Answers to commonly asked academic questions
When will on-campus classes resume?
As public health guidelines allow, some on-campus simulations, practicals, tutorials and seminars will resume from Semester 2. All lectures will be online for the remainder of 2020. For information relating to your specific courses, please refer to the course Blackboard page. For further queries, contact your Course Coordinator.
Can I choose to continue studying online in Semester 2?
Many courses will continue to be offered online in Semester 2 – some exclusively and some in part. You will be able to select either to attend the online class or the on-campus class (where available) through the Timetable sign-up.
How will the impact of COVID-19 be reflected in my academic record?
In response to a request from the Student Board, academic transcripts will state that Study Period 1 was undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enrolment and Re-enrolment
When is the Semester 2 Timetable released and where can I find it?
The Semester 2, 2020 Timetable will be released by mid-June. Once it is published, you will find it in the Student Portal under Calendars and Timetables.
How do I enrol in Semester 2?
You can enrol in Semester 2 by clicking the Re-enrol Now button on the University website homepage. For information about which courses to enrol in, please refer to the Program Regulations. For course counselling, please contact your school.
Can I change my course selections after enrolling?
Yes. You can add a course up until the Final Enrolment Date. The Final Enrolment Date for Standard Semester courses is the Friday of Week 2. You can withdraw from a course, without financial penalty, up until the Census Date, which can be found on the university calendar.
If I need to withdraw from a course, will I fail?
You can withdraw on or before the Academic Penalty date without incurring a Fail grade for the course. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Academic Penalty Date has been extended for standard Semester 1 courses until Friday 22 May, 2020. For further information on the Academic Penalty dates contact the Student Administration Office on your campus at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I withdraw from a course after the Academic Penalty Date?
Yes. If you believe that exceptional circumstances prevented you from withdrawing from a course before the penalty dates, you may also be eligible for retroactive withdrawal. When you apply for retroactive withdrawal, you may request that financial and/or academic penalty is waived.
You can read more about retroactive withdrawal in the University’s General Regulations.
You can download an application for retroactive withdrawal from the Student Portal under Forms and Documents.
What is the difference between financial penalty and academic penalty?
If you withdraw after the Financial Penalty (Census) Date you will be liable for the full tuition charge for your course enrolments. You will receive a Withdrawn (W) grade for these courses, but they will not appear on your academic transcript.
If you withdraw after the Academic Penalty Date, you will incur financial penalty and receive a Withdrawal with Fail (WF) grade for the course. Courses with a WF grade will appear on your academic transcript.
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Academic Penalty Date has been extended for standard Semester 1 courses until Friday 22 May 2020.
Exams and Assessment
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on my academic performance in Semester 1, what can I do?
You can apply for Special Consideration by emailing your Course Coordinator. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended the time in which you can apply for Special Consideration up to 7 working days after the assessment due date. In addition, no third party documented evidence will be required.
How do I apply for Special Consideration?
Applications should be made by emailing your Course Coordinator within 7 working days after the assessment due date or the date of the exam.
You can learn more about the meaning of Special Consideration in the Guideline: The meaning of Special Consideration and Exceptional Circumstances.
Can I apply for an extension for an assessment?
Yes. We understand that the current COVID-19 pandemic may impact on your study plans. As per the University’s standard procedures, you may request an extension for an assessment by emailing your Course Coordinator. No late penalties will apply.
You can read more about extensions in the University’s General Regulations.
Where can I find my exam timetable for Semester 1?
Exam timetables for Semester 1 have been published under calendars and timetables. For information relating to your specific courses (including assessments), please refer to the course Blackboard page.
I have more than two exams in one day, what should I do?
The University of Notre Dame Australia Examinations Policy states that students will have no more than two exams per day. This has been followed in scheduling online exams this semester. This has included consideration of students who may have both take-home exams (with a longer time period to submit) and timed exams. Take-home exams will have a longer timeframe (24-72 hours). If your take-home exam overlaps with an online timed exam, you will have the flexibility to arrange your schedule to complete both exams during the allocated time. If you believe you have a clash of your exams, please contact the Examinations office on your campus: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I miss an exam?
If you were unable to attend an exam due to exceptional circumstances, you may apply for a Deferred Examination on medical or compassionate grounds. Applications must be made in writing no later than three working days after the final examination of the relevant Course, and must be supported by the relevant supporting documentation.
You can download an application for Deferred or Irregularly Scheduled Examination from the Student Portal under Forms and Documents.
What can I do if I disagree with a decision made by the University?
If you disagree with a decision made by the University, you can have this decision reviewed by lodging an appeal. Some examples are Appeal against Final Grade, Special Consideration and Resubmission of an Assessment.
Once your appeal has been reviewed and processed, the relevant decision-maker will determine if your appeal is accepted or not. You will be notified of the decision in an outcome letter.
You can learn more about appeals in the Student Appeals and Grievances section of our website.
Semester 1 Online Exams
Online exams may be conducted using Blackboard or via ExamSoft (Medicine and some Business exams only) and may be invigilated or non-invigilated.
What is ExamSoft / Examplify?
An online exam proctoring system, which will provides students with a secure and stable exam environment for all assessment types.
Which devices can be used with ExamSoft?
Refer to the following link for ExamSoft / Examplify system requirements.
Which devices can be used with Blackboard?
Refer to the following link for Blackboard Browser Support.
Do I need an internet connection to complete my exam in ExamSoft?
You need an internet connection to download and to upload your exam. You will still be able to complete your exam if you lose internet access during your exam.
What do I do if I have technical issues which impact Blackboard or ExamSoft examinations?
Contact your Course Coordinator as soon as possible. The contact details of your Course Coordinator are published on Blackboard.
Where can I get IT support?
Fremantle: The Student IT desk is located in St Teresa’s Library (NDF17). Students can contact Student IT on (08) 9433 0777 or email email@example.com.
Sydney: The Student IT desk is located in Buckland House (NDS4). Students can contact IT on (02) 8204 4444 or email ITServiceDesk@nd.edu.au.
Can I conduct my exam overseas or interstate?
You can sit your exam overseas or interstate. Exams are scheduled according to AWST if you are a Fremantle student and AEST if you are a Sydney student. You will need to sit the exam at the scheduled time. Please check with your Course Coordinator if you have any questions regarding exam times.
Do exam conditions apply with online exams?
Yes. You need to be in a quiet venue with no interruptions and your mobile phone/Smartwatch turned off. You should not have any notes, books, documents etc. at your workspace unless your exam is ‘open book’. Allowed materials are published on the exam timetable.
Do I need identification for my online exam?
No, you need your student ID card for on-campus invigilated exams only.
Will my LAP requirements be met for my examinations?
- Go to the students page www.notredame.edu.au/current-students
- Click on the MyND Portal link. Enter your username and password.
- Click on the Examination Timetables link shown below and your personalised exam timetable should display.
Can I sit my online exam on campus?
|Arts & Sciences||Fremantle||Sydney|
|Notre Dame Study Centre||Fremantle||Sydney|
|Nursing & Midwifery||Fremantle||Sydney|
|Philosophy & Theology||Fremantle||Sydney|
What happens if I am unwell during my exam?
If you feel unwell during your exam, you need to submit your exam, contact a medical practitioner as soon as you can and apply for Special Consideration.
What happens if I am unwell and unable to sit my exam?
If you feel unwell prior to starting your exam do not log on to Blackboard or Examsoft/Examplify, as it will register you to start the exam. Contact a medical practitioner as soon as you can and apply for a Deferred Examination.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my exam paper?
Contact your Course Coordinator, these contact details are published on Blackboard.
Has there been any changes to the Winter Term study period?
We will be extending our Winter Term to four teaching weeks and one exam week. This will enable us to expand our course offerings in Winter Term, for students who wish to study in July. Please keep an eye on your email inboxes for more information about Winter Term course offerings.
Are Graduation Ceremonies going ahead in July and August?
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in-person graduation ceremonies have been postponed. The University will hold virtual celebrations. More details to follow.
9 April 2020 - A message from the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic
We hope that you are now settled into your new online learning environment and we thank you for the feedback you have provided during the transition. Many of you have commented on the benefits of having flexible learning and on the support and care you have received from your lecturers and other staff across the university.
As we approach the mid-point of the semester, I am writing to update you on some key steps we are taking to ensure you have access to the support you may need to continue with your studies.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and we understand some of you are facing immense challenges. At this time, we remain committed to providing you with an excellent standard of pastoral care.
To assist students experiencing significant hardship due to the pandemic, we have established a $1-million COVID-19 Student Hardship Assistance Fund. This support has been made possible through the ongoing generosity of donors to the University.
The purpose of the fund is to offer support to those who need immediate emergency assistance while continuing their studies at Notre Dame. For more information about the fund, see COVID-19 Student Hardship Assistance Fund.
In addition to this, we have also increased student support services. We encourage you to access these below:
Your lecturers and tutors are also aware that many of you have questions about academic matters such as practicums, assessments and exams. We have put together some information to address your questions, see here.
We recognise and appreciate that you and all of the Notre Dame Community have had to make adjustments in this time of rapid change. Please continue to send your feedback about the online learning experience to firstname.lastname@example.org, as this will inform how we can continue to provide the best support that we can at this time.
Best wishes for a Happy Easter. Stay safe and stay connected!
Professor Margot Kearns
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic
30 March 2020 – Semester 1, Update 1: Academic Penalty Date, Winter Term, Assessment and Show Cause Procedure
While the Notre Dame staff miss seeing you on campus, I am pleased to hear your positive feedback about the online learning transition. I am writing to explain some of the measures we are taking at Notre Dame to support you with this transition while at the same time maintaining our high-quality courses and academic standards.
The academic community is conscious that the transition to online learning may pose new challenges, and we thank you for your patience, support and feedback. If you are facing challenges, please seek assistance and seek it early. To our first-year students especially – asking questions and asking for assistance is the Notre Dame normal so please don’t hesitate. Your Schools or Course Coordinators are the first help line for academic advice but there are many other supports available here.
Please continue to provide your feedback as this will inform our practices and processes going forward. Later in the semester we will send an institution wide survey that will allow you to give more specific feedback about the transition to online learning.
Below are some of the amendments we have made for Semester 1, 2020. At Notre Dame, we strive to maintain our personal approach to education and your individual circumstances will always be considered. We continue to work on ways to address various components of your learning including practicum and industry placements and your Schools will update you accordingly.
I hope after reading this you will feel more comfortable about completing your studies online as you move through this semester.
Stay safe and stay connected
Professor Margot Kearns
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic
Academic Penalty Date
The Academic Penalty Date is the last day that students can withdraw from classes without academic penalty (i.e. without a Withdraw Fail (WF) recorded on your transcript).
This was previously set at the end of Week 12, or equivalent for non-standard offerings. To allow you extra time to withdraw from your courses, we have extended this to the last teaching date of Semester. This date is 22 May – the Friday of Week 13 for the Standard Semester.
For non-standard offerings, Academic Penalty Date will be moved to the equivalent last teaching date. Your School and/or Student Administration will be able to confirm this date for you.
We believe the extension of the Academic Penalty Date will allow you to withdraw from your course(s) if you believe you are not progressing towards a satisfactory outcome.
We will be extending our Winter Term to four teaching weeks and one exam week. This will enable us to expand our course offerings in Winter Term, for students who wish to study in July. Please keep an eye on your inboxes for more information about Winter Term course offerings.
The Academics and Deans in your Schools are working on adjustments to assessment formats and schedules. The Schools are investigating alternative assessment options that are conducive to online learning and teaching and take into consideration fairness as well as maintaining standards. Some examples of assessments that are alternate to the traditional end-of-semester examinations are take home (open book) examinations and online examinations. Or you may be asked to submit an essay or a research project instead of an exam. The assessments will continue to be mapped to the course learning outcomes while maintaining academic integrity. Assessments may be different across different courses and you will be informed by your School about particular course arrangements as they are approved.
Assessments will be distributed throughout the semester and will continue to the last day of the published examination period. For the Standard Semester, the final date is Friday 12 June 2020.
Show Cause Procedure
We have a new process to support students who have faced difficult circumstances. If at the end of the semester, you are not meeting the program progression requirements and/or you are not performing as well academically, the University will now allow you to ‘show cause’ prior to having your enrolment Program Terminated or University Suspended. We have designed an entirely new procedure to enable students to explain their individual circumstances and demonstrate why it would be best to continue their studies. Program Termination or University Suspension will NOT appear on your record with a successful Show Cause outcome. The Show Cause process is an important part of supporting you to be successful in your studies as it allows your School and the University to extend our support services to you (e.g., counselling both personal and Program counselling, learning advice consultations, academic writing consultations, to name a few.
More information on Show Cause will be published shortly.
We continue to review the situation and consider steps to mitigate the possible impact COVID-19 could have on your studies and will update you throughout the semester.
26 March 2020 - A message from the Vice Chancellor
In these days, our global society faces the immense challenge of responding to COVID-19. Healthcare professionals, public servants and political leaders are responding to a crisis, the scale of which we have not seen for over a century. Amidst this fast-changing situation, we are grateful for their dedication and professionalism.
Amid this crisis, I want to pay tribute to our many alumni, especially those working in healthcare (numbering over 10,000) and also to our many thousands of alumni in the teaching profession who are keeping our schools open. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of our alumni and their families, and we honour them for their service to our society. Like the example of Fr Beradelli, they remind us that in any crisis, it is not the crisis itself, but our response to it, which shows us who we are.
At this time, I also want to thank all our staff across our campuses who have worked these past weeks to respond to this crisis and to get courses on-line and up and running. They have, as ever, done a remarkable job in a short space of time, showing immense professionalism, dedication and commitment throughout.
And to you, the students, I would like to thank you for your support, commitment and resilience. Over this week and last, I heard from many staff members who were moved and encouraged by the kind messages you sent them and the understanding you showed as they worked to move to the new on-line platform. Your kindness and thoughtfulness define our community at this difficult time.
I am conscious that these are difficult days for students and staff alike. I am also conscious that this is a particularly worrying time for the many students who come from beyond our shores. So to our international students, I want to encourage and reassure you that the Notre Dame community is especially here for you. Our international office and student services team are reaching out and offering assistance and help. If you have particular concerns, do get in touch and let us know.
And to our many students who hail from closer to home, do let us know if you are experiencing any problems or difficulties and how we might help. Our University will not close, but rather will remain open to ensure it can offer support to those students in need. That means:
- Notre Dame follows government and public health advice. We monitor and implement that advice once issued; we will continue to remain open to our students.
- The vast majority of our Schools are now online. The few remaining will be fully online by Saturday, 28 March. For timetabling, practical lab sessions, industry placements and any other academic support, please check with your Schools and/or Course Coordinators.
- Notre Dame will continue to provide you with an excellent standard of education, delivered online. To you all, and in particular, to our first-year students, this is not our permanent way of teaching. We moved very quickly to online delivery modes as a result of this pandemic. The current online delivery is a temporary response to the crisis, and the physical face to face teaching will resume as soon as possible.
- St Teresa’s Library (Fremantle) and St Benedict’s Library (Canavan Hall) (Sydney) will remain open. These will operate as a “one stop shop” in which you can get help with academic matters, student services, counselling or support generally. In Broome, we have also ensured that help will be available to you on campus. Social distancing and all health and hygiene measures will be followed and enforced.
- We will continue to provide online and on-site services and support. You are very welcome on campus.
- Our COVID-19 webpage is updated on a daily basis and can be accessed directly here. Here you will find advice and answers to frequently asked questions. For support and help in regard to your studies please check Blackboard and reach out to your Dean or Course Coordinator or visit our Student Support page.
We will provide you with regular updates and do let us know how we can help. Thank you all again, and my thoughts and prayers are with you, your families and friends at this time.
19 March 2020 - Connected. Online.
On 16 March 2020, the University commenced transitioning from face to face teaching toonline delivery of classes. As we have adopted a staggered approach, specific dates foronline teaching will vary from School to School, with all Schools over three campusesexpected to be complete by Saturday 28 March 2020. Further information on the transition is below. For real-time information concerning the transition of your classes, students should check with their Course Coordinators and Schools.
The University’s schedule for transition is as follows:
By Midnight Saturday, 21 March, the following Schools will have completed the transitionfrom face to face to online classes*:
- Arts and Sciences - both Fremantle and Sydney
- Education - both Fremantle and Sydney
- Law - both Fremantle and Sydney
- Medicine – Fremantle only
- Nursing and Midwifery - Fremantle
- Nursing - Sydney
- Philosophy and Theology – both Fremantle and Sydney
- Notre Dame Study Centre – both Fremantle and Sydne
- yResearch Office – both Fremantle and Sydney
By Midnight Saturday, 28 March, the following Schools will have completed the transitionfrom face to face to online classes*:
- Business – both Fremantle and Sydney
- Health Sciences - Fremantle
- Medicine – Sydney
- Physiotherapy - Fremantle
- VET Diploma of Nursing – Broome
* some clinical and or creative classes/laboratories require a form of alternate on-campus attendance as notified by the School.
Practicum and clinical placement information will be available from the Schools. Please read our website or contact your School for further details.
The University of Notre Dame Australia