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Learning online with Deakin

At Deakin University, we believe the best learning occurs when we offer engaging learning experiences and make your learning outcomes clear.
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MARCUS O’DONNELL: Hello, I’m Marcus O’Donnell. Deakin is one of the pioneers of online learning, and producing high-quality innovative courses is in our DNA. It’s just what we do. Our promise is a brilliant education for where you are and what you want to be. Our courses are designed to stimulate and challenge you, and they draw in our world-class research and our deep connections with industry and community groups. But importantly, we believe that it’s really you, the learners, who make our courses work. In each course, you have a great opportunity to join in with people from all over the world to try out your ideas with them and to learn by listening to their perspective. We believe that’s the heart of learning.
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So you’ll notice that at the end of each step in this course, there’s a chance for you to make a contribution. We call it your task. It’s more than just making a comment, it’s what brings the course alive for everyone. Our educators bring their years of research and expertise to the courses we put together, and every learner also brings their life experience to the course. And it’s the meeting of these two things that turns abstract ideas into real knowledge and skills. We talk about the 3Cs that guide these learning exchanges with one another. Be curious, be constructive, and be compassionate. Let’s unpack each of these for a minute.
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Being curious means always being ready to ask the next question, being open to finding out something new, and being prepared to have your own ideas challenged. Being constructive is the other side of that. It’s about carefully stimulating other learner’s curiosity, not closing anyone down with a quick or harsh comment, being careful of the way you respond to each other. Which brings us to compassion. How do we stand in another’s shoes? How do we really see from their perspective? At a time when people are building walls and closing down borders, we believe that the power of education is in opening up our world so that we can see each other more clearly and live with each other more peacefully.
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So thanks for joining us. Now, it’s over to you. Let’s have some fun learning together.
Deakin’s online courses are based on a few, but important, learning principles. To get the most out of this course, we encourage you to keep in mind the following.

Our learning philosophy

Deakin University is a pioneer in innovative digital learning. Several key principles underpin all our online courses, which are designed to:
  • challenge you with new and interesting ideas
  • prompt you to connect and engage with other learners and Deakin educators
  • test your knowledge and understanding against clearly defined learning outcomes.

Get involved

Getting the most out of your online learning experience with Deakin begins by getting involved.
Our courses are designed for adult learners from around the globe who, like you, have diverse work, life and study experiences.
One of the key ways to optimise your learning is to participate in the tasks set by your educators and engage in topic-related conversations with other learners.

Learning through conversation

In this course, you’re invited to comment on topics, discuss issues and ask and/or answer questions.
Some of the ways you can do this include:
  • adding a post to start or continue a conversation by building on what others are saying
  • using reply to ask a question or make a comment that indicates you’re interested in what someone else has said and encourages them (or others) to expand on their ideas
  • making a comment that links, compares or contrasts different themes in the conversation
  • disagreeing with a comment in a curious, constructive and compassionate manner
  • using like to indicate which comments most resonate with you.

Your task

Watch the video and practise getting involved by reflecting on the following and using the comments to join the conversation:
  • Reply to a comment on the ideas outlined by Associate Professor Marcus O’Donnell in this video – try to encourage the commenter to say more about their thoughts and explain why the comment interested you.
  • Make a comment that connects two people’s contributions by using the @ symbol to add their names to your response – make the link explicit (e.g. ‘Arun and Serena’s comments’ both highlight the same theme).
  • Do you find disagreeing respectfully hard? What other barriers to getting involved do you experience?
  • If you see a comment on ‘barriers’, reply to share your tips for overcoming these.
You may also want to take a few minutes to find out how to make the most of your Deakin FutureLearn experience by reading this short guide.
Behind the scenes: Chie’s story
In designing and creating this course, I have listened to, talked with and learned from a wide-range of experts in the field of digital learning at Deakin University. As a result, this course is a showcase of these people’s stories. I hope you enjoy learning not only with and from them, but also with and from other learners participating in this course.
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We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
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