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Studying successfully: how students can manage transition from on-campus to online

As students pivot to completing university courses online in the wake of COVID-19, experts say this style of study requires commitment but the same basic set of study skills.

May 19, 2020, updated May 19, 2020
(Photo: Supplied)

(Photo: Supplied)

“Online study does takes persistence, self-motivation, time management and the ability to focus, in the face of a thousand distractions at home,” Griffith Online Academic Director, Professor Nick Barter said.

Two key activities will help students succeed, as they deal with this sudden shift to study via screens rather than in-person.

“Our data analysis shows two areas which directly correlate to grades in online studies, being Time on Task and Conversations about Content,” Professor Barter said.

Time on Task refers to the time spent reading, digesting and carrying out activities.

“We know that a student’s ability to, for instance, commit to time on their Learning@Griffith course site, has a correlation with the grade received,” he said.

“We believe the number of hours required to succeed in online 12-week courses is similar to the 12-week on-campus courses. However what is different is a students’ ability to commit to this time in a less structured environment, which means scheduling and prioritising study becomes more important than ever.

“Research also indicates that accessing the course materials online at least five times a week leads to a 92 per cent chance of a student continuing through their course and accessing these materials less than once a week results in a higher likelihood of dropping the course (52 per cent).

“Scheduling time to access the course sites each day to digest content is more likely to lead to success, than spending 8-10 hours in one day.”

The Griffith Study Planner is a useful tool to identify a students’ current commitments and allocate time required to be ‘on task’ to achieve the desired grade.

Conversations about Content or chatting on social platforms that support the course content, is the second key to success in online study.

“We learn in a social context, so following, posting and liking comments made in asynchronous chat and discussion boards allow physically distant students to connect with their content in a more meaningful way,” Professor Barter explained.

“This social learning enables students to learn from the questions of others, understand other perspectives on the topic and gauge their own performance at the same time.

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“There is also a strong correlation between conversation in social learning and the average grade received for the course.”

For over 20 years, Griffith has helped nurses, teachers, lawyers and more achieve their goals studying online, offering more than 100 fully online degrees.

Professor Nick Barter (Photo: Supplied)

Forty per cent of students were already studying at least one course online through Griffith’s well-established Digital campus prior to COVID-19.

Studying online at Griffith means you’ll receive world-class education, taught by award-winning teachers.

As a result of Coronavirus measures it may not be uni as you know it, but at Griffith you’ll be studying with a leader in online education, which means we know how to support our students with the right infrastructure, tools, services and guidance.

For Trimester 2, 2020, starting in July, all students will be able to start their study from home.

When restrictions are lifted, Griffith will continue to offer students the flexibility to study on-campus, online, or a combination of both.

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