The Transition from Residential to Distance Learning

Online student studying on a computer

Moving from living on campus while studying face-to-face to distance learning can be quite a challenge, especially in very practical subjects and courses.

For more insight into this transition, I interviewed a fellow student of mine, who has moved to online learning due to COVID-19.

Q. What course do you do?

“I do a Bachelor of Stage and Screen (Acting). Different courses, for example the ones with less practical components, are easier to do by distance compared to courses that require a lot of hands on learning.”

Q. What year are you in?

“I’m in my 3rd year. Some students choose to study by distance in the earlier years but not in the final year. Others choose to do the opposite to allow for internships or volunteering within their third year. “

Q. How long did you have to study online due to COVID- 19?

“Session 1.”

Q. What were some of the challenges by studying online?

“Traditional acting is pretty much impossible via distance. All plays and exercises must be adapted to accommodate the physical distance which can be challenging.

The more hands on your study is, the harder it is to do by distance. Charles Sturt however uses a variety of tools for effective online learning including lecture videos, live online meetings and interactive forums.”

Q. What were some of the benefits about studying online?

“The opportunity to study by distance presented residential Acting students with the opportunity to explore our craft in a completely different way, one that would never be considered in a normal world. But it has opened up a whole new world of online theatre.

Distance learning can offer students a new way to study that opens a variety of opportunities for them. The possibility of balancing a work life and study life is made possible with Charles Sturt’s distance courses.”

Q. Has this transition changed your outlook on the distance learning experience?

“Given the choice between distance and face-to-face learning, I would definitely choose face-to-face. There are some things you can’t get via distance study, like hanging out with your classmates before and after class.

While it’s not for everyone, there are benefits and disadvantages to both studying by distance and studying on campus but in either case, Charles Sturt offers support and help to its students.”

Q. Any tips for future residential students who might be considering becoming a distance student?

“Learn your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to time management and discipline yourself accordingly.”

Q. Would you consider being a distance student in the future?

“Not for my acting classes, however for my non practical classes it would be so helpful as it gives me more flexibility with my time.”