Murdoch student Sarah shares her advice for becoming a pro at online learning.
As technologies have advanced and through recent times we’ve had to stay at home, the way we study has dramatically changed. While some find adapting to this change difficult, online study has opened up a range of flexible options for people who previously couldn’t attend uni.
Now we are no longer stuck in isolation and are now free to attend classes on campus, yet aspects of teaching remain accessible online. So how do we deal with the new ‘blended’ teaching format? Murdoch student, Sarah, shares her tips and tricks for acing virtual learning.
Get comfortable with online learning platforms
There are a few online platforms you should become familiar with as soon as possible to ensure you are getting the most out of online learning. The starting point for all things Murdoch is the myMurdoch student portal. Through myMurdoch you can:
- edit your unit and class enrolments
- access and download your free Microsoft 365 programs
- ·navigate campus with Murdoch Maps, and
- find the latest campus news and events.
Most importantly, the Learning tab on myMurdoch gives you direct access to the Learning Management System (‘LMS’). MyMurdoch is accessible on desktop computers, as well as on both Android and iOS mobile devices. For more information about myMurdoch, check out their FAQs.
What is LMS?
Each unit you are enrolled in will have an LMS page. LMS is where you will access all recorded lectures, any announcements posted by your unit coordinator, and any other relevant materials. Most LMS pages will contain a Discussion or Student Forum section, in which you can ask questions for your peers to answer. If you have any trouble accessing myMurdoch or the LMS pages for your units, you should contact Murdoch myAdvice.
Conducting research online
So you’ve been given your first research assignment – what now? There are two online tools that are invaluable in conducting research:
- The Murdoch Library website provides access to a wide range of news articles, peer reviewed journal articles, and e-books; as well as providing the shelf details to locate any relevant books in the campus library. Searching your unit code or unit name in the Murdoch University search function will also enable you to access past exam papers for that unit.
- Additionally, the Murdoch Databases webpage enables you to access a range of anthropological, legal, and scientific journals, each hosting thousands of peer reviewed articles that you may cite in your assignment.
Balancing on-line learning with on-campus learning
With online pre-recorded lectures, on campus labs, and the option of choosing online or on campus tutorials and workshops, it is easier than ever before to work, parent, and study simultaneously. While campus is now fully open and you should make sure to visit often in order to seize all opportunities to succeed at university, Murdoch’s online learning options mean you no longer have to spend two hours commuting via public transport if you don’t want to.
Why not try scheduling your in-person tutorials and workshops for just one or two days of the week, and spend the other days watching lectures from the comfort of your own home?
Maintaining a connection with peers
Even if you have chosen a fully online study load this semester, there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends and maintain existing friendships. Consider joining the New Students at Murdoch Uni Facebook group, where many students talk, create and share their own study group chats. In fact, many disciplines already have their own Facebook groups or pages that you can follow –for example, the Murdoch Student Law Society or Murdoch Criminology Society.
These pages will keep you up to date with student-organised events in which are the perfect opportunity to make friends studying the same discipline as you. Students will often also create private Facebook pages to share unit updates or organise group study sessions, so see if there are any pages relevant to you by searching for your unit code and/or unit name on Facebook.
Even if you’re studying online, see if you can meet up on campus with your friends, either for study sessions or to watch your online lectures together. In addition to maintaining your friendships, meeting up to watch lectures is a great way to stop you from falling into the trap of pausing a lecture every other minute, and accidentally spending four hours on a two-hour lecture recording!