Written by Kim Gregory, WEP Officer, Bachelor of Business (Online).
So many online students choose to study virtually because accessing the campus is difficult, or doesn’t fit into our already busy lives. Studying at university as an online student is not for the faint hearted. It can be a mix of positives and negatives, and each of us choose the online format for different reasons.
For me personally – I work full time and live in regional SA and can’t get to campus, so online study is perfect for me.
The Positives – I get to study in my own time, and work out how I can fit uni into my (already busy) life. It doesn’t matter where I live (regions, interstate) I can still access world class education and make it work for me.
The Negatives – Feelings of disengagement from the on campus university life, lack of interaction with other students, unsure of whether my student status is as important as that of an ‘on campus’ student.
No matter what your personal situation – life as an online student requires a high level of personal organisation, time management and dedication. It isn’t for everyone and the challenges are often underestimated.
I personally believe that as online students we are able to choose the level of interaction we have with the uni. For some of us – the less the better. We just want to get the study done, and the degree in our hands. For others, we feel a bit disempowered and want to connect more and somehow be part of the fabric of uni life.
I often think to myself that people don't realise, of have forgotten that we want and need the same level of help as students on campus, and I've been shocked to discover that some events aren't often offered online, removing any chance we have of interacting with fellow students.
I spoke to a fellow online student recently who did not know what Studiosity was, nor how he could use it for support. This prompted me to think that no matter how many emails are received, or online sessions are offered, some information just slips through the cracks. How can this (and other important) information be better shared to online students? There must be a way!
I have joined FBSA in an effort to help on campus students and staff to better understand the challenges online students face. I’d like to think we can work together to develop a way forward to encourage online students to connect with the Uni and FBSA and for those on campus to better recognise and include online students in learning opportunities, activities and events. I don’t have the answers yet, but I am interested in your experiences and ideas about what would help you feel more connected to FBSA and Flinders Uni. We might not be able to make it to all events, but we can grow together as a united group of passionate Flinders University students.
Feel free to email FBSA at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your ideas and experiences.
Bachelor of Business (Online).