KUCHING: Swinburne reopened its campus earlier this month, welcoming back a limited number of students for essential learning and teaching activities including new commencing degree, foundation and diploma students following the university‘s transition to campus plan for Semester 2.
The transition from online learning to integrated on-campus digital learning environment with blended face-to-face learning in this second semester is guided by changing level of the pandemic risk and subjected to the state government and Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) guidelines.
New commencing degree, foundation and diploma students attend classes on campus and are able to access on-campus facilities in strict accordance with the university’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) to enable them to familiarise themselves with the campus ecosystem.
In Semester 1 2020 from March to August, the objective was to continue learning online and off campus, whereas Semester 2 2020 from September aims to safely return some essential teaching and learning activities to campus, as well as establish a new normal consistent with Swinburne’s teaching and learning strategies.
Apart from several small class teaching in selected units, classes remain predominantly online until the end of Semester 2.
According to Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Lau Hieng Ho, Swinburne went through a smooth transition to online learning since the beginning of the movement control order (MCO) period in March.
“The transition involved redesigning the invigilated examination to an alternative and innovative final assessment; transforming learning activities into visual lab, simulation and remote lab access; and mastering new tools with enhanced teaching approach.
“Additionally, we also carried out two student surveys last semester to gauge how students cope with the transition. The two most common feedback were related to communications and consistency, where students were eager to know what was happening and expected it to be communicated in a clear manner, as well as expecting to use a standard tool for all their online learning,” remarked Lau.
Commenting on back to campus learning preparations this semester, Lau said the essential and critical face-to-face learning activities follow a staged and strategic approach controlled by health and safety priorities.
“Under this plan, no mass lectures and invigilated final examinations are conducted on campus for the remainder of this year. Online learning will continue to be the primary delivery method where alternative online learning is also made available for students who are unable to attend face-to-face session on campus,” he added.
Ten Covid-safe tutorial rooms, six Covid-safe lecture halls and 18 laboratories are currently being used for face-to-face learning, with 50 percent maximum capacity for tutorial rooms or full capacity for lecture halls.
Rooms are used only twice daily to comply with cleaning protocols. In addition, the library and other learning facilities are open for all students following strict SOPs.
Swinburne has adopted strict measures to be followed and adhered to at all times including physical distancing, face mask wearing, attendance taking, temperature taking, and contact tracing.
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