Last week I talked about going through your materials and peer support.
This week I will talk about using the services and extra materials that are provided. I will also talk about having relationships with your trainers.

Firstly we will tackle services and extra materials.

In my course, the trainers and assessors provide live chats about a variety of subjects. These live chats are recorded and posted on OpenSpace (the Open Colleges online campus). They also host classes and trivia nights (all online). Participating/listening to these is a great way to get a good grasp on the materials, as well as learning about a variety of other subjects.

The trainers have also provided hands on training days at clinic around Australia. While I have not been able to attend one (applied too late and missed out, spaces filled fast), I have heard from the students that did attend, that it was well worth it.

Be sure to check out any additional resources that your RTO has provided. You might find the information that you are searching for! 🙂

With regards to your trainers, make sure that if you have any problems or questions at all, make sure you talk to trainers. That is what they are there for. While you may have to wait a while to get a reply, especially during peak times or after holidays such as Christmas, due to a high number of emails and messages they receive, but trust me, it is worth it. I will reiterate – they are there to help. They want you to succeed (But you have to do the hard yards and study! 🙂 ), so make sure you talk to them as much as possible.

They appreciate it if you help them out as well. Not every broken link can be found by the RTO, and more often than not, the students will find the broken link before the RTO does. Let them know if you find a link that does not work. Your trainers might even send you a replacement link.

Most importantly, treat your trainers and assessors with respect. The majority of them are passionate about their job – teaching you – and often take their work home with them. I have had assessments graded at 8 o’clock at night.

And my final tip for this week – thank your trainers! Let them know that you appreciate them. They just might be willing to go the extra mile for you.

See you next week!

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It has been a while since I have posted. It’s been a combination of things, mostly study though. Now that I am nearly finished, I have decided to blog over the next few months about my study experiences and the little tips and tricks I have learned during the past couple of years. While I will be giving out specific tips for Open Colleges Vet Nursing students, I hope that students from other courses and RTOs, online or not, will be able to take the more general ones and apply them (or modify them) for their own course and RTO. There is no one size fits all solution however, as everyone is different. It may be a case of trial and error, but I encourage you to find the methods that work best for you. Please bear in mind that I have only done the one course, so my experience is limited. In addition, I have have never studied on campus, so I shall not compare the two options. Okay, so here we go.

First of all, how does it work? Well basically, most of your materials will be online as well as your assessments. You may also have to to work placement depending on the course.

My first tip would be to make sure what is required of you. Go through that course overview. Count up the number of units. I wish I had done that when I started. Instead of working out that a unit a month would just get me finished when my course expired (24 units in my course), I worked of the number of study periods (6), assigning a number of months to each. The problem was, that there is a different number of units per study period, and I ended up stretching the time I had set. While life does get in the way, sometimes fear and procrastination (Hands up if you suffer form this. Mine is as high as it possibly can go) does too. Knowing exactly how much of what can help combat this.

Go through all of the materials and documents/assessments that are open to you when you start. Currently, when a new study period is opened, I go though all the assessments in that study period and add up all the questions (and sometimes print them out) in that study period. I also write out the question numbers on a piece of paper (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc) and circle them. Once I have done a question, I cross out the corresponding number on my sheet. It’s a trick a fellow student shared on the facebook group that we have (student owned, I’ll talk about that later) – and it works. So much so that I have even done a sheet for my portfolio (physical evidence document), as well as slightly modified it for my self.

Make sure that you connect with your fellow students in some form. Whether this is face to face or online, participating in study groups, social pages, having study buddies or all of the above, having peer support is very important. Of course, there maybe more methods of getting peer support than I have mentioned, but make sure that you do get some form of support from fellow students in your course in particular. For my course, one of the students started a closed facebook group. Our Trainers and Assessors, as well as the Course Coordinator or members and admins of this group. it is highly regulated to ensure that the group remains supportive. Naturally, students are not allowed to give away answers to other students, but they are allowed to offer ideas to enable the student asking for help to think about the question in a different way, etc. This group is the way I have found works best for me.

Next week (Part 2) I shall talk about making use of the materials and services provided, as well as your relationship with your trainers.


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