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Securing good marks

A guide for international students and their tutors

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Language:  English
A text aimed at advice and guidance for the international student to secure good grades and the tutor to develop better learning materials for international students.
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This is a book written for two audiences - the international student who comes to the UK for degree studies and wants to get a good grade but it is also aimed at tutors working with international students. We have used our extensive experience of teaching in universities in the UK, our experiences of working overseas and the comments from international students, to inform this book. This is not an academic skills book but we consider more important questions for the international student of ‘Why are some assessment strategies used in my course or study, more difficult to undertake to pass and secure good grades than others?’ or from the tutors of ‘How can I increase engagement with my classes from international students?’

Our belief is that the more anyone understands about their own approaches to learning and teaching, and also the context in which they are studying then the easier they will find it too be successful.

  1. Introduction and Learning Context
    1. The International student in the UK
    2. Do you know why you want to study for a degree in the UK?
    3. How people learn
  2. Preparing for, travelling to and basic study questions about the UK
    1. Pre-arrival and Travelling to the UK
    2. Helping you settle in the UK
    3. Your typical first two weeks at University
    4. Studying structure and information
    5. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
    6. Using your University email address
    7. Progressing your studies
    8. How UK Universities test your learning and understanding
    9. Feedback and good practice
    10. Word Count
    11. Grades and how your degree is classified
    12. The structure of UK degrees
    13. Managing your studies
    14. Managing your language
    15. Dealing with problems in your studies
  3. How you learn
    1. Structuring the learning process
    2. Prioritizing the evidence of originality in international student achievement over achievement in mastering academic conventions
    3. Acculturation of the International Student
    4. Addressing barriers to learning
  4. How you learn and are assessed
    1. The UK Higher Education Learning Environment
    2. Will you be graded fairly?
    3. Assessment criteria and norm / achievement grading–your difficulties
    4. What you need to know about how you will be graded
  5. Managing Assessment – identifying actions to improve your grades
    1. Your entry to UK HE
    2. Developing a strategy for achieving and sustaining high grades
    3. Joining your programme as a Foundation or First Year student
    4. Joining your programme as an Advanced Undergraduate student (Years 2 and 3)
    5. Joining your programme as an International Postgraduate Student
    6. Forms of assessment and International Student difficulties
  6. Conclusion – studying in the UK?
    1. What have we learned?
    2. Action Plan for the International Student
    3. Action Plan for the International Student Tutor
About the Author

Ian Pownall