Prepare your life

Prepare your life

To get ready for the demands of online study you need to prepare your home and work life

Make a personal commitment

Studying online can be challenging, especially if you are returning to study after a long break, or studying online for the first time. You might occasionally be tempted to cut corners, or stop altogether. Make a commitment to your studies, and to doing everything as well as you can. Keep in mind why you enrolled and what you want to achieve; perhaps write it down, and display it in a prominent place as an ongoing reminder.

Make time

Your studies will take a significant amount of time, and many online students say that time management is one of their biggest challenges. Make sure that you have enough time, and set aside blocks each week to dedicate to your study. Use a calendar or a study planner, and highlight important dates, especially assessment due dates. If you are working, check whether you are eligible for study leave.

Set up your support network

It helps to have a support network, typically your family and friends. Talk to the people in your life about your commitment to your studies, and ask for their support. Share your study plan with them so that they can help you stick to it. Your fellow students can also be a good source of support, so connect with them once you start studying. If you are working, check whether your employer can provide a workplace mentor.

Set up your study space

Make sure that you have a comfortable study space, either at home, at the local library, in a cafe, or wherever you work the most effectively.

Set up your equipment

You will need some essential equipment:

  • A fast and reliable computer, with an up-to-date operating system
  • A fast and reliable internet connection
  • The latest version of a modern browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox)
  • A webcam (your computer might have one built-in)
  • A reliable way to store your files - either on your computer with a backup routine, or in the cloud (e.g. using Dropbox)
  • Any specific software that your courses require (they will tell you)