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Online study replicating the workplace

Swinburne Online Learning Designers are preparing students for their future careers by enabling them to problem solve in their field of study with the use of real life scenarios.

“Studying online replicates how we work and also builds skills for the workplace. As a society, we are reliant on the internet and our students are gaining the ability to capture reliable and credible information and make use of it.

“This encourages students to have the confidence to share their academic voice and enable student to student learning,” says Learning Design Manager, Diane Robbie.

Learning Designers work closely with academics from Swinburne University of Technology to translate on-campus units into an online environment.

This academic content is then aligned with Swinburne Online’s principles of learning through discussion and collaboration, where technology plays a big part in opening up new dialogues in each area of study.

“We are trying to engage our students in discussion and collaboration in every single way so we are using all technologies available to make that happen,” says Ms Robbie.

All units are facilitated by Swinburne Online’s teaching team made up of industry qualified eLearning Advisors (eLAs), who also deliver weekly activities to further encourage collaboration.

These weekly activities come in different forms such as a case study, debate, problem or scenario. The activities gradually build up over the 12 week teaching period to prepare students for their assessments.

“We are very strategic when it comes to our weekly activities. Not only do they provide a basis for group collaboration, but they are designed specifically for scaffolding assessment. The more students partake in the activity, the better they perform on their assessments.”

Swinburne Online students are learning how to utilise the tools available to be successful throughout their studies whilst being guided by a teaching team. This requires a high level of engagement with the curriculum, giving students more ownership of their learning outcomes.

 “The onus is on the student. When given a task to find tools to teach maths in primary schools for example, students explore information online looking at scholarly journals and other sources.

“They are then encouraged to present and share their findings as a tool they could use in the primary classroom with students through discussion. And that is how our students learn, through this sharing of information with each other, guided by our eLAs,” says Ms Robbie.