David's EXPERIENCE DURING His FIRST YEAR
A new beginning, a new environment and a new way of studying. Every first-year student has to get to grips with these things. I was one of the first Applied Mathematics students that had to learn how to work with the Twents Onderwijsmodel, or Twente Educational Model. During my first quartile, this model really helped me find my way among all the new things coming at me. Everything was planned for you, even your independent study time, so you always knew where you stood. Obviously, you were not strictly required to attend all the hours of self-study, but I chose to follow the timetable. It helped me to separate my study time from my free time. Every day, after half past five, I was free to go and do fun things for myself. Alongside this, I also had all the time I needed to learn how to live on my own – something you should not underestimate. The Twente Educational Model made this easier for me, by showing me clearly in the first quartile how much time I needed to dedicate to my studies. This helped me plan study time myself in the next quartiles.
Because many of my fellow students also chose to follow these scheduled hours of self-study, study groups started appearing. In the groups we tried to come up with solutions to problems that were sometime very abstract and difficult. The good thing about this was that we all helped each other get through. It was no luxury, as I really needed to get to grips with this new, more abstract way of doing mathematics. During the second quartile, the emphasis was on delivering good, mathematical evidence. Again, I found that working together is important, because someone else's critical view can really help you improve your explanation.
On top of all the teamwork related to classes, we work on a project in groups of four or five evert quartile. These projects are always related to the theory we are covering during that quartile. What I like about this is that you immediately see how mathematics can be applied. In the fourth quartile we worked on a project together with students doing the Bachelor’s programme in Applied Physics. I experienced what working together is like when you are with non-mathematicians. It was a positive experience; it is really important that you learn how to explain mathematics to a non-mathematician in an understandable way.
The Twents Onderwijsmodel, or Twente Educational Model, is clearly focused on helping students successfully make the transition from secondary school to university education and collaboration.