Exploring and shaping a broad learning environment
Carl Lewis, BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics, University of Glamorgan
When I went to university I went from being a big fish in a small pond to finding my way in this wider community. In college you tend to be taught by maybe three or four teachers, five tops – it’s very ‘this class’ or ‘that class’. Whereas at university it’s a much wider support structure – you’ve got your lectures, your tutorials, other people working on the course, you’ve got the union. You’re expected to be a lot more independent but you have a lot more support outside of the classroom as well.
At university it’s a much wider support structure… you’re expected to be a lot more independent but you have a lot more support outside of the classroom as well.
You definitely need to have a sense of independence. You can’t just expect everything to be handed to you, you’ve got to go out there and see what’s available. I’m really enjoying being part of the union, doing the Student Voice Representative scheme, having that experience. University isn’t just a stepping stone to get a job but somewhere where I can learn a lot.
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As a Student Voice Representative I coordinate feedback from individual course representatives and take it to faculty board meetings. Basically we find out what’s going on and raise issues that students are concerned about. I like the fact that you are helping other students and that my input is improving other student’s courses as well as my own. It should generally improve the standard of learning and overall satisfaction with the quality of the university. Getting involved makes you more confident about approaching academic staff – I have got more experience of how the university is run and it is great to see that your opinions are genuinely listened to.
Getting involved makes you more confident about approaching academic staff – I have got more experience of how the university is run and it is great to see that your opinions are genuinely listened to.
I am studying computer forensics, which is essentially finding evidence on computers that can end up being presented in court. But for the course you need a wide grounding in computing; networks, programming, how a computer works along with the forensic and security side of things. You need a decent understanding of maths too.
The fact that our tutors are involved in research is very important, especially in the world of computing because everything is moving so fast. Another good thing is that some of our forensics teachers work on proper cases. They work out in the real world so they can bring their experience back to us. It is a lot better to learn from someone who is actually doing something rather than someone who has just read about it.
The whole experience has definitely made me want to learn more so I can climb higher but I am also aware that when I leave it won’t be the end of me learning. It is not just the skills and knowledge that I’ve learnt during my course. It is about how to think and how to go on learning new things.