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.
Throughout your studies, getting to know other students and becoming confident interacting with your class colleagues helps you to build a network of study support. This is important for:
How to make connections
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.
The learning resources you are provided with in your course could include:
To achieve your goals and be successful in your course you need to be an active participant. This 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.
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).
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 learrning and your organisational skills. Examples include:
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
All of the above and more is covered in the video How to study effectively: The 6 habits of highly successful students. To find out more, follow the links and visit the Learning Scientist website.
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.
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:
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.
Visit the TAFE Queensland Library Network webpage on Assignnment and Study Help – Notetaking to find out more.
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 TQ 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:
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.
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:
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.
Many TQ 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
TQ has a range of Student Support services which can assist you to develop your core numeracy skills. Visit the TQ website to find out about our Learning Support staff and the 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.
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 Assignnment and Study Help to find out how to start your 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.
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.
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.
All TQ 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, plus details of the main Faculty and Administration departments.
Tip: Keep a record of the main TQ or partner university telephone numbers in your mobile phone or in a diary, especially the number and email address for the Technology Support team.
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 TQ and community support services.
Tip: 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.
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
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:
VET in Schools students and students enrolled in language, literacy and 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 TQ 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 TQ is partnered with for your Higher Education program to find out more.