IF you are looking for advice on how to successfully study online then Gabrielle Griffith has some handy tips.
And she speaks from experience – Gabrielle became a first-time mum while studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology) with Swinburne Online and still achieved a high distinction in the unit she was undertaking.
With newborn Riley demanding the majority of Gabrielle’s time, initially it wasn’t easy, but by planning ahead the 43-year-old didn’t drop the standard of her course work.
“I underestimated the demands of my little one and the effect endless sleepless nights had on my ability to study,” Gabrielle admitted.
“However, I believe that motivation, dedication and effective time management were the skills which got me through.
“I knew when Riley was expected to arrive, so I tried to get ahead in my course readings because I knew I would be out of action for at least a couple of weeks with everything going on.
“After we came home and things settled down a bit I tried to multi-task by reading the course material when Riley was feeding.
“The hardest part was completing the assignments which required hours of research, planning and writing."
Seasoned online students often advise that one of the keys to successful online study is to avoid the damaging habit that also haunts on-campus students – procrastination. Gabrielle has the same advice.
“The trick is to get started as soon as possible,” said Gabrielle, of Melbourne.
“That way you can attack it in manageable chunks in your own time without having to panic when the due date is approaching.”
Gabrielle returned to study after working for 12 years in IT, her yearning to help people “rather than help big banks make money” luring her to major in psychology with Swinburne Online.
“Going to back to study was not as difficult as I had expected,” she said.
“I wondered if my brain still knew how to study after such a long time and I was pleased to find out it is a bit like riding a bike – even if the bike is a bit rusty.”
And as a new mum, the flexibility to study has been a “saviour”.
“A lot of my study was done late at night when the house was finally quiet, and I found the whole online learning concept quite a novelty and enjoyed it a lot,” Gabrielle said.
“I’m really looking forward to completing the core units so that I can get started on the psychology topics, which is what I’m really interested in.”
Learn more about flexible study options by visiting http://www.swinburne.edu.au.
* This article was written by an independent journalist as part of a commercial agreement between Fairfax Media and Swinburne Online.