Academic advice to students

Teaching is suspended until 28 April. Lectures will then resume online. Examinations will be replaced with online assessments.

As New Zealand transitions to alert level 4, the University will do everything it can to continue academic operations within the parameters outlined by the government. This will require us to change the way we teach and learn, and some of the academic accommodations we will need to put in place are outlined below. Further updates will be posted here periodically.

No further teaching until 28 April

There will be no further teaching until 28 April. Students should think of the next five weeks like they would any other teaching break. During the mid-trimester break, most courses would have a pause in teaching, though there are going to be some exceptions. The current pause in teaching simply extends this break by three weeks.

Trimester dates

Because the mid-trimester break is extended by three weeks, there will be an extended teaching period between 8–26 June. These additional three weeks of teaching will replace the study and exam period at the end of trimester. As a consequence, all teaching and assessment must be completed by 26 June—within the teaching period. There will be no exams. The trimester will end on schedule, and the mid-year break will remain the same.

Our academic dates are in the key dates calendar.

Assessment and exams

All assessments will need to be submitted online. No assessment item should be submitted or completed on campus. This means that courses with a scheduled exam will need to offer alternative assessments. You will be told more about these changes during the Student Engagement Day on 2 April.

Disability-related needs

If you have disability-related accessible assessment arrangements, these will be adapted to suit the new format of the assessment. Disability Services will contact you with confirmation of these arrangements and will ensure your needs are met.

Extensions and due dates

Every student will have a blanket extension until Friday 3 April for any assessment item due in between 23 March–2 April. This due date may be pushed out further by course coordinators with the approval of Associate Deans (so long as the decision is communicated to students by 27 March). Moreover, you will be able to ask for additional extensions for up to two weeks on any assessment item, except those due in the last two weeks of trimester.

Changes to grading schemes

Given the significant changes to the way we deliver our courses, some courses will also need to change their grading schemes (e.g. from letter grades to pass/fail). You will be informed of any such changes at the Student Engagement Day on 2 April.

Studying online

Studying online is flexible but requires good self-discipline and motivation. Check out some skills and advice to help you learn online effectively.

If you are unable to study from home because you do not have access to a computer, specific software or a wifi connection, register with the call centre: info@vuw.ac.nz.

Student Engagement Day

Thursday 2 April will be a Student Engagement Day. Your lecturers, and in some cases your tutors, will engage directly with you online that day to check in with you. Where possible, the meeting will occur at the start of a scheduled teaching time. The purpose of the meeting will be to let you all know how the course has changed.

Placements

The University is working to ensure that, wherever possible, all students enrolled in a practicum, placement, internship, or some other form of civic engagement or work integrated learning through the curriculum can complete. This will be looked at on a case-by-case basis over the next month. Contingency plans will be made for students who can’t complete, especially if the shut-down continues.

Subject and Degree requirements

Before Trimester 2 starts, make sure you contact your faculty office to ensure you are on track to complete your degree requirements.

Libraries

The physical libraries are closed. However, our online library is still open. You can access a wide range of articles, eBooks, and online resources by searching ‘Te Waharoa’. If you aren’t sure how to search ‘Te Waharoa’, check out our videos. If you need assistance email library@vuw.ac.nz. More information and updates are available on the library website.

If you have books that are due to be returned to the Library, hold on to them and return them when we re-open. All fines for overdue items will be waived during this period.

Viewing lectures online

The University will provide online lectures from Tuesday 28 April.

Students who have technical issues with Blackboard can get in touch with ITS by phone +64 4 463 5050, email servicedesk@vuw.ac.nz, or via webchat.

The University has created these online learning tools to help you refresh your study skills.

Faculty SAS team

The Faculty Student and Academic Services team remains available to assist you with enrolment advice and processing, degree and course planning, withdrawals from courses, graduation, and processing of student administration letters and forms.

We will continue to provide e-transcripts however will not be able to process any requests for hard copies. Email your faculty office or student adviser should you require help with any of the above or related matters.