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Blog

Preparing yourself for the first weeks of online study

Alannah Hosemans June 27, 2019

When a new teaching period approaches, some students, particularly those new to online study, may feel unprepared. It’s true that the introductory weeks to units can be the most important, as they set you up for the rest of the teaching period. But there’s no need to crack under any sort of pressure. Take a look at our advice below to prepare yourself for the first few weeks of a new teaching period and put yourself in a position to succeed from the start.

Familiarise yourself with the online classroom

Did you know that you have access to your online classroom, Canvas, at least two weeks before the teaching period begins? This not only gives you an opportunity to browse your units at your own leisure, but also allows you to complete your onboarding units: Getting Started with Online Study and Tech Skills to Get You Started.

Before Week 1 begins, it is likely that your eLearning Advisor (eLA) will have posted a welcome announcement to your learning group, introducing themselves and the unit. It’s a great idea to respond to them with your own introduction and have a browse through the unit modules to see what you have coming up. You could even try giving the first module a go and start Week 1 ahead of the pack.

Set yourself up for the teaching period

Take the opportunity to get yourself organised before classes begin. When your unit is live, you will have access to the syllabus of the unit as well as your assignments and their due dates. Our best advice would be to put all of these dates into your calendar or diary to begin with, as well as little reminders a week or two ahead of them to ensure that you set aside extra time to work on them.

It is also a great idea to set up a good filing system before the teaching period, including folders for each unit with documents for notes and assignments. Don’t forget to find a good place to back these up as well, like an external hard drive or an online storage site such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Always look a week ahead

Get into the habit of scheduling in your study time a week ahead, as some weeks in the teaching period can get much busier than others. When you give yourself set times to work through the unit content and post on the discussion board for the week, you are less likely to skip out on your studies.

If the next few weeks are looking a bit hectic in your work or personal life, there are no strict rules around getting ahead with your study load. Checking off a few tasks before your busy week is a great strategy to staying on top of everything and will ensure that you don’t fall behind. Although if you are really struggling with your time management, we would recommend you adjust the number of units you are undertaking. This is a much better alternative to trying to tackle a number of weeks of content in one night.

The first weeks of the teaching period can be exciting but also nerve wracking. Keep yourself from falling in the deep end by using our strategies for preparation, and allow yourself to begin the teaching period with complete ease and organisation. Head to our Online Study hub for more tips on a range of study topics.