Online learning – no noodles needed

Saturday 1 May 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Features, Weekend


Online learning – no noodles needed
Online student Liddy Brown. 21043027

Learning can take many forms – visual, verbal, physical or social. Everyone learns differently and whatever your personality, there is something for everyone.

Online learning is something that the Covid-19 global pandemic has highlighted in the past year. For some, Zoom classes and online assignments are a foreign concept and for others, independent learning away from the classroom and other people, is nothing short of bliss.

Two young Cook Islanders have taken advantage of the many things independent online learning has to offer, proving that there is always more than one way to do something.

Eryka Tommy graduated from Tereora College last year and is now using her gap year to take online courses from home in preparation for university.

Tommy aims to travel to Victoria University in Wellington next year to study towards a bachelor’s degree in design innovation, and is looking to enroll in media design and interaction design. 

At present, she is taking mathematics and science courses available online at Khan Academy and The Great Courses Plus, which complement her next year’s degree courses.

These websites have also allowed her to take up computer programming where she can learn to draw using coding.

“I like online learning because I can go at my own pace and if I don’t understand something I can go back and research it on my own,” says Tommy.

She enjoys the flexibility that online learning gives her to fit her studying into her schedule and everyday life.

“It’s up to me the extent to which I want to understand and learn about a topic, and I like that,” Tommy says. 

Khan Academy and The Great Courses Plus offer a range of subjects to fit any interests one might have, with quizzes at the end of each course so that individuals are able to keep on top of their progress and keep learning to the extent they desire.

“Learning is different for everybody but I enjoy this type because it fits my personality really well.”

Liddy Brown is currently in her first year of university, studying online towards a bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in accountancy, at Massey University.

Independent online learning, a new angle on education.

For her, the most appealing part about independent online studying was that she did not have to move overseas, which takes a lot of financial pressure off her shoulders as a student.

“I don’t have to worry about what flavour of noodles I’ll have for dinner, but can just eat home-cooked meals instead,” Brown says.

Her degree will take the same amount of time as it would if she was studying on-campus in New Zealand, which is three years.

“My schedule is very flexible and I can basically start my day at whatever time works for me, as long as I stay on top of the workload.

“There is a lot of self-discipline involved with only yourself to rely on for motivation and accountability, so having a daily routine definitely helps.”

Over 98 per cent of the student body at the University of the South Pacific are enrolled in online courses. 

Tureheni File, the office manager for the USP campus in Rarotonga, said: “Historically our students have preferred to have face to face lectures but slowly we are seeing that more and more students are becoming comfortable with online learning.”

“It helps that the course lecturers are able to engage with students around the region in real-time with the use of conference facilities like Zoom.

“I do believe that we will continue to look at offering courses in a flexible manner through the use of technology even post-Covid.”

Regardless of the path you are on currently, especially in the light of the many obstacles Covid-19 has introduced, remote online learning is one silver lining of relief which allows for another way to continue to learn, even from the comfort of your own home.