Zooming in on remote learning

Pic of third year marketing student Jessica Almenara, she's adapting to uni life at home. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 207803_05

Tate Papworth

Third year marketing student Jessica Almenara always pictured the moment of relief and exuberance she’d feel walking out of her last class.

Now the 25-year-old says she’s more likely to be sitting in front of her computer, donning pyjamas when her three years of hard work finally finish.

Ms Almenara attends Victoria University and said things snowballed rapidly.

“At VU they do a block learning module, where you focus on one unit for a four-week period,“ she said.

“We did our first four-week block as normal, but then after that everything switched to online.“

She admits it’s taken a bit of getting used to.

“It’s interesting … I’d never used Zoom before and now all our classes are through it,“ she said.

“The first few classes were a bit of an adjustment, but they brought in a new rule to encourage us to turn our cameras on, which has been nice for interaction.“

“Other than that we still have team groups and group work, but that’s all done over messenger and emails, which is a bit of a difference, but still the same structure.“

Victoria University vice-chancellor professor Peter Dawkins said the early tracking for online learning was positive.

“We’ve really been quite successful through remote learning,“ Professor Dawkins said.

“Staff and students have adapted extremely well … essentially we’ve converted everything to zoom, so the teacher has 30 students onscreen.

It allows for lots on interaction and problem solving, which ties in well.

Professor Dawkins said the domestic enrolments had actually increased on last year.

“The enrolments for block three are going really well for domestic students,“ he said.

“Domestic students have stuck with us and attendance to classes been good … in fact enrolments for learning block three are actually up on last year.“