Get ready for study

Online and distance learning is great for its flexibility and how you can fit it around the rest of your life, but it also means you need to be motivated, disciplined and organised. If you are you'll find it easier to cope and feel more in control.

Get to know Open Polytechnic

When you log into the Open Polytechnic website you will have access to the services below. Take a look around so you know where to go when you need to go there.

  • Your My Open Polytechnic portal. This is where you can access your online courses, access your account information, and go to your free Office 365 Microsoft software and Open Polytechnic email.
  • The Open Polytechnic Library.
  • Online Campus – our online study environment.
  • Online Community – a place to connect with other students.

As one of our students you’ll also have access to a range of support services, including information and advice from our library staff and learning advisors, your tutor/lecturers and our Helpdesk.

Get prepared and make a plan

Distance learning is self-paced. This means aside from assignment and exam dates, there is no set schedule. So it is up to you to set your timetable. This includes:

  • making a plan for when and how time you will study each week
  • planning your workload and scheduling what you will need to be complete each week
  • setting goals and deadlines for completing different chunks of work.

As part of this, make sure you know what your course involves, including:

  • What the objectives of the course are.
  • If you will need to do any practicums or workshops.
  • When your assignments are due.
  • If you have to sit any exams, and when they are.
  • That you have your tutor/lecturer’s contact details.

Familiarise yourself with your course materials

Whether your course is delivered online, by paper or a combination of the two, it’s a good idea to look familiarise yourself with the materials and information about the course as soon as you can.

  • Online courses – take the time to familiarise yourself with your online learning environment as soon as you can, including what’s there and how to find your way around.
  • Paper based – If your course is paper based you will receive a pack of course materials. Make sure you read through any introductory information about your studies, and organise your materials when you get them. If there's a checklist use it to ensure that everything's there. Paper-based courses may still have a page in Online Campus with additional information, so check this as well as any printed course material you receive.

If anything you need is missing or you need any help getting to know the online learning environment, contact us

Get your textbooks and any additional material

Check whether your course has a set text or if you need any additional materials. If it does, order it as soon as possible

Open Polytechnic Textbook Information - VicBook website (opens in new window)

Organise your study space

When it comes to studying, everyone's different. Some students like to study at a café or the library, while others prefer the kitchen table or lying on their bed. Some are lucky enough to have a dedicated study space.

There’s no right or wrong place to study - if it works for you, that's great. However, most students find it helps if they have:

  • A quiet place to study - this could be a separate study, the dining room or your bedroom. What's important is that you choose somewhere that’s reasonably private and free from interruptions.
  • A suitable desk or table, and a good chair that gives you proper support.
  • A place to store your study materials so you can access them easily.
  • A computer. If you share a computer, negotiate a timetable so that it’s available when you need it.

Organise your study spaces - Monash University website (opens in new window)

Be positive

Studying by distance is challenging, but the reward at the end will be achieving your goal. Be positive, and focus on your success. Research has shown that successful students:

  • Make up their minds they're going to succeed. Even if you don’t initially believe yourself, keep telling yourself that you are successful; use the present tense – you are successful now.
  • Are well organised and use their time efficiently and effectively.
  • Set themselves goals and priorities - they decide what’s important and what can wait.
  • Try different learning strategies and use those that work for them.
  • Learn bit by bit, working consistently and steadily rather than trying to cram at the last minute.

Related information