During your studies
During your course, find out about more about how to engage with your teachers and peers and use your learning material effectively so you can maintain healthy study habits and achieve your learning goals.
At TAFE Queensland it is important that you Learn, Engage, Achieve and Progress (LEAP) through your studies.
LEAP is designed to support students to prepare for, engage with, and achieve success with their study at TAFE Queensland, while self-monitoring their progress, support needs, and mental health and wellbeing.
‘Before I start’ will help you learn about TAFE and your study options.
‘Starting successfully’ will help you discover how to engage in your studies and prepare yourself to learn.
‘How can I stay on track?’ will help you discover strategies to achieve success by staying active and asking for help if you need it.
‘Completing successfully’ will help you discover learning pathways to enable you to progress toward future studies or employment goals.
How do teachers and class activities help me to build my skills and knowledge so I can succeed in my course?
All the activities you are provided with are for a purpose. Whether you are attending a class face-to-face or online, interacting with your teacher and peers in classroom activities is important for study success at TAFE Queensland. When you are participating in class or with online activities, you are practising the skills and applying the knowledge you will need in the workplace, and to complete assessments.
Being an active learner allows you to:
Your teacher is your first point of contact for questions about your course content. Asking questions is an effective way to learn because it clarifies key points about the topics and learning concepts, which contributes to your knowledge acquisition.
Understand workplace requirements
Your teachers are all experts in the course content and current in industry practices, so learning from them will help you to practise your skills to meet workplace standards.
Participating in class activities and discussions helps you to build relationships and work collaboratively with your peers so you can learn from one another.
Working with your teacher allows them to monitor and evaluate your progress. They can provide you with valuable feedback on your ideas and skill development, which helps you to reflect on and improve your performance.
Develop problem-solving and communication skills
Being an active learner in class and with your peers helps you to develop problem-solving and communication skills which are essential for job-seeking and employment.
What can I do to make connections with other students so we can support one another’s learning and health and wellbeing?
Throughout your studies, getting to know other students and becoming confident interacting with your class peers helps you to build a network of study support. This is important for:
- Preparing for group work and/or team activities/assessments
- Sharing information and resources for learning and mental health support
- Preparing to build a professional network when you graduate and move on to further study and/or employment.
How can I make positive connections with others in TAFE?
- Participate actively in class discussions and activities
- Develop a study group and use campus facilities for meetings and study sessions
- Stay connected with TAFE Queensland and community events through TAFE Queensland’s Facebook page
- Use the discussion boards and forums in Connect to share ideas and ask questions
- Use the dicussion boards and forums in your Higher Education program’s Learning Management System.
What is a Study Buddy and do I need one?
A Study Buddy is someone who will help motivate you and achieve your study goals. They can be someone to study with, help quiz you for assignments or exams, it’s someone you can share your worries or achievements with, and who understands any challenges the juggle of study/life/work may bring.
Visit this page to learn more on how a study buddy doesn’t have to be someone from your class, and the benefits of having an online buddy to keep you on track.
Watch this video by MacEwan University on How to Find a Study Buddy – although MacEwan University is a different training organisation, the process of finding a good study buddy is the same for TAFE Queensland students. Of course, all effort in your assessment or exam needs to be your own.
Visit this Better health website for sound advice on friendships
There are some general guidelines for TAFE Queensland students using social media for their course work, and when working on team projects. Your teachers will explain these guidelines and outline TAFE Queensland’s expectations for appropriate behaviour and conduct.
If you feel any of your connections or conversations negatively affect you, talk about your concerns to your teacher or someone you trust. You can find our support networks here.
How do I make the best use of the learning resources to improve my learning and achieve my goals?
To achieve your goals and be successful in your course you need to be an active participant. Being active means using learning resources effectively in a range of formats and locations: before class, during class, after class and in the workplace. It also means completing learning tasks and activities as provided by the teacher, and accessing the relevant resources in the process.
The learning resources you are provided with in your course could include:
- Learning resources in the Learning Management System, Connect, which may be presented in an online format or as a downloadable Learner Guide
- Resources provided to you in class (for theory and practical components)
- Additional/supplementary resources suggested by your teacher
- Workplace resources (if your course includes vocational placement or work experience).
Some key points for success are:
Set study goals and plan your study time accordingly (e.g. use the S M A R T principles for study planning). Learn the technique of interleaving your study and set yourself goals for learning and test yourself along the way.
Imagine that you have to organise your learning resources like you would organise utensils in your kitchen drawers, or clothes in a wardrobe. You don’t keep everything in one drawer because you wouldn’t be able to find anything when you searched for it. So, think about keeping your learning resources in a filing system: electronic and/or hard copy.
Tip! Create electronic or hard copy folders for each subject you are studying and keep everything related to that subject in that location. Make sub-folders for assessment items, core resources, and supplementary material, and label items clearly so you can find them easily.
Continue to practise using technology and experimenting with ways your technology devices can help your learning and your organisational skills. Examples include:
- Download useful documents and learning guides and using appropriate file naming conventions to save them for easy reference later (e.g. Legal Studies_AT1_Q2 reading)
- Bookmark and/or use the Favourites feature in your Internet browser and in your course Learning Management System
- Use keyboard shortcuts and ‘search’ functions to quickly locate key terms or phrases
- Use an online research and referencing tool such as Google Scholar
- Check your grammar and sentence structure using Grammarly. This tool also has a free plagiarism feature to ensure you acknowledge your source
Research has shown that there is no such thing as ‘multi-tasking’. The idea that we can do this results in people trying to do lots of things at once, but not very well! Scientists who study in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, education, and learning, say that what we actually need to think about is switching. This means that we shift our attention as we switch between tasks and actively focus on the new task.
Study habits of highly successful students
This video by The Learning Scientists, The 6 Habits of Highly Successful Students, includes concepts on spacing study, interleaving topics, asking how or why, connecting your learning content to your own experiences and using both text and visuals when making notes.
Where do I find additional resources for my course?
The TAFE Queensland Library Network has a wide range of course specific resources in print and electronic formats which are collated into Subject Guides. Liaison Librarians work with each faculty to provide relevant resources which are up-to-date and reputable.
Visit the TAFE Queensland Library homepage and choose your course from the Subject Guides section, then browse the resources.
How can I improve my note-taking?
Taking notes, whether by hand or electronically, is important in many learning and workplace settings.
Being an effective note-taker will help you to recall the main points from what you have been reading, listening to, or watching, and it’s also an effective way to record your own ideas for assessment tasks. If you are preparing for further study in Higher Education programs, good note-taking skills will be beneficial when listening to lectures and documenting the main points from complex texts.
Practising note-taking will also prepare you for the workplace where you may need to write or update notes for a range of tasks, including:
- writing down instructions or steps for a task you are asked to do
- completing forms
- updating client records
- communicating with colleagues
- sharing information
Tip! Efficient note-taking requires a purpose and a technique so that your notes are well organised, and so you don’t replicate information which is already available in another format.
How can I improve my reading skills?
Reading for study purposes
Reading for study purposes involves particular techniques and methods which help you to recall the main ideas and key concepts of the text so you can understand what you are reading, and start to develop your knowledge about a given topic. Whatever course you are doing, and whether you are reading your learning resources, class or lecture notes, textbooks, journal articles, or websites, effective reading takes practise and time because most people have to read information more than once to understand the meaning.
Developing foundation and core reading skills
One way to improve reading skills is to practise reading by using your learning resources. In addition, Student Support staff can suggest specialist resources for how to develop your core reading skills. Visit the TAFE Queensland website to find out about our Learning Support staff and the online tutor service Studiosity.
Developing academic reading skills for analysis and discussion
If you want to learn how to read more efficiently and effectively for your course work, find out more about the SQ3R technique - Survey/Skim, Question, Read, Recall and Review.
Learning Support teachers and staff in a Learning Skills Centre (where available), will also provide advice and guidance on how to develop your academic reading skills.
How do I improve my research and information literacy skills?
Depending on your course, you may be required to do independent research and extended reading in addition to using your main learning resources. Examples of sources you may be asked to access are:
- Library databases
- Industry specific guides
- Industry legislation and regulation frameworks • Technical reports
- Evidence-based practice websites
- Course specific electronic resources
Tip! Use an online research and referencing tool such as Google Scholar and check your grammar and sentence structure using Grammarly, which also has a free plagiarism feature to ensure you acknowledge your source
The TAFE Queensland Library Network has a wide range of general and course specific resources for students to access, as well as guides and videos on how to use these resources. Learn more about how to develop your information literacy and research skills by following the links to the relevant TAFE Queensland Library Network web pages.
How do I improve my Maths and Numeracy skills?
Many TAFE Queensland courses have specific mathematics and numeracy requirements which are part of the key competencies of the training package or Higher Education program. Where students are assessed on industry specific maths skills, teachers provide relevant lessons and learning resources to help students prepare.
Developing foundation and core numeracy skills
TAFE Queensland has a range of Student Support services which can assist you to develop your core numeracy skills. Find out more about our Learning Support staff and online tutor service Studiosity.
Developing industry specific maths skills
If you need to improve your understanding of the maths required for your course and industry, you should talk to your teacher for advice about relevant resources, and the availability of additional learning support services, if required.
How do I prepare an assignment?
Assignment preparation is a bit like following a new recipe for a special birthday cake that you’ve been asked to make. You need to read instructions, gather your resources, plan, follow a method, and allow enough time.
During this process, you may also discover that you need to learn a new skill, such as locating a specific learning resource or textbook in the Library, accessing an electronic database, or using academic referencing.
Visit the TAFE Queensland Library Network webpage on Assignment and Study Help to find out how to start your assignment.
How do I write an assignment?
How you write your assignment will depend on what sort of assignment task you are given and the specific requirements of your vocational course or Higher Education program. For example, in some courses students are required to use academic referencing or follow a specific template, structure and word count guide. You might also need to prepare voice recordings or videos and upload them to a Learning Management System.
Your teachers will give you clear instructions and guidelines for your assignments, but whatever the assignment task, there are some general steps you can follow, and also resources available to help you develop effective writing skills.
Follow the links to the TAFE Queensland Library Network resources on how to write your assignment.
Tip! Use the handy checklist - Have you covered everything required for your assignment?
How do I prepare for exams?
Some TAFE Queensland courses and Higher Education programs may require students to complete exams, either online or face-to-face. Teachers will give you guidance about exams by providing relevant learning resources and practise activities. However, there are some general ways you can prepare for exams using effective revision and problem-solving strategies, and by understanding how to manage nerves.
If you have previous experience of exam stress, or special circumstances which may affect your ability to complete exams, speak to your teachers and the TAFE Queensland AccessAbility Support team for further advice.
Tips for staying on top of your exam stress include:
- Stay organised with your To Do tasks and study timetable
- Take regular breaks
- Study in a quiet place or use noise-cancelling headphones
- Keep your long term goal visible
- Try to get regular sleep and eat well
- Check-in with your teacher and talk about any issues early
- Release your stress – try meditation or muscle relaxation exercises
Managing your time well will help in staying in control of your exam stress. Good mental health – even during exam time - means you can appreciate day-to-day life, cope with stress, be actively involved in your studies, and manage your other responsibilities. If you maintain good mental health, you’ll be better prepared to deal with change and challenges. Find our support networks here.
How do I stay on track with my studies?
Developing healthy and balanced study habits
Staying on track with your studies involves effective study planning from the beginning of your course, open and ongoing communication with your teachers and other educational staff, and self-monitoring of your mental health and wellbeing. Find our support networks here.
All TAFE Queensland students are given a Program/Qualification guide and Unit Study Guides with assessment due dates and a learning schedule. Use these to update your study planner, and use a diary or an online calendar to keep a record of your assessment due dates.
Tip! there will be an electronic calendar in Connect, or in the Learning Management System of our partner universities for students enrolled in Higher Education programs.
The Unit Study Guides have your teachers’ names and contact details.
Monitoring Mental Health and Wellbeing
Balancing work, study and leisure, avoiding distractions, and making healthy life-style choices are all factors which are essential to staying motivated with your studies, and to achieving successful outcomes. Recognise if you are feeling overwhelmed or behind with your studies, and stay connected to TAFE Queensland and community support services.
Make sure you know how to apply for an assessment extension, and who to contact for support and/or advice about your enrolment/academic plan.
What if I need additional learning support?
AccessAbility Support team
If you have an identifed learning disability or learning difficulty, you may need an individualised AccessAbility or Training and Support Plan developed for you.
This may involve a review of:
- Medical/diagnostic documentation
- Language, Literacy & Numeracy test results
- Previous support arrangements
A TAFE Queensland AccessAbility officer can assess the type of support you need, and determine TAFE Queensland’s capacity to support these needs.
Additional Learning Support
Additional learning support services from qualified Learning Support teachers is available for all TAFE Queensland students with the exception of:
- Secondary school students enrolled in VET in Schools (VETiS) programs, and
- Students enrolled in TAFE Queensland Adult Literacy & Numeracy and English Language programs
VET in Schools students and students enrolled in Language , Literacy & Numeracy programs should speak to their teacher about additional learning support needs, if required.
Studiosity tutor service
The Studiosity online tutor service is available for all TAFE Queensland students and is accessed via Connect. Access to ‘on-demand’ study help is available for academic literacy and core subject skills, plus a writing feedback service. Waiting times for the writing feedback service are advised once you log in.
Higher Education programs
Our partner universities have a range of learning support and academic advisement services available for enrolled students with a current university Student ID number. Visit the website of the university TAFE Queensland is partnered with for your Higher Education program to find out more.