Emphasising excellence in teaching and learning, research and research training, community engagement and staff empowerment.
Like many students, Jess Glasson has found the unexpected transition to studying online this trimester a bit of a challenge.
Currently in her second year of a Bachelor of Science at Deakin’s Burwood Campus, Jess is majoring in cell biology. She says that she initially struggled with online study as she really missed the hands-on aspects of her course: ‘As we are unable to undertake practicals in the lab at the moment, I initially felt I had lost my “spark” about science.’
To help, Jess contacted some of her lecturers for ideas on how to stay connected and passionate.
‘I really appreciated the help I received after reaching out and I think this displays the spirit of the Deakin community well,’ says Jess. ‘Some of these tips included listening to podcasts, watching science-based TED Talks, reading journal articles that I find interesting and creating science communication, which is all about building bridges between the people involved in scientific research and the general public.’
Jess has spent time creating informative infographics for a general audience with no scientific background, on topics like antibiotic resistance. She says that the importance of having accurate information has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so she’s been focusing on producing material based on reputable and reliable sources.
‘I am really thankful I decided to give it a go as it has given me a chance to use skills I have developed throughout my course to communicate a topic I find interesting,’ Jess explains. ‘This has really helped me find my “spark” again!’
How to stay passionate and motivated
- If you could use some help and support with your course, do what Jess did – reach out to your unit chair in the discussion forum for that unit or send them a friendly email!
- Jess is also a diligent planner! ‘A good routine (that you stick to) is helpful. My routine outlines my study time and tasks, breaks, exercise and time to do something fun. SmartThinking is a resource I use at Deakin that provides useful feedback and allows me to improve my assignment before I submit it.’
- Worried about exams? For Jess, the most effective way to study is to complete questions as soon as possible, even if she doesn’t feel prepared. ‘This helps me best to retain information as well as highlight the areas I need to spend more time revising.’
Jess also says that it’s important to find things you enjoy that are related – but not essential – for your course:
- She recommends using the DeakinTALENT services to increase your employability. ‘The workshops they offer have been really helpful to me and make me feel much more prepared for when I graduate.’
- And make sure you check out the range of help that’s on offer from your fellow students! Jess highlighted the importance of the SEBE Peer Support Network (PSN), especially in the current circumstances: ‘My mentor partner and I were able to hold online meetings with our mentees, which helped us all to stay connected! This has definitely been a big highlight for my university experience and I wish I had joined the team earlier.’