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17 July 2020

Cloud Campus students tell us their tips for a great start to T2

Studying in the Cloud Campus can be a real challenge, especially if you’re working full time, raising a family or dealing with any other life commitments. Deakin is here to support you throughout your studies and so are your fellow students.

Over the past year, we’ve spoken to other Cloud Campus students and got some great hints and tips about studying online at Deakin. We spoke to Bethany Carter, studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours); Charvele Williams, studying a Bachelor of Commerce; GiGi McBeath, studying postgraduate Politics and Policy; and Matt Ashby, studying a Masters of Business Administration.

We’ve put together a collection of their advice on how to make a great start this trimester.

How do you manage your time?

Bethany: I love my diary – it’s where I have all my due dates and appointments as well as what tasks I need to complete each day for the course work. On my computer I have a timer that I use to block out my study time. During that time I try to avoid all distractions, so my phone is put away, there’s no other work open on the computer, and I just focus fully for that time on the task at hand. When the timer goes off I take a break.

Charvele: Some people like to use online calendars to track their study tasks. I like working with a pen and paper, I’m very visual, so I have my study schedule on a calendar in my living room and in my kitchen. I like to see my schedule right in front of me. I’m a working Cloud Campus student and I have to really tightly manage my time to fit in my studies.

Matt: I try and stick to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday. These are my study nights, after the kids are asleep. I commonly do at least two to three hours each night and fit some in around the kids’ naps on the weekends.

How do you contact staff?

Bethany: It can be more of a challenge to maintain a relationship with the Unit Chair. I’ve found it helpful to make sure I email through any questions that I have about the subject or the assessments, and I try to post on the unit discussion board as much possible. I try to put myself out there and to be an active student.

How do you connect with others?

Bethany: A lot of units I was enrolled in had their own Facebook groups, so it might be worth searching for the unit code in Facebook to see if there’s any available for you to join. The discussion boards in the unit sites are also a great place to connect with students.

Matt: Technology now allows us to video call other students if we can’t meet up in person. And don’t forget family and friend support. The encouragement by ‘your cheer squad’ *when* you lack motivation is essential to your continued success.

What are some good online resources?

Bethany: The Deakin Library Resource Guides are really valuable, especially for assignments. I’ve found them really helpful and they are easy to access. They’re a great way to find content about your area of study. The Deakin guide to referencing is also a really great resource when it comes time to do assessments.

Charvele: The Deakin Library is a great resource. The library chat is a good place to start.

What are some good online support services?

Bethany: The service I use most is IT Help. They’re very talented at what they do, they respond very quickly and they always know what the issue is with my computer.

GiGi: I encourage you to fully explore Student Central, and to take a look at DeakinSync to find all the resources and services available to you.

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