We asked current Swinburne Online students on Facebook to give their advice for those starting online study for the first time. The results are nothing short of awesome:
Amanda: PLAN! Get yourself a monthly planner that lives on your desk and allocate study time, assignments, exam due dates, social life and gym time. Big picture planning helps you stay in control.
Annette: Do the weekly activities!
Sharon: Participate in Collaborate sessions for each assignment. They make the assignments so much clearer and they also mention helpful tips along the way that aren't written anywhere.
Jeff: Don't get caught up on your marks. Copy and read the feedback from your eLearning Advisors (eLAs) they are your topic compass. Participate actively in the Blackboard discussions. And remember: the only silly question is the one left unasked.
Fiona: Be organised. Be familiar with your assessments whilst doing the readings. Start assessments early and check against assessment criteria before submitting. Do the orientation unit to ensure you are familiar with the technology and have everything loaded onto your devices in preparation. Collaborate as much as possible, attend collaborate sessions, use discussion boards and social media to bounce ideas of other students. Strive for a good work-life-study balance. Enjoy it!
Andrea: Use a tablet for your etexts and use with a reliable, well maintained PC, Mac or laptop. Oh, and a very reliable internet connection. Learn how to reference. And then breathe. Like anything new it takes some getting used to.
Melissa: Install the latest Java software on your browser before you use Collaborate.
Valeria: Just do your best and don't beat yourself up. Be organised, print everything, read everything, take hand notes on an A4 notebook and classify everything by week. Everything you do now will help with the exam. I cannot stress enough the importance of subject Facebook groups. A LIFE SAVER!
Laura: Keep up to date, disciplined and motivated. Always remember why you started.
Phil: Learn to turn the TV off. Focus on working on activities early and even start readings the week before. Set smart goals. Don't overwhelm yourself and get involved with your group to make friends.
LaLuna: Print out your reading materials and the reference list for each subject, forward-read your assessments, and read and highlight the material that is relevant for the correlating assessment.
Colleen: Don't be scared to ask for help - there is always somebody that gets it and is willing to share their knowledge. The assignments are there to help, so try your best to do them and get involved with your group.
Amelia: Print out readings - don't read off screen.
Belinda: Can't stress time management enough! Organise your household so you can sit and concentrate on studies a few hours each night. Turn of the telly. Turn off Facebook.
Janis: Plan ahead, start assignments early, read the criteria for assessments carefully, if unsure ASK! Facebook groups are a fantastic help but remember the students are not your eLAs and, whilst helpful, are not always correct. Different eLAs have different expectations so if unsure, check. If you want to do well attend collaborations (or if you can't, listen to them later), stay active in the discussion boards on Blackboard and DO the weekly activities, they will help your understanding of the subject matter hugely.
Stephanie: Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Try not to fall into this trap.
Christine: Don't assume you know everything and that you'll get a High Distinction every time. This only leads to major disappointment if you don't get them. It all comes with practice. Master your Harvard style referencing, report writing and essay writing. But above all be organised.
Get more student study tips here.