Rohan: How to simplify studying with technology

Blogger: Rohan Genrich
Rohan Genrich is a  Lecturer of Information Systems at USQ. With over 22 years’ experience as an educator in this field, Rohan has a passion for helping people understand and leverage the benefits of technology.

When it comes to online study, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the technology you need to use to complete your work. Accessing online modules, finding research materials, and preparing and submitting assignments online can all be difficult if you’re not confident in the technology you need to use. There are a lot of tips, tools and apps that you can use to enhance your online studies, but sometimes it’s best to start with the basics and grow your digital confidence from there.

1. Learn simple shortcuts to improve your efficiency

Some of the most common programs you’ll use in your studies are Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office Excel. In both of these programs there are many simple shortcuts and tricks you can use to work more efficiently. I've included some examples of these below.

Microsoft Office Word

  • To select an entire paragraph, make three rapid clicks anywhere in the paragraph.
  • To select a whole sentence, click anywhere in the sentence while holding ‘Ctrl’.        
  • Pressing backspace while holding ‘Ctrl’ deletes the preceding word.
  • ‘Ctrl Shift >’ increases the font size and ‘Ctrl Shift <’ decreases the font size.
  • ‘Ctrl x’ will cut text, ‘Ctrl c’ will copy text and ‘Ctrl v’ will paste text.

Microsoft Office Excel

  • When trying to select whole rows or columns of data, click in the first cell you want to select and hold down ‘Ctrl+Shift’, then hit either the down arrow to get all the data in the column below, up arrow to get all the data above, or left or right arrow to get everything in the row.
  • ‘Ctrl+Shift+End’ will jump the cursor to the lowest right-hand cell with data, selecting everything in between.
  • ‘Ctrl+Shift+*’ will select the whole data set, no matter what cell is selected.

2. Take the time to protect your work

When you are relying on technology within your studies, the last thing you want is to lose your hard work due to a tech issue! One of my most simple (but important) tips is to always save multiple copies of your assignment in multiple places. For example, save your assignment on a USB, in Dropbox or Google Drive as well as regularly emailing versions to yourself and creating ‘Save As’ copies. This digital paper trail means that even if you lose one version of your work, not all is lost! But beware of relying on USBs or flash drives as these can be easily lost or corrupted (or go through the wash!). Cloud storage also gives you the benefit of being able to access files from any device at any time.

Beware of relying on USBs or flash drives as these can be easily lost or corrupted (or go through the wash!).

3. Make use of the USQ website

If you haven’t already explored the Current Students page of the USQ website, I strongly encourage you to spend some time here and look through the resources that are available to you. Whether you’re looking for assignment templates, enrolment information, learning tools or support for your health and wellbeing, the Current Students site is the best place to start.

Many students go through their studies without knowing about all of the support and tools that are available to them because they don’t make use of this website. From here, you can also access The Library and The Learning Centre websites, which have a number of tutorials and online trainings available to help you with your study skills and using technology.

Learning shortcuts and tricks to improve efficiency, understanding how to protect your work and knowing where to access support and USQ services are some of the most simple, yet most important, tech skills you can develop as a uni student. From here, you can start to explore other study technologies, such as useful apps that can enhance your learning.

These are just a few of the tips that I shared in my Beyond the Books Online Series webinar ‘Simple tech solutions to improve your study’.

For more tips and support with study technology, head to the Current Students website or visit the Technology tag on Social Hub.


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