Change is a constant but as humans, we tend to fear change and its effect on our lives. When things change unexpectedly, we can’t script the outcome and can struggle to decide whether the change will have a positive or negative effect.

When virtual learning became the new reality almost overnight in March 2020 due to mass COVID-19 restrictions, I was initially anxious about how this would affect my learning. In the final year of my Bachelor of Business, I was worried about how an absence from campus and face-to-face time with my teachers could affect future hopes and plans I had going into 2020.

But VU exceeded my expectations and were brilliant in transitioning as many classes as possible from on-campus to remote learning. To help with this dramatic change, the University also made sure that some things remained constant to ensure a sense of normality in a very challenging world. Here are the top 5 ways VU helped me stay calm and on-track when my course moved online.

Blog author and VU student, Anto, was worried about the transition to remote learning.

1. The one week 'breather'

Our transition to remote learning happened at the end of Block 1, with all classes to be online from Block 2 onwards.

VU made a great decision for both themselves and students in suspending classes for a week before online learning started. This gave me and my fellow students the opportunity to get ourselves prepared in remote access locations and gain access to equipment required.

More importantly, it gave staff at VU the precious commodity of time to get databases and permissions arranged for remote teaching and learning so that their high quality of tuition could continue even in changed circumstances.

About the author: Anto Irudayaraj is a third-year VU student studying Bachelor of Business (Marketing/Management and Innovation).

2. Keeping standard class days & times

With everything around me changing so fast, the little things really helped.

The fact that VU didn’t change the days and times classes were delivered was a big bonus.

Many students, like myself, had already made commitments to their part-time workplaces and extracurricular activities. If class schedules were changed suddenly, it would have caused extra stress in an already uncertain time.

Continuity has helped, even though learning environments have become less conventional.

3. VU’s friendly Student Contact Centre

In a time of rapid change, there’s almost nothing worse than the angst of an unanswered question.

I had so many questions around how the shift to online learning was going to affect me and my degree, but the VU Student Contact Centre were and are incredibly helpful in answering all my queries about online learning – even as they were in the midst of transitioning to working from home themselves!

4. Personalised classes

Because the VU Block Model is already taught in small classes of 15-30 students, online transition was a breeze as students still had access to their teachers just as often and teachers maintained the ability to reach out to every single student that needed help.

In a traditional learning model, this just wouldn’t have been possible as a result of some lectures being as large as 150 students to one teacher.

The small class sizes of VU Block Model made the transition easy.

5. Adaption of Elite technology

Two common words heard throughout this pandemic have been ‘agility’ and ‘flexibility’. The institutions that have operated accordingly have been able to curb adverse effects on their operations.

For myself and other VU students, the University’s innovative use of technology meant we were always able to log in to our VU student accounts and learning systems from home and had Zoom linked to every respective class as an added feature. The IT Services support teams worked overtime to ensure that every class and activity can now be accessed from anywhere with internet.

Don’t let lockdown put your career dreams on hold

Stay safe and upskill with learning off-campus. It’s the same VU Block Model classroom environment – but you’ll view and attend it online through Zoom or Webex classrooms.

Apply now and start in 2021