The countdown to my studies beginning continued today with the arrival of my unit info, study guide and readings for Religion Studies: The Long Search which comes to be by way of UniSA. From the same Uni I also received my username and online access details and I have to admit to frisson of nostalgic excitement at once again having a .edu.au email address. What’s more, I am impressed by the online interface with the Uni – it’s come a long way baby from the ol’ white text on blue .shell YoYo accounts at Monash in 1990! Suddenly I’m aware that I was witnessing history in the making sitting in the IT rooms at Monash as those first YoYo accounts were set up that day in 1990(no kudos to self here, I was only present because my boyfriend at the time was a 4th yr computer eng. student who somehow was involved with the student comittee getting it going.)

I’m sure those who have not been far from academia in the past 15 (aargh!) yrs take such stuff for granted but for those who aren’t familiar and for those who have been curious how the whole Open Uni thing works (almost everyone I’ve told has considered a course here and there) here’s what UniSA offers. (I’m sure Macquarie, from which I am taking 2 other subjects, will have something similar but I haven’t heard from them as yet). Upon logging into “myUniSA” one is suddenly a click or two away from:

  • not only email but a full Outlook for Web suite for full commmunication and life-structuring;
  • enrolment info on your current subjects, status of any materials which have or are yet to be dispatched to you and links to the individual subject pages;
  • the Library catalogue search (and ability to organise inter-library loans to a Uni closer to home);
  • an assignment turn in application which purports to generate not only title pages but electronic receipts for assignments;
  • page of genuinely useful links to info, applications and departments (like counselling, childcare or the “Student Ombud” which I’m guessing is a clever-country way of making the Ombudsman sound all at once hip, friendly (‘Bud’) and non-sexist witout the need for being PC (Ombudsmyn?));
  • even a one click at-a-glance academic record for results etc…

Ofcourse whether this all works will be the trick but I choose to be rosily naive at this point – isn’t that my job as a ahem mature-age student?

Let the adventure begin!