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Study information

Frequently asked questions about studying online
From Monday 23 March there will be no face-to-face teaching on campus. All teaching and learning will be delivered online, to help ensure the wellbeing of our community and minimise disruption to studies.

Key points

The University will transition to online delivery of teaching and learning to help ensure the wellbeing of our community and minimise disruption to studies.

  • From Monday 23 March there will be no face-to-face teaching on campus for the rest of Semester 1. All teaching and learning will be delivered online.
  • Arrangements for your classes will be confirmed via Canvas. You do not need to make any changes to your enrolment.
  • 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.
  • The only exception to the suspension of face-to-face teaching will involve some clinical placements and workshops, in which social distancing and other health precautions will be put in place. 
  • This change in delivery will not impact compliance with visa conditions for international students.
  • Assessments and examinations will also be conducted online. Details will be updated on the Canvas page for your Unit of Study shortly.
  • The last date to finalise your enrolment in Sydney Student without academic or financial penalty is Tuesday 31 March (Census Date). Check your student email for updates on your enrolment status and what you need to do.

Resources for online learning

The University is providing students with resources and support to help with the transition to online (also referred to as 'remote') study arrangements. Your learning resources and activities will run through Canvas, and may use other tools such as Zoom, Echo360 and Turnitin.

This is a unique situation for all of us. The University is working hard to make sure that you are receiving an excellent educational experience despite not being able to learn on campus.

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 get engaged through discussion boards, formative quizzes 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 at set times.

For more tips on learning effectively while off campus, see our guide.

You can also search for help using other tools online through ICT's Knowledge Base.

You will need to log in to Canvas to access learning resources for your unit of study. You will also need to access other tools including Echo360 for streamed and recorded lectures, and Zoom for online tutorials. Find out how to download these apps.

For help using Canvas, visit the Canvas Student Guide to find out how to make the most of common tools that your unit might use, including Zoom, Echo360 and Turnitin. You can also access 24/7 Canvas support via chat - click on the "Help" button in the left hand menu from anywhere in Canvas.

You can also search for help using other tools online through ICT's Knowledge Base.

The Learning Centre provides various online resources designed to support your studies by helping you to understand the expectations of university lecturers, build skills to help you communicate effectively, and develop key academic skills that will assist you to complete your assignments and other university work.

The Mathematics Learning Centre (MLC) offers online self-access support resources for students. These resources are designed to support students in their learning of mathematics, statistics and related units of study to develop their understanding, capacity and confidence.

Students will be able to use a new VPN service free of charge which is approved for use in China and accessed via UniKey.

Most students located in China will be able to access the majority of their core teaching and learning tools without a VPN, and we encourage you to try this first. If you encounter any issues, download and use the new VPN solution using the instructions for either Windows or MacOS. This service is free of charge and accessed via your UniKey.

The initial download may take some time, but once the VPN client is downloaded and set up, your connection to University resources will be much faster.

Visit our online resources for students in China page for more information about accessing and using these tools.

Please only use this VPN for access from within mainland China.

Transition to online study

Units continuing with face-to-face delivery

Some clinical placements and workshops will continue to be taught on campus. In these units, social distancing and other health precautions will be put in place.

If your faculty or school is not listed below, then your units of study will be available online. Be sure to check the Canvas pages for your units, for more details.

Unit code Unit name
ARCH9109  Advanced Fabrication
AWSS2010 Arch and Design Material Processes (Ceramics)
AWSS2027 Arch and Design Material Processes (Casting)
DESA3009 Advanced Fabrication
DESA9008  Object Design (Material and Light)
DESA9013 Arch and Design Material Processes (Casting)
DESA9014 Arch and Design Material Processes (Ceramics)

The following will be offered as intensive units in May, June or July. You will be informed via Canvas once these intensives are timetabled.

Unit code Unit name
CAEL2053 Screen Printing: an Introduction
CAEL2072 Ceramics: Potter's Wheel as Sculptural Tool
CAEL2076 Upcycled Glass: Introducing Warm Glass
CAEL5038 Screen Printing: Introductory Workshop
CAEL5042 Upcycled Glass: Introducing Warm Glass

Where possible, we have moved courses to online channels to ensure students can continue to progress through their studies and are able to interact with their teachers and peers.

For up-to-date information on units of study which involve placements, workshops and practicals in health environments, please refer to Canvas.

All decisions regarding online teaching, placements and teaching in the health environment will be made in alignment with University and NSW Health guidance and you will be informed via Canvas. This is the best way to keep up-to-date in a situation that is evolving daily.

Our priority is to ensure the safety and health of our students, staff and the communities we serve.

Unit code Unit name
VETS6401 Small Animal Clinics A
VETS6402 Small Animal Clinics B
VETS6403 Small Animal Clinics C
VETS6404 Small Animal Clinics D
VETS6405 Large Animal Clinics A
VETS6406 Large Animal Clinics B
VETS6407 Lab Investigations of Clinical Disease
VETS6408 Public, Industry, or Community Placement
VETS6409 Extramural Placement 1
VETS6410 Extramural Placement 2
VETS6411 Extramural Placement 3
VETS6412 Extramural Placement 4

Questions about the transition

From Monday 23 March there will be no face-to-face teaching on campus, for the rest of Semester 1. All teaching and learning will be delivered online. Unit of Study pages in Canvas will be updated with details about the online arrangements for your course. 

Some clinical placements and workshops will continue to be taught on campus. In these units, social distancing and other health precautions will be put in place. Check the table above for a list of these units.

If your faculty or school is not listed, then your units of study will be available online. Be sure to check the Canvas pages for your units, for more details.

Arrangements for your classes will be confirmed via Canvas. You do not need to make any changes to your enrolment.

No, the campus will remain open with social distancing guidelines in effect. While we are taking all necessary steps to reduce the number of students and staff required to attend campus, it is important to know that it is safe to come to campus. See updates on campus operations.

 

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. 

The only exception to the suspension of face-to-face teaching will involve some clinical placements and workshops, in which social distancing and other health precautions will be put in place. These are listed on our website.

No student will be expected to attend a face to face class. The only exception is for units of study that have adapted face-to-face requirements to accommodate social distancing and to allow for students to progress through their degree.

A limited number of laptops and desktops are available for loan from the University for those students who need them in order to study remotely. Please register your interest in The University of Sydney Device Borrowing Service by filling out the form here. Expressions of interest are assessed on a daily basis and you will be contacted by the University’s ICT Department in order to arrange pick up.

The University will remain open and the Wi-Fi network, computer labs, research and study spaces will be available to staff and students who need to use them.

You can withdraw from your currently enrolled units up until 31 March 2020 via Sydney Student without incurring either financial or academic penalty. Find out how to suspend your studies.

Mid-semester tests and exams

Our staff have been working hard to confirm arrangements for assessments and exams to be conducted online. These will include quizzes, take-home exams and online exams.
 
All assessment will proceed as determined by the unit coordinator.  You will be advised through Canvas about the details of your mid-semester assessment.
This refers to any test that has moved online and will be held under exam-like conditions which are timed and supervised. For more information about your online mid-semester tests, please refer to the “Taking online tests” Canvas site. You can keep this site on your Canvas dashboard for easy reference. Just click ‘Join this Course’ on the homepage and follow the steps.
 
Other Canvas quizzes as well as submitted assignments and take-home tests are not considered online mid-semester tests and will be administered as normal. 
 
If you are unsure whether your unit has a supervised online mid-semester test, please refer to your unit outline and Canvas site, or check with your unit of study coordinator.
To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, the University has encouraged unit of study coordinators to monitor our teaching and assessment practices and make adjustments, where appropriate, in line with NSW Health advice. Some units of study may hold an online mid-semester tests which will be timed and supervised. 

For more information about online mid-semester tests, please refer to the “Taking online tests” Canvas site. This site offers detailed instructions on how to prepare to take an online test. It is very important that you review the information on this site well in advance so that you are ready to take your test(s). 

This semester, your mid-semester tests will still be supervised slightly differently. Instead of being on campus, you will be taking your test online, from your personal computer using online invigilation.  

To ensure that test conditions are observed, your identity will be verified, your test environment will be checked, and you will be supervised while completing your test. This supervision, or proctoring, will be carried out by ProctorU, a specialist online testing service, using a combination of webcam, microphone, speakers and screen sharing. You will be supervised for the whole duration of your test, and ProctorU will be available for help at all times. 

It is important that you have confidence that your privacy is safeguarded. Thorough legal, cyber-security, privacy and capability analysis was carried out by relevant University units before the University entered into an arrangement with ProctorU.

 ProctorU has been around since 2008 and are trusted by hundreds of universities and other organisations worldwide including CPA and the universities of Florida, Georgia SouthWestern, Mississippi and Iowa. This organisation works with many universities globally and is subject to multi-jurisdictional privacy and security regulations.

ProctorU will only require your basic student information (name, email address and phone number) and in most cases will not require access to your computer during a test. An online proctor will not be able to access your computer without your express permission.

More details about ProctorU’s privacy and security in relation to University of Sydney online tests can be found in our FAQS on Canvas, including what software needs to be installed and why, what actually happens during a proctored session, and what information ProctorU has access to.

The “Taking online tests” Canvas site will explain how to set up a ‘ProctorU’ (the service provider of the online supervised tests) account and organise a time to sit your test. When you set up your account, you will be asked to nominate the time zone you are currently in. Available times to sit your test will be displayed in your nominated time zone.

 

We are currently considering a range of options for end of semester exams, and decisions will be informed by NSW Health. Students will be advised through updates to unit outlines and through Canvas about the details of your end of semester exams.  

How to suspend your studies

If you are a continuing student you can apply to suspend your studies for Semester 1, 2020 and begin at a later date. You should suspend your studies for Semester 1 prior to 31 March 2020 – this will not incur any academic or financial penalty.

Depending on the structure of your course, you will be able to suspend your studies to either Semester 2, 2020 or Semester 1, 2021. You can request a suspension through Sydney Student (go to ‘My studies’, ‘Course details’, then ‘Suspend your studies’). Please follow the instructions to submit your request.

Important note: Due to COVID-19, processing time for applications may be longer than usual. If your application is in before midnight 31 March (AEST), it will be processed as effective from the census date and you will not be disadvantaged by any delay in processing time. You will receive an email once it is processed  - you do not need to contact us or lodge a new enquiry in the meantime.

Please also note that Canvas can take 24 hours to reflect changes to your enrolment.

If you hold a scholarship and suspend your studies, your scholarship payments will be on hold until you start or recommence when you re-enrol. Before requesting a suspension, check your scholarship’s terms and conditions for how your scholarship scheme counts periods of suspension.

International students please be aware that a suspension will result in an eCoE cancellation and as a consequence, you will not be able to re-enrol in Teaching Period 1. Teaching period 1 includes May and June intensive sessions.

The suspension request will ask you to provide supporting documents. You should provide a short personal statement regarding your specific situation and the compassionate and compelling circumstances why you cannot attend your course.

  • If you are currently located offshore, when you submit your suspension request, you’ll need to attach evidence of your Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) check result, ensuring that the verification is dated the same day as the suspension request. You can access this online through VEVO, following the advice provided on their website.  Alternatively, please show evidence of return travel to your home country when submitting your request through the Portal. 
  • For those students unable to book a flight out of Australia, you will not be asked to provide a confirmed flight ticket for suspension request however, you are strongly advised to consult with the Department of Home Affairs on what bridging visa you must apply for to prevent being in Australia unlawfully, as the University is required to cancel your eCoE if you suspend your studies.

 

If you are an international student and you wish to suspend your enrolment for Semester 1 due to Covid-19, and you cannot resume your study in Semester 2, 2020 due to the structure of your course, a note will be made on your record to reflect the second reason for Semester 2. Please upload supporting documentation, and state “Covid-19” as the reason for your request to suspend your course of study for both semesters. You will receive a new eCoE for Semester 1, 2021.

 

If you are an international student enrolled in a combined course of study (e.g., Bachelor of Science and Master of Nutrition and Dietetics) that allows for a start or return to study of only one of these courses in Semester 2, 2020, please state “Covid-19” as the reason for your request to suspend in Semester 1, 2020 and course structure for Semester 2. Any future period of required suspension will be a separate request and is not required at this time. Where suspensions may affect the total duration of your studies, please be aware of the maximum time limits for your course.

If you are an international student and you have completed one or more units of study during an intensive session this year (in January, February or March), you will be unable to submit your suspension request through Sydney Student. Please request to suspend your enrolment for Semester 1 by submitting a request via the online Coronavirus Enquiry form, selecting ‘Changes to your studies’, uploading applicable supporting documentation such as flight tickets or a VEVO check result. If you are a domestic student you should just withdraw from the unit(s).

If you hold a scholarship and suspend your studies, your scholarship payments will be on hold until you start or recommence when you re-enrol. Before requesting a suspension, check your scholarship’s terms and conditions for how your scholarship scheme counts periods of suspension.

Last updated Monday 30 March, 4pm

Contact us

Students can submit a query via the Coronavirus Enquiry form.
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