Online self-access learning support during the COVID-19 pandemic: An Australian university case study
SiSAL Journal: Studies in Self-Access Learning
Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal (SISAL Journal)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous and unprecedented effect on higher education. Perhaps most notably, the virus catalysed a speedy movement to online delivery in response to the range of mandatory physical restrictions to campuses and classrooms around the world. To that end, this article discusses the online self-access student support options that were implemented at a mid-size public Australian university during March and April 2020. Drawing upon reflections from three student support leaders at the institution, it explores the rapid development and deployment of three new initiatives: self-access resources and videos for preparing to learn online, videoconference appointment options with learning advisers and librarians, and peer-to-peer virtual guides to online learning. It also comments on the implications of these programs for future practice, including the personally observed criticality of student feedback on accessible short video guides, flexible online individual support options and avenues for connecting with peers for technical support. Through this exploration and reflection, this article contributes to the new emerging body of literature on student support during the outbreak of COVID-19.