Rice up against hunger

Monday 4 March 2013

Online Study

Online vs On-campus

Online learning is tough if you’re used to (and respond well to) the traditional classroom environment. About the only thing in common is; there’s a teacher, there’s a structure in place featuring learning activities, assessment activities, rules and you can see your classmate’s work. 

That’s about it.

Online study doesn’t work for everybody. You may need to alter your approach to study. You may need to adapt to new ways of studying.

 Pros & Cons of online 


  • You can study without being in the classroom at a particular time
  • You study with reduced peer pressure
  • You can study at your own pace.
  • There are fewer distractions
  •  Hyperlinks can give you easy access to abundant information
  •  You study with reduced peer pressure (some students thrive on this)
  • Immediate feedback is missing (you may have to wait some time for feedback or go on with something else in the meantime).  
  • Body language is missing. Expressions, mannerisms, emotion are all missing. All we have online is email etiquette and emoticons.
  • There’s not a lot of multi-modal content. Humans are multi-modal; meaning we can process audio and visuals simultaneously and very efficiently. In a classroom environment this is a plus. It’s not quite so apparent online. It’s mostly just text or audio and seldom both. Video goes some way to addressing this but video is passive and one-way. You really need to be engaged and motivated to watch a video.
  • Interactions online are relatively passive. Students in a classroom are easy to engage quickly. They can feed off a teacher/ fellow student’s enthusiasm. Online delivery doesn’t offer the same opportunity or level of intensity.


  • Be fearless. Don’t be afraid to ask the “dumb” questions. No question is too “dumb”.
  • Don’t be afraid to engage with your fellow students. Share problems with them. Share  solutions with them.
  • Exercise etiquette. Be civil, polite and open-minded in all correspondence.
  • Keep “chipping away” at the course work. Regularly.
  • If you have a break for a week it makes it tough to get back into it. Look at allocating 15 hours a week to your study. ( 40 - 60 hours for people with learning difficulties) 
  • Study is a hard slog if you also have to feed yourself, work a part-time job, feed the kids,go shopping, watch TV, relax, sleep etc. Combining real life and study is a tricky mix but worth it.
  • Share anything you think will benefit your teacher or classmates. Sharing links is easy.
  • Plagiarism is not acceptable. Along with copyright infringement. Understand that producing original work is the best approach for this course, ie. take photos with your own digital camera.
  • Avoid the urge to covet your knowledge. In business you may be less forthcoming with information but in an online course the more we share, the better we learn.



  • Responds quickly to queries. 

  • Provides extensive feedback for learning and assessment activities.

  • Ensures instruction is easily understood.
  • Provides study options and demonstrates flexibility to students.
  •  Ensures resources are relevant and current. 
  • Acts on feedback to refine the course material.    
  •  Treats every student with the same level of care.


  • Participates in discussions, tries to “bring something to the table” by sharing knowledge and experience.

  • Provides supportive feedback to fellow classmates.

  • Responds quickly to correspondence.

  • Informs teacher of any “blockers” to study (if you can’t hit a deadline let your teacher know).

  •  Adheres to copyright law.

  • Maintains a reliable email address (Gmail is recommended because you also get access from the one login password to a range of other web publishing tools such as Google Docs, YouTube and Blogger).

  • Ensure your email address is as short as possible.

  • Exercises patience and has capacity to work on something else while waiting for answers.

  • Research material, using the library and internet resources to help complete Learning Activities and Assessment Tasks.
  • Keep a visual diary, as a record of visual sketches of ideas and influences relating to Learning Activities and Assessment Tasks.

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