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Sydney Conservatorium virtual choir on Zoom
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The best things about studying online

17 June 2020
Current students share some of the advantages of #usydonline
From having more time to explore their interests and hobbies to engaging more effectively and connecting with classmates in new ways, our students share what they have loved most about studying online.
Medical student practicing yoga.

Julia Hamer says she likes to use the extra time she has gained studying from home to get outdoors and practice yoga.

1. More flexibility and time to explore other interests

“With the online lectures being recorded, I can choose to watch the lectures in an order that makes sense for me, while scheduling in lots of study breaks, cooking time, yoga, and even some fun!” – Julia Hamer, Doctor of Medicine.

"From not having to commute daily, I found myself with a lot of extra time, so I was able to do other activities outside of my degree, like taking online classes on digital marketing and even giving entrepreneurship a try!" – Michelle Sun, Bachelor of Science (Food and Agribusiness).

"It is very similar in some ways to studying face-to-face except that it also allows for greater flexibility. The University has been really amazing at ensuring that you're always supported and that you don’t feel like you’re studying alone." – Hannah Frazer, Doctor of Medicine.

University of Sydney Design Computing student.

Tomas says many of his classes incorporate online platforms like Slack, Ed, Riot or Zoom to enhance the learning experience.

2. Improved efficiency and accessibility

“I think online learning has promoted efficiency and accessibility. Some classes have even improved because you can instantly ask questions through multiple channels, share screens and share live codes.” – Tomas Mitchell Lawton, Bachelor of Design Computing.

“The best thing is that I can study at my own pace. Since all lectures and tutorials are recorded, I can pause, rewind and watch them faster or slower which has been extremely helpful for notetaking and understanding tough concepts.” – Aryan Bhatia, Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Software Engineering).

Student studying from home in her bed.

Hannah says her year group have organised virtual charity events, trivia nights and end of block parties online via Zoom, which have been really fun.

3. Greater connection to classmates and lecturers

"Our year group has a Facebook page that has allowed us to stay in touch while we study online and we also have a discussion board on Canvas and Piazza, where we can ask our lecturers questions. Our year coordinator also runs fortnightly Q&A's where we're able to ask questions and get them answered in real-time, which is really great. – Hannah Frazer, Doctor of Medicine.

“Our classes have been split into shorter sessions and our lecturers have modified the activities to lend themselves to delivery on Zoom with more breakout rooms and interactive discussion. Chat 'pile-ons' are fun too, whereupon leaving the session everyone throws a comment in the chat and it sums up everyone's thoughts!” – Jacqueline Brewer, MBA.

“My positive transition to online learning was really thanks to my lecturers, tutors, and supervisors. They went above and beyond in accommodating issues, providing constructive feedback and strategies, and responding to enquiries. In the Industry and Community project unit especially, Zoom and Google Docs, along with the team's motivation to do well, allowed for a successful project at distance.” - Isabella Mandic, Bachelor of Science.

Bachelor of Design Computing student.

Andreas says with platforms like Slack and Zoom the online learning experience feels more like communicating on a social network with teachers and students.

3. More opportunities to ask questions

“It’s entirely possible to get more out of your classes than you might do if they were face to face. If you’re in doubt about anything, all you have to do is type and press send to get an answer, which (at least for me) is much less intimidating than asking in person.” – Andreas Thoma, Bachelor of Design Computing.

“I’ve found doing lectures online has been very interactive and I’m more confident asking questions in the chat function, which I find has really deepened my understanding of the content.” – Hannah Frazer, Doctor of Medicine.

University of Sydney arts student.

Jessica says her favourite part of studying online has been being part of the virtual choir, not commuting and saving the money she would usually spend on lunch, coffee and ice cream.

4. Continuing learning and graduating on time

“When classes switched online, I was expecting certain classes to be cancelled completely due to significant practical requirements. I was surprised by how much effort most teachers put into making the transition work.” – Jessica Suann, Bachelor of Music (Music Education).

“In this challenging environment, online study has created new learning opportunities for us so we don’t need to suspend our course or postpone our career plan.” – Yi Tan, Master of Commerce.

"Everybody is experiencing the effects of COVID-19 so beginning your studies online is not a disadvantage. On the other hand, delaying your start means you will still have to do it later!" – Tomas Mitchell Lawton, Bachelor of Design Computing.