Getting started with online learning

Tīmatahia tō whai i te mātauranga mā te ipurangi

We’ve put together some information to help you get going with online learning, including what to expect, what you can do to get started and the support available.


Online distance learning is completely new for many of our learners and probably different to any study you have done before. While you won’t attend online classes, you will still have work to do each week and assessments to complete before the course end dates.

We hope the information on this page will help you get going and find the information you need or who to talk to when you need help or have any questions, but if you can't find what you need don't hesitate to get in touch:

Contact us



  • Book an orientation call with a Student Mentor

    Our Student Mentor team can help make sure you have the information to get you started with your study. They’ll make sure you have the information you need, and can:

    • Help you log in and give a tour of our online spaces, including your online courses in iQualify
    • Answer any questions about studying with us. 

    Throughout your course you can talk to a mentor for help with questions not relating to your course such as:

    • Study skills
    • Motivation and time management 
    • How to get an assessment extension and what to do if you need more time (Special Consideration).

    Look out for an email inviting you to book an orientation call with a Student Mentor or use the link below. You can also find a link on the MyOP learner portal homepage anytime you need to talk.  


  • Explore your online course

    About two weeks before your course start date you should be able to access your online course in iQualify from MyOP. If the course name link is green it is ready to go. You can start work straight away or wait till the course starts when the Course Facilitator will be active. 

    Things you can do to help you get started:

    1. Read the course overview, where you can:

    • Find the name of your Course Facilitator
    • Download the course study guide (see the right side of the page), which gives a guide for what topics you should aim to cover each week.

    2. Find the assessments

    Image showing what the Tasks icon in iQualify looks like

    • Look for ‘Tasks’ or ‘Assessments’ in your course's left navigation to check your assessments. This will help you know what to expect and when they are due.
    • If your courses don’t have set due dates, check the study guide for the suggested dates to submit your assessments by.  

    It’s also a good idea to make a study plan to help you plan your workload. You could include assessment and exam dates, course topics to cover and events you might have coming up.  

    3. Check the course ‘Talk’ channels

    Once the course starts ‘Talk’ in the left navigation of each course is where you will:

    • See updates from your Course Facilitator
    • Ask them questions
    • Look for discussions from other learners. 
  • Check out your other online spaces and resources, including MyOP learner portal and Microsoft 365

    Explore the MyOP learner portal 

    MyOP is where you can:

    • See your course details
    • Check the assessment due dates for all your courses in ‘Assessment and exam dates’ to help you with your workload planning
    • Change your password (click your initials on the top right)
    • Apply for assessment extensions
    • Find useful videos and links to information and resources to help your study from the ‘Study resources’ page.

    You can also download MyOP as an app to your phone or other device:

    How to download MyOP as an app 

    Log into Microsoft 365

    You can find a link to your Microsoft 365 on the MyOP homepage. In 365 you'll find your learner email, and other Microsoft tools such as Word, Excel and more.

    Tip - If you already have another Microsoft account, we recommend you use another browser or an incognito window, so you don’t have to switch between accounts.

    See if there are any assistive technology tools that might be useful for you

    There are many technologies and online tools that can assist online studying. Have a look on our Assistive Technologies page for information about some free options and if they may be right for you.

Study and assessments

  • Studying and taking notes

    Your course will include a mixture of reading, videos and interactive activities and quizzes to work through. It may also include links to other websites, PDF or library readings. 

    It is good to take notes as you work through the course to help you remember things. Also, keep the assessments in mind - as you work through the course take note of what might be relevant for the upcoming assessments. 

    Taking notes in the course

    • You can take notes in the course by clicking the 'Notes' icon to the right of the content. You can make a note for yourself using ‘Your notes’ or start a discussion with other learners in ‘Discuss this’.
    • To check your notes later, look for ‘Notes’ in the course’s left navigation. 

    Image of Notes icon in an iQualify course

    Of course, if you prefer you can take notes on paper or use other online note taking tools. It’s up to you, and important that you figure out what works best for your study style.  

  • Getting help with your course

    For course and assessment-related questions contact your Course Facilitator. They will guide you through the coursework to help you follow the study guide, and make sure you understand the course materials and assessment requirements.  

    You can find out who your Course Facilitator is on the right side of the ‘Overview’ page of the course. 

    The best way to contact them is through the course ‘Talk’ channel. This is where you can look out for regular messages from them and join discussions about the course. 

    If you ever have trouble getting in touch with your Course Facilitator, contact us: 

  • Doing assessments

    Questions about your assessment

    If you have any questions about your assessment contact your Course Facilitator through the course 'Talk' channel.

    We also have a range of information to help you get going with your assessment writing and to answer any questions you may have: 

    Assessment and research support 

    For assessment help such as research, academic writing or with general study skills, contact our Library and Learning Centre, Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako. 


Learner support and wellbeing