Why this page?
During the first intakes of IMSOGLO, we learned that the heterogeneous backgrounds of the students made it difficult for some to adjust to the programme during the first semester. It depends on your background what are your experiences and expectations with (i) teaching and learning styles, (ii) interaction with the profs, (iii) work load. Nothing new for some, a culture shock for others. Furthermore, it is good to know what are expected initial competences at the start of courses, and what are your responsibilities. Below we briefly address these issues.
Teaching and learning styles and interaction with profs
In Europe, teaching styles vary by prof and also by teaching form. Some teaching forms are much more interactive than others. Generally, profs and their assistants are open to questions during class hours and are willing to help afterwards as well, within the limits of their availability. The distance prof-student may be surprisingly modest for some of you. The motto is: Dare to Ask!
A lot of communication flows via the e-learning platforms, which is Ufora at UGent. Stay tuned to the Infosite and the individual course sites!
Learning styles vary by student, but as courses are taught in parallel (several courses scheduled in each week), it is advisable to follow up continuously and not wait for exam time to catch up.
The work load, expressed in hours, is more than the sum of the contact (class) hours per week, but also includes assignments, etc. While class hours are (should be) the same for all, hours spent on assignment vary per person. The figure gives an overview for the academic year 2020-2021 for the Physical Land Resources specialization in year 1 of the MSc, based on a inventory amongst the profs. It shows, that the sum of class+assignment hours is not constant but should not exceed 40-45 hours per week (also a matter of planning!).
Course sheets always indicate what expertise, competences or skills you need to successfully start a course. Normally, when you are admitted to IMSOGLO, this should be OK, but as students have varying backgrounds (BSc’s) and may have obtained this degree some years ago, a check on initial competences is worthwhile.
If such check is done by yourself before the start of the academic year, and you have some doubts, then the BePrep program offered by UGent may be just what you need to refresh or obtain these competences.
Here’s a summary of the initial competences:
- Dare to ask
- Stay tuned
- Plan your work
- See also Article 4 of the Student Agreement