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1. Create a daily routine
It’s important to think of studying online as seriously as if you were on campus, so you don’t fall behind your studies. To help you be motivated, try and follow a daily routine that will provide some structure to your day. Start by making a timetable or calendar of what classes are on when deadlines are submitted and maintain effective study and break times.
If your classes aren’t live, set up regular times that you will watch recordings or do readings. Breaking down big tasks into smaller ones, and setting up daily or weekly goals or challenges can help you study effectively and on track.
Check your official University student email and online sites daily to make sure you receive all the latest updates and announcements.
2. Get your devices ready
To access online classes, you’ll need a few important items. A working, updated computer, the appropriate software with wifi and quiet working space are important to prepare yourself to access live classes. Now is a good time to finally carry out those updates you have been putting off!
You’ll need to check if your class has an online attendance option to find the appropriate software. If your Internet is slow or unstable, you can usually download lecture recordings and view these at a later time. Make sure you don't miss classes that take online attendance!
3. Treat live classes as the regular ones
Make sure your technology is working well (particularly your audio settings) and log in a few minutes early so you are ready to study. It’s a good idea to try and find a quiet place without distractions and turn off any notifications or pop-ups, so you can concentrate. And remember to mute your mic when you aren’t speaking.
Try and participate as much as possible, just like a usual class. If you don’t feel confident talking on the mic, you can use the chat function to ask a question.
4. Communicate with your lecturers and tutors
Communicating with your lecturers and tutors is really important and shouldn’t stop just because you aren’t with them face-to-face. Since your teachers may also be working off-campus, an email will be the best way to communicate – just make sure you send emails from your official University email address. Some units of study will also have discussion forums set up, which will be moderated by teachers.
Keep in mind that your teachers will likely be receiving an increased number of emails over the semester, so do them a favour by making sure your emails are short, polite and to the point.
5. Keep in touch with your classmates
One of the best ways to stay up to date, and across your studies, is to continue to talk to your classmates. Use Zoom to set up regular study groups, participate in discussion forums on Canvas or set up group chats on social media or messaging apps. Group assignments will continue while studying online, so it’s always a good idea to remain in contact with your cohort. Remember to check in on your classmates and always be supportive and respectful.
6. Keep a positive and well-prepared attitude
Studying online will be a new experience for many students, and it may take time to adjust to the setup. Rest assured, you will be receiving an excellent education experience and the University will support you at every stage, from Welcome Week through to exams.
Try and stay as positive as possible, take regular breaks and reward yourself for completing tasks and keeping a routine. Exercising, eating well and getting plenty of sleep will also help you stay motivated and healthy. If you need support from home, there are many ways you can contact your university or even the state.