Off-Campus Students Academic Success

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Academic Success

Academic Support

A significant part of studying Off-Campus is connecting with online learning spaces and familiarising yourself with the various sections of the website to find the information you need. In this section, you will find the essential elements to navigate online study at JCU.

Student Mentor Program

Make sure you sign up to JCU’s award winning Student Mentor Program, where new students are matched with an experienced second or third-year student from the same course of study.

Student Mentors can guide you through your first study period as a university student and help you settle into university life.

For further information, email offcampus-studentmentors@jcu.edu.au

First Year Experience Coordinators

Every course at JCU has a designated First Year Experience Coordinator (FYEC) who is an academic staff member that teaches commencing students and understands the challenges new students often face when transitioning into university. Your FYEC can provide advice about your course, support service referrals, and strategies for success in your studies.

As an off-campus student, you can contact the FYEC for your course at either the Cairns or Townsville campuses.

Studiosity

Offers free after-hours online support for all JCU students, including academic assistance to help with a question, or with a writing task in less than 24 hours. With Studiosity Connect Live, you can chat with a tutor, draw graphs or write equations onto the interactive graph paper, or upload a file for discussion. Live tutors are available from 3 pm-12 am Sunday to Friday. With Studiosity Writing Feedback you can log in any time you like 24/7 for help with English, writing and referencing. Studiosity is available through LearnJCU subject sites. Go to the Tools area of your subject site and select the Studiosity link.

Liaison Librarians and Off-Campus Library Services

Our librarians are trained to help you find resources for your study area. Email your liaison librarian if you are having trouble tracking down an article or need help with resources for an assignment.

Students who live 50 kilometres or more from the JCU Cairns or JCU Townsville are eligible for the Off-Campus Library Services. Items can be posted to you, along with pre-paid postage bags for returns.

Postgraduate Student Resources

JCU is renowned for conducting research that addresses critical challenges facing the tropics worldwide. Click the "Research and Teaching" link above or visit the JCU Graduate Research School (GRS) Website for information for prospective, commencing and current candidates, details on workshops and training, contact details and more.

Students who are undertaking postgraduate study are also encouraged to visit the Postgraduate Student Resources page for a variety of information and support services specific to advanced studies.

The Learning Centre can assist you to unlock your potential and maximise your academic success by providing advice and assistance with all aspects of studying at university.

Check out Getting Started for weekly and semester study planners to help you manage your time and commitments while you study. There is also a link to the JCU Academic Calendars, so you can keep track of important dates such as study dates, census dates, due payment dates, last date to withdraw without academic penalty and exam dates.

You can explore our Online Workbooks on learning strategies (such as note-taking, effective reading, exam tactics and more) and learn more about academic writing, maths and basic statistics.

There is an Online Contact Form to put you in touch with a Learning Advisor for remote assistance and advice. Make sure you select which study centre you are studying from, or select ‘external student’, and provide as much detail in your enquiry as possible so that staff can tailor their response to your specific needs.

Another excellent initiative for first-year students is Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). A free academic support program covers a range of first-level subjects, some of which are offered online for external students.

The JCU Library is an essential academic and student service with print and digital collections that students can borrow or access online 24/7.

Off-Campus library services are available if you reside in Australia but live further than 50 kilometres from either the JCU Townsville or JCU Cairns.  Use One Search to find and access books, eBooks, eJournal articles, as well as streaming media and more. You can borrow library books using the online request form which includes a free, post-paid bag to return materials. You can also request scanned copies of journal articles and book chapters.

The library also offers a chat service during library opening hours (including nights and weekends).  You will find a 'Chat' button on many library webpages.  Staff can help with online portals, locating scholarly information for assignments, and referencing.

Online Library Guides provide key resources for your subjects and contact details for your Liaison Librarian who will help you with your research skills.  Your discipline Library Guide, the Writing Guide and the Referencing Guide are designed to help you succeed as a student. Search or browse our guides from the top box on the library website.

The Info Skills Road Trip is an interactive learning tool developed by the JCU Library team specifically for you. It introduces researching, referencing and assignment writing skills to help you on your JCU journey.

Make sure you explore the Library Channel where you can watch informative videos and play interactive games covering topics such as 'Top Library Tips', 'Off-Campus Library Services', 'Evaluating Information Sources', 'Searching the Literature', and more.

For Off-Campus Library Service inquiries, phone (07) 4781 6870 or email library@jcu-au.libanswers.com.

Plan ahead

Go to the Learning Centre online to create individualised semester and weekly study planners to manage short-, mid- and long-term tasks

Be prepared

Do your allocated weekly readings before watching lecture recordings to help you understand the content.

Talk about your study

Explaining what you are studying to someone else can help you consolidate your learnings, so find a willing ear and talk to them about your subjects and course.

Look after yourself

Allow yourself regular breaks for other activities like relaxing, exercising and catching up with friends and family.

Avoid online distractions

Netflix is not your friend, only keep the JCU website open on your browser when studying to avoid lost hours on social media and other sites.

Stick to your plan

Once you have designed your planners, aim to stick to them. This routine will keep you on track, reduce stress levels, and make study enjoyable.

Develop your skills

Check out the online resources at the Learning Centre to help you develop your academic writing, maths and study skills

Ask for help

Your lecturers want you to succeed and can be contacted via email or phone, plus there are heaps of free support services for students too.

Connect for success

Use the discussion boards and ‘Send Email’ function under Tools in LearnJCU to connect with other students in your subject, you are not alone!

Don’t forget the end goal

If you have a clear sense of purpose about why you are at university, you will be more focused on the journey.

Exams and Assessment

Your assessments may include participation in online discussion boards, assignments, and online exams (sometimes physical exams are conducted in a location close to you). Your assessment will vary for each subject and will be listed in your Subject Outline in LearnJCU.

If exams form part of your assessment, arrangements will be made for you to sit exams Off-Campus according to your semester address on eStudent. Advice will be sent two weeks before the exam period and you will be given contact details for the venue. If your address changes after census date, you must contact exams@jcu.edu.au immediately. A late address change may mean that arrangements can’t be made for you. You must check your personal timetable for the date and time of your exams.

External students living in Townsville or Cairns and Study Centre students will undertake their exams at their local campus, and you can check exam timetables in StudentsOnline.

See Important Dates for the main exam periods, but please be aware that exams for some subjects may fall outside of these dates.

See Exams and Results for more information.

The Learning Centre also provides tips on how to prepare for exams, including active study strategies, and how to minimise exam stress.

Assignment submission procedures are set out on a subject-by-subject basis, so you will need to check the instructions in your Subject Outline for each subject which will be found in LearnJCU. Most written assignments require a standard cover sheet and to be submitted via SafeAssign in LearnJCU. Other subjects may also require submission via email to your lecturer.

Marks for written assignments will be available via LearnJCU. Contact your lecturer if you cannot find your mark or would like to discuss your mark and assignment.

See Exams and Results for more information.

The Learning Centre also provides tips on how to prepare for assignments including numerous guides on how to plan, unpack and write a variety of essays and reports.

You can view your marks for assignments online using LearnJCU. Final results for each subject are available approximately three weeks after the end of the teaching period in eStudent. Final results for a subject are explained in the table below.

GradePercentageDefinition
HD85% - 100 %Pass with High Distinction
D75% - 84%Pass with Distinction
C65% - 75%Pass with Credit
P50% - 64% Pass
PC48% - 49%Pass Conceded (may not be used as a prerequisite without permission of the relevant College Dean)
S 

Satisfactory (a passing level in an ungraded subject)

N<50%Fail
U Unsatisfactory (failed to reach a passing level in an ungraded subject)
WD Withdrawn (withdrew before the prescribed last date for withdrawal without academic penalty) (Administrative process only)
WF Fail (withdrew after the prescribed last date for withdrawal without academic penalty)
X Fail (did not sit for examination(s), or did not complete assessment requirements worth at least 80% of the total possible marks, or deferred examination not granted.)
SP Pass after sitting a supplementary examination or supplementary assessment
SPC Pass Conceded after sitting a supplementary examination or supplementary assessment (may not be used as a prerequisite without permission of the College Dean)
SS Satisfactory after sitting a supplementary examination or supplementary assessment (a passing level in an ungraded subject)

For more Information about:

The Grade Point Average is a calculation of your average grade or result. This can be calculated on a yearly basis, or for your course as a whole. Each result is assigned a number known as the grade point. The higher the result, the higher the corresponding grade point.

Grade points for some of the most common results are as follows

ResultGrade Point
High Distinction 7
Distinction  6
Credit5
Pass4
Fail1.5

For more information on GPA's click here.

Academic integrity is the commitment to act ethically, with honesty, respect, and fairness in creating and communicating information in an academic environment. It is a fundamental principle in Australian universities, and new students must learn to show respect and act ethically towards fellow learners and scholars. This is done by acknowledging the work of others, creating an authentic individual assessment, and applying the correct academic referencing style for each subject or discipline.

The opposite of academic integrity is academic misconduct; including plagiarism, collusion, and cheating, which attract severe penalties. Academic staff use assessment design and technological tools to detect academic misconduct. See the next tab for more information.

The Learning Centre and the Library offer online modules and workshops about academic integrity, in particular, referencing and academic writing.

Academic misconduct is any attempt by one or more students to gain an unfair academic advantage. It includes behaviour that may disadvantage other students.

Academic misconduct may also include any of these:

  • Failure to reference work
  • Paying another person to complete your work
  • Submitting work that was not done by you
  • Working with another person but claiming it is your work
  • Cheating on an exam in any way
  • Offering a bribe
  • Falsifying research results
  • Self-plagiarism (auto plagiarism)

Spend time to learn about plagiarism and  the guidelines for avoiding plagiarism

The Student Academic Misconduct Requirements Procedure explains the general procedure used by the University in different cases of suspected academic misconduct.

If an allegation is made against you, you will be informed about the allegation. You may be asked to attend a meeting. This is an opportunity to explain your side of the story and learn about the University’s procedures for dealing with academic misconduct and potential penalties.

You may take a support person along with you to any meetings/hearings you are required to attend (see below). If you feel you are not dealt with fairly, you can appeal the final decision.

For more information on other JCU policy, click here.

Graduation

Nearing the end of your degree? Celebrate your hard work with a graduation ceremony and find out more about life after JCU.

JCU celebrates graduation twice a year at each of the main campuses, usually in December (Division of Tropical Health and Medicine) and March/April (Division of Tropical Environments and Societies).

Visit our Graduation website for everything you need to know about preparing for graduation, including applications, ceremonies, academic records and certificates.

JCU alumni are valued members of a global community, and we consider each one as an ambassador for JCU. Once you qualify as an alumnus because of your studies or by virtue of being a staff member, you are a member of this global community.

To find out more or to register, visit the JCU Alumni website.

Students who start their career preparation early have a greater chance of achieving their goals.

The JCU Careers and Employability team can help prospective, current and graduate students with career decision making and action plans, graduate information, job search strategies, job application checking and LinkedIn profile development.

Make sure you visit Job Ready, which consists of a range of employability actions you can complete for each stage of your degree and the Career Development Program, consisting of online career modules to assist with transitioning to professional employment.

Visit the Careers and Employability website for a variety of useful resources or contact them on (07) 4781 4711 or email careers@jcu.edu.au.