So, here’s what we do know, COVID-19 has everyone in a state of uncertainty so a lot of learning across Australian that was formally undertaken face-to-face, is now being moved over to online in an effort to stop spreading the disease and to prevent contracting it.
While this might sound awesome to begin with (hello no pants life), for those of us who aren’t used to studying from home might find this transition a bit challenging, for a different number of reasons (cough, Netflix is only a click away).
Put some pants on
The small key to success when studying from the comfort of your own home is to maintain your normal sense of routine. Your mind and body will get very tired if it’s waking up later than normal and not keep the same ‘8am breakfast in front of Sunrise’ routine before heading to class.
Instead, sleep in but when it’s time that you normally would have started class, get up and get ready like normal. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel if you maintain your normal routine of putting pants on before class.
Shout out if you need help
Even though you’re not on campus anymore, we’re still here to support you through this journey. Our full Student Support Services team is available remotely to assist, Student Service Advisors for wellbeing and course assistance, Disability Liaison Officers and Koorie Unit Staff are only an email away for students linked into these services and our Learning Support Assistants are here for learning support.
And don’t forget about Studiosity. Studiosity is the online learning support platform to receive unlimited access to the ‘writing feedback’ and ‘connect live’ platforms. Simply log into Studiosity via Moodle or the Library homepage.
Have a dedicated space to study
It’s all too easy to take your computer and text book into bed with you, but trust us, this will quickly blur your mind with where study starts, and bed ends. Instead, carve out a dedicated space in your house (preferably on a chair at a table/desk and not on the couch). That way, it’s telling your mind that when you’re there, you’re in ‘study mode’ when you’re not, you’re switched off.
Structure your study time well
Don’t simply sit in front of your books and laptop and stare - make sure you use the time efficiently. If you’re a morning person, get up and get going straight away. Otherwise, if you’re more of a night owl, spend the day doing something else then sitting down to study in the afternoon/evening when you’re more productive.
Start by studying in 5-10 minute blocks and work up to 20-25 minutes. Ignore any distractions, including your phone, snacks and your mum annoying you about chores.
Look after your mind
Like normal class time, it’s vital that you’re continuing to look after yourself. Eating well and getting a decent sleep each night will keep you going during difficult times while you’re all alone at home.
Here’s some simple snacks we recommend: nuts, Greek yoghurt, fruit, air-popped popcorn and veggie sticks.
Download a killer playlist
Rather than being by yourself with your own thoughts, why not create a playlist to lighten the mood, increase productivity and positive feelings.
Keep in mind, researchers agree that to have a successful study session, you need music without lyrics. When a song contains lyrics, your brain is using space picking up the words and allowing you to sign along, rather than focusing your attention on what’s in front of you.
Instead search some of these lyric-free playlists in Spotify… best of all, they’re free:
- Workday Lounge – containing tranquil tracks
- Intense Studying – classical music for full concentration
- Superior Study Playlist – consisting of modern instrumental tracks
- Acoustic Concentration – a mix of acoustic instrumental songs
- Study Mix – modern songs mixed into orchestra pieces
All of these, some may say, are music to the ears!
Juggling parenting and studying
We know it doesn’t go as smoothly as you hope, same goes for parenting, but a few plans can help ease the pressure of studying and being a parent all in the same space:
- Ensure your kids are aware of your designated study space and what it means when you are sitting there
- Create a timetable. It isn’t just useful for your own structure but useful for the kids (and your partner) to understand when you are busy
- Access your support network – virtually. Your friends, parents, teachers and grandparents are all on the other end of a screen. They can read, play games, sing, dance and talk to your kids to keep them occupied
- Plan activities that don’t require supervision:
- Babies – naps/swings/bouncy chairs, videos or musical songs
- Toddler age and up – TV shows and online games, educational games and apps, colouring, puzzles
- Older kids – reading/writing stories, educational shows or movies, schooling
- Or get the kids involved. If you need to read, they can read at the same time
- Reward good behaviour – thank them for not interrupting, plan a special activity with them, give them extra video game time
Set realistic goals of what study you can achieve in the time you have between caring responsibilities.
Using libraries on campus
For all our students wanting to come onto campus to use a library space, you’re still more than welcome. Our libraries at Bairnsdale, Flexible Learning Centre (Sale), Morwell, Traralgon, Warragul and Leongatha are open to use the computers, print and loan and return books.
We just remind you to practice social distancing and good hygiene while on campus. You’ll notice the study areas and computer banks have been changed around slightly to accommodate these practices.
The following is a guide for our students to explore cheap options to equip themselves to be able to effectively study from home.
Buying a brand new laptop or device
A few companies are offering low cost laptops to students.
Work Ventures refurbish laptops at a low cost for students.
They provide user support after purchase. Prices range from $300-$600
Provides low cost laptops and equipment for students. They provide user support after purchase.
As a student, you are eligible for DELL student discounts with UNiDAYS.
Microsoft student store
Students can buy laptops and access to Microsoft programs
Laptops are available for $14.35 per week over a 36 month period and tablets as low as $5 per week
For concession card holders
Use your student email to receive a discount
Offer 10% for students
There are a number of other internet providers out there, which you are encouraged to compare prices.
Dongles and pocket Wi-Fi
If you’re not needing calls or text messages, another good option is a pocket WI-FI or dongle. This option provides straight internet usage only.
There are a number of suppliers of dongles and a number of websites that compare deals. Check out:
TAFE Gippsland is providing this information as a guide for students seeking low cost equipment and Internet service. We are not recommending any providers, devices or plans - this is merely a guide to demonstrate there are options available to students. It is the responsibility of individuals to check the details of any device or internet deal to ensure it is the plan you need, affordable and the terms and conditions are fair and reasonable.
This information will be updated as we become aware of further student specific programs.
At the end of the day, we want to remind you that we’re all in this together. We encourage you to put your hand up if you’re struggling and ask for help if you need it. Whether it’s for mental health or you're having trouble understanding your assignment, reach out.