Study and enrolment

The mid-semester break was brought forward and most units were moved online from Monday 30 March. This includes ACU College.

The majority of ACU units are now fully online, with a small number of exceptions.

While most of our units are online, the campuses and some facilities, including libraries, will remain open for the moment.

Yes. Our academics and professional services staff have worked hard to adapt campus-based delivery of our units to modes of online delivery, wherever feasible. The majority of ACU units are now fully online, with a small number of exceptions.

Places of education remain exempt from government restrictions. As such, ACU campuses and some facilities, including libraries, currently remain open.

Strict physical distancing will be enforced, especially in areas like libraries and computer labs. They are areas for research and the use of teaching infrastructure for activities like online education. They are not communal meeting points or centres of social activity.

The Critical Incident Response Group Convenor, Dr Stephen Weller, has been in touch with the NTEU ACU President and ACUNSA President and will continue to inform these representatives of our considerations.

Yes. While the New South Wales and Victorian governments have released their stage three restrictions, places of education remain exempt. As such ACU campuses, and our libraries, remain open.

Access is restricted to students and staff through your ID Card with strict physical distancing enforced. Information on opening hours is available via the Library website. Please use libraries only for research and online education – they are not communal meeting points or centres of social activity.

Our virtual library is operating as usual with online resources available 24/7 and you can contact us via chat (24/7) or email. In the event the government closes university libraries, our library is prepared to go to a fully online service.

Autumn graduation ceremonies have been cancelled.

Refunds for payment of ceremony fees, guest tickets and graduation services submitted via the Graduation registration portal started on Monday 23 March.

Graduands should expect to receive the funds by Tuesday 31 March. Refunds are automatic and graduands do not need to take any further action. 

Refunds are being made to the account that made the original transaction. If graduands made additional purchases or multiple orders, they will receive separate refunds for these.

The Graduation Office has been in email contact with all graduands who opted to attend their autumn ceremony. The Graduation Office is also contacting any graduands who had not completed registration to advise of the current situation. 

ACU confers awards at graduation ceremonies. As we are unable to hold these ceremonies, the Graduations Office is working on protocols for the conferral of awards and the release of documents to the autumn graduands.

The Graduations Office continues to liaise with our external ceremony venues in relation to opportunities to schedule alternative celebrations in 2020. Neither the venues nor ACU can yet confirm or schedule alternatives due to the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As progress is made, we will remain in contact with our graduands; it is critical that graduands monitor their email for updates.

Studying online

The census date for Semester 1 remains 31 March. If you persist with your studies but they have been impacted by COVID-19, we’re here for you.

We’re considering a range of flexible responses to concerns. If you’re experiencing short-term issues related to an assessment task, you may be eligible for an extension, special consideration or a deferred examination. And if you need to withdraw due to illness, employment, family or personal reasons, you can apply to withdraw without penalty. If that’s the case for you, please contact AskACU.

Please see the FAQs in the ‘Study challenges’ section below. 

ACU is providing students with resources and support to help with the transition to online study arrangements. Your learning resources and activities will run through LEO, and may use other tools such as Adobe Connect, Zoom, MS Teams, Echo360 and Turnitin.

It's important to check in regularly for new resources and announcements and to keep communicating with your teachers and classmates. Make the most of every opportunity to engage through discussion boards and collaborative activities with your teachers and classmates. You might want to set up a schedule in your calendar and with your classmates, so that you follow lectures and study together at set times.

For help using tools online, contact AskACU.

Most units moved to online teaching from Monday 30 March. The exceptions are those units with a significant practical component.

For units of study with labs, studios and other practical course components, online or remote arrangements will be put in place or will be suspended to later in the semester, or the year, and will be delivered in an intensive mode.

Effective Monday 30 March, most units moved to online teaching to minimise the spread of COVID-19. The exceptions are those units with a significant practical component.

Prepare for all of Semester 1 to be online. We will reassess for Semester 2.

We understand that some of you may feel uncomfortable about this shift to online classes. This has been a necessary move to ensure you can continue your studies safely in the current climate. We’ll get you back on campus as soon as we can.

From Monday 30 March, all face-to-face teaching were suspended. When stipulated by the Australian Government and deemed safe, practical classes will resume.

These face-to-face classes will be delivered in intensive mode later in the year, and we are currently developing online modules to help you prepare for these. As the climate is uncertain, we cannot specify a resumption date of face-to-face practicals.

Details about assessments and any assessment changes will be communicated to you by your Lecturer in charge, and these may be included in an update to the unit outline.

It is possible that you may still need to complete an exam for some of your units this semester. Details will be available on LEO and/or communicated to you via your lecturer in charge. If relevant, an examination schedule will be emailed to you or, once exams are scheduled, you can check the Exam Timetables page.

We understand that the move to online learning may pose some additional challenges for students with disabilities, and adjustment may be required. Regardless of whether students have registered for disability support and have an active Education Inclusion Plan (EIP), the different nature of the online learning method may raise some concerns with our students. In the first instance, students should contact their Lecturer in Charge to discuss their needs, either in relation to their EIP adjustments or otherwise.

Your lecturer in charge will provide information regarding the format of your classes. This may include live streaming or a webinar at the scheduled class time or pre-recorded content. Pre-recorded lectures may form part of your learning resources package. We strongly encourage you to explore all the resources provided to you.

Library online services are operating as usual, with online resources available 24/7 whether you are on or off campus.

Our on-campus libraries currently remain open, access is restricted to students with a student ID card. View the library opening hours for each campus. Please use libraries for research and online education only – they are not communal meeting points or centres of social activity.

If you attend a library on campus, remember to observe strict physical distancing and good hygiene, as recommended by the Australian Government Department of Health.

If you are off campus, you can contact staff by text and 24/7 online live chat. The library staff have also increased the monitoring of the Ask Your Librarian email service to ensure swift responses to your queries.

If you have never used the library services from home, now is a good time to check them out and make sure you can sign in. Read more about off-campus access.

Yes, from Monday 30 March 2020, students will need to use their ACU student ID cards in order to access the library on campus.

If you don’t currently have an ID card, you can order your ID card online. When ordering your card, please select your local Self Service Kiosk or ‘online’ from the drop-down menu. Your card will be ready to be collected from the Self Service Kiosk for students within 24 hours; please check the location of the kiosk before collection. Learn more about how to order your card in the AskACU knowledge library.

Technology and support

The following FAQ only provides answers to general technology and support questions. If you have a more complex question, please contact AskACU directly for assistance.

All ACU campuses remain open and the Wi-Fi network, libraries, computer labs, research and study spaces will be available to students who need to use them. Physical distancing and health precaution measures will be observed.

You’ll be able to access all online learning materials via your smart phone or tablet devices (if available). If you cannot access these materials, please contact AskACU. Alternatively, university computer labs will remain open and available to staff and students who need to use them.

Our AskACU staff are available to help with basic technical assistance. For more complicated queries, the team will direct you to the appropriate IT Support staff for further assistance.

To contact the AskACU team:

  • Call 1300 275 228
  • SMS 0427 522 268
  • Enquire online AskACU

You can also access online chat between 9am and 5pm, and search the resources and step-by-step guides available 24/7 in the AskACU knowledge base.

For opening hours, visit AskACU.

With any technology-related issues, we recommend you contact AskACU in the first instance. If you can, please provide a screenshot of the issue you are experiencing so staff can assist you more effectively.

To contact the AskACU team:

  • Call 1300 275 228
  • SMS 0427 522 268
  • Enquire online AskACU

You can also access online chat between 9am and 5pm, and search the resources and step-by-step guides available 24/7 in the AskACU knowledge base.

For opening hours, visit AskACU

We understand tech issues can be frustrating, especially if these happen after hours. In this instance, please take a screenshot of the issue you are experiencing and email it to AskACU via your student email account. AskACU will attend to your issue as soon as possible.

All classes will be delivered either via Adobe Connect, Zoom or Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). You can access these tools either through a downloaded app or your web browser. Your Lecturer in charge will provide a link for you to join the online class.

Your lecturers will let you know which software to use for your specific units. More detailed information can also be found in LEO

Adobe Connect is an online application used for video conferencing, webinars, and as a live classroom teaching tool. Staff and students can communicate synchronously using voice and video, utilising features such as screen sharing, text chat, interactive whiteboards, application sharing, instant polling, and breakout rooms.

For more on using Adobe Connect and related technical support, access how to use Adobe Connect on the staff website.

Zoom is an online meeting platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops and phones. Zoom is easy to use, but please take some time to test all features such as video, audio and microphone.

Students are not required to have a Zoom account and can join classes using the links sent from the teacher. For the best experience, however, we do recommend every user download the Zoom application on their preferred Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, or Android device.

Download the Zoom app

Microsoft Teams is a hub for team collaboration and can be used for video conferencing, team chat and calls. You can access this platform in multiple ways:

  • from your browser
  • with a Teams app on your computer (Windows and Mac)
  • from an app on your mobile device (Apple or Android).

To access a class, you can join through the calendar in your Teams app or using the links sent from the teacher.

LEO is ACU’s Learning Environment Online (LEO) where you will find most of your unit information, learning activities, readings, quizzes and assessments. Wherever you are, if you have internet access, you should be able to access LEO.

Read more about how to access LEO

For LEO-related technical support, please visit the support FAQs on LEO.

If your lectures are recorded using Echo360, there will be a link inside your LEO unit to the list of recordings. Learn more about Echo360.

As more of you study remotely, it’s a good idea to upload or update your photo in Office 365. This will mean that when you attend video conferences or use ACU collaboration tools, your classmates can recognise you more easily.

To find out how to do this, check out this AskACU article for students.

No, a VPN is not needed for students at all. It is only needed for staff to access resources on the ACU network (eg network drives).

None of the online tools used to support learning and teaching require a VPN to run. These include:

  • Zoom
  • Echo360
  • Adobe Connect
  • Microsoft Teams

Placements

ACU will only permit students to attend placement opportunities that are appropriate according to state health and public order regulations. COVID – 19 is not covered by Australian insurance policies. If a student does contract COVID-19 they are covered and supported by Medicare and the Australian health care system . It is the student’s responsibility to be responsible and practice social distancing, regular hand sanitising and cough and sneeze etiquette at all times.

We are committed to ensuring you fulfil the necessary requirements to graduate and register for professional practice, if this is a requirement of your degree. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Executive Deans are in discussions in all states and at all levels of government to secure as many placements as possible during this time. Many placements are still occurring, so please monitor your university email account for updates specific to your program.

For units of study with labs, studios and other practical course components, online or remote arrangements will be put in place or will be suspended to later in the semester, or the year, and will be delivered in an intensive mode.

For units of study that require a community engagement placement, students can currently continue with their placement where it is still available and safe to do so. If your community engagement placement is no longer available and you are not able to find an alternate placement opportunity, please contact your lecturer in charge for alternate options. 

For further support with community engagement placements, email ACU Engagement at ACUengagement@acu.edu.au

 

If your placement facility/host organisation cancels your placement as a result of COVID-19 you will receive an email from the Placement Operations team notifying you of this. Academic staff and the Placement Operations team will be working collaboratively on alternative placement options. Individual plans will be communicated to any affected students by your Placement Officer.

With community engagement placements, if the ACU Engagement team or your host organisation notifies you that your placement is no longer available, you should contact your lecturer in charge for alternate options.

For further support with community engagement placements, email ACU Engagement at ACUengagement@acu.edu.au

Study challenges

If the conditions you are experiencing are short-term and are related to an assessment task, you may be eligible to apply for an extension, special consideration or a deferred examination. 

These cover a wide range of circumstances that may have affected your progress.

ACU’s Assessment Policy, Assessment Procedures and Special Consideration Procedures will continue to apply. Please submit your application in line with these.

To apply for a change to your assessments, please complete the relevant form below:

Given the current stresses on the Australian healthcare system, you are not required to have the Professional Authority Certificate completed to support a request for extension or special consideration. Instead, for the duration of the pandemic, you may submit a Student Declaration.

If you are requesting a change to assessments because you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you’ve been required to self-isolate following testing or being contacted by the health department as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should also submit a COVID-19 report form.

Please contact AskACU to discuss the options available to you. 

You can apply to withdraw from a unit/s without academic or financial penalty after the census date. There are three categories of withdrawal you can apply for:

1. Withdrawal from units after census but prior to results release

You may apply to withdraw from units after the Semester 1, 2020 census date. Apply to do this through the Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) Form. Additional criteria have been added to this form in consideration of the impact of COVID-19 on study in Semester 1, 2020, including that you may submit a Student Declaration for the duration of the pandemic.

If your application is successful, you will be withdrawn from the unit without academic or financial penalty and a result of ‘Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW)’ will be applied. You will be required to repeat the unit in a future study period.

2. Withdrawal without academic penalty after results release

You may also apply to the Academic Registrar to withdraw without academic penalty after the release of results in Semester 1, 2020. To do this, submit a Withdrawal without Academic Penalty after Results Release Form by 31 July 2020.

If granted, the result for the unit will be changed to ‘Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW)’ and will not contribute to your GPA. You will still be required to pay the fees for the unit. You will also need to repeat the unit in a future study period.

3. Withdrawal from units without financial penalty after results release

If you wish to apply for withdrawal without financial penalty, please complete and submit the Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) Form

If your application is successful, you will be withdrawn from the unit without academic or financial penalty and a result of ‘Withdrawn Without Academic Penalty (WW)’ will be applied. You will be required to repeat the unit in a future study period.

Please contact AskACU to discuss these three options further. 

If you are a student enrolled in a practical experience unit or a unit containing practical experience where ACU is unable to currently provide a placement (or approved alternative activity), you can remain enrolled in that unit and we will attempt to provide you with a placement at a later date. This is, however, likely to be outside the semester.

If we’re not able to provide you with a placement, you will be able apply to withdraw from the affected unit without academic or financial penalty up until the end of the year. To do so, complete the Re-credit of Unit/s and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances (RE) Form. This form has been revised in consideration of the impact of COVID-19 on study in Semester 1, 2020.

Stay connected and engaged

All on-campus events have unfortunately been cancelled, but we encourage you to follow your campus student association on Facebook, as well as the ACU National Student Association (ACUNSA) or the ACU Postgraduate Association (ACUPGA).

Online activities, such as weekly online Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and online modules for the Leading with Impact leadership program, will also be available.

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