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Returning to Learning: Home

Supports students returning to study

Returning to learning


For various reasons you may not have studied in quite some time. But now life is changing and you've made the decision to undertake further study. Great! But in returning to learning, you may be experiencing the following:

  • 'Out of practice' in how to study
  • Lacking confidence in your study and research skills
  • Limited skills in computer technology, Internet and Database searching
  • Demands on your time outside TAFE that may draw your attention away from completing your study goals.
If this is you, then this guide is intended to help you locate and use the resources available to you in order to make your 'return to learning' less daunting, less frustrating, more enjoyable and more satisfying.

Grellier and Goerke (2006) provide the following tips for mature-age students:

  • Find time to stay on campus outside class times and mix with fellow students
  • If you find yourself short of time you may be overloading  yourself. It may be a sensible idea to reduce your study load in order to keep your life on the rails.
  • Spend time with fellow students to help develop your confidence and sense of being a student. That way you get a perspective on how other students are coping with study.
  • Make use of free assistance* 

*At TAFENSW you can talk to teachers and librarians. Attend study skill groups. Do short tutorials in computer skills.

Learning new things is fun, but often hard. Here are some more tips to avoid frustration, despair, quitting:

  • Allow time to settle in to new surroundings. Get to know your way around. Explore the campus so you get familiar with your surroundings.
  • Seek support: Study groups, Librarians, Teachers, Family & Friends, Fellow students.
  • Ask questions:  Don't be afraid to seek clarification. Others may not have understood either but are too scared to ask. This is your moment for understanding what you are learning. It's your education. 
  • Be kind to yourself: You may have high expectations of your academic performance, so it is important to set realistic goals. Stretch yourself but don't over stretch.
  • Be patient : You haven't studied in a while and you may need to learn new ways of studying. Practicing what you have learnt will help you improve. Ask for feedback.
  • Take it step-by-step but keep an eye on your long-term goal by reminding yourself why your enrolled.
  • Give yourself rewards & celebrate achievements. Involve your family and friends.

Source: The University of Melbourne : returning to learning

And a tip from TAFENSW librarians!

Get to know your library website and it's portal to information resources. Become familiar with Libguides and Referencing and research help.

Browse the shelves

Browse the shelves at these dewey numbers

Topic Call number
Learning styles & thinking skills 153 - 153.152
Memory & Concentration skills 153.12-153.14
Creative thinking 153.35-153.42
Listening skills 153.68
Motivation  153.8
Stress management 155.9042
Study skills 371.3
Internet researching skills 371.334467
Academic writing 808.042

Help with study skills

Study Support

Need help with a study subject or skill?

TAFENSW can offer you tutorials and other forms of learner support.

Click here for further information or contact your local TAFENSW to find out what learning support services they provide.


eBooks are available to TAFEstudents.  Use your DET username and password to access them. Use CHROME browser to view.

Find more eBooks here!

Apps for study

More apps for study

Installing Read&Write on your own Windows device

Read&Write software is available to all TAFENSW students to download and install on home laptops, PCs, Macs, and Tablets to assist with your studies.

Staff: can install Read&Write software on their desktops and laptops using the Software Centre Applications Catalogue.

Student: follow the instructions below

On library shelves

Find books and DVDs on the TAFE catalogue.  You can search for books at your own Library, or across the entire NSW TAFE collection.

Here is a sample of books and DVDs from the Libraries of the Hunter Institute:

Digital Skills Toolkit

The Digital Skills Toolkit  on iTAFE provides free and easy to use tutorials to assist learners with their current studies - explore the following topics:
  • Basic Cloud
  • Computer Safety
  • Email
  • Manage Devices
  • Navigate the Internet
  • Operate Computer
  • Presentations
  • Spreadsheets
  • Wordprocessing

Click on the ‘Digital Toolkit’ located in the top menu of the iTAFE site. 
No login required.

Please see Library staff if you need assistance.

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Learn to help yourself





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Need help? TAFE Library Services

TAFE Library Services are happy to assist you in person, on the phone or via email.

Our webpage has links to:

TAFE NSW students can use any TAFE NSW Library. 

Please contact us if you have any questions.


Feeling overwhelmed, stuck on an assessment? Go to Studiosity

TAFE NSW students can access free online tutoring through Studiosity (previously YourTutor).

This service connects with a real-life tutor through online chat. 
The service is FREE for TAFE students.

Students can also upload a written draft of their assignment to Studiosity Writing Feedback, and receive feedback within 24 hours.

Connect online 3pm till late, Sunday to Friday.
Click here for instructions on how to register if you don't have a login.

Grammarly: free grammar checker and writing assistant


Grammarly makes sure everything you write is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.
Add it to Chrome or as a plugin to Microsoft Office. 

Library Services Brochure