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First Year UT Students: Home

Information for students in their first year.

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Welcome

This guide serves as a complementary reference resource for your first year at the University of Tampa. It includes additional information you may find useful as you go through the course.

There is research on almost everything, including how to be a successful student. The following electronic book may be of interest. To read this book you must first be logged into Esearch (your Spartans domain username and password).

Why is there a First Year Experience class?

What is First Year Experience? Why do we have to take these classes?


The First Year Experience classes (Baccalaureate Experience) are designed to orient students to the (sometimes odd) world of academia. We hear the range of comments about these classes (everything from "Useless!" to "Couldn't have made it through Freshman year without it.") But, more importantly, we know the research. Research shows that first year experience classes help substantially with retention and persistence.

The University's mission is to provide higher education. We cannot provide this education if students are dropping out. There are some perfectly good reasons for students to withdraw from their college classes, but we strive to do what we can to prevent student dropout where dropout is preventable.

Higher retention rates also benefit The University of Tampa. A higher retention/persistence rate means a more efficient use of funds. The better we manage our money, the more resources we have to improve The University.

Read this book

If you want to read an early and influential work on student attrition you can check the above book out of the library.

Atomic Learning

How to get help

Students experiencing technical difficulties (i.e. atomic learning is not working properly) should email their concern to atomic.learning@ut.edu.

What is Atomic Learning?

Atomic Learning is a web-based, on-demand tool educational tool designed to teach software and writing competencies through short, targeted video tutorials. Atomic Learning offers an extensive database of tutorials on wide variety of computer applications (e.g. MS Office, Final Cut, SPSS) for both Mac and PC platforms.

The Atomic Learning module can be found as a separate content area button in all Baccalaureate courses in Blackboard. For the purpose of the Baccalaureate courses, students will meet the training requirements for Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and by:

·         logging into Blackboard (https://ut.blackboard.com/webapps/login/),

·         accessing their courses,

·         viewing the tutorials assigned,

·         completing the quizzes,

·         and earning a grade of 85% or better on each assessment (in either the Mac or PC platform).

Assignments and Test will open the Sunday prior to the due date and close at Midnight EST on the night due. Students experiencing technical difficulties (i.e. atomic learning is not working properly) should email their concern to atomic.learning@ut.edu.

Atomic Learning is also available from the front page of the Macdonald-Kelce Library. The log-in process is slightly different than accessing the rest of our databases, but still simple. Instead of logging into Esearch first, and then following the link, follow the link and then log in using your Spartan Domain user ID and password (just as you would if logging into Esearch).

Some Recommendations

You will probably be expected to show some familiarity with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Here are some other Atomic Learning tutorials you might find useful.

Podcasting Workshop - An Introduction to Audio Podcasting

SPSS 22 - Basics Training

Successful Time Management Training

 

Beyond Atomic Learning

One of the best skills you can take from a university education is learning how to be a life-long learner. While at The University you have resources like Atomic Learning. Once you leave you may want to check out some of the following learning tools.


Lynda - You have to subscribe to Lynda to use its resources. It is a resource similar to Atomic Learning containing thousands of video courses in software, creative and business skills, and used by many businesses.

Khan Academy - Free educational resources with training videos covering a wide array of topics.

MOOCS - Massively Open Online Courses. Take a college course online (though typically not for credit). You can find thousands of MOOCs at OpenCulture.

Time Management

Resources

It's not really time we are managing. It doesn't really stop, slow, reverse, or speed up no how much we cajole or threaten it. What we mean by time management is learning to manage and organize our tasks so we accomplish them in a timely manner. This is useful when working (or going to school) in an environment ruled by schedules and deadlines. A sensible method of planning and organizing your projects can greatly reduce stress and anxiety around due dates and deadlines.

Learn more about time management in the following books available in the library.

Effective Studying

How to Study

This 5-part video series from Professor Stephen Chew at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama provides some good advice on effective studying. In 2011 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named Dr. Chew U.S. Professor of the Year.









Critical Thinking

A Lifetime Habit

Learning to think critically is a habit you develop over a lifetime. Critical thinking is thinking that does not contradict itself and relies, when possible, on evidence.

One of the reasons critical thinking takes a lifetime to develop is because the critical thinker is always rooting out unwarranted assumptions, and incorrect speculations, in her or his own thought.

One of my favorite introductions to the concept of critical thinking is the 'weasel word.'

'Weasel words' are a rhetorical device meant to catch the uncritical thinker unawares. It is a common persuasive device, but relatively ineffectual once you know it exists.

Wikipedia includes a nice list of examples in its entry on weasel words. The bottom line here is to learn to be specific and to point to the research/evidence that backs up your argument. When someone is trying to persuade you while using weasel words ask them to elaborate, to be more specific, or to show you exactly where they got their information.

Examples
  • "A growing body of evidence..." (Where is the raw data for your review?)
  • "People say..." (Which people? How do they know?)
  • "It has been claimed that..." (By whom, where, when?)
  • "Critics claim..." (Which critics?)
  • "Clearly..." (As if the premise is undeniably true)
  • "It stands to reason that..." (Again, as if the premise is undeniably true—see "Clearly" above)
  • "Questions have been raised..." (Implies a fatal flaw has been discovered)
  • "I heard that..." (Who told you? Is the source reliable?)
  • "There is evidence that..." (What evidence? Is the source reliable?)
  • "Experience shows that..." (Whose experience? What was the experience? How does it demonstrate this?)
  • "It has been mentioned that..." (Who are these mentioners? Can they be trusted?)
  • "Popular wisdom has it that..." (Is popular wisdom a test of truth?)
  • "Commonsense has it/insists that..." (The common sense of whom? Who says so? See "Popular wisdom" above, and "It is known that" below)
  • "It is known that..." (By whom and by what method is it known?)
  • "Officially known as..." (By whom, where, when—who says so?)
  • "It turns out that..." (How does it turn out?¹)
  • "It was noted that..." (By whom, why, when?)
  • "Nobody else's product is better than ours." (What is the evidence of this?)
  • "Studies show..." (what studies?)
  • "A recent study at a leading university..." (How recent is your study? At what university?)
  • "(The phenomenon) came to be seen as..." (by whom?)
  • "Some argue..." (who?)
  • "Up to sixty percent..." (so, 59%? 50%? 10%?)
  • "More than seventy percent..." (How many more? 70.01%? 80%? 90%?)
  • "The vast majority..." (All, more than half—how many?)

¹It is important that real examples do not in fact explain, at a later stage of the argument, what exactly is meant by "it turns out that"; the whole needs to be looked at before it can be decided that it is a weasel term.

Books on Critical Thinking

Campus Recycling

Recycling on Campus

UT Sustainability page

Campus recyclying flyer

Campus Recycling
Resources
As members of the UT community and responsible global citizens, it is up to us to make UT a sustainable university. Some of the main things that we can do are to take advantage of recycling resources throughout the campus and pay careful attention to the amounts of resources that we use in our daily lives. The following are some simple ways that we can all make a difference.

What You Can Do
General Recycling
- Collect all of your recyclable items and discard them in any of the three single-stream recycling
containers, which are located behind Res-Com, next to McKay Hall, and in the northwest corner of
the Cass Building parking lot.
- All members of the university community are responsible for transporting items from their
personal recycling bins (dorm/office) to any of the main recycling locations on campus.

Paper Recycling
- Paper recycling is available in the Cass Building, Jaeb Computer Center, Macdonald Kelce Library, Plant Hall, Riverside Center, Sykes College of Business, and the Vaughn Center.

Bottle & Can Recycling
- 26 bottle & can recycling containers are now located in high-traffic areas around the campus. Bottles & cans can also be recycled and redeemed for consumer items via the Pepsi Dream Machines located in the Vaughn Center Courtyard and next to the Aquatic Center.

Battery Recycling
- Used batteries can be brought to Facilities Management in the Thompson Building.

Printer & Toner Cartridge Recycling
- Used printer & toner cartridges can be brought to the Jaeb Computer Center.

Recycle Responsibly
- Do not throw garbage or non-recyclable materials into recycling containers.

Monitor Resource Use
- Reduce printing.
- Print double-sided whenever possible and remind others to do the same.
- Print PowerPoint presentations with multiple (3 - 6) slides per page.
- Turn off electronics when they are not in use.

Get Active
- Join a student environmental organization such as the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) or Environmental Protection Coalition (EPC).

For more information about SEAC contact Elizabeth Gallagher at elizabeth.gallagher@spartans.ut.edu.

For more information about EPC contact Katie Robertson at katie.robertson@spartans.ut.edu.

The Difference It Will Make
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 463 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, & enough energy to heat an average home for 6 months.
- Recycling just 2 aluminum cans will save more energy than most people around the world use in a day.
- Reducing the amount of waste that you generate will slow our dependence on creating new landfills. Landfills are the leading source of human-produced methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more capable of trapping atmospheric heat than carbon dioxide.
- Although Florida may seem like a wet state, with over 1,000 people moving here every day, the pressure on our aquifers is intensifying rapidly. Reducing water consumption will conserve this critical resource.

For More Information
- Visit http://www.ut.edu/sustainability

Library Books of Interest

Interested in recycling, the green movement, sustainability, or pollution? Check out some of these items from the library.

Library Handouts

Handouts

Read over the following handouts. These will help you get started using the library resources, and teach a few basic information literacy skills.

Introduction to Research Video

Introductory Video

Watch this introductory video to the library to get started.