Other Questions

Other questions you answered in the Pre-Course Survey are:

Q: What year are you in your studies?

Year 1 – starting in T1, 2016        68%
Year 1 – started in T2 or T3, 2015        17%
Year 2        11%
Year 3          3%
Year 4 or later           1%

 About two-thirds of people in our course are in their first term of their studies. There are so many adjustments to make in our early weeks of university; and especially for those people who have come from overseas to study with us.

And 85% of people are in their first year of studying, although some started in either T2 or T3 last year.

And there are a few people who are in their later years of study.

So for most people, our course is a great opportunity to get established in how you will study at university.

Q: Is English your first language?





Most people in our course have English as their first language. However, more than a quarter of people who completed the Pre-Course Survey have a language other than English as their first language.

With so many of us in our first term of studies at university, and with quite a few of us who do not have English as their first language, there will be lots of adjustments for quite a few people in our course: on how to study, and also how to communicate (and think and reflect) in English. 

Q: How many courses are you studying this term (including this course)?

Number of courses










5 or more


Among those who completed the Pre-Course Survey, 82% are studying four courses this term with 18% studying fewer courses.

So many of us have a full-time study load in our course, with quite a few also studying fewer courses than a full-time study load. There are many people working in our course, either full-time or part-time; and many others also have significant commitments caring for young children or elderly parents.

Q: How much time do you expect to spend each week studying for this course (including attending classes)?











In the Pre-Course Survey, 9% of people expect to spend 0-4 hours per week studying in our course. Also, 42% expect to spend 5-8 hours per week.

Based on education research in this area, it is likely about 20-25% of people in our course will be expecting to average about 0-4 hours per week studying in our course. This is because many people planning to spend very little time on their studies in our course will not have completed the Pre-Course Survey. Yet even based on those who completed the Pre-Course Survey, about 1 in 10 expect to spend very little time actually studying in our course.

Also, research shows that people in Pre-Course Surveys generally tend to expect they will spend more time studying in a course than they actually do spend.

But even based on those completing the Pre-Course Survey, over half of the people in our course expect to spend 0-8 hours per week on our course.

Our course, like all university courses in Australia, is designed to take about 150 hours of study to complete. Some people might start our course two weeks before term starts (when our Moodle site is open) and work through the 12 weeks of term and also the one week break. This is a total of 15 weeks. If you do this, and study for 10 hours per week, you will total 150 hours. There is no exam in our course, so our course finishes at the end of Week 12.

Others might start at the beginning of Week 1 and work through the 12 weeks of term. This is a total of 12 weeks. If you do this, and study for about 12.5 hours per week, you will total 150 hours.

Only some people in our course expect to spend this sort of time studying in our course. Clearly, many people do not expect to spend anywhere near 150 hours studying in our course this term.

‘Lack of time spent on task’ is a key reason for people to fail to learn properly when studying at university. If we only spend 40-60 hours studying in a single course, how much are we likely to actually learn? Rather, we are likely to spend most of our time coming to grips with the assessments and not have much time left over to read, think, discuss and reflect on the concepts and material we are studying; to make our own sense and understanding of what we are ‘learning’.

Q: How familiar with Excel (spreadsheet software) are you?

Never used Excel        8%
I have used Excel a bit, but not much      52%
I am quite comfortable using Excel      38%
I am an Excel ‘expert’        2%

Although most people have used Excel before, 60% of people have not used Excel very much before (or not at all).

You will use Excel throughout our course to complete the assignments. This will give you the opportunity to learn some introductory skills with Excel: how to enter data, format cells, link cells between worksheets, and use simple formulas (including some financial formulas, such as NPV and IRR).

It is critical to have strong IT skills, both in the workforce and in life. Being confident and capable with using Excel spreadsheets is an expected skill in most business contexts.

There were three more questions people answered in the Pre-Course Survey:

  • What are you most looking forward to in studying this course?
  • What do you hope to gain from doing this course?
  • What is your greatest fear in doing this course?

Your responses to these questions are very interesting. I will give you feedback on your responses to these three questions shortly.



18 March 2016