How to take on online study later in life

If you’ve decided to enrol through Open Universities Australia (OUA) to take on study with a leading university, then there will inevitably be questions you’ll have about what to expect. If you feel like they’re too silly to ask someone on your first day, don’t worry! We’ve put together a handy guide, so that you feel prepared and ready for success as a mature-aged student.

How do I get started?

The best place to start is having a look at the Learning Management System (LMS) for your units or subjects. This is the place you’ll go for all your university resources, whether it’s forums and webinars, or chatting with tutors and fellow students about your studies.

OUA’s Student Hub is where you go for all administration tasks, like enrolment, payment, results, and bookings. When you log in, you’ll see a dashboard, which gives an overview of your past and current enrolments. You’ll also find links to helpful information, and important documents like financial statements.

What exactly will I be doing every week?

Ready to make your to-do list? This will be guided by your tutor, lecturer or unit chair, who will be responsible for putting together the outline of how each unit is going to run.

Your study guide (or unit guide, unit handbook, etc.) will become your go-to in terms of your role and responsibilities for the unit. As you’d expect, it’s likely to include reading and assessment details, as well as your homework for that unit. That’s right – it’s back to the days of regular homework!

Who can I ask for help?

No matter whether it’s your first time at university, or you’re taking on further study again later in life, it’s good to know there’s support there when you need it. Your tutors and lecturers should be your first port of call, and are best contacted first via your LMS.

For questions that are more administrative than study-related, student advisors are available at OUA through the direct 13 OPEN phone line or leave an enquiry through OUA’s Student Hub.

I want to meet other students! How can I easily do this?

One of the best things about studying is that opportunity to meet others who are in the same study boat as you. But, how exactly are you going to meet other students if you’re mainly studying online? Again, it’s your LMS that is going to hold many of those opportunities. There will be plenty of discussion forums where you can connect with others.

OUA students are also great at jumping on the OUA Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, so head over and introduce yourself to make some study buddies today.

Will my course need textbooks?

To find out if your course will need textbooks, you can look up your subject name here to find out the list of mandatory and recommended books to stock up on.

OUA’s preferred supplier is The Co-op, which you can join for $25 then get a range of benefits including exclusive access to their Price Beat Promise and an extra 15% off second-hand textbooks. Who said further study had to break the bank?

Should I be worried about taking exams?

It might have been a while since you sat your last exam, whether it was back in school, university, or the early days of your career. If you’re heading to university later in life, there’s every likelihood it’ll mean getting back into exam mode at the end of a unit.

To have a look at the latest calendar for the end of study period and exam time, head here. OUA’s Exam Services team are also dedicated to making sure your exam venue is as close to where you live as possible. They’ll send out a notification between weeks eight and 10 of your study term to let you know the details.

If you’ve still got questions about what to expect, give OUA’s expert student advisors a call on 1300 513 044, or get in touch online here.


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

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