session 3, when you are required to download this program, let your teacher know that you are having issues with your laptop, or perhaps lack of laptop.
Will there be enough electricity power points in the exam room for me to charge my computer?
The university is working closely with facilities to ensure that power is available in the rooms. If you laptop is low on charge, there will be a portable power pack charging facility for you to access.
I cannot attend session 3 to install the software needed, does that mean I cannot sit the exam?
The University understands that students have other commitments which may sometimes prevent them for attending certain sessions, therefore students can contact IT services (9919 2777) assist them in installing the software and running a test session. In addition, the University will provide powerpoint instructions to assist students in downloading this software and a test run.
I can only attend evening sessions, how do I find out what is being offered?
VU has created a list to ensure that it is super easy for you to see exactly what classes that you can attend at 6PM. Please find the list in the PDF Document.
Dictum Society hopes that we have answered all of your questions! However if you have any other questions please email the Course Unit Advisor email@example.com or Hannah Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Naz Besavend email@example.com