Ranked one of the top 50 universities in the world, the University of Sydney has been working creatively since the past year, to make online lectures and classes as exciting and as interesting, as the face-to-face ones. Famously as once said by an ex. CIO at the University “The days where being creative is limited to an arts faculty are long gone.”
So, how do we do it?
1. Virtual Reality Classrooms
How's this for a commute: instead of tapping on to public transport, some Psychology students are logging in to campus via take-home virtual reality headsets. From their bedrooms, the Virtual Reality Therapy class are able to gather in a virtual laboratory where they can handle virtual spiders to learn about phobias and adjust their avatars' body mass indexes to learn about eating disorders.
2. Immersive Video Tours
Tutor Liam French of the Business School transported his Logistics and Supply Chain Management students to warehouses, shipping yards and even Singapore using next-gen hardware. Through cameras and drones, students have been able explore real locations from perspectives that they’d never get on the ground IRL.
For a second, it looked as though professional placements were on hold for Speech Pathology students during lockdown. But not so fast – Clinical Educator, Annie Chan, quickly introduced Playroom@USYD: an online playroom where young children engage in fun, language-enriching activities devised and led by our own students.https://youtu.be/KmVygJrFFHk
4. Lightboard diagrams
As an alternative to PowerPoint presentations, Associate Professor Kellie Charles, Nicholas Randal and Brooke Storey Lewis of the Sydney Medical School introduced Lightboard videos in class, drawing medical diagrams in real-time, allowing students to follow complicated theories, one step at a time.
“I'm loving the Lightboard videos,” one student says. “You understand the mechanisms and aren't overwhelmed with a complicated Powerpoint. And it's nice to see the teacher's face!”
5. Collaboration without borders
Where do you even begin to secure and scale collaboration in an organization that has an IT set-up with 100,000 people operating behind its firewall? To put that into perspective, that’s about the same size and scale as a reasonably sized Australian city!
Taking learning online has led to the collaboration of students at Sydney with industry partners around the world.
Remote and Rural Enterprise Program students have found ways to connect with indigenous organisations in remote Australia – some from as far away as the USA.
“The pandemic showed me that remote learning can be done,” says Bachelor of Commerce student Sachin Shah. “I haven't had a lot of disruption because our tutors are really invested in us and it's easy to keep motivated when you've got a real organisation and people you're working with.”
Written by our GOLD SPONSOR: UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
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