Man with headphones looking at a laptop while studying online

Thinking of studying at university online? Here are five questions to ask

Thinking about returning to study? There are plenty of things to weigh up. Maybe you haven’t studied since high school and are looking to get your first qualification. Or maybe you’ve completed your bachelor’s, but a postgraduate degree will help you upskill and nab that promotion you’ve had your eye on. Whatever your situation, studying at university online could be the best way to get your career in the place you want it to be – in a way that fits in with your lifestyle.

Now, as Australia’s most experienced online university, at Charles Sturt we’re pretty confident we know a bit about delivering the best online university education. And the fact that more students choose to study online with us than any other uni in Australia (in fact, there are around 25,000 studying online with us right now!) motivates us to keep improving.

But you might have some queries about what online university study is really like. We reckon these are the top five questions to ask a uni about studying online. So, ready for some answers?

What’s your online study technology like?

You want to know that you can access what you need when you need it. And you want to be sure that everything you need can be done online. After all, it’s called online study for a reason!

At Charles Sturt we’ve got a dedicated online learning space that houses everything you need to study online in one convenient location. It’s called Interact2 – and it’s your ticket to a seamless online study experience.

When you study online with Charles Sturt University, everything you need is there at the click of a mouse. Lectures, tutorials, assessments, resources, community spaces. Plus, our extensive digital library is available 24/7, with plenty of online resources and how-to guides to help you find what you need. We’ve even got a dedicated library YouTube channel for all your library learning know-how. And if you need any books sent to you, we’ll post them out free of charge.

Is your online study program truly flexible?

You’re busy. Because, you know, life happens. Things can change. Life is more hectic at times than others. So you need an online study program that will grow and change with you – and give you true flexibility to study around life’s ups and downs.

At Charles Sturt, flexibility is in our DNA. As things change, you can modify your study to fit them. Take extra subjects when you have a bit more time. Scale back to one or two when things are busier. You can even study over the summer to get ahead.

You know where you want to take your career next. So, at Charles Sturt University, you can build the course that will get your there. Combine subjects from different areas and select from a range of elective subjects.

You might be studying comms but also want to gain an understanding of your audience’s mindset with a psychology subject? You can, here. Or you might want to complement your IT studies with some management skills to help you run your future business. No problem. It’s your degree, done your way.

How will I be supported while studying online?

Feeling supported when studying online is a big one. Online is a different type of study. It comes with its own set of benefits – and some challenges. It’s really important for a uni to provide you with tangible ways to get the help you need while studying online.

When you study an online course with Charles Sturt, you connect to your lecturer and to your classmates. But you also connect to our online learning advisers. They assist you to navigate the online learning environment and get the most out of the digital resources.

For instance, while you might be fine browsing the web for info, you might not know how to access particular journal databases. Or how to add to a wiki. Our advisers can guide you, and point you to online workshops that can help too.

Oh, and we have 24/7 IT support, so you don’t have to worry about tech issues. And when you access IT support, your lecturer gets a message – so they’ll know you were trying to get that assessment in on time!

You’ll also have full access to all our other support services, including career advice, health and wellbeing and scholarships.

Is it easy to stay motivated while studying online?

Motivation is key when studying online. You need a uni that’s going to help you every step of the way. A uni that will provide you with guidance to stay focused, the tools to succeed and the support to tackle challenges you may face.

When you study with Charles Sturt, you become part of something bigger. You become family. And families support each other. Whether you’re in your first session of online study or your last year with us, we’ll have your back! We’ll share our top tips to help you start strong – from setting up an effective study area to knowing what equipment you’ll need or how to gather support from your friends, family and employer.

Once you’re underway there’s a range of tools and support to keep you super motivated and give you the confidence to succeed. There are study planners, online workshops, assignment feedback, discussion forums and even individual support – face-to-face via Skye, phone, online or through email. Whatever works for you!

What’s the best advice for someone returning to do university study online?

Our advice is to just go for it. There’s no better time than the present than to jump in and better your life. Here are a couple of things to think about.

  • Gather support. Get your friends, family and employer on board with your study goals. That way you’ll have a great support team.
  • Have healthy habits. You can only study at your best when you have a healthy mind, body and soul. So, take care of yourself. Eat properly, sleep well, stay active and be social.
  • Get a head start. Make yourself a deal – don’t procrastinate. Doing a little bit each day for your study will keep you on track, and may just put you ahead.
  • Plan. Plan. Plan. You’ll have a lot to do, juggling work, family and friends… and study. So make lists, keep a diary, draft a plan. Do whatever it takes to keep on track and on schedule.           

Ready to start?

Find your ideal online university course – and let’s do this.