Online campus: Adapting to the new norm

Campus students share how their studies have been interrupted since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sep 12, 2020

“To be honest, I never expected I would be completing my final semester with the pandemic going on. During the MCO, all of my classes were conducted online. At first it was quite o k a y but two to three weeks later, I started to have challenges such as having a bad internet connection which interrupted some of my online presentations.

“Another challenge I had was when I had some problems with my studies and thesis writing, I couldn’t meet my lecturer. I prefer to ask them faceto-face instead of texting/calling since it helps me to better understand.

“I definitely miss the experience of studying in a lecture hall. I also miss my classmates since this is our final semester together. As it stands, the university hasn’t exactly given us a confirmed date for our graduation celebration (or even confirmed if there will be one). It all depends on the situation. However, during all these hard times I try my best to stay positive and pray to God to give me strength to face the challenges of my final semester. It’s been a tough experience but overall I am grateful that I am able to overcome it."––Allesandra Andrew, Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM))

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most campuses have been closed and everything had to be moved online.

“Personally, I am able to adapt to online classes because my course revolves around programming and other things which need a computer. However, there are quite a number of disadvantages as well. For example, it would be harder for my lecturer to solve problems I have in my ‘homework’, as every student would have different and unique problems. Since we can’t consult lecturers face-to-face, solving the problem that the students currently have is even more difficult.

“If I were to speak on behalf of other students, some students need to do their practicals (such as lab exercises) using  campus facilities, such as the laboratory or the studio. But since everything has moved online, students have had to find an alternate solution to complete their practicals, which is difficult. Even if they manage to complete it, whether or not they’ve fully grasped the knowledge or fully understand what they were doing, is another topic for discussion.

“I believe that face-to-face classes are better than online classes. But how could I blame the University for moving everything online? Let’s just hope that everything will be back to normal soon.”––Ryan Kristoffer, Curtin University, Miri

“When the government announced the MCO (Movement Control Order), I was frustrated and confused as to whether I should return to my hometown or stay in the hostel. But due to financial problems, I decided it would be best to go back home. Online learning was hard for me, especially at home. The Internet connection is not stable and it became worse when it rained.

“The most challenging part was when we needed to attend online classes. I could feel anxiety kicking in even before clicking the link for our online class. I was puzzled about it but then I realised I do have anxiety whenever there is online class. Even though we are not required to turn on the camera, I still felt anxiety to the point that I couldn’t breathe properly and was shaken by it. I could not focus on my studies during the whole MCO period but it was an eye opening experience since I had the opportunity to learn more about myself, my family and God.

“I learnt that the MCO was not really that bad if we try to see the positive side. Maybe it was time for us to rest a little and I think God wanted us to focus on Him. The lesson that I have learned is no matter how hectic our life as a student, teacher, worker. God must be set as our first priority and we should not forget to pray everyday. Everyone can be busy but we should bear in mind  that God is the one who will always be with us every step of the way.”––Valerie Alex, Universiti Kampus Antarabangsa Labuan

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