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The key to academic excellence

Bachelor of Education (Primary) student Helen Edwards recently received a certificate of academic excellence for being a top student in one of her subjects. The Swinburne Online student says discussing learning materials with teachers and fellow students has helped her become a high achiever.

“A big highlight from my course has been getting to know other students, and the support we give each other,” Helen says.

“Participating in the blackboard discussions is key to being a successful learner. It allows for really in depth discussions about concepts with fellow students and teachers and also really helps with getting a deeper knowledge of the material.”

By tapping into social networks, the fulltime stay at home mother of two has been able to find support while juggling parenting and finding time to study.

“I find that the Swinburne Online Facebook group helps with my study.  It is relieving to know others out there are doing the same as you, juggling work or family commitments.   It is a fantastic way to hear study tips, brainstorm ideas and concepts and support each other’s ups and downs.”

Helen began studying online after having worked in human resources. The 31-year-old wanted to make a career change into teaching after completing a Certificate in Teacher’s Aide and a Certificate 3 in Children's Services.

“I had always had an interest in teaching but decided that now is a perfect time to study before my children are old enough for school, as working fulltime and having two small children was really difficult to juggle.  So staying home with the kids and studying works much better.

“I love the way the online course is structured, and the way it's completely flexible.  I've found that it is very easy to increase or decrease your study load depending on your needs.”

Although time management and preparation have been a big part of Helen’s academic achievement, she also received sound advice from one of her eLearning Advisors (eLA) that helped her stay on top of discussions and assignments.

“One eLA gave great advice in saying given it is an online course, most of your learning is not through homework questions but more through discussions, reflections and writing a journal helps cement the ideas.

“Since then, I’ve kept a reflective journal of my understanding and thoughts on the weekly topics. This has helped me better comprehend what I’m learning and made me a more knowledgeable contributor to discussions with teachers and students.”