Cristy Bartlett, University of Southern Queensland
Tyler Cawthray, University of Southern Queensland
Linda Clark, University of Southern Queensland
Copyright Year: 2021
Publisher: University of Southern Queensland
Conditions of Use
Academic Success is a wonderful resource for first year students entering college. Part A of the text opens with introducing students to college life and what some of those expectations will be. College is not like high school and students will... read more
Academic Success is a wonderful resource for first year students entering college. Part A of the text opens with introducing students to college life and what some of those expectations will be. College is not like high school and students will be faced with understanding new terminology, along with adjusting to a new normal – academic life on their own. College in itself can be a huge cultural shift for students. The lingo, navigating faculty expectations, learning to read and comprehend textbooks will all be new. Along with social adjustment, most students have little experience understanding financial aid, not to mention all of the emotional stress that goes into learning a new environment. Part B focuses on the foundations of learning – English, Math and Online learning. The part students really need to comprehend is Academic Integrity. In the world of online learning, technology has opened up students to a myriad of resources and they must learn to decifer through this mind field. Having a working understanding of the fundamental courses will help students solidify a strong foundation for future courses. Part C of this text is by far one of the most useful sections students will utilize. Learning about time management, securing a designated study space, learning to read a textbook along with taking effective notes and learning to think critically will be valuable assets for all students to acquire early on. Understanding this section and putting the skills to use will bode well for first year students. Part D, “Successful Assessment” really breaks down for students how professors will be grading them on assignments. Students are tasked with understanding how to read and understand a rubric, how to manage their time on assignments, and how to make sure they understand what is actually being asked of them in producing quality work, whether it’s written or an oral presentation. Finally, Part E focuses on the future; life after graduation. This section challenges students to stretch themselves and form professional relationships with their professors. Equally important is taking advantage of professional memberships, which often offer a lower price for college students to join. Students should also be focusing on securing internships. These opportunities often lead to full time employment after graduation. Finally, after graduation, students must weigh their options in going right to work or taking a gap year. All of these decisions must be weighed out carefully.
The content in this textbook is very easy to follow, read and understand. It is a user-friendly text for students.
Since COVID, we know that students are needing information that is immediately usable to their success as a student. This text is quite relevant and really guides students on what will be expected of them during their first year of college.
This book was very easy to read and understand. I did, however come across a few terms that might be foreign to our first-generation students, so perhaps having some key words located in the margins or at the end of each part of the text could be extremely helpful.
Success was the theme throughout the text. Most of the terminology was repeated multiple times so students could grasp an understanding of those terms.
I don’t think students will feel overwhelmed while reading this textbook. There seems to be a natural break within the parts where students have an opportunity to grasp one concept before moving to the next. Depending on the level of students within a class, it would be very easy for faculty members to pick and choose the information that their students are exposed to.
I really like the way the book is organized. It is very easy for students to follow as it relates to their progression through their first semester as a freshman.
I would have like the ability to toggle a little easier between certain parts of the online text. There were places where there were charts and graphs and sometimes I just had to scroll back to get to them. Other than that one issue, there were no other interface issues.
I found zero grammatical errors.
To me, being from a marginalized population, did not hinder me in one bit reading or comprehending this text. The authors were intentional in recognizing first generation students and that is a plus for me. Anyone could read this text and feel comfortable with the information.
I teach both high level and low-level students. I believe this textbook works for both types of students. It is easy to read and comprehend. The fact that it’s online is a plus because it gives me the option to pick and choose the content I feel will benefit students the most. This is a great resource for our students. All they need to do is apply what they have learned and they will have great success.
Academic Success is a comprehensive textbook for students in the first year of university, whether they are college age or nontraditional students. Part A covers a range of topics starting with arriving at school and learning where and how to make... read more
Academic Success is a comprehensive textbook for students in the first year of university, whether they are college age or nontraditional students. Part A covers a range of topics starting with arriving at school and learning where and how to make connections with others. Chapters in Part B cover the fundamentals of English, Mathematics, the on-line aspects of today’s college experience, and academic integrity. Part C is an extremely useful exploration of managing study habits – establishing habits that work, setting goals and priorities, managing the urge to procrastinate, setting up a space that will help a student want to study, and finally provides a useful discussion of reading, note taking, and thinking in college. Part D., “Successful Assessment”, delves into the various types of assignments and exams that are how professors evaluate whether students are learning what they are studying. Finally, Part E. shares information about how students can use their time in school to prepare for the day when they will have graduated and are ready to seek employment. On a proactive note, the text suggests that students think of themselves as “a professional in training” (220) instead of as students. There are some excellent suggestions in this section such as joining a professional organization at the lower student rate, and developing a checklist of skills, knowledge and activities that will help enhance a resume or interview experience.
The information provided in this text is clear, accurate and well written.
It is quite relevant – the students in my College Writing I class this semester indicated that they felt lost at first and wished that someone would provide them with information on how to study. This text fills that need. I wish I had been aware of it in September.
The writing is clear, readable, and easily understood.
The authors' voice and tone are consistent as the material is discussed.
The chapters in each section can be read/assigned in any order, even though the order in which they appear is quite sensible. Another plus is that a more advanced class such as one on writing a research paper could benefit from just the use of the chapters that cover working with information (research), documentation, summarizing, and paraphrasing. The chapters on English grammar can be made available for anyone who needs refresher information on that material.
The organization is logical and comprehensive.
It downloads easily and I had no problems viewing the pages.
I did not find any errors as I read through it.
It is from Australia, so there are a few minor language usage idioms, but nothing that makes the text incomprehensible, and I am pleased to see that there really was not anything that made me feel hesitant about using it in the USA – none of the language or terminology was so different as to present an obstacle.
I plan to use this next semester in my College Writing 2 classes. One of the most helpful things is that Academic Success can supplement another text more strongly focused on the rhetorical aspects of academic writing because the Open Textbook project means that students do not have to spend money to get more information.
I think this book is very thorough in it's review of challenges that first year students face as well as how they can overcome these barriers. I would find this topic extremely important in the student success class that I teach. It also covers a... read more
I think this book is very thorough in it's review of challenges that first year students face as well as how they can overcome these barriers. I would find this topic extremely important in the student success class that I teach. It also covers a chapter on online classes which is a skill that many students need to learn.
The information and concepts presented in the book are extremely accurate. They cite resources to clarify many of the important concepts they present thus extending credibility to the book.
I found the first chapter on fixed and growth mindset to be extremely relevant for example. One of many relevant chapters. It is an extremely important skill to teach students in a challenging environment. It also reviews many of the common barriers and challenges that students' face and how to overcome them. It also reviews common university terms, what they mean and why you need to know. Also extremely relevant topics for a first year student. I did not find the photographs in the book to be representative of a diverse student body.
The book was extremely clear and easy to read. Each chapter was it's own unit but all written with clarity.
The terminology and framework were consistent throughout the book.
I think the text is easily divisible into smaller reading sections. There are sections of the book that aren't relevant to my course that could be easily skipped and not take away from the course or the book.
This book was highly organized. The text is presented in a logical manner that was easy to follow.
There weren't any interface issues
The book was grammatically correct
This book is definitely written from an Australian perspective with many Australian references throughout the book. Many of the concepts are universal and would still apply.
Academic Success was a comprehensive text that would be a great resource for students to consult when going into higher education. read more
Academic Success was a comprehensive text that would be a great resource for students to consult when going into higher education.
Text contents included Acknowledgment of First Peoples, Accessibility disclaimer, and addressed English Language Foundations for higher education.
Content was relevant to current educational standards and included the technological aspects of attending school online and learning in a hybrid format.
The information delivered was pertinent and applicable. However, I believe that some of the ideas and language would be difficult for First-Generation students to grasp or fully understand. Adding a First-Generation glossary of terms and definitions could be a valuable addition to this text.
Formatting and text was consistent and the theme of "success" was well integrated into each section (parts I-V).
I found the text to be easy to read and follow. Each section had paragraph content, bullet points, graphs or charts/tables, visual aids and pictures, as well as a conclusion paragraph followed by a breakdown of the key points and then references.
The text literally starts with Part I: Successful Beginnings, then moves into building successful foundations, and how to remain successful while in school and how to carry that success into the future through gainful employment and alumni opportunities.
The text is free of significant interface issues.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
I enjoyed reviewing this text and would recommend it as a supplement tool/resource for students entering into higher education.
This is a great book to learn about how to succeed at the university. Every section has a picture at the top and then the key points. It uses a variety of graphs and pictures. I did not see any videos or glossaries. read more
This is a great book to learn about how to succeed at the university. Every section has a picture at the top and then the key points. It uses a variety of graphs and pictures. I did not see any videos or glossaries.
I feel the content was accurate and not biased.
It is relevant and up to date.
It is clear though I wasn't a fan of some of the "big" words used to describe aspects of college. I think that could scare students just learning about college.
Yes, it does a good job of being consistent throughout the chapters.
It is broken into small texts with bullets, pictures, and graphs. I do wish there was a video here and there.
It flows very well and makes sense.
I wasn't a fan of having no arrows on the pages. You had to go back to the content bar at the top.
It also didn't tell you what section was next
It is well written.
It has quotes from students with diverse backgrounds which I liked.
The book does an excellent job of covering a comprehensive overview of academic factors that impact student success during college. The book is well-researched and full of different topics that all apply to students, especially first-year... read more
The book does an excellent job of covering a comprehensive overview of academic factors that impact student success during college. The book is well-researched and full of different topics that all apply to students, especially first-year students. I would love to have seen more about belonging and thriving; however, this book still did a great job of identifying noncognitive factors that impact success.
This book is highly accurate and well-articulated.
At first glance, this book could easily be perceived as only addressing cognitive factors that impact academic success; however, that is not the case once one gets into the material presented. The book does a great job of pulling together a wide variety of elements, and writes in such a way that is accessible to both students and faculty. The strategies for success the authors identify are easily able to be implemented. I would suggest those interested in using this resource to make sure some elements align with their country's policies/laws/etc. as this is written to a specific national context.
The book is written clearly and concisely. Students will have an easy time reading this material.
The book is consistent in terminology and approach through the various chapters.
The framework is presented in an easily understood way. Faculty would have an easy time dividing the material into sections for class readings.
The book is organized clearly and aligns with the rhythm of a student's college journey.
The book has multiple ways to download or read the material, and is appears easily and clearly. It is accessible and does a great job of providing readers clear navigation throughout the book.
The book is free from grammatical errors.
The authors were intentional in their design to bring in multiple voices and experiences throughout the text.
I think this is a great resource for faculty who teach student success courses or first-year experience courses, and gives both students and faculty great tools to thrive during their college experience.
The search feature serves as a very nice index of the thorough content in this textbook. read more
The search feature serves as a very nice index of the thorough content in this textbook.
From my perspective, content is highly accurate in the field of learning strategies (from notetaking techniques, to goal setting and time management, pre-reading to critical reading, Bloom's Taxonomy and growth mindset). It's all there!
The content is highly relevant and up-to-date in the field of learning strategies (from notetaking techniques, to SMART goals, pre-reading to critical reading, Bloom's Taxonomy and growth mindset). It's all there!
Authors take a "come alongside you" approach to their writing. This is helpful, particularly since this is a textbook designed to be utilized for first-year university students. The authors are thoughtful in the way they explain how to "do" university successfully, but as importantly, why the strategies they recommend are useful. Context and meaning and interwoven from the introduction to the end of each chapter, highlighted by graphs and images as well.
The contents of the four chapters (and subchapters) flow quite well. There is an Introduction to begin - and a "Key Points" to end - each section.
Elaborating on the comments mentioned above, each chapter is broken down into sections (ex. Successful Foundations broken into EL Foundations and Working with Information). Subheadings help the reader break down text into smaller chunks to read. Aesthetically pleasing as well.
The contents of the four chapters (and subchapters) flow very well. Readers would be able to put into practice the key reading strategies shared in the book (pre-reading, skimming, scanning, detailed reading, and critical reading) because its organization is laid out nicely.
The online version is easy to navigate. I wish the search function, when used, still left the drawer on the left side of the screen where you could navigate quickly back to the chapter you were reading. There are informational graphics such as tables and flow charts throughout, and in most cases they are aesthetically pleasing.
This is a grammatically sound book.
Thank you for the acknowledgement of country statement at the beginning of this book. Authors also acknowledge that first-year students don't have to be traditional-aged (at one point referencing that students may be coming straight from secondary school, or others may be attending university after first entering the workforce). Images embedded in the chapters are thoughtful, in that they appear to represent diverse groups in terms of race and ethnicity.
As an instructor of a Learning Strategies course, I can say that this textbook has a great deal to offer students and instructors alike. It is relevant and up-to-date. It highlights the key transition issues for college students (thank you for discussing mental health issues in the book) and provides a clear roadmap that, if implemented, would help students create a collegiate environment conducive to their success. It is evident that the authors wanted to make this book as comprehensive, yet as reader-friendly as possible, for first-year students. I believe they have achieved that!
Table of Contents
- I. Part A: Successful Beginnings
- Adjusting to University
- Successful Connections
- II. Part B: Successful Foundations
- English Language Foundations
- Working with Information
- III. Part C: Successful Study Skills
- Goals and Priorities
- Combatting Procrastination
- Time Management
- Study Space
- IV. Part D: Successful Assessment
- Managing Assessment
- Writing Assignments
- Types of Assignments
- Preparing for Exams
- Types of Exams
About the Book
Academic Success is designed to help students on their university journey. It is divided into four parts, each reflecting different aspects of a student’s tertiary experience. Part A: Successful Beginnings addresses what it is like to be a new student at an Australian university. Part B: Successful Foundations introduces basic skills in English language, techniques for accessing and working with information, and understanding academic integrity. Part C: Successful Study Skills presents the everyday, core skills that successful students use while at university. Lastly, Part D: Successful Assessment meets head-on the challenges of tertiary assessments. This open book ultimately aids students across all disciplines in achieving academic success at university.
About the Contributors
Cristy Bartlett, University of Southern Queensland
Tyler Cawthray, University of Southern Queensland
Linda Clark, University of Southern Queensland