student handbook


Regardless of where you live, online education allows you to study courses and work towards your career dreams.

Online education is a different experience from the classroom environment.  You won’t have a teacher telling you what you have to do today. You pick what you do and when you do it. Of course, you’ll need to follow the suggested study plan and order of subjects for the materials to make sense. If you don’t cover all the foundations before you tackle the more advanced subjects, you will really struggle with the content later on.

During the course try to allocate sufficient time for about ten to fifteen hours study each week. The total amount of time you will need to devote will depend on the course you are studying, your current level of knowledge, and how quickly you manage to complete tasks. These should be short study periods of 1 to 2 hours in length maximum. Ensure you take breaks at regular intervals.

Don’t study for too long in a single session, especially at the start of the course, because you may have difficulty taking in all the information. If you haven’t studied for a few years, start with short sessions, and build up as your knowledge and confidence develops. You will find your ability to concentrate for longer times will soon increase.

Unlike being in a classroom, when you study online you don’t have a teacher standing in front of you. Instead you will have access to a myriad of resources to get your information. This includes printed or online texts, videos, recorded lectures, podcasts, interactive e-learning modules and much more. Make sure you use all the resources provided to you to ensure you are learning as much as you can.

Study won’t happen on its own. Put time aside each week as dedicated study time. Mark it on your calendar and stick to it. It may help to have someone check in with you as your ‘accountability buddy’. You shouldn’t base your study schedule on whether you wake up “feeling it” or not. Let’s face it, most of us would probably choose to do something else if we had the choice.

You should also be honest with yourself when you are setting these times. No one knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you do. You should use this “inside information” to help you pick the best times for you to study. If you are not a morning person, then you shouldn’t set a 6am study session when you know that you would rather be cuddled up in bed. The times you choose to study should be realistic and easy to achieve. Studying on a Saturday night, for example would be pretty hard when you know your friends are out having a good time.

Remember you are your own boss in this scenario, so avoid needless torture when organising your study. Studies have shown that sessions lasting between 30 to 50 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between, are more effective than those that last for hours on end. You should not have to force yourself to concentrate, as this will not be productive study. Choose lengths of study that are compatible with your level of concentration and work with that. This does not mean that you should study for 5 minutes a day though. The times you choose should also be reasonable and effective.

Make sure your family and friends know when you are studying. Letting your friends and family know about your course and its requirements will also help you to avoid distractions. Your family can encourage you to keep the times you have set by simply reminding you of the dates as they draw closer. Your friends can help by not calling or tempting you with alternate plans when they know you need to study, or have an assignment that is due soon. The fewer the distractions, the better chance you have of sticking to your schedule.

Remember, without set due dates or a teacher telling you what to do and when, YOU are ultimately in charge of ensuring your work is completed. Online education requires a certain level of discipline in order to achieve any successful results. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds – you just need to set a schedule and stick with it.

Try to find somewhere that is quiet, comfortable and allows you to relax. Avoid distractions such as television, and people talking. An ergonomic desk and chair is essential to ensure you do not injure yourself and you remain comfortable.

If you are uncomfortable, you are unlikely to keep studying!

Make extra notes as you study each subject.

Study a page or two of notes, and then try to recall what you have just read.

Make diagrams, pictures, flow charts and label them correctly. This is particularly helpful for anatomy and some task protocols.

Make notes on topics you find difficult and seek advice from your employer, or Educator.

If you know someone else who is studying the same course arrange question and answer sessions from time to time.

Join our Facebook Student Groups to connect with other students and even find study groups in your local area.

You can do this!! Set yourself small achievable goals and don’t let the size of the folders overwhelm you!

Whenever possible the assessment tasks should be done from memory. Try not to “copy out” answers from the learner’s guide, especially if you don’t understand the topic. You must use your own words to answer assessment questions/

When you are really unsure – ask for help!

Don’t think that by studying online you will be all alone. Your fellow students can be connected with in our Student Facebook Groups, and your Educators are available via Student Assist.

Remember, its ok to ask for help when you need it! That is what we are here for.