Studying successfully online

Studying online is a different experience from attending lectures on campus, and you need to be motivated and good at organising your time.

You can develop good study habits to support your online learning using our Study Smart resources. The resources listed below will be particularly helpful for you to develop these skills and habits.


Study Smart Online

Access information about Study Smart Online

You can make use of free personalised academic literacy support online, with online chat and an assignment feedback service.

Digital literacy

Access Digital Literacy page

Learning online is the perfect environment to develop your digital literacy skills.

Information skills

Access Successful Searching online tutorials

Learn how to find, evaluate, and manage all the information you need for your assignments.

Note-taking resources

Access note-taking resources

Taking notes will help you focus on the lectures as you listen to them online. Find note-taking tips here.

Time management resources

Access time management resources

Time management is probably one of the most important skills for studying successfully online. Get practical advice here.

Being a successful student online

Click the icons on the left to access the resources.

Download guide on preparing to participate in class

Preparing to participate

Whether your lecture is on campus or online, you'll get the most out of it if you're well prepared.

Download online participation guide

Online participation

Make sure you're aware of 'netiquette', good principles for appropriate online communication.

Download active listening guide

Active listening

It's easy to get distracted when listening to your lectures online. Build your skills in active listening to make the most of your listening time.

Download goal setting guide

Setting goals

If you set goals for your study, you'll become more organised, motivated and productive.

Download tracking your progress guide

Tracking your progress

Stay motivated by keeping track of how you're going.

Download guide to communicating with staff through emails

Communicating with staff through emails

Top tips for communicating effectively with your teachers by email.

Download guide on starting and managing a study group

Starting and managing a study group

You don't have to be on campus to build a learning community with your peers.

Download guide on learning from feedback

Learning from feedback

Feedback on your learning is just as important (maybe even more!) for online learning as it is for learning on campus.

Using digital textbooks

You may find that some of your textbooks are available as electronic books. Learn how to use your digital textbooks effectively by following the tips on this page.

Important: To unlock your free textbooks, you need to create an Adobe ID and use it (opens in a new window) when you download the textbooks. If you don’t use an Adobe ID you won’t be able to download
the whole book.

You will be able to access your textbook through the Readings and Resources link in the side menu on your unit vUWS page. Look for the 'Prescribed text' in your reading list. For help with accessing digital textbooks, check the Library FAQs (opens in a new window).

You can:

  • Read your digital textbook on your computer or device.
  • Download your digital textbook or read it online.
  • Print some or all of your digital textbook.
  • Access your digital textbook via a screen reader or other support tool.

Digital textbooks have lots of helpful tools to help you read and study efficiently and effectively.

You can:

  • Search the book for keywords.
  • Highlight sections of text.
  • Annotate the text and take notes electronically.
  • Use the e-reader or platform to keep track of where you're up to in your reading.
  • Email notes to yourself.

Some important things to remember about digital textbooks:

  • Before you download your digital books, you'll need to ensure you have the right reader software (free) installed on your computer or device to read the book. In most cases this is Adobe Digital Editions (opens in a new window)(ADE). You will also need to create an Adobe ID (opens in a new window) and you must
    use it each time you download a book. Failure to authorise with an Adobe ID will prohibit you from further downloads, including to other devices. Please check the Library FAQ (opens in a new window) for further details.
  • It's important to download and save your notes to your computer or device before the end of the access period (census date and then end of session). The Library holds a copy (whether digital or in print) of all textbooks, so if you need to check something from your notes later, you will be able to find
    a Library copy to read. Check the support pages below for help with saving notes.
  • The ebook platform will let you know if you can't do something for copyright reasons.

Resources and support

Visit the following sites for more information about digital textbooks and how to study effectively with them.

  • Researching and reading page for interactive tutorials on reading electronic texts
  • Library Ebooks guide (opens in a new window) provides information about the major ebook platforms the Library subscribes to.
  • Study Smart page on Digital learning - click on the Online reading bar for helpful links about on-screen reading.

Textbooks will be hosted in a variety of ebook platforms. On-screen prompts will assist you in navigating the textbook in each platform. Help is available in each platform if you get stuck - visit one of the following sites:

Drop into a campus library (opens in a new window) and ask Library staff or chat with an Online Librarian (opens in a new window) or ask a study expert.