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How CDU's Colleges are responding to COVID-19

This article appears in: Balance work, life and study
A CDU student studying during Covid

To find out how Charles Darwin University’s various colleges are meeting the challenge of online learning during the coronavirus crisis, we spoke with an expert—CDU’s Dr Alison Reedy, Team Leader Higher Education and Training Development, Office of Education Strategy.

“Quality online teaching practices look different across the university. In CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, Dr Maneka Jayasinge solves real-world statistical problems using smart pen and interactive whiteboard technology that is linked to the Collaborate virtual classroom. Online students can see the problems being solved in real-time, just as they would if they were on campus. This creative use of existing technologies provides external students with a quality, engaging and interactive learning experience,” said Dr Reedy.

“In the discipline of Exercise and Sports Science, Dr Jim Lee makes extensive use of short, chunked, five to ten-minute videos to break down the complex processes of biodynamics and human movement. Lectures are pre-recorded. This frees up time for tutorials where student learning is enhanced with practical examples of the physics and mathematical concepts introduced in the lectures. For example, projectile motion or the three laws of motion are broken down visually to assist the learning of theoretical concepts. The 4000 short and engaging videos that Dr Lee has on his YouTube Channel complement and enhance the learning of internal and external students.

“In the College of Engineering, IT & Environment, laboratory-based teaching blocks will be run online this semester using video demonstrations and home-based activities. CDU’s Innovative Media Production Studio (IMPS) has been a critical player in supporting the production of these video demonstrations as well as other high-end interactive teaching resources such as simulations, interactive models and animations.

“For Indigenous students enrolled in CDU’s Bachelor mode, on campus intensive workshops have been replaced by workshops from home. Students who were expecting to be on campus have instead been working closely with their lecturers and other students using a range of technologies. These include phone, email, text, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and online conferencing tools, in addition to Learnline,” added Dr Reedy.

“Overall, as more and more leaning moves online, CDU is in a favourable position compared to other Australian universities. That’s largely because we’ve long recognised the importance of online learning, so that’s given us a lot of experience. And I’m glad to say that it’s our students who are now enjoying the benefit of our early investment in this space,” Dr Reedy added.

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