Master of Business Analytics student Aditya Sridhar started his course online from India, following the COVID-19 global pandemic. After adjusting to a new way of working, Aditya shares his tips to get your online learning off to the best start.
A key piece of advice is to look at the LMS (Learning Management System) daily to check for new announcements from your faculty and keep track of assignments and tests.
Aditya also recommends students network with fellow classmates and form small study groups to keep each other motivated and on track with the units.
“The biggest challenge I faced was trying to connect with fellow classmates outside the online lectures,” he says.
“It’s also a bit difficult to keep yourself engaged and focused during lectures, as you’re still at home with plenty of distractions.
“For this, the University’s Study Smarter team arranged workshops to prepare students for online learning, which helped me a lot. They also shared resources on self-learning to get us ready for the semester.
“If you have any trouble learning a concept during the semester, you can also book one-on-one online sessions with the Study Smarter team who can explain the concept in more detail.”
Aditya says the main benefit of online learning is the lecture videos and slides being shared online, so you can access them anytime.
“It saves the need to make additional notes, as I can always access the content whenever I need clarity on a topic. Also, the topics are uploaded weekly in a structured manner, making it easier to find the content you need.”
Aditya adds he is a big fan of the flipped classroom approach adopted by professors.
“The premise of the flipped classroom approach is that students read the online material before attending the seminars where they discuss it in detail and get their doubts cleared by the lecturer. This gives the students an onus to watch the lecture notes prior to attending the seminar and keep up with the class.”
Professors also learnt to adapt their teaching methods for online and make lectures interactive. Some also arranged weekly online tests (counted towards the final marks) on topics covered that week, something Aditya found beneficial as it motivated him to study and do well every week.
Another initiative to help students acclimatise is UWA’s UniMentor program. This provides you with a mentor (generally a student studying the same course) to guide you along your journey.
“I got along well with my mentor and he took the time to answer any queries I had on administrative work, how to enrol in units or how to access the online library, while also checking in with me from time to time to ensure I didn’t face any difficulty with my course units,” Aditya says.
Aside from assigning a mentor, UWA has dedicated transition and international teams to keep you up to date on events while also answering any queries.
“Despite the challenges of online learning, I found my first semester to be quite productive and fun. However, studying from home isn’t always easy and there are times when I find it difficult to motivate myself and keep focus,” says Aditya.
“Everyone has a different style of studying and after a bit of trial and error, I found mine. I try to keep a timetable for studying similar to if I was studying at campus as it helps me focus and brings structure to my units. I also try to complete the lecture recordings before the weekly seminar as this makes the seminar more interactive and keeps me engaged.
“Pursuing a master's program is tough, and some may find it tougher starting off online, but UWA has myriad support staff to help you along the way and make it a worthwhile experience.”