Online learning platforms facilitate flexibility for your learning across time and space. For example, you can access your lectures and related materials anytime and anywhere and you can interact with your lecturers and peers.
Doing some or all of your learning online offers you significant benefits. It gives you more flexibility as you can learn online at a time that suits you best. This platform also allows you to work at your own pace and enables you to revisit subject matter to accommodate your own learning needs.
Fully online subjects: usually offered through the Learning Management System (LMS) and offer a range of tools for learning:
Online subjects require a similar amount of time devoted to them as face-to-face subjects. A small number of subjects are currently offered in this mode.
Blended subjects: subjects which combine face-to-face learning with online learning. This gives you the flexibility to learn at a time and pace that suits you as well as giving you the opportunity to benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of our academic staff in face-to-face contexts. In a blended subject:
Just as we need to be considerate and appropriate in our face-to-face communication with other people, we need to be mindful of how we communicate with others online. The policies that exist throughout the university are just as applicable in online spaces – discrimination will not be tolerated. This is a legal obligation, not just a matter of politeness.
Discriminatory, abusive or disruptive behaviour in class or online falls under the General Misconduct Statute 2009 and can lead to the student being excluded from the lecture, seminar, tutorial or other activity at the time, and for up to 4 weeks if the misconduct is repeated or ongoing. In severe cases, and following a hearing, students can be suspended or excluded from the University. For more information see the section on General misconduct as part of the Academic Matters page.
If you read inappropriate comments in a University online forum, contact your tutor or subject co-ordinator.
Here are some guidelines around online communication regardless of the platform:
NO: You’re wrong about the meaning of the question.
YES: The question might be better understood as …
Whether you are studying in a fully online subject or a subject that is mostly delivered face-to-face, you will need to use the online Learning Management System (LMS - also known as Moodle).
The LMS is your central point to manage your university study. It is where you’ll find all of the important information for your subjects, as well as links to useful help and resources. Click here for more information about how to access the LMS.
Below you will find an example of an LMS page. Page layout will vary so browse your different subjects to get familiar with where things are located:
EchoSystem is the lecture capture and online delivery system used by La Trobe for access by students.
PebblePad is a web based program provided to all staff and students by La Trobe University to support the creation of a personal learning space (PLS) and eportfolios. For further information and instructions on how to use Pebblepad, click here.
Collaborate is La Trobe's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), a web-based audio and video conferencing system.
Turnitin is a web-based text-matching software system used by La Trobe to determine academic integrity.
Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your online/blended learning experiences at university, whether you're a newcomer or an experienced online student. You may also like to consult the Online Glossary for an overview of common online learning terms.
If you are in a blended course/subject, establish how much time to devote to online tasks and face-to-face tasks. This will help you to work out the proportion of time for various online and face-to-face activities and to organise your study schedule
You may need to have a regular time to devote to engaging with the LMS. For some courses, it will be daily, and for others it might be weekly. Establish the frequency and time that you will need for each subject based on its requirements.
Some online subjects may require your participation at particular times – i.e. for online discussions or workshops. Others may allow you to choose the time that suits you, and others may be self-paced.
When you access the LMS have a list of what you need to do with a time estimate for each task. It's easy to meander in online spaces. It's also useful to have any other tools closed down such as your email or Facebook so you can focus fully on the subject LMS.
Prioritise the tasks. For example, you might go to the Announcements section at the start, then check the calendar for any events, and then go to the content topic or read the discussion forum content.
Above all, stay up-to-date.
Consider the appropriate desk and chair height, footrest when setting up your learning space. Consider also the aesthetics of your visual display screens and customise them to your preferences. Worksafe Victoria has more information on office ergonomics.
Take a break every 20 minutes, and check what you have achieved. Go for a quick stretch and move and return for your next task.
Be active in your online learning, not passive where you 'just' read, or 'just' watch. Do something with the information and resources, for example, convert them to a mind map, summary notes, bullet points, or a digital recording summary.
Carry out tasks efficiently: create bookmarks for pages you will use frequently; use your Browser's Search Tool to type in a key word for example. You can use word clouds (e.g. Wordle) to summarise notes or to get a visual snapshot of the themes in an online discussion week or for the topic.
Information overload is one of the effects of the digital age, the secret is to learn to sift, prioritise, and store the information so that it's accessible and retrievable for you. Some suggestions to follow: