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9 July 2020

Why you should attend live online classes this study period

As you learn online this study period, you may be wondering why we encourage you to join your live virtual classes as much as possible and why you still need a STAR timetable if you’re usually a campus-based student.

While watching recordings of your classes and seminars gives you flexibility and allows you to study at your own pace, there’s a range of benefits from learning in real time and in a collaborative space.

This includes the opportunity for ‘live’ Q&A sessions, particularly about assessment tasks. You can ask your questions directly of your unit chair or teacher, and if you don’t want to speak or can’t turn on your microphone, you can use the chat function.

Features like online polling, interactive activities and group discussions enable you to get to know other students and is a far more engaging way to learn than going solo!  

Hear from students who’ve already studied online

Our student feedback on Trimester 1 online learning overwhelmingly highlights the importance of routine and effective time management. So while it might sound appealing to let your normal habits slip by watching recordings of your lecture at any hour of the day (or night!), your study will benefit from a more organised approach. And so will your health and wellbeing!

Amie Morgan, who’s in her fourth year of studying Forensic Science and Criminology, told us: ‘In the first couple of weeks online I completely lost my routine and I feel l wasn’t as productive because of that.’

Third-year Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) student Neha Khanna has the following advice: ‘Routine is key. Timetable everything. It is important to allocate hours to everything in equal importance. I think maintaining a calendar is helpful. Keep note of your classes and due dates. It’s all about self-discipline.’

But following a routine doesn’t mean your life is all about study. Successful students make sure to incorporate leisure and hobby time into their schedules – balance is key!

Shimona Albuquerque, who’s in her third-year of a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science/Bachelor of Business (Sport Management), initially found the move to online learning challenging. But she got in the groove by managing her time effectively and giving equal priority to non-study activities:

‘I lacked the routine developed through attending seminars and lectures on campus, and missed the face-to-face interaction.

‘One of the most beneficial things for me was developing a routine and setting myself goals to achieve for that day. With online learning, it is very easy to just sit at your laptop for hours on end without being productive. By scheduling breaks and doing different activities, I’ve found I use my study time more efficiently and effectively. It took a bit of time to get used to online learning; however, I have found my rhythm and am now enjoying it.’

Read more from students who are succeeding at online study in our Together@Deakin student profiles.

Hear from an academic about how your study will benefit

We chatted to Marcus O’Donnell, Director Cloud Learning Futures, about why you should stick to your regular timetable and attend your live online classes as often as possible.

‘I think the students you’ve already talked with are spot on when they discuss the need for establishing a routine when you’re learning online. That’s one of the reasons classes – whether in a campus classroom or online through something like Zoom – are important. They provide that regular opportunity to check in, and that keeps us motivated and on track.

‘It’s the same for me working from home these last few months. There are times when I am quite productive just getting on with things by myself, but I also need regular check-ins with my colleagues.

‘We know from research that the process of learning is essentially a social activity – we need to pick up on cues from others to help confirm and extend our understanding.’

Marcus summed up the five key reasons why attending timetabled classes is important:

  1. Establishing a rhythm and routine for your learning.
  2. Motivating you to complete study tasks if you know that you might have to talk with others about them.
  3. Breaking the sense of social isolation and helping us feel all that we’re learning together – again boosting our resilience and motivation.
  4. Giving you a chance to apply what you’ve learned through discussion and other activities with your peers.
  5. Allowing space for you to ask questions and try out ideas you’re unsure of.

Need a refresher on how to access your online classes? Here’s all you need to know.

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