Avoiding the online study blues

Male student studying on laptop

By Peter Moulding

Studying online can have its challenges. So what can we do to avoid online disasters? Here are some simple solutions to common online problems that fellow students can consider.

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”  – Murphy

“Murphy was optimistic.” – Peter

Based on my experience, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, on the day your assignment is due.

Plan ahead

You might need new software. Software updates might fail. Hardware connections, like video cameras, can be difficult.

Plan your time. Read the details of all assignments and look for new things. The first time you do anything new, plan two or three times the recommended hours. You will then have time to call for help.

Plan your work when there are helpful people available. Calling a friend at 9pm on the day an assignment is due is too late. They might be out or unable to answer your question.

For a particular subject, I had to create a video. My old camera produced videos but I found out that my current software could not edit the current format. This meant I either had to switch to new software or a new camera. I chose new video editing software. It required several hours to make the software work, more hours to find all the right settings, and hours of practice to complete a successful edit.

Get chatting

Catch up with friends and talk about your assignments. You can get help from Charles Sturt to tackle the stress of assignments and exams. Describing problems on the telephone can be difficult, which is why it is a good idea to sit down face-to-face. One of your friends might know the answer you have been stressing so much about. Remember to ask your friend for a time that suits them too. Again, you want to avoid the 11:55 pm call for help.

Read your subject outline

Subject outlines are published at least two weeks before the start of session. This is the best way to get your head around the subject and find out exactly what you’re required to do to pass. It helps to note all the things you haven’t done before. If there a link to a site you have never visited, open up the site and familiarise yourself. You might even need a login, so get the login early and test it out.

Lastly, don’t forget to plan some breaks. Try having one for three minutes every hour. To get your blood circulating and get motivated you could play Katy Perry’s Roar or something similar.