Getting started with distance study
The are number things that you should do to get started with your distance studies.
It important to set up a permanent separate study space.
- Not the kitchen table!
- Try for an attractive inviting area.
- Keep it tidy for the next study session.
- Good light is important.
Ensure that you have all your study tools organised.
- Wall planner.
- Post-its, highlighters, assignment preparation folders for each paper, file dividers, A3 paper for planning.
- E-learning tools: computer, preferably with internet connection, printer.
The earlier you enrol the earlier this will be dispatched so it pays to enrol well before any deadlines. It is important that you retain all information that came with the study pack; there is nothing worse than realising at a later date that you have thrown something important out. The study pack normally contains:
- An administrative section (sometimes included in the study guide) or administration guide, which may contain some or all of the following information:
- The lecturer's name and contact details.
- Information on assessment (e.g. marking guides).
- Information on contact courses
- A course outline and timetable
- Information on textbooks
- A study guide, which contains a complete set of notes for the course, as well as information on what chapter of the textbook should be read.
- Course readings: These are only supplied where the lecturer considers it necessary. They are normally supplementary or additional information to any textbook. In most cases they are journal articles or other printed materials.
- Other resources such as past exam papers. A lecturer may included past exams to give you an indication of the type of questions asked in the exam or tests.
The sooner you identify the assignment requirements and due data the sooner your can start planning:
- Take notes on how you will be marked.
- Note down the expectations for each grade.
- Look at the question - this helps you read for a purpose.
Your study guide will list the books that are recommended for your paper.
- You will need the compulsory texts and it is advisable to have access to books that are highly recommended.
- If you are purchasing your textbook place your orders as soon as possible.
- You can also order textbooks and resources from the library.
Some papers have a web based component such as Stream.
You can use them as the major method of keeping in touch with the course co-ordinator, and an opportunity to share in interaction with other students. You can ask for contact from other students in their area and set up your own online study groups. Interacting with other students helps keep you focused, allows you to clarify your thinking, and often brings support when the going gets tough.
See the section on online study techniques.
It is important to know the contact people at Massey:
See the section on goals and motivation.
This tool generates a recommended timeline for planning, researching, and writing your assignment.
Distance students face particular challenges but also have particular advantages over other students. See the section on how to study at a distance for more. For additional information on distance study visit http://distance-learning.massey.ac.nz/.