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Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Congratulations! You’d Survived Your First Fully Online Semester


By P Michael | August 25, 2020



By now, many students would have come to realise that online classes are an entirely different ball game compared to the typical face-to-face classes. As our current students may have experienced, to survive online classes, there are a few simple guides to follow.

Set up a place to get your work done.
You need a dedicated space to study. A study area would ensure you’ll be more focused and less distracted when studying or participating in an online lecture. If you can’t find a dedicated space for yourself, perhaps watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo at twice the speed could motivate you. 



Online doesn’t necessarily mean easy.
Just because there are less face-to-face interactions and students are allowed to go their own pace to complete tasks doesn’t mean online learning is a breeze. Online classes are just as rigorous, sometimes more, than the traditional in-person class. The only difference is the added convenience of being online. 

Practice self-control. Or just download it.
No matter how much you want to finish your work, YouTube sounds so much more fun, doesn’t it? If you’re thinking “I will never get distracted…” let me tell you now that I’m writing this with seven tabs open, of which only three are work-related. So, if you find yourself lacking self-control, at least promise yourself that you will get back to that video lecture within the hour, or have it downloaded so you can view it offline. 

Use software and programmes that will help you succeed.
It’s one thing to understand email and social media, but online learning often requires students to use a range of different technologies to ensure participation and get the most out of their learning. There are tons of study aids that could help in your study-productivity. Of course, having them installed on your desktop is a different thing altogether compared to actually using it.



Practice social learning.
Online learning allows you to connect with your lecturers and classmates from all over the world. So find ways to connect with them by having virtual discussions and creating a social network or study group. Ask your lecturer for help when you need it. Keep him informed if you are ill or unable to log on. Give and expect respect especially during asynchronous communication as discussion boards and emails can easily be misconstrued. Do your part to foster a respectful and supportive learning community. 

Connect with other students.
Though it may feel that way, you’re not the only student in the class. Reach out to your classmates. They may just be struggling with the same things are you are. Create a Google Hangouts study group or discussion thread so you can get the help you need. You could even help other students with what they’re struggling with.



Be logistically prepared.
Do you know who your Discipline Leader is and how to contact him? If you have technical issues, which department in the University do you contact? Have you downloaded the apps you need, and tested it before a live lecture begin? You may also want to think about minimising your reliance on WiFi and instead have a plan for stable and secure internet access such as using ethernet. 

Lastly, show up. 
This is the best advice for everything. And it is very versatile. Want to do stuff with friends? Show up. Want to do well in class? Show up! You don’t even have to lead. Showing up just means logging into your online class and being aware of what is going on by listening, responding to prompts and participating.


Like it or not, online learning requires some adjustment but it does not mean it has to be a struggle. It may take some time to get used to but it certainly is not something you should be afraid of. The only thing constant is change. So have an open mind, and be receptive and adaptive to change. After all, we do want all of our students to succeed.

Exclusive Swinburne Sarawak Care Programme

Swinburne is currently offering the Start With Zero Fees Programme (domestic students) and Start At Home Programme (international students) to new commencing students. The exclusive programmes entitle students to two-week and four-week free trial classes respectively at Swinburne Sarawak where students have the opportunity to adapt and experience the university’s teaching and learning style.

For details, visit the following links;

Domestic: https://swinburne.edu.my/apply-now/sep-oct-intake-malaysia/

International: swinburne.edu.my/apply-now/sep-oct-intake-international/