NorthTec puts a strong focus on student-centred and learning-centred values, and has embraced the concept of the Learning College which places learning first. Technology is used in the classroom and throughout campus to improve and expand student learning.
Approaches to Learning in New Zealand
Learning at the tertiary level in New Zealand may be different to what is expected in your home country. Part of the exciting challenge of studying in another country is learning how to learn in different ways to those you have experienced previously. New Zealand puts value on independence in learning. As part of your induction into your NorthTec programme, the Programme Manager and tutors will explain what is expected of you and how to approach your study programme. Teachers at NorthTec can be considered your “partners in learning”.
The Role of the Student at NorthTec
Students at NorthTec are expected to take full responsibility for attending classes, keeping up with their studies, doing reading of required materials and completing course requirements.
Students should attend all classes – each class will build on information required for assessment and project work. If you miss classes you are likely to miss important information required for success in your programme.
Students are expected to participate in discussions in class and to work in pairs or groups, as directed.
You are encouraged to ask and answer questions in class. When you are puzzled or unsure about something let your tutor know so they can clarify an idea or suggest further reading on a topic.
You may be invited to express your own opinion about something in class. There is no “right answer” when you are asked your opinion – this simply gives you an opportunity to express your own ideas.
The Role of the Teacher or Tutor at NorthTec
Tutors are just one of the resources you are expected to learn from. Tutors are not the only source of information - you are expected to research widely and synthesise ideas from a variety of sources, including course readings, wider reading, internet research, class discussion and project work.
Tutors will not always tell you how to complete a project or assignment, they often want you to work out solutions to problems and to apply what you are learning to real life situations and case studies. Some tutors may be happy to read a draft of an assignment before you submit it, but others may not — ask your tutor how to best receive feedback on your ideas, and ensure any request occurs well before the assignment due date.
Assessment and Examinations
Tertiary-level study in New Zealand usually requires a range of different forms of assessment throughout a programme of study. Some of the forms of assessment you may be required to complete are tests, oral presentations, group projects, reports, literature reviews, and final examinations. You will be given information about all assessments and due dates in your first class at the beginning of the semester. If you are unsure about the requirements of a particular assessment task, get this clarified by your tutor – the earlier the better!
Examinations or “exams” towards the end of your study programme are intended to test understanding of concepts and ideas presented during your study, not just facts and figures you have learnt. Students are expected to be able to use information and ideas they have been taught to answer a practical problem or question. An examination question might require you to apply a rule or principle that you have learnt during your study on a course in a practical way.
Plagiarism is defined as: Using and passing off another’s ideas or writings as one’s own.
Plagiarism is cheating and a form of intellectual theft. The aim of any written work submitted for assessment is to present one’s own arguments in one’s own words. Plagiarism includes:
Copying other people’s work without acknowledging the source of the work
Failure to acknowledge the source of ideas and/or opinions of others, e.g. ideas/opinions from texts, articles, or other students as well as those of Lecturers. Acknowledgement must be attributed to the source of the ideas/opinions in the form of a citation/reference
The use of exact words of another without quotation marks or indentation to indicate that the words are quoted
Copying, cutting and pasting from electronic or any other sources, such as websites.
Like all Tertiary institutions in NZ, NorthTec expects that all work submitted as part of assessment is original. Sentences and paragraphs copied from books or the Internet (or from the work of other students) without referencing the source is a form of cheating known as plagiarism. Plagiarism can easily be detected through the use of software programmes which are used by tutors as part of their assessment of your work.
To avoid plagiarism, do not copy sentences and paragraphs from books or the Internet without referencing the source. Try to paraphrase ideas you are incorporating into your own work, and show where the ideas came from, by referencing them appropriately. If you are uncertain about how to reference material that you have researched, talk to your tutors. Staff from Student Support can help you with referencing – seek their help early so any problems you have with referencing others’ work can be clarified from the beginning of your study.