International Students’ Perspectives on e-Learning During COVID-19 in Higher Education in Australia: A Study of an Asian Student


  • Yuqi Lin
  • Ha Nguyen



e-learning, COVID-19, international students’ perspectives, Australian university, 3P model, virtual university


Given that online higher education shows no sign of abating during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, understanding the nature of e-learning and e-learners in this particular setting is much needed. However, little is known about the e-learning approaches that international students apply, or about how they experience the process of e-learning. This article is a critical reflection on the misalignment between an international student’s (Author 1) e-learning behaviours and the expectation of online education. It outlines the autoethnographic method and employs self-study to explore why Author 1  behaves in a certain way with particular reference made to the Biggs’ 3P model. In so doing, the study attempts to shed light on the values and interests of international students that have been silenced in the discourse of e-learning design in Australian universities. With the aim of obtaining a profound insight into the effectiveness of e-learning, the present study challenges the notion that the virtual university is a means of achieving educational equality; it suggests the potential of online education in undermining the social inclusion agenda of internationalised universities. The findings show that while the participant could engage with the curriculum to some extent, there are signs of disconnection, isolation and emotional instability associated with the establishment and development of the e-learning environment. Illustrations of these emerging issues could help educators better understand the downside of e-learning and e-practice by identifying various influential elements, including individuals’ socioeconomic status, cultural heritage and environmental learning settings. The study points out that international students’ education outcomes could be compromised, and expectations could be unfulfilled via e-learning. Thus, there is a further need to prepare learners for e-learning environments. 



11 Aug 2021