How I make study work for me

Social Work student, mother-of-four, and University leader Rebecca Worner has one important study tip: “Do whatever works for you.”

“Don’t compare yourself too much to other people, and think what you’re doing is wrong,” Beck says.

“Everyone has different things going on and different ways of making it work.”

Beck, who works casually for Student Central and is a representative on the Online SRC, has a few practical tips for getting started at Charles Sturt.

Explore your Charles Sturt Student Portal

Beck says the break before Session One is a great time to get familiar with the Student Portal, which is filled with information about your course.

“Just have a look at something new every day, starting with the checkpoints area.

“There’s lots of things there. And it directs you step-by-step to different things like coursework and your course handbook.”

Use the search function on Student Central to find support

Student Central is your first point of contact for queries about study and student life.

Beck says the search tool is handy to find anything you’re looking for — from information about your course, to learning tools and workshops, and links to services and support.

Identify your most productive time of day

Beck, who studies online, says the first thing that helped her manage uni with work and family responsibilities was finding the best time of day to study.

“I have friends with kids and they wait until the kids go to bed, and then they’ll study all night long.

“For me I’d rather get it done in the morning and then I’ve got the rest of the day to do what I need to do.

“Particularly for online learners, we have that flexibility to move things around.”

Plan out your study

Beck plots out her study schedule and assessment deadlines on her phone and on a wall planner above her computer.

She says it helps to note the study schedules provided by lecturers on every subject outline.

“It definitely helps having that visual reminder that you’ve got things coming up. It’s just flagging them and making sure you’re aware.”

Check your emails

Your lecturers, tutors and the university will send information and regular updates to you via email. 

Beck says she set up a stand-alone email account to receive all her university correspondence so she never misses a thing.

Keep in touch with your lecturers

Academics are just at the end of their email addresses, and Beck says it’s best to keep in touch if you have any questions or concerns about your study.

“Then at least if they know something is going on, they can give some more support and advice as well. 

“There might be things they can tell you that you might not have already thought about or considered at all.

“If you keep them informed, they’re in a better position to help you.”