Study tips

Get some study tips

Studying online can be challenging. It’s good to get advice from experienced students about getting organised and staying motivated.

Have a plan

Plan how you will spend your time each week - when you will study, and when you will do everything else (work, family, recreation, etc.). Stick to your plan. Some students use a timer, to make sure they study for as long as planned.

  I set a goal and a reward for each of my study sessions, to keep me on-track and motivated. For example: ‘I’m not stopping until I finish writing the introduction, and then I’ll get up and have a coffee’; ‘I’ll buy some new shoes when I finish this first assignment’; ‘I’ll have a celebration dinner at the end of the course.’  

Use your support team

If you have trouble sticking to your plan, talk to your support team - your family, your friends, your fellow students, and your lecturers. Ask for their help.

 

 My friends would offer to look after my kids while I studied. At first I resisted, but then I started to take up their offers, each weekend for 2 hours. Having this quiet study time helped me enormously, especially when assessments were due. Don’t be afraid to use any help that is offered.  

Connect

Being an online student doesn’t mean having to be isolated. You have fellow students, many of whom will be keen to connect with you. Interact with them in your discussion forums, and get to know each other. This will enhance your learning experience.

 

 I formed an online study group with other students, to discuss things that I wasn’t clear about. These virtual coffee chats gave me a chance to test my understanding, and to improve it. We were really clear from the start about the purpose of our group, and that helped a lot.  

Ask questions

If you have questions about your course, ask your lecturers as soon as they arise. If you wait too long then you might quickly fall behind. Also, your lecturers can get very busy around assessment time, so it’s best to ask your questions sooner rather than later.

 

 Never ever be afraid to ask your online lecturer questions. I wasted valuable time heading down wrong tracks. But as soon as I asked my lecturer I was back on track.  

Look after yourself

You’ll study more effectively if you keep yourself healthy, both mentally and physically. So get plenty of social time, exercise, and sleep. And nature, if you can. These will all help.

 

 I used to think that the key to studying hard is to sit for hours on end at my desk. Now I realise the importance of getting up and doing some exercise and clearing my head. I study more effectively after I’ve been active and had some fresh air.