Welcome to the OUA family! We’ve put together this handy guide that answers all the questions most of us feel too silly to ask on the first day of uni.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the guide!
How is uni different to high school?
Most people compare university to high school as their next closest experience. The number one difference is that at university your learning is self-directed. Regardless of whether you are an online student or on campus, you don’t have a teacher telling you what to do and when to do it each day. Instead, you’re given an overview of the work that needs to be done each week, and deadlines for delivering assessment tasks.
This might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. When you’re in charge of your learning experience, you have so much more flexibility. How you study, and when, is up to you!
Where do I go to get started?
Each of your units (or subjects) will have its own LMS (or Learning Management System). This is an online portal that houses all the learning resources you need to complete your studies, as well as online communication tools like forums or webinars which you can use to chat to your tutors and fellow students.
Use your My Study Centre account to find the links for each unit through to your LMS. We suggest logging into your LMS as early as possible, and taking some time to click everything to find out how it works and where everything lives.
How do I know what to do every week?
Your tutor, lecturer or unit chair is responsible for putting together an outline of how each unit will run. These guides can have different names – a Study Guide, Unit Guide, Unit Handbook, etc. Regardless of what they’re called, they’ll typically tell you everything you need to know as a student. Each guide covers off your role and responsibilities as a student, the rules for the unit, contact details for your tutors and an outline of which activities, reading or homework you need to do each week to stay on track. They will also let you know what your assessment tasks are and when they’re due.
If you have any questions about what to do and when, we’d suggest using the online forums within the LMS to get in touch with your tutors or other students for assistance.
Who is available to help me?
Regardless of what type of help you need, you’ve always got supporters ready to jump in and save the day.
Your first port of call should always be your tutors who are accessible via your LMS. Your tutors and lecturers are able to answer questions about your unit, how it will be run, the learning material and the assessment tasks.
If you’re having trouble with administrative matters like your enrolment, booking exams, ordering textbooks or making plans our friendly Student Advisors are available to help. You can call them directly on 13 OPEN or leave an online enquiry.
If you’re having trouble with your study skills, experiencing issues with time management or procrastination, or just need some advice from people who understand how to be a better student, then you need our Student Support team. We can offer you student coaching, counselling and 24/7 online tutors. Find out more about our support services here.
Where do I meet other students?
The best way to find other students who are studying the exact same thing as you, is to log in to your LMS and find the online discussion forums. In the discussion forums you’ll meet and be able to chat online with all the students doing your unit, and the tutors in charge. Usually your first week is all about introducing yourself and getting acquainted, so jump in!
We’d suggest you jump inand find your study buddies as early as possible – we’re all in this together, so embrace your new friends.
Do I need textbooks?
You’ll be able to answer that question using the Textbook Finder on the OUA website. Simply type in the name of the unit you are studying, and you’ll see a list of required (that means mandatory) and recommended (that means it’s up to you) textbooks.
Our preferred textbook supplier is The Co-op. We recommend becoming a member of The Co-op – it costs just $25 to join up as a Co-op Member, and membership is for life. All Co-op Members enjoy discounts on the entire Co-op range, as well as exclusive access to benefits like their Price Beat Promise and an extra 15% off second-hand textbooks!
Find out more about textbooks here.
How do exams work?
Many units require a supervised exam as the final assessment task. Exams are held at specific times of the year – typically during the fortnight after the end of a Study Period, Semester or Session. You’ll find the latest calendar right here.
OUA’s Exam Services team are responsible for organising an exam venue as close to where you live as possible. Usually between Weeks 8 and 10 of a study term, you’ll receive a notification that you need to book your exam date and venue.
For more information refer to our Exams overview here.
Still feeling overwhelmed or stuck? If this is your first ever unit, you’ll receive a call during the first few weeks from our team of Student Coaches who will chat with you about getting started and staying on track.
Alternatively if you need help sooner, give our friendly Student Advisors a call on 13 OPEN or leave us an online equiry.
Good luck and we hope you enjoy it!