Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Studying and working

Studying and working can be done. It is just a matter of whether you work part time, full time, casually and have children in the mix. You may need to consider a part time study load at the beginning and increase the number of units the following semester if you think you can juggle you time and work commitments.

One thing that I cannot reiterate enough is to have a diary and use it! It can be a physical or an electronic one. Either way, diarise all your assignment due dates, dedicated study hours as well as social and work commitments to help you plan your semester. Don’t forget to include break days such as that Saturday trip to the beach!

As a mum of one who works from home part time and studies full time, I can only provide an insight from that perspective. I invite you to comment below with your tips on how you juggle your study load and work commitments.

Remember it can be done - just take one day at a time :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

University Student Etiquette

Don’t be seen as the rude student who thinks of themselves as above everyone else. Here are some tips for some common student etiquette:


- make a habit of arriving to tutorials or lectures late -
besides being rude, the lecturer will know you for the wrong reasons

- put your feet up on the seat in front of you – especially if someone is sitting there

- make out you know more than the lecturer – no one likes a ‘know it all’

- be too critical of another’s work especially if you haven’t done any yourself

- be the loafer when working on the group assignment – this is a quick way to lose friends

- put negative comments about lecturers or fellow students on your online social network page- anyone can access the internet and it will only reflect negatively on you

- ignore people – network and you will probably learn a thing or two

- forget who will be marking your assignment – ask questions and if you get a grade you are unhappy about – approach the marker sensibly and preferably after you have had a day to think about it.

- Write on the online Uni forum anything you may regret as it is not easily deleted

University is a fun time of learning. Don’t let poor student etiquette get in the way of making new friends, learning and generally enjoying University life.

Feel free to add your own tips!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Making friends at University

Making friends at University (Uni) when an external student is a little more difficult than if you are attending lectures on campus. You are not likely to see fellow students face to face unless you attend an Intensive School (where you attend a few days on campus with other external students) or have an examination with other students from your area.However, you can get to know people quite well through online communication.

Here are my tips to getting to know others in your course.

1. Introduce yourself in your online unit and read fellow students introductions – comment if someone has a similar interest to you or lives in a nearby location.
2. Find out who lives in your area that is studying your units. Usually a list of names and locations are made available to students studying the same units.
3. If attending an Intensive school, organise to meet with someone you have been chatting to within the unit.
4. If group work is required within a unit, join early, introduce yourself and make regular contributions.
5. Contribute to forum discussions and comment on fellow students posts. It is a great way to learn more about a person.

Your time at University is not only about learning but it also has an important social aspect. You never know, you might just find a lifelong friend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Residential Schools

“The hardest thing to open is a closed mind.”
Author Unknown

Many Universities that offer external studies require students to attend a residential school or intensive school. This is where you need to attend the University for approximately three to five days.

Usually the cheapest way is to stay on campus in the dormitories if this option is available. The alternative is to source private accommodation at a nearby motel which can work out to be quite expensive.

Residential schools are what you make it. It is a time to meet and get to know your fellow students face to face and possibly make lasting friendships. Although the timetable scheduling can be full on with lecture after lecture and tutorial after tutorial, make the most of the opportunity by networking with other students and lecturers.

Ensure you are well prepared for lectures and tutorials with appropriate notes, texts and pen and paper or your laptop. You will find you will gain further insights and possible hints and tips for the exam and assignment. It is also a great opportunity to speak with your lecturer if you have any questions regarding aspects of the unit.

Your first residential school can be daunting but go in with an open mind and think of it as an adventure.
My top 5 tips for a successful residential school;
1. Keep an open mind - going in with a positive mindset
2. Get to know someone in your online tutorial group and plan to meet up with them
3. Familiarise yourself with a map of the campus – usually downloadable from your University website
4. Be prepared – read the text chapter required before arriving on your first day, have a notepad and pen ready
5. Smile and socialise with fellow students – there will be lots of interesting people to meet!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Studying and parenting

Studying while you have young children can be done! It just requires some organisation and routine. Depending on how young your children are, I recommend using child care two days per week. These will become your study days. If money is a problem or your child/ren are too young to attend child care, focus on their sleep times to get your study done.

First, get yourself a diary. Schedule in all family events, extracurricular activities and assignment due dates. Work out the regular days you can do study and write ‘study’ on those days. Aim to set aside two full days.

From your unit information and study schedule provided by your tertiary institution you will see what is required for the first week. So, if it is article XYZ and chapter 1 and 2 of your text for unit EDNE then write that down under your first ‘study’ day. As you complete your study, tick off what you achieve. If you don’t get it done the first day transfer the work to your next study day.

Work study in around your life. Print off and read articles before you go to bed, take your text book to the hairdresser or when you take your child to their gymnastics class. That’s an extra hour of work you can tick off your study schedule that week! Look for opportunities to do a little bit of extra study.

If you have an assignment due or an examination coming up, ensure you have organised time without your children so you can get the assignment polished and your pre-prepared to sit your examination – even if it is online you will need peace and quiet!

There will be days that you will think ‘this is all too hard’ but think about the final outcome and what that will provide for you and your family. Reward yourself when you finish an assignment or you have done extra study and take regular break to walk the dog or do something one on one with your child. Keep yourself motivated because you can do this!