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Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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1 Reflecting back on the course

Figure 1 Reflecting

Reflecting on the course is the first aspect of this week.

The first week of this course started with a number of assumptions. As a way of seeing how far you have travelled over the last eight weeks, let’s have another look at these.

First assumption

The first assumption is that you are already thinking about higher, or university level, education. This seems a reasonable assumption – why else would you be looking at this course?

Second assumption

The second assumption is that you may be open minded (to put it positively) or undecided about what sort of subject you think would suit you best, that you would most enjoy.

Third assumption

The third assumption is about why you might be thinking about HE because it’s one that is widely shared. This widely shared assumption is that the main reason people go into HE is to have a better career.

Fourth assumption

This assumption is about why you’ve left it until now to think about university.

An assumption about this course

Our main assumption is that informed choice plays a big part in determining success, not least success in higher education.

Another assumption about the course

The final assumption was that learning needs to be active – so there are lots of activities in this course.

These assumptions were the starting points of this course, so this section aims to get you to capture your thoughts about these assumptions and how they have changed since you started the course.

Activity 1 Reflecting on the assumptions

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

This activity is a useful opportunity to think back over the changes that have occurred since you began the course. It also provides the basis to think about what your next steps might be.

Copy Table 1 below into your notebook then read through the assumptions above. Fill in the first column for how you feel about each assumption now. Then check back to your answers you made for the activities in Week 1 and add a second note to say how you think your thoughts have changed since you began the course.

Table 1 Reflecting on assumptions
AssumptionNowWhat's changed?
  1. My thoughts about HE
  1. What subjects would I most enjoy?
  1. Why do I want to go to university?
  1. Why now?
  1. How informed do I feel?
  1. Is active learning useful?


Your reflections on these six questions should provide you with a lot of ideas about what you have achieved, how far you have travelled, over quite a short period of time. Hopefully, this gives you a sense of the excitement of study at this level.