Blog post

My experience of learning online

By Aaliyah Malvanker - 28 May 2020

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about my personal experience with remote learning. I’m a second-year Marketing (PR and Advertising) student, and honestly, I felt skeptical about the idea of remote learning. I was curious as to how the learning experience would transition from face-to-face teaching to moving completely online. I also felt nervous about moving back home into a noisy house after being used to working in the quiet University library.

My Experience

At first, I wasn’t really sure how the concept of remote learning was going to work, and if it would affect the quality of teaching delivered to us. The pandemic has brought on a new situation for all of us. The University has had to find new ways to deliver seminars, record lectures and find the best way of delivering academic content to us in a very short space of time. I soon realised, however, that I had no reason to worry, as my lecturers were on-top of everything and have been amazing throughout. My tutors have dealt with the situation brilliantly and have delivered the course content to us as if we were sitting right in front of them at a lecture. I am really pleased with how the remote learning situation has gone and feel that it has been a positive experience, overall.

Ways of Learning

Tutors recorded our lectures through Panopto and released them at the time we would usually have our lectures. This was convenient, as we could carry on with the ‘university routine’ we had but at home. My tutors created schedules of how the seminars were going to work and what needed to be complete by certain times. This was really useful as I could keep on top of the work I needed to do in preparation for the seminars. Seminars have been conducted using Microsoft Teams and Blackboard Collaborate, so we have all been able to join in and share ideas face-to-face as if we were on campus. This was useful as we could still communicate our thoughts and ideas with our classmates.

Academic Support

The academic support I have received through the pandemic has been brilliant. My tutors have been extremely supportive and have regularly kept in touch. I admit that before we transitioned to remote learning, I worried that I would feel alone without any face-to-face contact but this was definitely not the case. I knew that if I was stuck with anything, I could email my tutors and they would help me. You may be wondering how 1-2-1 sessions work when discussing specific assignments. As the tutors have been flexible with the timings of appointments, this has enabled the sessions to be really constructive. One of my tutors even created the list we would usually see outside the office door, where we could put our names down for certain slots.

My tutors used Skype, Zoom and MS Teams to host appointments. When I had my 1-2-1 sessions, I emailed my teachers the assignment work a day beforehand, so they had some time to have a brief look over it. This was helpful, as my teachers could instantly give advice on how to improve this work.

Time Management and Forming New Habits

You might find switching to remote learning a bit challenging at first, but that’s okay! Slowly, but surely, you’ll find ways to adjust. Time management is key, so forming a routine really helped me manage my time at home. As I mentioned, my tutors held lectures/seminars at our usual times, so I knew that on my ‘University days’, I would be doing that work during that time.

I made sure that I wasn’t going to be disturbed (by telling my brothers to not make any noise). I planned my week by writing down everything I wanted to do on certain days which helped me to manage my time effectively. I also mentioned that I thought I would struggle without the library but this has not been the case. Instead, I have found that there are many books available to students, online for free. Check with your tutors to find out more, this really helped with my assignments.

My Hints and Tips

I was nervous about transitioning to remote learning but I quickly realised that there was nothing to worry about. My teachers were very supportive and helpful throughout the transition and I’m so grateful to them.

About the author

Aaliyah Malvanker
Second year Marketing PR and Advertising student

I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Derby, studying Marketing PR and Advertising. I have keen interests in PR, advertising, and branding. I am also a programme representative for second-year students enrolled on the Marketing PR and Advertising programme, where I am passionate about representing the views of my peers, as well as encouraging positive change through this.