The transition from physical classroom setting to online platforms such as Zoom and WebEx at the University of Wollongong was certainly an overwhelming experience. While the platforms were used to some extent prior to the outbreak of COVID 19, sole reliance was certainly a new experience. The current study evaluates the process of transition with a focus on the course of supply chain management and operations management within the University along with the possible recommendations that could improve the aspect over time.
From a personal point of view, my opinion is that the transition was relatively successful apart from the minor glitches that hindered the learning experience. It would be important to note that the nature of the subject is such that a certain degree of physical interaction is warranted. However, the cumulatively efforts from the students and personally as well ensured that the experience remained positive on the whole.
There were also certain challenges that were faced, especially when considering communicating to students in a simultaneous manner. Participation was an issue in some cases, but was certainly resolved after some time as the students became familiarized. The experience, in my opinion was largely successful, although it did require a bit of hard work from the students.
In terms of future designs, the subject would certainly require design improvements and modifications. The most prominent addition would be the incorporation of online assessments and activities that complement the digital learning experience (Pan, 2020). Furthermore, it could also enhance the engagement within the students, thus enriching the learning experience significantly. Moreover, the system could also include private rooms where students could interact with the teachers in a one-on-one manner as it could further benefit the learning experience in the future.
I would also like to highlight on the efficiency of the online learning infrastructure and systems used during the process. We mostly rely on Moodle and Turnitin for the learning resources and submissions. While majority of the process was relatively seamless and efficiently incorporated, certain issues did occur during submitting files. I believe it could have been the sudden influx of volume, but the issues were promptly resolved by the IT support teams.
The University management was also extremely cooperative in this regard, and I believe that it was of significant assistance when carrying out the scheduled classed online. Ranging from supporting the students within system orientations to providing them with updated schedules, the management certainly played an important role during the transition (Reich et al., 2020). However, I would like to emphasize on the importance of supporting online exams in real time as it could have increased the effectiveness of the learning experience. The students would inherently have been more dedicated towards the online classes along with taking their course modules and units in a more dedicated manner.
Initially, my opinion was that there would be a lot of problems during the process in the context with communicating with so many students at one go and solving their queries simultaneously. The experience during the transition process was also a process of discovery, especially when considering the scale at which the transition took place (Verawardina et al., 2020). However, as the days went by, I came across a highly unified depiction of patience, understanding and empathy from all the individuals involved including the students, the support staff, the University management and others.
It can be concluded that, I believe that the transition from classrooms to online delivery of the lectures as a meaningful experience to say the least. Ranging from the active participation of the student to the empathetic demeanour maintained by all the individuals involved, I gradually began to saw the positive side of things as well. It was as if the outbreak of the pandemic essentially brought about a sense of unity within everyone.
Pan, H. (2020). A Glimpse of University Students’ Family Life Amidst the COVID-19 Virus. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 1-4. Retrieved on 4 April 2020, from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15325024.2020.1750194
Reich, J., Buttimer, C. J., Fang, A., Hillaire, G., Hirsch, K., Larke, L., ... & Slama, R. (2020). Remote Learning Guidance From State Education Agencies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A First Look. Retrieved on 3 April 2020, from: https://edarxiv.org/437e2/download?format=pdf
Verawardina, U., Asnur, L., Lubis, A. L., Hendriyani, Y., Ramadhani, D., Dewi, I. P., ... & Sriwahyuni, T. (2020). Reviewing Online Learning Facing the Covid-19 Outbreak. Journal of Talent Development and Excellence, 12(3s), 385-392. Retrieved on 3 April 2020, from: http://www.iratde.com/index.php/jtde/article/download/281/233
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