July 22, 2020
Issue 08

Students prepare to adapt to Semester Two “blended learning”

Internal students have mixed feelings for Massey’s planned blended learning strategy for Semester Two, which will see a return of some face-face learning but not all.

Across all schools and courses, tutorials and workshops for most classes that involve them will be face to face, but lectures in general will remain online to minimise contact.

According to a spokesperson for Massey, this system will “ensure that students have a learning experience that offers greater flexibility and online learning support, alongside face-to-face teaching for internal students.”

“A key driver in providing more online learning experiences and offering blended learning is to reach students who cannot come to campus for reasons including health or international travel restrictions due to COVID-19.”

Massey says that feedback for blended learning was taken from the university’s student associations, students within halls of residence and lecturers and academics.

“Student feedback was an influential factor in these plans, and we ensured that our internal students' desire to have face-to-face teaching experiences were recognised and incorporated in the majority of these plans.”

Some students have expressed concerns that impaired grading consideration from Semester One would not continue in Semester Two for those who had difficulty accessing online learning.

Massey says, “there are a range of support measures in place, including the Technology Assistance Programme which provides students with access to technology required to study online.”

Last semester many students, particularly first years, found the mandatory online classes in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown difficult to adapt to compared to their regular face-to-face classes.

Some students remain apprehensive about the online aspects of the curriculum.

Second year veterinary science student Kiana Reid said, “I’m actually really looking forward to having lectures and everything in person again. With our timetables being as busy as they are, I find it much easier to physically attend the lectures and go to class rather than do it at home.”

First year mechatronics student Nathanael Stichbury said, “I think I would prefer to go back to completely in person. I think it's much easier to manage everything and learning at the computer you do leisure at is a pain.”

Second year commercial music student Cameron Fox was also glad that most of his classes will be going back to normal.

“The Massey music department is pretty high tech and has a lot of useful resources. I like to separate work from my living space sometimes, so it’s nice to go in to class to work.”

Details about the Technology Assistance Programme and other financial assistance can be found here: https://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/advice-on-coronavirus-outbreak/financial-assistance/financial-assistance_home.cfm

Students can also apply for loan equipment through the Student Portal’s scholarships tab.