As some of you might know, York has transitioned some faculties to a new kind of first year enrolment – YU START.
These select students did an online enrolment where they watched videos on their program requirements and completed quizzes to confirm their understanding. However, the best part of YU START is just around the corner.
Starting July 2nd, the Online Learning Communities will begin. These communities are hosted on YU START’s own platform this year and are divided by program. Each group contains 25 students and will be run by a volunteer facilitator who is specially trained upper year student in your program. Also available is a YU START leader who will act as a great resource to both the facilitator and the other members of the group.
Each week until September, the group will host themed activities. The modules take roughly an hour of your time, however you can participate in your group and ask questions as much as you like. Some activities will be done with your group, while others can be done alone. As a former YU START OLC volunteer I’m going to try my best to explain some of the amazing benefits of these groups and why you should try your best to participate!
#1 Get your questions answered.
If you have questions about your academics, or even student life, this group is a great place to start. While some of your peers might have some suggestions, the benefit of being able to ask a trained upper year student and receive a speedy response is amazing.
#2 Start making connections.
Starting university can be a scary experience, especially from a social perspective. Even if you are coming to York with some of your high school friends, you might be in different programs and not see them as often as you expected.
These online communities connect you with a small group of students who ARE in your program. You can swap timetables, post profiles, and maybe form some friendships before school even starts! This is also great for students who are shy or more introverted as it is a safe place to start communicating 🙂
#3 Get used to Moodle.
Moodle can be an intimidating site at first glance, but many professors use it to host lecture notes, accept and check assignments for plagiarism, host discussions, release grades, and even more.
Participating in your OLC will give you a ton of experience using Moodle so that when classes start you are comfortable with the interface and settings. This will help make your transition that much smoother.
#4 Have Easy Access on the Go!
The YU START OLC is accessible from computers, smartphones, and even tablets. This means you can participate and connect with your group even around all your summer fun!
# 5 Become an expert student.
In previous years, first year students were often confused by the enrolment process, and rightly so. Transitioning to university can be an overwhelming and confusing process which is why these OLC’s are so important. What you will learn over the 9 weeks is invaluable. You will be extremely well prepared for any challenges that come your way and you will know how and where to find resources ranging from academic advising, getting involved with clubs, keeping mentally healthy, and so much more.
Take it from me – use this experience as an opportunity and get the most out of it that you can.
Well that’s all, I hope that any YU START students reading this will commit and enjoy their OLC’s to the fullest. I hope all of you have a great first year at York University 🙂