Teaching and learning updates

Last updated: Monday 3 May 2021


COVID safety at ANU

In the ACT and at ANU, life is as close to normal as you can imagine for a global pandemic.

We have clear COVID-safety guidelines for activity on campus, as well as an alert system.

COVID-19 will be part of our lives for a long time and complacency will be our undoing. Therefore, we still need guidelines and we still need everyone in our community to follow them to keep our community safe.



This is a tough time for everyone in our community and we're all experiencing new challenges, including living away from our friends and family, or being unable to travel to campus for study. We have a number of free support services available for our students. Please access them if you need it. Stay connected with your peers and teachers and reach out to anyone you think might be doing it tough.


Travel advice

Visit our travel advice page for information on travelling to campus.



All centrally timetabled exams at the end of Semester 1 2021 will be conducted remotely.  If you need support to redesign your exams or information about conducting remote exams, please contact the Centre for Learning and Teaching.  If students have no previous experience of remote exams, we strongly recommend they are given detailed guidance about what to expect and advice about practicing under remote exam conditions.  Information about privacy and security of the system we use for remote exams is available on our website.


Mid-year graduations

Mid-year graduations will all be held on Friday 16 July 2021.  I expect three or four graduation events all on the same day, so campus should be joyful and vibrant.  Due to COVID-safe requirements, the graduation events in Llewellyn Hall will be shorter than usual (about an hour) and will not include students walking across the stage.  Students will wear academic regalia and the events will appropriately celebrate this important academic milestone.  We are planning for doctoral graduates to be seated on the stage and have their names and the title of their thesis read out.  After each Llewellyn Hall event, students will be hosted by their college for a social celebration in locations around campus.  More detailed information will be available to colleges soon. If you have any questions, please contact Graduation.Officer@anu.edu.au.


Semester 2 delivery

In Semester 2 we will continue with the mixed modes of teaching to engage our students in learning on campus and remotely.  I've been encouraged by stories that a number of staff have shared with me about the innovative strategies and pedagogy they have developed out of necessity in the past year or so.  The most important thing we have learned from student feedback is that regardless whether they are on or off campus, it makes a huge difference to their learning and engagement if classes are interactive.  All classes should include interactive activities; for example, students create and share ideas, collaboratively develop responses to challenging questions, argue about and debate concepts, or participate in authentic work-based projects with our talented staff and their student peers.  I encourage you to carefully consider the qualitative feedback received through SELT in Semester 2 2020 to understand what went well and what did not go well in the courses that you teach.  If you need support or ideas on what to do differently, talk with your academic colleagues or Associate Dean Education, contact learning designers in your college, or participate in professional development at the Centre for Learning and Teaching.  We're here to help you be the best teacher you can be. 


Room capacity and COVID-safe teaching

Given the safe environment in Canberra, we are planning the timetable for our centrally managed teaching rooms at 100 per cent capacity.  Many thanks to our COVID-safe team and the Registrar's team for working with ACT Health to make this happen. 

The COVID-19 Plan for teaching on campus provided to ACT Health has been uploaded to our COVID-19 advice webpage for reference: Safety plan for education delivery spaces (PDF, 617 KB).


Space on campus for remote participation

In response to requests from students, we are modifying Melville Hall to make space available for students to participate in remote classes while they are on campus.  From Semester 2, there will be individual cubicles as well as group spaces in a warm environment with good wifi where students will be able to use their own ear buds or headphones and talk quietly while they participate in remotely delivered classes.  Thanks to Facilities and Services for recycling materials to create this new space at a low cost.