How to study online


Are you new to online study? A little worried about how to go about it? Do not worry, we are here to help. Do not worry, we are here to help.

Studying online is an excellent opportunity that has many benefits. It’s a chance to accomplish your goals, it is convenient, you gain lifelong learning skills and you grow as an individual.

Here are our top tips for studying online…

1# Resources

You will find the experience changes for each unit (aka subject). Lecturers may schedule online tutorials, upload lecture videos, or expect you to participate in group work. Others may ask you to contribute to forums, submit weekly reflections or answer quizzes.

If you’re already enrolled, your Unit Profile will detail the planned activities. Regardless of the activities scheduled, there are a number of required resources that come standard:

  • Access to a computer
  • A reliable internet connection
  • Access to word processing software
  • Writing materials such as notepads and pens.

You may also have a prescribed or recommended textbook, or specific software requirements. These resources are also outlined in the Unit Profile.


2# Time management

Now that you have the right resources, you will need to manage your time, plan your workload throughout the term, and commit to a schedule.

The Unit Profile outlines the schedule for textbook readings and assessment due dates. This detail becomes available two weeks before the start of each term.

Moodle is our online learning environment. It’s here that your lecturer will post activities each week during the term. Follow your lecturers instructions and complete these weekly.

The Planning section of the CQUni Handbook includes key academic dates for the year, including enrolment deadlines, and planning resources like term and weekly planners.


3# Discipline

Studying online is both an opportunity and a challenge. Without weekly classes to attend, and classmates to keep you on track, it all comes down to your own discipline. The great thing about this is you can adjust your schedule and pace when you need to.

A peer network will help you stay motivated. Connect with classmates on the Moodle forums, Student Mentors, PASS, and our official social channels for students. Although you are an online student you are can still attend a campus or study centre near you and access facilities like the Library.

And remember, you’re accountable if you slack off or fall behind.


4# Celebration!

As a milestone is accomplished, celebrate your hard work. Submitting an assessment feels scary at first, but you’ll quickly find it’s super satisfying.

Feedback will be provided for each assessment and this is an opportunity to learn and apply that learning to your next piece of work. Be sure to pay attention to this, but don’t let grades get in the way of celebrating your effort.


That’s it for now. The University has a range of support services that can help you, if you find yourself feeling lost or stressed.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to someone.

Mae Swarbrick (

Mae Swarbrick is a current student, studying part-time in the Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Arts, and working full-time as Student Communications Officer. Mae's ongoing experience as a current student is invaluable in her role as leader of the Student Communications team. Combine this with practical experience in the call centre, Admissions and Student Communications teams, and she’s ready to share some first-rate uni hacks for new students. Follow Mae on #How2Uni.

10 thoughts on “How to study online

  1. Find some like-minded, motivated people who are also studying by distance and form a small study group IMMEDIATELY (3 or 4 people). Use it and committee to each other, trust me, it will help you stay motivated when you tired and fatigued. I think this may be one of the most important steps in successfully completing your degree via distance education.

  2. This is a great blog of information for at STEPS student soon to be an Undergrad student. I originally thought STEPS was scary but now I have enrolled in Bachelor of Arts to start full time term 1 2017, I think this is the scariest. Thank you Mae for this blog.

  3. If you are studying by distance, chances are you have other commitments that make going to a campus or full time study not possible or even impossible. Factor this into your time management schedules and think creatively around establishing support networks, study discipline and acknowledgement of your accumulative successes.

  4. The Academic Learning Centre (ALC) is another resource that you should keep in mind, especially if a task is taking you too long. You can get help with Computing, Maths and Science at any stage of your degree. You can also get help with Academic Communication (essay writing, referencing, note-taking and so on) in your first year. Check the website for details or email your question to the ALC directly via

  5. These are all fantastic tips. I think for me though, the biggest challenge to come with studying online was just being online…online where Facebook is, online where YouTube, Twitter and Instagram is. It’s so easy to get caught up in these distractions (ie: procrastination central) that you have to be strong.

    Something that worked for me was having study breaks. Focus hard for a few hours and then have a half hour brain break with which ever vice you choose.

    Hope it helps 😁

    1. Hi Julia,
      We are glad that our tips helped you. Disconnect from social media while studying.
      Good luck with your studies.
      Regards, CQUni, Flo

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