What can I do to reduce feelings of isolation?

Yes, traditionally, off-campus learning can be an isolated activity and an isolating one. It is isolated in some ways because it is about developing your own learning and there has been no way to turn you into a finished product overnight! It is also isolating, in some ways, because it is your own internal journey you are undertaking and your study environment may not be as familiar as it might. The university supports off-campus learning with Learning Support, Counselling Opens in a new window and other support services.

The Student Liaison staff at the OCLC are also available to point you towards further university support.

Nevertheless, off-campus learning need not be about isolation.

  • Stay connected with your subject MUSO discussion boards and your learning community. Many students talk about the support they gained from students undertaking the same subjects and the benefit they gain from being able to discuss and clarify their approaches.
  • Celebrate your achievements: tell someone about how you've passed your assignments, how you've coped with exams, how you've worked out a method to approach multiple due date on the iDEas email list.
  • Engage further with university: this means undertaking a mentoring or 'mentee' role, for example, via the Off-campus Students' Association Opens in a new window or joining in the discussion in your subject area. Consider a Monash Abroad experience Opens in a new window. Exploit those resources and options available to you as a university student.
  • Make opportunities to draw on academic experience and knowledge into your life: consider how you can make use of your understandings in your everyday life. Can you see examples of communication strategies you learned in the subject Management Communications in government responses to crises? Can you see examples of parental attachment theory in Australian society that you learned about in Human Behaviour? Does your company use the same approach to distributing management costs that you learned about in Managerial Accounting? Can you see examples of the impact of globalisation on more vulnerable countries that you learned about in Sociology? Do you notice the relationship, if at all, between theory and practice? Be active. Be engaged. Be involved.
  • It may be that off-campus study is not for you at this particular time and place. You may then decide to consider changing study modes. Or, ask if you can attend on-campus lectures and tutorials.
  • Consider establishing a study group. Don't just leave things the way they are. Contact the Off-campus Students' Association Opens in a new window to discuss how or the Student liaison staff at the OCLC Opens in a new window.