Online study provides the opportunity for you to grow and obtain a qualification in a way that fits into your life.
Online study is a great way to reach your potential as it gives you flexibility to study at a time that suits you. But you need to be organised and have a realistic approach to juggle the demands of mahi, family and life commitments.
What can you do to make the most of online study?
Prepare for study
- Get in the mental zone. Set yourself a study area that is quiet, organised and a comfortable space to be in. Studying on the couch or propped up in bed working on an assessment is not ideal for successful study.
- Log in to Akoraka | Learn and have a long look around your course in advance of the start date.
- Make sure you are familiar with Akoraka | Learn and each course outline, expectations, assessments and due dates. Course outlines are important documents so read them carefully.
- No one expects you to be an IT expert, but it would not hurt to make sure you are familiar with any tools such as Zoom, Teams or Panopto which might be used in your online course to get you off to a productive start.
Organise your time
It is easier to juggle mahi, family and social/community responsibilities if you have a realistic plan. Create a schedule which fits study into your life regularly, and then stick to it so study does not overwhelm you. Habit is your friend.
Remember that online study requires the same number of hours of study as on campus courses. It is flexible around the time of day or days of the week you study but there is a fixed timeframe for your courses, regular scheduled Zooms you can attend, office hours, during which you can discuss things with your lecturers, and due dates for assessment submission which must be adhered to.
Ensure you have carefully read your course outlines and have all due dates for all assessments in your diary or on your calendar. It is important to give yourself the time to do your best work. This allows you to get more out of the material, work calmly with less pressure and achieve better grades.
Find out more about managing your time.
Connect and keep your goal in mind
- You will get more out of your study and higher grades if you actively participate in the course.
- If you can, try and be active in the discussion forums, attend the Zoom sessions or watch the recordings. Discussions make you think and that helps you learn.
- Be prepared to contribute to class discussions, engage with the course material and communicate respectfully with your lecturers and other students.
- Whether it is a career change, advancement at work or to make your family proud, harness that motivation to keep chipping away at your assessments, attempt this week’s quiz or get your head around a module reading.
- Getting your partner, children, whānau and colleagues on board as your support crew to encourage you when you are feeling flat is also a great way to keep you on track and accountable.
Take care of yourself
Your health and well-being are most important. Recognise the progress you are making and reward yourself when you have achieved study milestones.
Communication is vital for online study. This is important both within your course with lecturers and classmates, and at home. Letting whānau and friends know you’ll be studying at certain times and won’t be available then keeps everyone in the loop and lessens interruptions.
Success and support
We understand the challenges study can bring and are here to support your success. Whether it's been a while since you last studied or not long at all and whether you're experienced at studying online or this is your first time in a fully online study environment, we've got some practical tips for everyone for successful online study. We also provide many support options for our online students. Watch this introduction video (1min:4s) from our online student success advisor and have a look at our tips below.
- Log into your course often. This keeps your head on task and focused, minimising you feeling overwhelmed. Knowing all relevant due dates, reading new forum posts and any course communications will keep you in control and up to date.
- Check your @lincolnuni.ac.nz email regularly. This is how your lecturers and others at Lincoln University will contact you.
- Ask questions. Make use of lecturers’ office hours. Ensure that any questions you ask are specific and clear so they can be easily understood and answered.
- Take notes while watching videos. For instance, Panopto has a Notes feature on the left-hand side which allows you to take notes if you need to. Save each note by pressing Enter and a new note box will appear. The notes are time stamped and private unless you wish to share them. Note-taking makes you an active learner and means you will get more out of the video materials.
- Consider downloading the audio track from a class recording which you can playback as an MP3 file on your phone when you are at the gym or going for a walk.
- Divide your study into chunks during longer sessions and take regular breaks after each chunk is completed. A quick walk, a cup of tea/coffee, taking in some fresh air or touching base with a friend can re-energise you for your next chunk of study.
- Attempt all assessments. A quiz worth 2% of the final grade may not sound very much, but it could be the thing that bumps your grade to an A, or the difference between passing and failing. It also gives you an indication of where you are at with the course content and what you may need to focus on.
- Set reminders on your phone to nudge you when it is time to begin work on all your assessment tasks. If possible, start working on an assessment about 2-3 weeks before an essay or report is due and then break the assessment down into a series of specific and achievable tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
- Set up a fake early major assignment deadline just in case you are unwell or have any technical issues. You will then still be able to submit on time.
- Begin any group assessment well in advance of the due date. It can be tricky to work together with people from all over the motu or overseas, with different schedules and study times. Ensure there is plenty of time for the assessment to be completed with everyone able to participate appropriately. Respectful, open and regular communication is key here.
- Take breaks from continuous onscreen-based learning. Mix it up by writing notes or constructing a mind map or you can find online software to create your own electronic mind map. Some students also like to print off their work to annotate/highlight their notes as they study.
How to use mind maps for studying (3min:29s)
- File your electronic notes using a logical system which ensures easy retrieval. Colour code each course if studying more than one and mark any printed work in the top right corner with the appropriate colour to make sorting/filing notes easier.
- Back up your files to cloud storage regularly and also store them on a USB drive. Just in case the unthinkable happens and you lose your notes.
- Find a study buddy or set up a study group to get peer support through the course.
- Ensure your phone is well out of arm’s reach and on silent when studying so you can focus without interruption/distraction. Check it as a ‘reward’ when you have finished a study session.
- Your Online Student Success Advisor is here to support you in all aspects of study including pastoral care or learning support. Contact your advisor by email: [email protected]
- IT Support is available to all students.
- AskLive is the Library’s real time online information desk. You can ask quick questions about almost anything related to your studies such as finding library resources or referencing.
- Inclusive Education can support you if you are faced with the challenges of a disability, illness or injury, whether this is short term or long term. Email [email protected] for more information or to register.
- LU Career Centre is where you can access career resources and tools in addition to making appointments with experienced and helpful careers advisors.
- Wellbeing Advisors can also support you if there is anything happening in your life that is causing you worry or distress. Contact us by calling 021 589 475 (from within NZ) or email: [email protected]. Find out more about about health and wellbeing at Lincoln University.
- LUSA (Lincoln University Students’ Association) is our Students' Association, which represents the common and collective concerns of all Lincoln University students.
- Te Awhioraki is an association that represents Māori students and is managed and run by Māori students. It provides social, cultural and academic support to students during their studies at Lincoln University.
- LUPISA provides social, cultural and academic assistance and organises social events and workshops to support the Pasifika identity at Lincoln University. LUPISA operates alongside the Lincoln University Students' Association (LUSA).