File Management and Backing Up

Imagine losing a week’s worth of writing you have done for an essay, or worse, a whole semester’s work.

There has been a huge shift towards computer based means of storing and delivering information. There are many benefits to this, and the main one I can think of is not having to carry around heavy books. For the tech savvy, the convenience of storing all of your photos, homework, music, movies, and work documents in one place is too good to pass up. With this convenience comes a risk: that your laptop or hard drive will break, crash, be stolen, or misplaced and you could lose everything. Even losing a few days’ worth of university work can be a huge setback. Continue reading File Management and Backing Up

How to juggle study, assignments, work and family

My initial reaction is DON’T DO IT! But in saying that, I have juggled all these balls and more and survived to tell the tale.

My best tip of all is to get organised! “Not again with the organised bit!” I hear you say. Sorry, but it’s the only way I survived. The Library has resources and planners that can assist you in planning your week, month and semester. Take a few minutes to throw yourself into this rewarding task. Yes, I’m serious! It is rewarding when you allocate time and end up not being totally wasted from anxiety and stress.

It’s important to make sure that, when you slot in lectures, tutorials and assignment writing time, that you give yourself time to chillax. Otherwise, the wheels will fall off and you will be totally smashed.

So if I have inspired you to give organising a try then my job is done! Good luck in your studies. If I can do it, you certainly can!


How to Use Turnitin

imageHellooooo my lovely little kittens!

The other week, the illustrious Emma wrote a blog post about submitting assignments via Moodle, but left out any information regarding our good friend Turnitin. Apparently it’s not really used very often in “Da Business Skewl”, but I am here to tell you that it is often used elsewhere (that is to say, I know it is used in the School of Education and Arts where I am, and assume it is also used elsewhere).

So I figured a blog post on how to use Turnitin was in order!


Firstly, I guess I had best give you an overview, so that you actually know what I’m talking about. Turnitin is basically a text checking system. It is used by lecturers and tutors to check whether we (students) have referenced properly and haven’t just copied all of our information from Wikipedia. Because that would be bad. Don’t do that. Unless your assignment explicitly states: “Please copy and paste all your information from Wikipedia and just hand that in”, but I really cannot see that happening. And if it does, please tell me what course you are studying because I want in. Anyway, back to the point. Turnitin checks your assignment against all the other academic works it has in the system, and also against all of the other students’ work that has been uploaded from around the world. Which is a lot. I assume. I don’t actually have the statistics or anything.

What do I do if my percentage is super high?

Once you have submitted your assignment to Turnitin, the system will return to you what is called an ‘Originality Report’, which will give you a percentage of your work that it has determined to be similar to other works in its system. Don’t freak out if this number is quite high. This report will also highlight which areas of your work it suggests are similar, so you can go through your work and see which areas may be an issue.

Often you will find that things like the essay topic or your lecturer’s name will be highlighted. This is because other students in your course will have also submitted to Turnitin, and the same essay topic will be on their assignment too, meaning the system will have picked up that there is a similarity. This is absolutely fine and to be expected. Your lecturer or tutor should not mark you down for that because it’s not exactly something you can help, and it is not plagiarism. Turnitin occasionally also highlights some really ridiculous things as being similar to other things in its system. For example, it may highlight the word ‘the’, which is probably going to be in pretty much every single piece of work ever.

Don’t Stress!

The other thing that Turnitin will often highlight will be things such as quotes, and possibly sections that you have paraphrased. If it has highlighted direct quotes, you shouldn’t need to worry as long as you have referenced those quotations properly. Make sure you have both an in text citation (or footnotes, depending on which referencing style you are using) and a works cited/bibliography/reference list at the end of your work. If it has highlighted sections that you have paraphrased, then you need to double check that there are not sections that you should instead have quoted. If it has highlighted a word or two from your paraphrasing then it shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have referenced correctly, but if it highlighted a huge chunk of your writing then you might want to either include it as a direct quote, or rephrase it further so that it is in your own words. But make sure it is properly referenced either way!

How to actually use it

Okay, here’s the exciting stuff. How to actually use this service. There are two main ways to access Turnitin, and they only vary depending on whether a tutor or lecturer has set up a specific Turnitin point for you, or if you are just accessing it generally. This may sound confusing. DON’T FREAK OUT.

If a tutor or lecturer has asked you to submit via Turnitin, then they will generally say which of these options you should use in the course description. If not, don’t stress. You can easily check yourself. If you log in to the Moodle shell for that particular course, then the link for submitting your assignment should be a Turnitin link. If you click on the link and then click submit, it will come up with Turnitin across the top of the page. If not, your tutor or lecturer may intend for you to submit it to Turnitin by yourself.

To do so, all you need to do is go to your Moodle home page, then click the ‘Study Help’ drop down link. From there you should be able to select Turnitin. If you are submitting an assignment to Turnitin this way, you will need to enrol yourself. Just click ‘Enrol Me’. It’s as simple as that.

Now for the important stuff. MAKE SURE that you do not submit your work to this general Turnitin page if you have been asked to submit it through a link in your course Moodle. It will not be submitted to your tutor or lecturer, and when you try to submit it through the proper link later it will come back as 100% plagiarised, because you have basically plagiarised yourself! If your tutor or lecturer has not given you a specific Turnitin link in Moodle, be aware that just submitting it to general Turnitin will not submit it as an assignment, it will only check it for plagiarism.

That’s all folks!

Hopefully that has given you some more of an idea of what to expect when submitting via Turnitin. If you are still unsure or have any questions, you can either ask your tutor or lecturer, or you can come and visit us on the ASK desk between 10am­–2pm, Monday–Thursday. We are situated on the ground floor of the library in the Mount Helen campus and we don’t bite. I promise.

This blog post is already far too long, so I will let you get back to attempting to submit your assignments to Turnitin. Good luck!


– Tegan 🙂

Submitting Assignments via Moodle

Emma Foster - ASK Blog PicWell FedUni-ers, it’s that time of year again! Semester Two is underway, and by now you’ve probably been told about all the assessments you’ll need to submit sometime in the next fourteen weeks. And some of them probably need to be submitted via Moodle. Say wha??

If you’re new to us this semester, you will have heard mention of Moodle over and over again (even if you’re not a new student, your lectures will still probably be harping on about Moodle, amirite?). Hopefully you’ve all logged on and had a little bit of a nose around. But that won’t necessarily mean that you’ll have stumbled upon the links you need to submit your assignments. That’s where I come in! Here’s a handy how-to guide, complete with instructional pictures (wooo!).

First things first, you’ll need to log in to Moodle:


Next, select the class that you need from the drop down menu. Let’s pretend we’re submitting an assignment for Financial Accounting. Click on it.


Now we need to look for the handy little icon that represents an assignment upload link. It’ll look a little something like this:


Once that page has loaded, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the ‘Add submission’ button (hopefully yours won’t be red angry, showing you that it’s an overdue assignment).


This is the page that you’ll be able to upload your assignment to. You can either drag it onto this page from a different window, or click the little button in the left hand corner and browse the computer to find your assignment.


Once you’ve uploaded your file, MAKE SURE you hit the blue ‘Save changes’ button. I’ve highlighted it in the picture above.

If all of these things have worked correctly for you, you should get an email from Moodle telling you that you have successfully uploaded your assignment, yay for you!!

*NOTE* Somewhere in this process you may be required to submit your assignment to a little program called ‘Turn it in’, or something along those lines. I have not used this program before (as it’s not really required in Da Business Skewl), but I believe it also comes with some form of instructions. If you DO know how to use it, feel free to post in the comments below and enlighten me!

So there you have it, a step-by-step guide to submitting assignments though Moodle. If you’re still having trouble with this, feel free to drop by the ASK desk and get the guys there to give you a hand. We’re now located on the ground floor of the Library, so we’re even easier to find!

Leaving it to the last minute

BecUniversity sometimes can seem like everything is going so smoothly. You’re organised, you have done most of your assignments and you are feeling oh so, great! You’re thinking ‘why not treat myself to a well-deserved study break?’ So you decide to sit back, relax and zone out from university’s study stressors. That one-day break quickly turns into two, then three, and before you know it, it has been a week and you have started to panic. That annoying, loud sarcastic voice in your head rings like an alarm telling you, ‘you’re doomed!’ Your cortisol levels rise and you are now in full stress mode! You begin to panic and those exams that have seemed so far away are right around the corner. What are you going to do?

I, Bec, am writing this blog so all of you who thought that exams were ages away and are suddenly remembering about that assignment that is due tomorrow, can get back on track to passing. I have come up with a set of rules that will reassure you that it is not too late to start getting your study back on track and making sure that the nerve-racking click to view your grades at the end of semester isn’t so daunting.

Here’s how!

Rule one. Stop stressing! A little bit of stress is ok, but overdo it and you will just get sick. So take breaks from study (not week-long ones!). Study for an hour, or what works for you, then go for a jog, paint a picture, watch a T.V. show or do whatever you want, as long as it is not study. If you overdo it and make no time for breaks it is just not going to work. Unless that does work for you. Then keep on keeping on.

Rule two. Make a timetable. I know you probably hear this all the time from all your lecturer’s and people who just want to lecture you, but seriously it works! All you have to do is get a piece of paper or whiteboard (my weapon of choice) rule out some lines and make an individual box for your days. You can choose to study an hour for one subject, have a break then study for something else. Having a timetable is great because you can follow things that have been set and it can help with making designated times for breaks so you don’t get bored.

Rule three. Change how you study. Repeating the ways you study can get boring, tiring and even make you stop studying altogether because you’ve simply lost interest. Be sure that one study session is different to the other. For example, you might use cue cards and test yourself with friends for one, and for the next one you can teach someone about what you need to know. By teaching someone else in your own words it helps reinforce the information in your head, so when it comes to that exam question, you’ll ace it!

Rule four. Drink plenty of water, get you’re your recommend 6 – 8 hours of sleep, and exercise. By combing these things with your study you’ll create a great balance that will ensure you will be on the path to success! Oh, but you can’t find any time for exercise? Or you neeeed to stay up till 2am to study? Ummm… no you don’t! Remember rule two! Make a timetable. You can incorporate these things into your timetable! Make exercise one of your study breaks and if you forget to drink water make some sticky notes or put hourly reminders in your phone. Drinking water not only hydrates you but helps with concentrating. Getting enough hours sleep also helps with concentration levels. So I know you’re not seven years old anymore, but make a bedtime. This way you have a set time, where all books shut and pens drop, for you need to get your beauty sleep so you can get the most of your timetable tomorrow!

Rule five. Because five rules makes it feel complete. If you’re really stuck and you feel like you have tried everything else, ask for help. Although this sounds very simple, it can be very effective. There are a ton of great resources out there.

So start your study timetables, drink your water and stress less. Hey, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!

– Bec

Time Management: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

DSC_0142Hello there! So week four has now arrived, and it finally hits you, that oh-my-god-everything-is-due-next-week-why-didn’t-I-start-preparing-earlier realisation. Week five seems to be a pretty popular time for deadlines; at least for the business school  all four of my assessments are due next week *gulp*! So what better time than now for me to share some of my, ahem, wisdom, about time management?

I claim to be totally pro at this topic because for one of my subjects last semester I did an assignment where I tried different time management techniques over the course of five weeks. The sad thing is, I still ended up writing the report at 2am (oh, the irony). But along the way I still learned a few different techniques and found what works and what doesn’t work for me. So, here I am today to share some of my tips and experiences with you. Remember, everyone works differently, so what works for me may not work for you, but hopefully, some of these time management techniques I share with you might provide you with some inspiration or help you come up with some of your own ideas for managing your time!

1.       Create to-do lists

This would have to be my number one tip for managing your time. Without to-do lists, I feel like I would go crazy because I can’t quantify the tasks I need to do. With all the tasks running around in my head it feels like an endless avalanche. This overwhelms me, and I end up eating a dozen MaltEaster bunnies and napping for three hours instead of doing something productive.

But here’s the important thing, don’t just create one to-do list  create a couple. I like to create one massive list that has every single thing I can think of that I need to do, whether it’s assignments, dropping an application form for something in, or even taking my clothes to the drycleaners.  This to-do list isn’t time bound either. And when I say I put everything on there, I mean everything, not just study-related things. I find this really handy because it means that the smaller tasks I might need to do don’t get completely forgotten. Then, I also like to create a daily to-do list. This allows me to select a couple of things at a time from the bigger list, and balance everything with my studies. I often like to create my daily to-do list the night before, particularly when I have uni. It makes me feel a lot more prepared and in control for the day ahead.

2.       “I’ll just do…”

Having to write a 2000 word report or study for a test that covers a whole month’s worth of topics is no mean feat. Leaving it until the last minute is often a very stressful and draining experience. You end up having to pull a late night to get you through the deadline, which throws you out for a good few days afterwards.

One good way to tackle this is to break down the task into small, manageable chunks, and set yourself deadlines for these tasks. For example, if you have a 2000 word report due, maybe aim to do 250 words a day over the course of a week, or do the introduction one day, then one body paragraph the next, etc. You can adjust this to go at your own pace. What I find good with this technique is that one day I may not be that productive and perhaps only manage to do 150 words instead of 250, but at least I’m 150 words up from where I might otherwise be. Plus, the following day I might find I can sit down and smash out 450 words quite easily. I call this the “I’ll just do…” approach, for example “I’ll just revise this part of the topic for the test tonight…” etc.

3.       Time management matrix

The time management matrix is a table involving four quadrants:

Urgent Not Urgent
Important e.g. meeting immediate deadlines e.g. exercising
Not important e.g. checking your emails e.g. Surfing the internet for no reason

According to Susanne de Janasz, the time management matrix involves differentiating between what’s important and what’s urgent. It’s based on the notion that we never seem to have the time to be able to invest in those activities that are important to us, because we’re always too busy rushing around trying to get through all of the urgent activities. De Janasz says that ‘the more time spent on important but not urgent activities, the better you will be able to manage your time’.

This is why the matrix is a good way for you to keep track of everything and find more balance. If you keep at it long enough, you may find that you can keep on top of your assignments so that they don’t become too ‘urgent’, so that you still have time to watch an episode of your favourite tv show or catch up with friends.

4.       Find your optimal study environment

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s an important one. Try and find the environment that you work best in. Do you work better in the library at uni because home is too distracting? Or maybe you have another little nook at uni that you like to study in. Or do you have a good study space set up at home that works well for you? This can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your study time.

Studying at home might mean you are constantly going away from your studies for a break and watching TV, grabbing something to eat, or playing with your pets (story of my life), so maybe it would be better to stay a couple of extra hours at uni to do some reading or smash out some of that assignment. Those couple of extra hours at uni may be more productive than at home, which means you can then go home and have a break and watch some TV without feeling guilty.

Other things to consider in your environment might be: do you study better in complete silence or with some background noise? Do you like to listen to music when you study? Do you need a clutter free environment? Thinking about these factors as well will lead you on the path to finding the best study environment for you.

5.       Find your optimal study time

Now this one is a bit trickier, but if you can figure out your optimal study time, you will make life so much easier for yourself. Do a bit of trial and error by breaking your day into different sections and try studying during those different times, e.g. early morning, late morning, afternoon, evening, etc. If you can find the time that your energy levels are at their peak, study then, because otherwise you’ll be trying to study when you’re feeling sluggish, and you’ll end up wasting your peak energy. If you’re trying to write that introduction for your report at four in the afternoon when you’re actually a morning person, it could take you two hours instead of half an hour.


Being able to manage your time effectively is also a very important skill in the workplace, so if you can gain some good skills now, they will really benefit you in the future. Remember, no one is perfect, so don’t suddenly expect yourself to become totally perfect at managing your time. Like I said earlier, I’m certainly far from perfect at managing my time, but my view is, if some of these techniques help me get through one, just one assignment (or test) that little bit easier, then it’s worth it.

Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful. What about you? Do you have any other good tips about time management? Let me know in the comments!


Using a Diary Effectively

1234764_10202065217615871_360840302_nEvery Christmas since finishing school my Mum has given me a new diary for the upcoming year. It has become a bit of a tradition, and every year there will be a diary wrapped up and placed under the Christmas tree for me. Ever since I began my VCE studies I used the free school diary that I received at the start of the school year to plan what study I needed to do.

Since leaving school and entering tertiary studies, I have continued to use a diary for the same reason. I am one of those strange people that like to have every aspect of my life planned out. So I also use my diary to write in work hours, social commitments and appointments.  I need to know the ‘three w’s’ of everything: when, what and where. My friends and family often joke and call my diary ‘my bible’ as I abide by it like a religion.

I realise these characteristics are not what the usual university student possesses and I am not encouraging you to go to this extreme, but using a diary can be extremely helpful for any student. Therefore, I thought I would share a few tips and advantages of using a diary.

Enter your course descriptions. When course descriptions are released at the start of the year I go through each unit and put in my diary when the assignments are due and when tests or exams are to take place. This has helped me so much in the past as I can look forward and see what is due and when so I can be prepared. Being prepared is especially important when EVERYTHING IS DUE AT ONCE! I don’t think any of my friends and family even consider associating with me at this time of the semester and I usually erupt like a volcano. However, I find that using a diary can really help to avoid the last minute ‘all-nighter’ that you often hear your peers talk about. Writing all the assessment tasks into your diary also avoids the awkward moment when one of your peers starts talking about a certain assessment that they are working on or have handed in (as it is due at 4pm that day) and you sit there thinking “I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about”. As hilarious it is for your friend, it isn’t so funny when you have to explain why you want an extension on the task.

Mark the task off. Once the assignment or exam is over, I mark it off with a highlighter so I don’t have to think about it again. I find doing it this way really brings my attention to the things that haven’t been highlighted so I know what still needs to be done in the week. By the end of the week I aim to have everything highlighted so I don’t start the next week behind the eight ball.

It’s portable. A huge pro of using a diary is that you can take it absolutely anywhere as it is small enough to take in your bag.

It compensates for a less-than-stellar memory (like mine). I swear I have the memory of a goldfish. Often things go in one ear and out the other when it comes to aspects of my life (such as appointment times). I find that if I write it in my diary I’ll always be reminded of it when I open it up, making it nearly impossible to forget. Note I said ‘nearly’. There is an expectation to the rule in this tip!

If carting a diary around isn’t for you, or you don’t think you need quite as much of the time management as the diary offers, a calendar may be better. Using a calendar isn’t something that I did until I realised I had a fair bit on over the months before Uni went back. To avoid certain things clashing, I wrote everything out on a calendar so it was all laid out in front of me. This can be easily used the same way as I have outlined above with a diary.

So if you struggle to prioritise your time or find it hard to meet the deadline with your assignments, why not give using a diary or a calendar a go? If you missed getting your free university diary in O-week, maybe invest in one. It’s far more cost-effective than repeating the subject again next year!

– Rachel

Submitting Assignments


Hello readers. Today I wanted to discuss one of the easiest ways of passing your courses and completing your degree. It really is a simple strategy for success! The basic premise of this strategy is that once you have completed your assignment you then submit it to be evaluated. Now, you may think I’m talking crazy talk here but put your faith in me. With this simple trick you will be passing your courses left, right, and centre!

Although this little tip is simple enough, there are a few tricks to the trade you may need to know. So now let us assume that you have completed your assignment. You may be standing there thinking to yourself “now what do I do?!”  That’s where our first trick of the trade comes into practice my friends, which is: referring to your course description. This lovely little piece of gold contains many wonders inside, not just including all the criteria you need to write your way to the coveted HD but also what to do with your work once you have completed it. The easiest of the possible ways to submit an assignment is handing it in during a tutorial. Usually when this method is requested, the actual work is done during the tutorial, which approximately multiplies the ease of submission by two (that’s mathematics for you, so you know it’s good). You’re already attending all of the tutes (riiiight?), so how easy is that?!

The second two ways of submission are almost just as easy as the first. These ways are through submitting through a physical assignment box or uploading digitally — sometimes you even get to do both at once. Submitting digitally through turnitin is a good one to keep an eye out for. If you are asked to do this for your assignment there will be a link in your moodle shell for you to upload to. If this is the case and you submit it through the general turnitin page to check it over rather than your course specific one, you’re gonna have a bad time. When you submit for assessment, it will pick it up as an exact copy to what you have already submitted through the general turnitin and show up 100% as copied. That is generally something you want to avoid.

The third way to submit your assignment is becoming less popular in this digital world we live in — but still exists for some schools — and that is submitting into an assignment box. For us psychology students we have a physical assignment box in the first floor of H building in which we submit hard copies of our assignments into. Your course description again becomes invaluable by informing you which assignment box to hand it into and where to find it if you are doing a course that asks for this submission method. In addition to this, when handing in a physical copy of an assignment there is usually a cover sheet that you will be asked to submit with it. Knowing whose work they’re marking is beneficial for tutors and often there is other information to be filled out such as word counts and a declaration that you haven’t plagiarised to sign. Personally, I find the physical submission of an assignment to be therapeutic after the long journey to completion. There’s something cathartic about watching the stapled pieces of paper (I should have probably mentioned already that stapling an assignment together with the cover sheet is a brilliant idea for obvious reasons) fall down into the depths of the box. It is almost as if the worry and stress is pulled out and down along with it.

The final bit of advice for submitting assignments that I have is possibly the most simple of all: just submit it. The odds of passing a course greatly improve when you have submitted all assignments than when you haven’t submitted any. Not submitting assignments is a pretty surefire way to not succeed. Where even a half-finished assignment will get at least some marks, a non-submitted assignment will just get you a shiny fail. As a last resort, when all other options such as course or special consideration have been exhausted and you still do not have a complete assignment to submit, something is better than nothing. It seems like a pretty easy idea, a simple practice, but it’s something that happens. So now that you know where to find the submission method and how to submit the assignment you all should have no worries with getting your assignments to where they need to go!

Catch you all on the flip side and happy submitting,

Captain Dan.

3Rs Workshops

IMG_0938With the first week of uni coming to end, it’s time to brush up on important skills that students will need when the time comes for assignments. For many of us, this means writing reports or essays. This might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a first year student and not familiar with the new expectations at uni, which include finding appropriate academic resources and referencing those resources.

Students looking to refresh their writing and research skills should look at the 3Rs (Researching, Referencing and wRiting) workshops. The 3Rs are a series of workshops that are normally run by your campus’ library in the first few weeks of a semester. They are currently being offered at the Mt Helen and Gippsland campuses. These workshops range from general library skills such as looking for journal articles to important writing skills, such as how to structure essays or reports. The 3Rs are an excellent resource to be taken advantage of early on in the semester. It’s arguably better to get on top of these skills now than waiting for the week before the assignment is due (I may be writing from experience).

If you aren’t able to attend the workshops, don’t fret, because there are a number of online resources that can be accessed via the 3Rs Moodle shell, which students are automatically enrolled in. However, attending the library workshops gives you the opportunity to ask questions in person, which is always a good thing.

Interested in getting involved? You can find a list of workshops and enrol at the Fed Uni library skills website (


Final Grades

IMG_0585Care about your grades? Of course you do, you’re a hard working, committed and all-around star student! (Or at least, let’s pretend you are haha).
Hopefully by this stage you’ve gotten most of your grades back, and with exams currently underway I’m sure some of you are wondering what you need on your exam to get the grade you want! (Or need)

ASK the lords and they shall provide, what we’ve come across is this final grade calculator‘! (<- click this shiny hyperlink here)

What this actually does, is enter the grades you’ve gotten on previous assignments, and the % that grade contributed to your overall course grade, and it will let you know what grade you need to get on your exam to achieve your desired grade overall!

So example, if I got 80% on an assignment that was worth 40% of my course grade, my course grade overall would be 32%

That would mean that if the exam was worth 60% of the course grade, I would need to get 64% on the exam to get a course grade of 70.4 (Distinction woo!)

The calculator is really easy to use, and in case you missed the fabulous little hyperlink earlier, another one is riiiiight…..

(Click this ->) HERE  (<- Click here)

Good luck!