Home and away: Top tips for distance learners

Are you a distance learner? Whether you’re in Brentwood or Benidorm, you’ll know that studying off campus can be hard. So catch-up with the Library, learn about our top tips and be absolutely fabulous!… by Oriane Boulay 

Studying off campus can be hard. You might have other commitments, such as work or child care and it sometimes feels like you’re excluded from the campus clique. Here are our top tips to help you make the most of the Library! And just for fun, we have added hidden references to a whole host of British (and 1 Australian!) TV series in this blog post, can you spot them all? 

1. Log in and enjoy the show/make the most of the Library collections

Away from campus and struggling to find material for your upcoming essay? Don’t panic! Log into the Library website with your IT username and password and start exploring our electronic resources. In Library Search, use the filters in the left-hand column to exclude print-based materials and find online journal articles, e- books and more. You can also access module reading lists and databases. Would you like us to get an electronic copy of a printed item? Just ask and we’ll do our best to oblige (when available). In short, our e-resources are available anywhere and anytime! 

2. Doctor who?

Home and away: Top tips for distance learnersIn need of scholarly expertise? When you miss a few episodes / are away from campus, it’s easy to feel slightly overwhelmed. By day, get in touch or go to our website. Our very own Timelords / Academic Subject Librarians are on deck when it comes to subject-specific queries. Send them an email or visit the subject support page. From 9.30pm GMT, we offer a new ‘Ask a Librarian’ live chat available on the Library homepage. Whichever timeline you’re on, don’t struggle on your own and get help from the experts! You’re welcome… wherever you are! 

3. Downton Abbey or IT crowd?

If you feel more of an apprentice than a proficient techy, we may have the answer for you! If you are a UK-based student, you can take advantage of the Library’s postal loans service  (postal charges apply). We can also provide copies of material that is part of the current Library stock. Contact the Resource Delivery team to find out more. Now who doesn’t like to receive a package through the mail? Living nearby and in desperate need of printed material? Request a hold and we’ll contact you when the item is ready to be picked up. Because not everything has to be online, am I right?

4. Make sure you’re in the thick of it

Take a virtual Library tour to feel like a native. Stay in touch with us via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Explore our website for guidance on how to search for information or referencing. Finally, make sure to sign up for one of our Moodle courses online. You’ll never miss out again! And don’t forget to check your Library account regularly, particularly if you have any items on loan which may need renewing or returning.

5. It’s not all about the (black) books!

Home and away: Top tips for distance learnersAt times, your module might require you to watch a film or a documentary.  Or maybe you want to brush up on your Chinese/Portuguese/Swahili? With BoB on demand service for education, enjoy a wide range of films, TV or radio programmes. From French films noirs to David Attenborough’s documentaries, you should find something to help with your Inter Faith Dialogue / Critical Appraisal in Health Care / Ethical and Organisational Issues module. Bit of advice though: Do not get carried away and watch old German films until 2.00am… It does not help with essay writing!

6. The Grand Tour

Home and away: Top tips for distance learnersNot a local? Not a problem! With SCONUL, get access to university Libraries all over the UK. If you’re not based in the UK or are looking for special collections, check out our study blog post on using other libraries. You may discover your new favourite study spot! Any recommendations? If you ask me, a Warwick Library sunset is hard to beat. Come and check it out if you can!

Ready to go? Make sure you use your little grey cells, show fortitude and find your way in the databases mind-palace!  And remember, the Library is here to help!

Could you spot all the TV shows references in this blog spot? More importantly, do you have any more study tips for distance learners? If so, let us know by clicking on any of the share options at the end of this post.


Images: Tv screen / StockSnap / CC0

Tardis / Andrew Martin / CC0

Red cinema seats / Reynermedia / CC BY2.0

Colorful hot air balloon in flight / Aaron Burden / CC0


Don’t forget to share this post! #studyblog

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