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MELD 1DD3 Academic Success

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. N/A N/A


Office: Chester New Hall 228/231

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23718

Office Hours: See below. Office: CNH 312

Course Objectives:

Office Hours (CNH 312):

Professor Esther Colliver (C01, C02 and C03):  Thursdays 9:30 - 10:20 and by appointment.

Professor Justin Rossier (C04): Mondays 12:30 -13:30 and by appointment.

Course Description:

This course covers a variety of aspects of the university system and strategies for dealing with challenges 

that may arise, such as note-taking, time management, and studying for exams.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Act appropriately to satisfy the expectations of professors, teaching assistants, and university staff
  • Apply strategies related to: time management, organization, completing assignments, and exam 
  • preparation
  • Apply strategies for solving problems and evaluating possible solutions
  • Employ critical thinking skills to evaluate all sources of information
  • Reflect on their learning and assess achievements and challenges
  • Create a learning portfolio to document your learning throughout the MELD program

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  1. Fava-Verde et al. (2009). Transferable academic skills kit course book. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing Ltd. *(also used in 1AA3 & 1BB3)

Method of Assessment:

Marking Scheme:

Final grades in the MELD Program will be assigned on a pass/fail basis.  Students are required to complete each of the following assignments and having a passing overall average to receive credit for the course.


  1. Attendance and class participation = 10 %
  3. Reflection Journals =  20 %
    • 10% from reflections for Mentors in Pebble
    • 10% from other reflections
  4. TASK exercises from modules = 30 %
  5. Learning Portfolio = 20 %
  6. MELD Passport = 10 %

MELD Term 2 Grading Scheme (IELTS/CEFR):

  • (<50 %) = 6/ B2.2
  • (50 %-70 %) = 6.5/ C1.1 [PASS]
  • (70%- 80 %) = 6.5/ C1.2
  • (80 %- 100 %) = 7/ C2.1

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Attendance and Late Submissions:

Regular attendance is required to successfully achieve course outcomes.  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete any work done in class. 


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

At certain points in the course it may make good sense to modify the schedule outlined below. The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly in class of any changes. 







Jan. 5-8/16

Academic Skills

Module 1, Unit 1 & 2, pp. 6-16



Jan. 11-15/16

Time Management & Organization

Module 1, Unit 3 & 4, pp. 17-27



Jan. 18-22/16

Student’s Expectations

Module 2, Unit 1 & 2, pp. 30-35

Reflection Journal (5 %)


Jan. 25-29/16

Universities’ Expectations

Module 2, Unit 3 & 4, pp. 36-43



Feb. 1-5/16

Strategies for Problems

Module 5, Unit 1 & 2, pp. 124-130



Feb. 8-12/16

Problem Solving & Evaluating Solutions

Module 5, Unit 3 & 4, pp. 131- 140; Unit 5 & 6, pp. 141-153

Reflection Journal (5 %)


Feb. 15-19/16 (Feb. 15: Family Day)





Feb. 22-26/16

Critical Thinking Skills

Module 6, Unit 1 & 2, pp. 156-165



Feb. 29-Mar. 4/16

Persuasive Language

Module 6, Unit 3 & 4, pp. 166-175

Reflection Journal (5 %)


Mar. 7-11/16


Module 6, Unit 5 & 6, pp. 176-187



Mar. 14-18/16

Exam Preparation

Module 12, Unit 1 & 2, pp. 376-387



Mar. 21-25/16 (Mar. 25: Good Friday)

Exam Techniques

Module 12, Unit 3 & 4, pp. 388-397

Reflection Journal (5 %)


Mar. 28- Apr. 1/16

Coping During Exams

Module 12, Unit 5 & 6, pp. 398-409

Learning Portfolio Sharing/sub-mission (20 %); MELD Passport due (10 %)


Apr. 4-8/16

Wrap up





Other Course Information:

Details will be posted regularly on Avenue to Learn and in PebblePad.