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An inside look at online learning

5 March 2021

Online students are engaging in classroom activities and conducting simple experiments at home to get the most out of Canning College’s university pathway programs.

Almost a year after launching online programs, Canning College staff are continuing to deliver lessons live to students in various countries, including Malaysia, China, Zambia and Indonesia.

In a series of science experiments, online students have had a front row seat, including for a spectacular end to a lesson about the preparation and properties of hydrogen gas.

Above: Students online and on campus take part in a physics experiment.

Head of Science Tony Herbert said teachers helped students feel involved in the classroom even though physically they might be thousands of kilometres away.

“There are many ways to achieve that and some techniques are quite simple, such as moving the (web camera) device around the lab or classroom so that students can see things from a different perspective,” Mr Herbert said.

2021_Density experiment

Pictured above: On campus students conduct a density experiment observed by online students.

“They need to feel they are in the classroom and there are ways to simulate that. It’s also important that teachers consider what the students are seeing and what they are hearing," Mr Herbert said.

“For that reason, in science our teachers have started logging on to each other’s lessons to see what the students are seeing. Then we can provide feedback to make the experience even better for students.

“We also ask students to turn on their web cameras as much as possible. That allows us to see if a student is starting to disengage and we can use teaching techniques to help them refocus, just as we do with students who are physically in the classroom.”

2021_Before an experiment

Pictured above: On campus students preparing for an experiment to be observed by online students.

The teachers at Canning College are using Webex (video conferencing platform) and Connect (Online Learning Platform) for online teaching, learning and assessment. 

Head of English as a Second Language Linda Angelone is one of many teachers encouraging onshore students to use the Webex platform so they can also interact with online students during class.


Pictured above: On campus students use Webex to connect with fellow students online.


Pictured above: On campus students engaging with online students using technology installed on mobile phones.

Science teacher Craig Lyle took online students on a guided “virtual” tour of the campus to show them the facilities we hope they will experience in person when travel restrictions are lifted.

2021_Online campus tour

Pictured above: Science teacher Craig Lyle takes an online student on a live virtual tour of the Canning College campus. 

Mr Herbert recently asked online Physics students to conduct a simple experiment in the kitchen of their own home, which involved holding table salt on a wet spoon over a hot plate flame.

“We wouldn’t ask students to do anything that needs close supervision but there are some experiments that can be conducted at home,” Mr Herbert said. “In these cases, we ask students to observe the same safety precautions they would if they were in class.

“We can tell them about something and be satisfied with that but I know if I involve them in what we’re doing it will make them better learners in the future.”

2021_Online experiment

Pictured above: Online students conduct a simple experiment while others observe.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact Canning College about our online programs, which will continue while travel restrictions are in place. When travel restrictions are lifted, students enrolled in Canning College’s university pathway programs will be required to complete their studies on campus, subject to Government directives.

Students seeking entry into university degree programs in February 2022 can join our April 2021 intake Western Australian Universities’ Foundation Program, which is delivered online. Students can also start our Year 10 and Year 11 programs online in April.

Contact for more details or get in touch with your local international education agent.

Students in science

Pictured above: On campus and online students in science.

Above: On campus students conduct a hydrogen test while online students observe through a computer camera.