Coronavirus: Uni moving courses online

The Otago University Students' Association has disaffiliated with the Elohim Bible Academy. Photo...
Photo: ODT files
The University of Otago is to move some of its courses online as part of the effort to contain Covid-19.

In a media release this evening the university said first year semester one Health Sciences papers would be the first to move online, starting on Monday.

Other 100-level papers would progressively move during the week.

Second year papers and above which had more than 100 enrolments would then be prioritised to move online from the following week, along with selected other papers.

Mark Hathaway, the university's Senior Communications Adviser, said the classes would be fully online, with no face-to-face classroom teaching.

He said the university was remaining open as it currently had no cases of Covid-19 and there was no community spread in New Zealand.

While universities, like schools, were exempt from current restrictions on large-scale gatherings, the move was part of a wider evidence-based plan to implement social distancing on all of the university’s campuses and support the national effort to contain Covid-19.

He said the university continued to follow advice from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and its own Public Health Officials.

Planning for the roll-out had taken place over the past three weeks and would position the university "to quickly move as close as possible to full online delivery if required".

“We want to provide continuity of teaching for our students and are taking advice daily from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education on this. If the situation changes, we will advise students, staff and other stakeholders as quickly as possible,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne said.

Next week’s roll-out will involve more than 125 of the 850 on-campus papers currently being delivered at Otago across its campuses in Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch and Invercargill. By the end of the following week, more than 300 papers that are normally delivered face-to-face would be provided online.

This total is additional to the 150 courses that are already taught online as part of Otago’s distance learning programme.



I would implore that students put their protesting skills to good use.
Put your masks on, get on the streets and DEMAND national compulsory testing.
This is one of the most important times in our lives. A vaccine needs to be found, our borders need to be closed, and those that are within those borders need to be tested. That way we stand a far better chance of saving so many jobs, protecting our economy on a local level and saving lives.
Fact of the matter is if we don't test, ongoing waves of infection will cause uncountable disruption for who knows how long? Coupled with the fact that those who contact and survive, may not survive a second infection. So this could get really serious. We need a positive action, we need the knowledge of infection and immediate controls. We're an isolated country, we could achieve very high survival rates with simple TESTING.

While the students are at it, they can protest for Ardern to close the schools.

I can't believe we're waiting for things to get worse before we act. That's like waiting for the bomb to drop before you try to run away!

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