It has been a year of change and uncertainty across the world leaving most university students with online study as the only alternative to postponing their study plans.
The transition was challenging to begin with but like millions of people worldwide who currently work from home, students are also appreciating the benefits of online study.
Studying online has allowed many Deakin students to continue with their degree and keep their career goals on track through a global pandemic. It has also offered opportunities to blend home and family with completing a degree through an international university. With over 40 years of delivering online and distance education, Deakin is able to offer a high-quality online study experience. From 24-hour support to a personalised study dashboard, you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
But don’t just take it from us. Many of our students are enjoying the benefits of online study – and in some unexpected ways! Hear from four students who have transitioned to online study at Deakin University, Australia:
Learning new digital skills
‘Initially when online classes started, it was pretty difficult to capture everything, it was new to us. My first few years were on campus and the interaction with the teachers was a lot, but then they had Microsoft Teams sessions and the technology that we learnt over that was pretty amazing. We learnt a complete set of new skills over there like studying remotely in our home and completing the projects while you’re at home. Initially, the transition it was pretty difficult for us, but the lecturers were helpful, and they gave us all the time we needed – we got lots of extensions and with every extension we got a week or two weeks extra, so it was very flexible.’
A new perspective on your study area
‘For my course, with COVID happening, we got exposed to a bit more of the techniques that the health system would be using in analysing economics so that was very advantageous because if COVID didn’t happen we wouldn’t know the capacity of our hospitals and the impact of programs that could be run. That was really interesting in terms of learning techniques that you wouldn’t normally learn in a unit. But just because it’s currently happening our lecturers think outside of the box and get us a bit more engaged in the classes. That’s where I’ve found the online lectures quite positive. It’s not the same case study that’s been done in the past years where you’re just repeating doing the same thing, but this is completely new so even the lecturers won’t know about information that you might find.’
Engaging ways of including practical learning
‘An online setting for a science student can be a daunting process, yet the lecturers at Deakin surely offered the best/fullest support to make sure that students were obtaining the maximum knowledge and practical experience from an online environment. While most practical content was based on videos, specifically and originally curated by the teaching board at Deakin, certain units explained different online tools that could be used to generate and obtain data using real life examples in science. The videos showcased as our online practical classes were mostly based on interactive sessions, to make sure we were not only watching these videos but extracting knowledge out of the material, which was further beneficial for our assignments. They were rather engaging with inclusions of breakout rooms to help us aid with problems arising from our unit material.
I can assure that we acquired the needed knowledge and theory through our practical sessions. My peers and I were confident to perform certain experiments from the online material we had obtained. Having confidence in the laboratory is a must, does not mean you need to know every procedure while you are there, but the confidence you obtain can boost your performance and accuracy while performing an experiment. Throughout 2020, 95% of my study material was based online, fortunately in December I was able to take up a practical class that was held up from the start of the year. Walking into the lab after a long hiatus was a questionable scenario, however most students did feel confident to take up the activities that were required to be performed in the laboratory. I am certain that the interactive videos and the extra knowledge given by our lecturers throughout the online setting helped us during this particular practical session, providing the extra boost of confidence.’
‘Online learning is pretty good, really good actually. Me, us, business analytics students, we made a new group for all subjects so it’s not only one or two subjects, it’s eight subjects and we are together there and talking and helping each other. My lecturers know about the group and they are supporting us so if we have a question, we ask them and because there is an online group set up, they respond in that group. We made a review class, so it’s made by students, and sometimes some lecturers agree to review that content, so they know that we are on track. For me, I think networking when online is really good because you’re not only interacting with lecturers – lecturers are very helpful and some of them even reply at 9 o’clock at night!’
For information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.