Studying online – the basics to getting started

Whether studying at school or at university, most of us will have spent most of our time learning in an actual classroom. So what about when you’re studying online? What do you need to make sure you’re all set to get started? If studying online is new to you, we’ve covered the four basics so you’re armed and ready for success!

1.    Get the right device

With online study, comes the need for a device to study on! Knowing that you’ll need a device to study on isn’t new news, but do you have the right one? While an iPad or tablet might be ideal for reading or watching videos, will the touchpad be the best thing for writing essays? Your phone is so easily accessible, but no one wants to try and research for an assignment on a screen that size.

Depending on the kind of degree you’re studying, make sure you’re opting for the best device that will be fast enough, have the right amount of storage, and will make your student life easier.

2.    Stay on top of your inbox

There are two kinds of people in the world – those who check their emails daily, and those who leave their inbox in an unruly mess! If you’re going to study online, it goes without saying that you should aim to get your inbox in order.

When you enrol to study through Open Universities Australia (OUA), your account will be created using your personal email. Once enrolled, the university provider of your chosen course will then send you a university email address. With two email addresses to manage, make sure you’re not missing important information from your university or from OUA by aiming to check both as regularly as possible.  

3.    Download the essential software

If you’re worried you’re going to need to invest in a bunch of fancy software so you can study online, don’t stress! Online study isn’t just for those who are tech-savvy or familiar with the digital world. The most important programs you’ll need for study success are a word processor, a spreadsheet program and a slide presentation program. Not scary at all, right? Most people will already have used the Microsoft Office Suite before, which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you’re more comfortable with Apple’s versions, the iWork suite, then you’ll be using Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

So that you can store and save your documents online, and also easily collaborate with other students on work, get familiar with Google Docs as well. This lets multiple people edit a document and track changes to stay on top of who is contributing.

4.    Set up your study space

You can have all the right gear and gadgets ready to go, but if your study space isn’t quite right, you’ll be struggling to get in the right headspace. Finding a great study space doesn’t have to mean taking over an entire room in your house. But, making sure you’ve got enough of what will inspire you – not discourage or distract you – will help you get the most out of your study. From warmer lighting to a playlist of soothing music in the background, make the space inviting so you feel motivated to settle in and get studying!

Now that your study space is all sorted, you must be feeling ready to tackle further study. Get in touch with Open Universities Australia here or speak to one of their expert student advisors on 1300 513 044. They’ll help find the right degree for you.  


This article was originally published by our friends at Open Universities Australia.


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