There are many avenues of support for anyone studying at a distance.
Have a writing consultant review your assignment for focus, structure, style, and presentation before you hand it in.
Because they are in charge of the paper, course coordinators can give you the most comprehensive and definitive answers to study questions.
The contact details for the course coordinator (e-mail address, phone number, and office hours) are usually included in the course materials or administration guide for that paper. You can also find the e-mail address of the course coordinator for a paper by looking up the paper on Massey University's paper search and going to “more information”.
If you have not been able to make contact with your coordinator, ask to speak to the Department Secretary, who will let you know about their availability. Course coordinators can also be contacted through Stream.
Many papers have an online component such as a Stream site. This is a quick and easy way to make contact with the course coordinator and other students. If you have a question, first consider making a posting to the discussion forum.
If you want to know something, it is likely that many others would like to know the answer to the same question. You can ask the question, the lecturer answers it only once, and everyone in the paper has access to the answer!
Some papers also allow you to send private messages to the course coordinator.
Study is much more successful when you are part of an academic community that includes both lecturers and students. There are a number of ways to contact other students in your location and area of study.
Try to actively participate in discussion forums and study group discussions on Stream. The more you participate and contribute, the more you will gain from involvement in the online paper. You can also post a location message, suggesting that students in your area could meet to form a study group, or just meet informally to share ideas on the course content.
EXMSS, the Extramural Students Society, can put you in touch with other students enrolled in your paper who have indicated their willingness to have contact details given to other students. You can make contact with EXMSS, and the EAR (EXMSS Area Representative) in your area via the EXMSS website.
Help with assignments
Your course coordinator and Stream site should be your first contact for clarification on assignments, topic interpretation, and any other difficulties. There are other ways to get help with assignments, however.
The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers an Online Pre-reading Service to distance students. This gives you the opportunity to submit 2 assignments per semester for a review of focus, structure, style, and presentation, before you hand the assignment in to be marked. Submitted assignments will usually be returned within 3 working days.
See pre-reading for more information on this essential service.
If you are in Auckland, Palmerston North, or Wellington you are welcome to visit the campus Centres for Teaching and Learning.
All three campuses have Distance Writing and Learning Consultants who are available to help you with topic interpretation, assignment writing, and referencing, as well as study and exam skills.
Contact the Centres for Teaching and Learning for further information.
Massey Library are happy to help you find information for your assignment and will help you learn to search the electronic databases and e-journals for sources.
See the Library's page for extramural students for more.
Pacific Island students can access learning and study skills support, including distance consultations, via the Pasfika website.