York University video on avoiding plagiarism & 9 tips to success

Professor Hernan Humana, an Associate Lecturer in the York University School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, presents a 12-minute YouTube video in a friendly but no-nonsense way, on how to succeed at York University. Of course, his 9 points (and related sub-points) are not York specific because they can be applied to how to succeed at any university — particularly in the first semester of first year.

What I especially liked about the video is how Humana tells it like it is. When he says it is a student’s choice whether they succeed or not, he is putting the responsibility where it belongs.

For those interested in the topic of plagiarism (see also the four videos at the top of this site) (given all the publicity in the last week or so about Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente), he refers to that issue (plagiarism) at the 5:34 mark.

The 9 tips are:

  1. Time management (where to be and when);
  2. Understanding your degree requirements; (how many courses needed and which are pre-requisites to others);
  3. Knowing and using study strategies;
  4. Using technology to learn (apart from cell phones);
  5. Utilizing library and other university resources (such as the career and special needs office staff);
  6. Knowing and taking care of yourself (exercising, eating well and doing what interests you — Joseph Campbell called it “following your bliss”;
  7. Becoming involved (asking questions, learning the environment and meeting new people);
  8. Engaging in university life in general (participating in tutorials, studying with other students); and
  9. Having fun ( in the sense of getting the most enjoyment out of learning).

What I found interesting is that I wrote about several of these topics in 1991 in my book, “Learning Strategies for Adults,” particularly Chapters 3 and 4 which were on time management and using study and notetaking strategies. The main difference between this video and my book was, of course, the huge development and expansion of technology between then and now.

Humana is right, of course, it is a matter of individual choice as to whether to succeed or not. If a student’s marks are good enough to get accepted into York or any other public university, he or she has what it takes to do what is necessary to succeed.

So, for all those students out there just starting their first year, pay attention to the tips in this video.