We know that these are challenging and anxious times. However, that doesn’t mean that your English learning should stop! Matrix is dedicated to continuity of learning, with our Matrix+ Online Courses. In this article, we explain how to study English online using Matrix+.
Matrix+ is our Online Learning Courses, tried and tested online resources to help you get exam ready. Matrix+ will help you get ahead with clear, structured online classes taught by subject matter experts so you can learn from the best at home.
It is the same Matrix, just online!
Matrix+ is a structured online course taught by subject matter experts and consists of the following features:
Let’s take a look at what Matrix+ students get to assist their learning:
1. Matrix English Theory Book
Matrix Theory Books are carefully designed resources, written by academics and education researchers. Each Theory Book covers the appropriate aspects of the new NSW syllabus, so you don’t need to worry about their quality.
Each Matrix+ student has their Theory Book mailed directly to them.
Each lesson explains how the content relates to the NSW English syllabus or NESA English Module. To ensure that students understand the material, lessons have regular Focus Questions and Reflection Questions so students can test their knowledge of texts and techniques, and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
This guided approach means students have a structured learning environment to develop their writing and critical thinking skills, even if they are outside the classroom.
2. Clear, structured Online Theory Lesson Videos
You shouldn’t need to worry about poorly structured and produced video lessons about English texts and concepts.
Learn from subject matter experts, instead.
Matrix+ English presenters deliver lesson content in clear, understandable terms. They ensure that all concepts about English texts are unpacked step-by-step so you understand the meaning of the text, the theory, and how to write about it.
Each lesson is structured around the Theory Book and Homework tasks so that students are guided through learning and not left to fend for themselves.
The English teachers will outline possible responses to Focus Questions, so students can learn from expert examples. Timestamps connected to Theory Book content means that students can easily navigate the lesson to get the most out of them.
Matrix+ students can learn at their own pace with easy to follow explanations of key concepts and passages of texts.
3. Online discussion board for individual help
Students feel disconnected when they study from home. But students don’t need to learn on their own.
Matrix+ Online Discussion Boards for each online English class provide students with the opportunity to get the help they need for difficult concepts.
Providing students with an online environment where they can seek help means that they will always feel supported and guided. Students can ask questions to their English teachers and work with their peers on difficult concepts from texts to share their insights.
Matrix English Teachers and Tutors monitor the boards and respond within 1 working day.
4. Weekly Online Quizzes and Homework Tasks
Matrix+ English students submit homework and sit online quizzes weekly. Weekly feedback and instant quiz results mean that students feel supported with practical feedback.
Now that school has largely moved online, students are saying they struggle more than ever to get meaningful feedback. But Matrix+ is there to guide students, that’s why we care about providing actionable feedback on your writing.
Perfect your writing with insightful feedback from your teacher for continuous improvement.
Matrix+ English Homework tasks are assigned to develop the ideas and writing skills from the Theory Book lessons. Experienced Matrix teachers will mark English homework submissions with detailed, actionable online feedback so you can learn from your mistakes.
5. Topic Test
The Topic Test at the end of each Matrix+ Term course allows you to assess your knowledge and skills. This means you don’t have to question or guess where you stand with your analytical or writing skills when you study at home.
Do you feel unsure of whether your writing or textual analysis has improved or if you really understand your text and concepts? Many students around the world currently feel like this.
Matrix+ teachers will give you a mark and feedback on where to improve your understanding of texts or practise your writing skills. This is so you know what weaknesses you have to work on and what strengths you can consolidate.
Do you need help studying English at home?
Studying at home can be difficult and studying English can be confusing at the best of times. Not everyone understands the best methods for studying an online course, either.
Remember, Matrix+ online English courses provide you with the structure and motivation you need with:
Clear, structured Theory Lesson Videos that guide you through the Theory Book lessons.
Discussion boards where you can ask the questions to get back on track and stay on track.
Ongoing assessment through quizzes, homework assessments, and topic tests will give you the task deadlines you need to stay motivated.
While this process may look overwhelming, it isn’t. It is just methodical. At Matrix, we know you can’t learn English skills effectively without a clear process to follow.
Let’s look at how this process will make learning from home efficient and focused instead of aimless and frustrating. We’ll explain how this process works and why it will support your learning.
Step 1: Watch the Theory Lesson Video with your Theory Book
Why? Students often find that other online educational videos don’t clearly present information. Nor do they structure the information for an online English lesson in a logical or accessible manner. The Matrix Theory Lesson Videos are produced around the content from the Theory Book lessons.
You need to actively engage with your Online Theory Lesson to make the most out of it.
Benefits? The Matrix Theory Book allows students to have structured lessons in their home. The detailed, academic content guides students through concepts and enables them to develop their knowledge with focus questions and reflection questions.
The Matrix+ Process: Make sure you have your Theory Book, notes, and list of subject area difficulties to hand.
As you watch the Theory Lesson Video, you must:
Log in to LMS and go to the resource tab.
Load your Theory Lesson Video and watch or read any relevant resources.
Follow the content in your Theory Book.
Answer the questions in your Theory Book when prompted by your teacher.
Write notes of key ideas and concepts (not everything your teacher says!).
List down confusing or difficult areas and things you don’t understand.
Make notes and summarise the lesson content.
Don’t forget to write down questions to ask your teacher for clarification too! Note down the timestamp of the parts you are struggling with.
The benefit of online videos is that you can pause and play the video whenever you need. Rewatch areas that are confusing, or pause them if you need more time to write your answers and notes.
Pro Tip for getting the most out of lessons
Read the Theory Lesson, first!
Why? Some students don’t understand the content of the Theory Lesson Videos because they aren’t adequately prepared. It is very easy to become overwhelmed by detailed information.
High achieving Matrix Alumni always read their Theory Lessons, before class. It’s a good idea for Matrix+ English students to read the content of their theory lesson, first, before they watch the video.
Benefits? Reading through the lesson initially lets you identify the content that you will struggle the most with.
It is okay if there is information you don’t understand, but you do need to get a sense of what you are about to learn. Aim to skim the content and read the allocated readings.
Maybe this is a tricky passage of poetry or Shakespeare, maybe it is a point of grammar. Identifying it first will afford you the opportunity to focus more carefully on the content you struggle with.
This gives you an initial opportunity to make notes and mark up those parts of the English lesson you don’t understand.
Students should prepare so that they are able to actively engage with the content:
Go through the content of the Theory Book lesson and read what is included.
Understand what the lesson is about and what you need to do.
Highlight difficult or confusing areas so you can focus on them in the video lesson.
Read your allocated readings from the resource library. You may be required to read novel extracts, watch film clips, scholarly articles etc!
If you are unsure of some of the content or are interested in some of the ideas, take some time and do a bit of research around these points. Take notes as you go.
No more confusion. No more time wasted on trying to figure out what to do.
If you are unsure of some of the content or are interested in some of the ideas, take some time and research around these points!
Taking ownership of your learning will help you retain more information.
Step 2: Ask Questions on the Online Discussion Board
Why? Students studying online at home often feel unsupported and unable to ask questions about parts of the English content they don’t understand.
In addition, students often miss the peer support and collegial environment provided by group discussions. The ability for students to work through ideas together is very important.
Benefits? You can ask those pressing English questions that you’re stuck on the Online Discussion Board.
A forum environment allows your teachers to respond quickly (within 1 working day) and your peers are also able to provide insights and advice.
Just because you’re not in a classroom doesn’t mean that you should lose the support of your peers.
The Matrix+ Process: As you’ve worked through the first 2 steps, you’ll have produced a list of questions, concerns, and challenges that you’re struggling with. Now is the time to reach out to your teachers and your peers. Remember, your Matrix teachers are just a click away!
Click discussions and select which discussion you want to participate in.
Read the other question and responses in the forum. If somebody has asked one of your questions, read the responses to that and see if it resolves your issue.
Identify the issues from your notes that you need help with. You can ask for clarification, feedback, concerns, or tips to improve your English skills!
When asking questions provide as much context as possible (page of Theory Book, page of text, timestamp of video, quotation of text).
If asking multiple questions, make sure that you list them clearly and number each one. This will make it easy for your teacher, and peers, to respond.
While you await answers, take the time to read other questions and participate in discussions.
If you need further help or more detailed feedback, inbox your teacher. Use the ‘Inbox’ tool to message your teacher directly. Make sure you allow a reasonable amount of time for your teacher to respond!
Pro Tips for making notes:
At this stage, your notes will be rushed and unclear. So, you need to go back and refine them! Aim to:
Organise your notes into key ideas, concepts or themes.
Add additional information from your personal research to further explain concepts.
Draw links between different ideas, concepts or themes.
Quickly summarise each section.
List out any other points of confusion or unresolved issues.
Doing this will ensure that your English notes are concise and comprehensive.
You must be able to look back at them in a couple of months time and still understand their content!
Step 3: Complete your Homework and submit for feedback
Why? Learning from home often leaves students feeling like they are on their own to improve their writing. This shouldn’t be the case.
Matrix+ homework tasks are designed to challenge students and guide them through learning.
Your teachers are trained to provide feedback that is frank but encouraging to help you develop and learn.
Benefits? Submit your homework online and by the deadline to receive constructive and insightful feedback on your writing and responses.
The Matrix+ Process: To make the most of your Matrix+ experience, follow the following steps:
Complete the homework task from your lesson. Your teacher will identify it throughout the lesson, or it will be at the end of the lesson. (Some courses only have homework tasks for every second week.) You will find your homework task in the LMS, too.
When you do this, you will see a pop up of your English homework task and the marking criteria.
If you are ready to submit your assignment, then scroll further down, upload your file and press submit. You will get online feedback from your English teacher within the next week.
Be sure to check the “SpeedGrader” for detailed feedback. Your teacher will annotate any .doc or PDF files that uploaded with feedback on what you are doing well or not so well.
Apply your feedback. If you are still unsure of where you are struggling or need help figuring out how to improve.
Step 4: Test your knowledge with Topic Test
Why? Students put in the work consistently, but are unable to see any progress. Often, school assessment time is too late to find out that there are huge holes in your English game!
Benefits? Getting feedback on a formal assessment task done under exam conditions gives students an honest appraisal of where they are really at.
Even if the feedback is critical and shows significant weaknesses, it is positive because students learn to fix these weaknesses before their important assessments or exams!
The Matrix+ process? To sit your Topic test and get detailed feedback, follow the following steps:
Log onto the LMS and proceed to the course homepage.
Under the resources tab, you will find the English Topic Test as a PDF you can open. But don’t read the questions, yet!
Set yourself a timer for the allotted time – reading time + writing time (it is important that you are honest with yourself about sticking to the time limit. Cheating yourself here robs you of valuable experience doing exams and tests. This is something you need lots of for the HSC!).
When you’re ready, start your reading time timer and then open the English paper. Read the question and plan out your response.
When you can start the topic test, begin and stick to the timer.
Once you have completed the test, scan your response and upload it to the assessment task labelled “upload your Topic Test here”.
Your teacher will give you feedback by the date specified for your course (usually within five days of the Topic Test’s due date).
Read through your online English feedback and see what you need to improve. The grade is an indication of where you stand in Bands, but the Feedback is there to help you improve.
Write a list of the areas which your teacher has told to work on and place it somewhere you can constantly refer to it.
Refer to it every time you need to write an English piece.
Improve your marks!
Pro Tip for Topic Tests
If you really want to improve, redo your English Topic Test based on the feedback you’ve received.
Attempting it again, incorporating feedback from your subject matter expert will move you closer to the Band 6 results you need!
Want to study English effectively while at home?
Matrix+ will make sure your English learning doesn’t stop when everything else has. Learn more.
Get ahead with Matrix+ Online
Expert teachers, detailed feedback and one-to-one help. Learn at your own pace, wherever you are.