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Academic and Study Skills

Studying Online 


Studying Online allows you to fit study around work, social and family commitments. Once of the main draws to this type of study is the you can study at home, in the office, or any place and time that suits you. However, this type of study also brings with it a number of challenges. Effective techniques are key to navigating these challenges and to your long term study goals.

The key to success in distance learning is effective self-management and the following guidelines may be helpful:

  • Assess and work to improve your skills in terms of time management. The effective use of time is critical when completing a course part-time by online learning.
  • List your personal commitments and evaluate the impact of these commitments on the way you study and the workloads created.
  • Using the Study Schedule provided in the CPEE unit module, develop a plan outlining the way you will manage your workload at critical times such as when assignments are due and prior to examinations.
  • Take into account your concentration span when scheduling study tasks.
  • Decide where you will be able to study best and create an environment which maximises your chances of effective study.
  • Establish goals for study tasks and make these goals realistic.
  • Note the importance of achieving a balance between work and other aspects of your life including rest and relaxation.

The estimated student workload for each CPEE unit is 150 hours and includes assignment work. Each assignment should take no more than 20 hours to complete and in the case of essay type assignments, no more than 5000 words unless stated.


The Charles Sturt University website provides a good breakdown of common problems that are most likely to impact on successful study and provides techniques for approaching each.

Common problems that students face with study include:

  • procrastination and distractions
  • time management
  • lack of a dedicated study space
  • disinterest in a subject
  • lack of concentration
  • coping with the amount of reading

Refer to the Charles Sturt University website for the full article

Open Universities Australia provides a number of study tip sheet specifically for studying by distance learning covering topics such as 'academic writing', 'managing stress', 'time management' and 'reading' techniques amongst others. Study Tip Sheets


What is Assessment?

Assessment enables students to demonstrate their achievement of forms of learning described in the learning outcomes. It contributes to the development of graduate attributes and professional standards and judges student performance against explicit and relevant criteria.

The following 2 types of assessment are used to determine students achievement of learning outcomes.
  • Formative assessment that provides feedback to the student during their learning experience;
  • Summative assessment that focusses on the outcomes of student learning and involves the evaluation of the final outcomes of the learning experience.


A number of CPEE units requires the submission of written work. Submitting writen  assignments requires that students have access to both the Internet and a valid email to receive notifications. Students entering the program without this access will be unable to submit their assignments or receive feedback. 


The majority of units require students to complete an end of semester examination as part of their formal assessment. Students enrolled into these units are automatically registered for the examination following the completion of the semester enrolment/re-enrolment form.

Monash University examination division, on behalf of CPEE, will confirm your examination details and venue each semester. By utilising Monash University's examination centres, we are able to provide the majority of students with a local venue for sitting their examinations. If you live more than 150 kilometres from an approved exam venue, or have a medical condition or disability that precludes travel to an exam venue, you can request the use of a Special Local Invigilator (SLI). It is the student's responsibility to locate a suitable invigilator and provide the details of the "Request for a Special Local Invigilator" form. Please contact Monash University for advice This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monash University will issue notification 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the exam period. This notification provides students with: The address of their examination venue Examination start time and Other important information relating to the examination Please check this information carefully as venues and times may vary for each examination. If you have not received your notification by this time please contact CPEE to confirm.

All examinations, unless otherwise stated, are 'closed book'Examination Venues Please refer to the following examination venue information and listing when completing your enrolment/re-enrolment form.

Examination Venue listing (Click to download)

Avoiding plagiarism 

Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism

As a student, you are required to reference your sources using an appropriate referencing style. Correct referencing is an important part of academic writing and it ensure that the ideas or words of others are rightfully acknowledged. It also helps avoid plagiarism. Well used referencing demonstrates that the writer has indeed read the contemporary and historical background literature and helps provide authority for statements made in conclusions, summaries and interpretation of results.

CPEE uses the Harvard Author-Date referencing style. It should be noted however that the Harvard referencing and citation style will vary from different sources in minor features such as punctuation, capitalisation, abbreviations, and the use of italics. CPEE provides an Introductory Guide to using this system however it limits itself to providing some examples of the Harvard methodology for books, journals, web documents, course material and conferences.

What is Plagiarism?

The definition of plagiarism provided by Collins Dictionary (n.d.) is, “Plagiarism is the practice of using or copying someone else's idea or work and pretending that you thought of it or created it”.

Plagiarism varies in its severity and can often be unintentional. As such it is important to be able to identify where a possible instance of plagiarism may occur and ensure that you take measures to correctly cite references and detail contributors prior to submitting your work. There are penalties for Plagiarism so it is important to understand this process before submitting assessment work.

Examples of plagiarism can range from an un-intentional lack of correct citation through to a deliberate;copying or theft of another student’s assessment tasks. The following resources are provided to assist students with avoiding plagiarism throughout their studies.