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Ellen Robinson on choosing online study at Charles Sturt for her Master of Education

When Ellen Robinson graduated from her Bachelor of Education (Birth to Five Years) in 2017 she thought it would be the end of her university education – in fact, it was just the start. Ellen felt the need to continue to learn and advance her career, so she decided to head back to uni at Charles Sturt to complete her Master of Education.

The choice to study online

This time around, Ellen is studying online. She says studying in a classroom was never an option for her.

“I have loved studying with Charles Sturt. Online learning suits me perfectly. I’m able to still work as a teacher, but also learn. Studying online means that I can manage my own work/life/study balance.

“Plus I find that I would get frustrated in a classroom setting as I wouldn’t be able to work at my own pace.”

“Studying at home, I can work at my own pace, in the comfort of my pyjamas with my cat by my side.”

Ellen’s top tips for studying an online course

For Ellen being organised was key to getting the most out of her online course. Here are Ellen’s top tips for how she does it.

“My mantra is: plan, plan, plan.

“Have all of your resources ready before session starts. I print my resources and readings so I can highlight important parts.

“Set aside time each day or at least every second day to study and work through the online modules.

“I generally don’t study past 8pm because I know how important ‘me time’ is.

“And if you can, make your study relevant to your work. Base your assessments on something that you are currently working on.”

Oh, and one last piece of advice:

“Attend your online meetings with your facilitator, they are very informative and have saved my butt many times!”

That’s a good point, because when you’re studying online, support is only a click away when you need it.

Individual academic skills support is available when you book a 30-minute appointment. It can be via Skye, phone, online video or through email. Whatever works for you. Whether it’s coming to grips with academic writing again, or building literacy or numeracy skills, we can help – and our advisers can even design an individual learning plan for you.

And if you have just a quick question about academic writing, you can ask an academic skills adviser by posting your question on our online forum. It’s checked seven days a week and you’re guaranteed to get an answer within 24 hours. (Mostly it’s much faster than that!)

Online learning is connected learning

Connection doesn’t stop with your teachers and advisers; it’s also part of studying with your ‘classmates’. Studying a Master of Education online means being connected to a community, as Ellen found.

“A memorable moment would be during my very first module, joining a Facebook group with a few other students and being able to share the journey with them.

“I often think of the support we gave to each other and how we celebrated each other’s achievements – I don’t think I’d be where I am today without them.”

When you start your masters online you may well get a sense of empowerment – Ellen certainly did.

“I realised that I can do this. That obtaining a postgraduate university qualification is not out of my reach. I think this pushes me to work my hardest. What’s more, it has provided me with experiences and knowledge that I didn’t know were possible.”

Just like Ellen you can expand your career with Charles Sturt University’s Master of Education (generic and with specialisation) . Designed and taught by education leaders and experts, this course advances your career-specific knowledge and skills all while you enjoy the freedom of online study.

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