What to Expect & Your First Week

Soon you could be hearing:
Congratulations, you've been offered a Work-Study position!" 

Although this news will make you very excited, it will likely raise a series of new concerns: 

What do I need to bring with me?  What should I wear?  How will I get to know other people?  How can I look prepared?

The first step to making meaning and learning all that you possibly can from your opportunity begins with SETTING LEARNING OBJECTIVES for yourself, essentially the things that you want to achieve during your opportunity. 

Once you've set your learning goals, you are able to refine them into specific and measurable learning objectives. Clear learning objectives can also help to guide conversations with your academic advisors and/or research supervisor about your roles and responsibilities in your new opportunity.

To write your learning objectives, you need to determine what knowledge, tasks, or skills you want to enhance or acquire.  The learning objectives may be related to your specific opportunity, to your academics and research interests, or to your career development and/or personal goals. For example, you may set goals for learning about topics such as ethics or for learning new software. Or, you may want to set goals for developing work habits, employment skills, or technical expertise.

Before you write your learning objectives, think about the following questions in order to develop some general goals for yourself: 

* What are your expectations of your opportunity? 
* What do you think may be some challenges? 
* What knowledge and skills would you like to enhance or acquire?   

Once you have set some general goals for yourself, you can refine them into specific and measurable learning objectives by thinking about: 

* What is the task to be accomplished?
* How will I carry out the task?
* When will it be completed?
* How and by whom will it be evaluated?
* Finally, how will you know when you have achieved this objective? 

(Source: Page 244 of Zubizarreta, J., 2004. The Learning Portfolio: Reflective practice for improving student learning. Anker Publishing Company, Inc.) 

We recommend that you write SMART learning objectives which are: 
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic, and Time targeted