Smooth transition to online delivery mode for Swinburne
May 11, 2020
KUCHING – Since the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed on 18 March, Swinburne’s Sarawak campus has put in place a learning and teaching continuity plan for its Semester 1 intake.
According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Swinburne Sarawak Professor John Wilson, Swinburne has made the immediate switch to online learning and teaching as it is the best safety precaution taken by the management to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The safety of the Swinburne community is our priority. We believe that good teaching is good teaching, and it is about our academic staff, course design and learning management system that will assist the smooth transition from face-to-face to digital. Our academics who have worked tirelessly to make the switch over a period of two weeks.”
“The university uses the latest learning management system CANVAS that was first introduced to our staff and students in 2019, replacing earlier learning management system Blackboard. It’s one of the world’s leading system that is also adopted by other renowned universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Yale. Additionally, we’ve set up virtual classrooms and an array of learning materials including videos and podcasts to enhance the learning experience. Our key laboratories are also available remotely using special software,” remarked Professor Wilson.
Expanding on the online delivery mode, he said Swinburne library is also available online where students can browse through the online collections via the library website. Students will be able to find databases and subject guides, watch library tutorial video, as well as browse through e-book, magazine, newspaper, reference, and thesis or final-year project collections.
Currently, Semester 1 is in full swing after having conducted a successful online orientation for its new Foundation and Diploma students. To further assist students and staff with the online delivery mode, a range of regularly updated FAQs has been compiled and uploaded to Swinburne’s official website.
Meanwhile, Swinburne’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho commented that Swinburne has almost a decade of experience in online delivery, utilising state-of-the-art technology to deliver courses in a supporting environment.
“Contrary to common perception, online learning is not inferior to normal face-to-face delivery. I believe this is an active and modern way of learning in our commitment to producing future-ready learners. With CANVAS, staff and students can access it from any locations using their PC, laptop, tablet or other suitable mobile devices,” said Professor Lau.
He elaborated that online learning at Swinburne is delivered in two different modes namely Synchronous and Asynchronous modes. Synchronous mode involves streaming live lecture sessions, tutorials or forums, while asynchronous mode includes sharing a recorded lecture or pre-recorded video which is more convenient for students especially international students who have to cope with different time zones.
“Where our academics are concerned, resources are available to support our unit conveners and teaching teams in the development of online delivery approaches in their units. These information and support including training are available through Swinburne Sarawak Learning & Teaching Unit (LTU),” added Professor Lau.
Swinburne’s Sarawak campus remain close until further directives from the state government. Its online study mode will continue throughout Semester 1 until July 2020.
For students who missed the previous Foundation intake, they can enrol for the June 2020 Foundation intake now and graduate in time for its Degree intake in March 2021. For details on courses and scholarships, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book an online appointment via www.picktime.com/swinburnesarawak for email, phone call, WhatsApp chat or video call counselling session.
For more information about Swinburne, visit www.swinburne.edu.my, or follow its Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter (@Swinburne_Swk) and YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).