Learning from experience -TEST


Welcome to Head into Brookes, an online course that is designed to help you get ready for studying at Oxford Brookes University, and give you the tools to make the most of the opportunities that will be available to you.  Throughout this course you will be guided by current students who will share the experiences they have had. Click on the video below to meet our students, and find out how they felt about their first few months at university.

What is clear from the video is that everyone starting university experiences a wide range of emotions. It is an exciting time but also a nervous time and it can take a while to settle into the rhythms of university life. This is fine and perfectly normal. Starting university is a big change and it will take a while for you to discover what the role of being a student at Brookes involves.

How do you ‘be’ a student?

That might sound like a strange question to ask. Surely you just turn up and see what happens! It is true that to get the most out of university you will want to be open to new experiences, but it is also the case that understanding a little bit about how university education works can take a lot of the stress out of your first few months at university. 

Already you will have imagined what university might be like and what might be expected of you, but you can check your understanding and get some new insights with the following myth-busting quiz.

Pro tip: Choose True or False and click Show Advice. Then, use the blue arrows below each question (bottom right) to show the next one. Don’t worry about your score for this activity; it’s just to check and develop your understanding.

Who is your teacher?

This picture illustrates how some people think education works at university – a lecturer stands at the front of the class and fills your head with knowledge and understanding and to be successful you just need to repeat what they say. However, university is not like that at all! Being a university student involves thinking for yourself, learning from the wide variety of things you read, experiences you have and people you meet. Your lecturers will introduce you to new and exciting ideas and in that sense the image does work. Those drops of knowledge and understanding might begin in lectures but your lecturer is not your only teacher. Sometimes your teacher is the person who wrote the article you are reading, sometimes it is another student on your course, a student support co-ordinator, or even the person you are chatting to in a queue for coffee. Always though, one of your key teachers is yourself. To really grow on your student journey, you will need to make time to reflect on the theories and ideas you discover and the experiences you have. Watch this video in which our students share experiences of how reflecting on their experiences has helped them develop.


If you want to learn from yourself through reflection you need:

  • The ability to ask yourself questions to make sense of the experiences you have
  • The ability to be honest about yourself
  • An openness to receiving feedback from others, both positive and negative
  • A willingness to try to see yourself as others see you

Being self-reflective is the way to make the best use of this course and, indeed your whole university experience. As Hall and Simeral (2015) put it:

The more reflective you are, the more effective you are.

Hall and Simeral (2015)