Study Advice

Some Advice for Studying By Distance

Studying by distance 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:

  1. 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 distance learning.
  2. List your personal commitments and evaluate the impact of these commitments on the way you study and the workloads created.
  3. 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.
  4. Take into account your concentration span when scheduling study tasks.
  5. Decide where you will be able to study best and create an environment which maximises your chances of effective study.
  6. Establish goals for study tasks and make these goals realistic.
  7. 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 160 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.

Common problems

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