Dual mode delivery

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

Almost all courses will be offered in dual mode, both fully online and offered with a face-to-face component (for different cohorts of students).

There are a small number of already approved courses that have compulsory face-to-face components. There may also be a small number of courses that are delivered fully online only. This will be clear in the course outline.

Dual mode delivery in 2022 and 2023

Courses are offered in dual mode during the pandemic as students have stated a clear preference for dual mode delivery. When students were surveyed and asked about their preference for course delivery, more students preferred dual mode over any other option.

Offering a course in dual mode means that we are offering the same course to at least two different cohorts (a distance cohort and an on-campus cohort).

Reasons for offering fully online courses

We offer most of our courses online during the pandemic because there are cohorts of students who cannot attend in-person (e.g. international students), there are immunocompromised and unvaccinated students who have a clear reason for not attending in person, and there are other students who would prefer to study online if they can (e.g. because of work commitments, COVID-related fears). The University is committed to supporting all of these students.

Dual mode delivery is also a key component of our business continuity planning in that if the government requires the University to go into lockdown at short notice in response to a COVID-19 outbreak, we can easily pivot to online delivery for almost all of our courses. Those approved courses with a compulsory face-to-face component will also have a contingency plan in place to allow for a pivot to online delivery as well.

Reasons for offering face-to-face options

We can offer face-to-face options safely and students have a clear preference for face-to-face options over fully online options. Only 13% of students who completed the survey expressed a preference for fully online delivery.

We also know that for many of our courses, students are much more likely to engage with the course if they attend lectures in-person than if they don’t (and attempt to complete the course online only). Engagement in a course is the best predictor of success.

Finally, many students only build a sense of community if they are engaged with staff and peers on campus. It can be quite isolating studying online for these students.

Triggers for moving away from a commitment to dual mode delivery

The University has already committed to offering most of its courses in dual mode throughout 2022. The approach for 2023 will be evaluated this year. It is likely that the dual mode delivery requirement will be relaxed or dropped in 2023 so long as:

  1. Our borders are re-opened;
  2. Vaccine mandates no longer apply; and
  3. The risk of a lockdown in Wellington due to the pandemic is minimal.

All of these conditions are likely to be met. As we work through our commitments for course delivery in 2023, we will consider carefully student demand and experience, staff workload and the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students. Where there is a strategic case to be made by schools and faculties for continuing to offer courses in dual mode, this will remain an option. All international students who enrolled in programmes under the assumption that they could complete online (for example, students who enrolled in 2020-2022) will need to be accommodated and pathways found to allow you to graduate remotely.

The last few years have been difficult for staff and students. We have made substantial changes in the way we deliver our courses in order to adapt to our quickly changing context during the pandemic. We have an opportunity at this moment in time to learn from our experiences and keep the best of what we have achieved as we plan for learning and teaching in 2023 and beyond.