Course: Learning Online at USQ | OpenDesk

  • Welcome!

    Engage and network with others while learning

    Welcome to Learning Online at the University of Southern Queensland! This 'taster' course is designed so you can see what it is like to be an online USQ student. 

    You can complete this course in one session or in stages. Once you’ve read this ‘Welcome!’, head over to the ‘Getting started’ tab before continuing with the ‘Course Activity’. Make sure you click on each title below to open relevant topic information. We invite you to engage in all activities and discussions and we are excited about what you have to share with us! The course will take you about 30 minutes to complete.

    Through completing the Learning Online at USQ activities, you will:

    • become immersed in the USQ digital-first platform while networking with others
    • discover strategies for managing a student experience that sets you up for graduate career success.

    important iconIn addition, we encourage you to provide your feedback to help us improve the way we share information with you. Click the link below to access the survey.

    USQ Virtual Open Day - Your Experience

  • Getting started is hidden from participants on this page
    Getting started
  • Assessment is hidden from participants on this page
  • Learning online at USQ


    Learning Online at USQ

    • At USQ we believe you should be able to achieve more from more places. That's why we're passionate about online study, delivering the highest quality education and learning opportunities to thousands of students online for over 20 years. With more than 100 degrees on offer, by choosing to start learning online at USQ, you can visit your online classroom anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

      Learning online at USQ gives you a sense of belonging within the USQ Community through engagement with your StudyDesk course peers and lecturers and through other online USQ initiatives. 

      Our online student portal is called UConnect. It is through here that all students have access to program and course StudyDesks, the enrolment portal, USQ Library and more. UConnect brings everything you need into one easily accessible location.

      Your learning materials will be available through your enrolled course StudyDesk where you'll also have access to online forums, learning activities and resources. You will also be able to contact the course teaching team and fellow students.

    • Learning activity: My digital life!

      Take a moment now to reflect on your personal digital skills and digital life, as it is right now. This is a FUN activity to get started! Let others get to know you!

      STEP 1:

      Complete this sentence:

      "My digital life is like ......., because ......., and I wish I could ........, to ........"

      STEP 2:

      Find an image that matches your sentence about your digital life.

      Find an image that is free to use here: (do not Google for an image!). Don't forget to copy the attribution (who created the image and where it came from - see the example below).

      STEP 3.
      • Post your image and sentence in the Padlet below
      • Review the contributions of others by 'liking' or commenting

      Made with Padlet
  • Online support offered through USQ



  • Succeeding online

    • The anatomy of a successful online student

      Ever wondered what a successful online student looks like? If you have any of these anatomical features, you may be closer to learning online success than you think!

      Student with eyes, hands, arms, glutes, feet, stomach, heart, ears, head.

      (USQ Social Hub, 2 December 2019).  Tap image to enlarge.

    • Listen

    • Digital literacy is a key capability and skill required for academic study and lifelong learning.

      Digital literacy means having the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasingly through digital or electronic technologies like internet platforms, social media, and mobile devices.

      Digital literacy means having the right digital skills to achieve your goals.

      As you consider starting your study journey, it can mean having some essential skills to find, use and send out information using a variety of media. These skills include being able to:

      • search and navigate
      • think critically and analyse
      • create and communicate.
      Some other things you will do online include:
      • format and complete assignments
      • access online learning and staying up to date
      • practice safe online behaviour
      • connect with students and lecturers
      • checking your enrolment 
      • checking your grades
      • viewing your exam timetable.

      More importantly....

      Digital literacy skills ensure you do not feel alone, even if you're studying a long way from campus, you're not alone! There will be a whole studying community there with you.

      USQ Zoom screenshot of online participants

      (Text: Dr Susan Hopkins, USQ College & Dr Julie Lindsay, Digital Learning Innovation (DLI), USQ • Image: DLI, Office for the Advancement of Learning & Teaching (OALT), USQ)

    • Digital 'soft' skills

      'Soft' skills are the sort of basic digital literacy skills that may sometimes be taken for granted, like 

      • how well you know your computer's programs e.g. for sending emails, writing reports or essays, using a calculator
      • knowing keyboard shortcuts, which help to speed up accessing or writing documents.
      If we had to give you one major soft skill tip for surviving university, it would be:
      Save, save, save your work! 

      Whenever you work on an assignment, know your keyboard shortcut to save and keep hitting that save key. Also, be sure your work is backed up (you guessed it: saved) in at least two locations!

      Take these quick learning activities to test some of your digital 'soft' skills.

      Learning activity – digital 'soft' skills

      You might be staring at a blank page: What do you have to do? Is it an essay? A report? Do you need page breaks? Is a table necessary? How are your digital editing skills?

    • Learning activity – test your knowledge

      Test your knowledge of computer keyboard shortcuts

      The computer keyboard has commands and short cuts that save time doing assignments. How well do you know them?

      Drag the shortcut letter into the correct places.

    • During and after Open Day, you are very welcome to reflect on the following points with your future lecturers

  • Industry-ready skills


    At USQ we focus on employability through all courses and programs. We want students to have skills applicable to the needs of industry, as shown in the diagram below.
    21st Century skills

    Image: EdSurge. Tap image to enlarge.

    • The Residential School Experience

      Students doing residential school activities

      Residential schools give external and online students the opportunity to attend face-to-face lectures and tutorials, use the facilities and meet our staff and other students.

      What I've learnt from 5 residential school experiences
      I have now completed five res schools and am looking forward to the next! I know now that when I attend, I will meet new people, cram a lot of learning into one week, and, most importantly, have a ball.

      USQ Engineering student, Adrian, shares his experiences of how to get the most out of residential schools. You can read his full text here.

      (USQ Social Hub, 31 August 2019)

    • Information on USQ Residential schools (What are residential schools, Postgraduate intensive workshops, Residential school accomodation).

    • One eventful week at a USQ res school

      Shane - Bachelor of Engineering says "It was awesome to meet some really cool people and put faces to the names I’d been speaking with over the last year and a half. It was a good reminder that those ‘names’ I’d typed messages to were real people, balancing work with a family and study just like I was."

      USQ Engineering student, Shane, shares his first-time experiences of an eventful week at a USQ residential school. You can read his full text here.

      (USQ Social Hub, 2 December 2019)

  • Survey and Feedback


    We encourage you to provide your feedback to help us improve the way we share information with you. Click the link below to access the survey.

    USQ Virtual Open Day - Your Experience

    (This survey will remain open until the 3 September 2021).