Teaching and learning

How we're delivering teaching and learning at the current alert level, and how you'll be able to continue your studies at alert levels 4, 3, and 2.

This page was last updated on 4 October 2021.

All of Aotearoa New Zealand is at alert level 2 except for Auckland and parts of Waikato, which are at alert level 3.

Find out how the University operates at each alert level

At the current level

Teaching and learning at alert level 2

Teaching and learning is now being delivered in-person and online.

We are committed to dual delivery, ensuring those of you who cannot get to campus can continue to study and use our services. This includes those students in Auckland where alert level 3 continues, those overseas, and those who are unable to come to campus for health or other personal reasons.

Physical distancing of 1 metre is strongly recommended in learning and teaching spaces. A limit on 200 staff and students in each lecture or teaching space is strongly recommended.

Our current experience under alert level 2 is that our maximum number is seldom reached. However, we will have an overflow space on the Kelburn campus where you can use your own device to join the class online. You may wish to use this space if room capacity is exceeded or if you feel uncomfortable being in a teaching space. This overflow space will be in the Reading Room in the Kelburn Library.

Entry and exit points in large learning and teaching spaces are separate and clearly marked, and queue management systems are in place.

There are a small number of already approved courses that have compulsory face to face components (PDF). All courses have contingency plans in place for any students who are not able to come to campus. There may also be a small number of courses that are delivered fully online. Students taking any of these courses will be notified via Blackboard and email.

Find more information about level changes, study week and examinations, extensions, and more on our page about updates to teaching and learning during the pandemic

At alert levels 2–4

Information about teaching and learning at:

Alert level 4

  • All University teaching is delivered online, without exception.
  • Workplace-based learning that is on-site or in-person does not proceed, except in very limited circumstances where that type of business is allowed to continue operations, such as a hospital.
  • There are no in-person assessments at alert level 4.
  • Contingency assessment plans for any in-person assessment are communicated to students in Blackboard or by email.

Alert level 3

  • Most University teaching is delivered online, though in rare cases small voluntary in-person teaching bubbles may be approved.
  • Workplace-based learning that is on-site or in-person does not proceed, except in very limited circumstances where that type of business is allowed to continue operations, such as a hospital. Any on-site workplace-based learning will be managed within the COVID-related restrictions being applied to that workplace.
  • There are no in-person assessments at alert level 3.
  • Contingency assessment plans for any previously planned in-person assessment are communicated to students in Blackboard or by email.
  • Classes (but not research) are limited to two hours and should take place in a well-ventilated area.

Teaching bubbles

  • A teaching bubble is a group of 10 or fewer people (students and staff) who interact in person with one another. Individuals can be in one work bubble (a teaching or research bubble) and one home bubble.
  • Research and teaching bubbles are limited and need approval of the Dean (or delegate). When on campus, staff and students should observe the same physical distancing protocols as in alert level 2. This means that where it is practical to do so, you must physically distance:
    • on campus: 1-metre distance from others
    • in public: 2-metre distance from people you don’t know.
  • All students must use contact tracing systems when they come to campus, and information must be collected confirming when and where a learning and teaching and research bubble has come together.
  • The rules relating to bubbles may change at any point. Students are advised to pay close attention to any such changes.
  • No individual (staff or student) can be part of more than one bubble.
  • Individual students are responsible for ensuring they comply with these government requirements.
  • No individual (staff or student) can be required to be part of any bubble.
  • Each bubble should use separate bathroom facilities (unless they are sanitised between use).

Campus activities

  • Limited study spaces and computer labs are available at selected campuses.
  • Use ID cards to swipe in and out of buildings.
  • Use the COVID-19 Tracer app and the QR codes located across our campuses.
  • All student services are provided online.
  • Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) is able to operate on the Kelburn campus, with most services offered online or over the phone. Infection control and distancing procedures apply, including mandatory use of face coverings for in-person appointments at Mauri Ora.
  • Student accommodation may remain open, as long as there is access to self-isolation areas if required.
  • Use the click and collect service to borrow books from the Library.
  • Security is present on campus.

Alert level 2

  • Almost all courses will be offered in dual mode (i.e., both fully online and in-person)
  • There may be a small number of courses that have changed from dual mode to being delivered online only. Students taking any of these courses will be notified via Blackboard and email.
  • A limit on 200 staff and students in a large lecture or teaching space is strongly recommended.
  • Physical distancing of 1 metre is strongly recommended in learning and teaching spaces.
  • Wearing a face covering is strongly recommended for staff and students in teaching and learning spaces.
  • Entry and exit points in large learning and teaching spaces will be separate and clearly marked, and queue management systems will be in place.
  • Face coverings are mandatory in public-facing areas including Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling), the University Pharmacy, the University Recreation Centre, Adam Art Gallery, and retailers on campus. Please also wear a face covering in confined spaces where physical distancing is not possible.
  • All courses have contingency plans in place for any students who are not able to come to campus
  • When on campus, staff and students should observe the physical distancing protocols in our lecture theatres. This means that students should:
    • Comply with the designated entrance and exit protocols that are in place for larger lecture rooms.
    • When in the lecture theatre, choose seats that have been marked as the preferred seats to occupy wherever possible.
    • Choose to relocate to a study space outside the lecture theatre to stream their lecture to their device if they prefer.
  • Staff are not required to police these requirements, but are permitted to end class if they feel it is unsafe.
  • Pre-recorded Panopto videos or Zoom lecture streaming are available for students to view during usual lecture times.
  • Zoom tutorials are available for students who would otherwise attend in-person tutorials. Students are also able to attend tutorials in-person but should comply with physical distancing requirements.
  • Alternative arrangements for other learning activities—for example, in-person workshops, labs—may be made for some individual courses, but students are not required to attend in-person activities (except in rare circumstances where approval has been given by the Dean and communicated widely to students). Students will be informed of any changes—check Blackboard for details of individual courses.
  • In rare cases, and with the approval of the Dean, exams and tests are able to be conducted on campus, with comparable online options available for students not able to be on campus.

Campus activities

  • All campus areas remain available to students and staff, but are closed to the public.
  • Use ID cards to swipe in and out of buildings.
  • Everyone should use the NZ COVID Tracer app with Bluetooth enabled and scan the QR codes located across university campuses.
  • Events and non-educational gatherings on campus are limited to 100 indoors.
  • There will be spaces on all campuses allocated for students wishing to use headphones and safely engage with online material. These spaces will be in the libraries on all campuses.
  • Research-related activities on campus can take place.
  • Libraries open for reduced hours.
  • Student services offer in-person and online options.
  • Mauri Ora (Student Health and Counselling) offer more services online or over the phone and resume infection control and distancing precautions. Face coverings are mandatory for in-person appointments at Mauri Ora.

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