Ninety-eight per cent of units at Monash offered an on-campus learning mode for tutorials, workshops, laboratories and seminars in semester one, 2021. Those units approved to operate only online were consistent with COVIDSafe health advice provided by the Victorian Government at the beginning of semester one on social distancing, or because the overwhelming majority of students within the unit are offshore.
After the schedule of semester one classes had been made available to students, the Victorian Government changed some restrictions as community transmission of the virus fell. The University was unable to revise the semester timetable without major disruption to all students, so we maintained the timetable set at the beginning of the semester.
For those units being offered on-campus, students could also opt to join our offshore students in online learning; 74 per cent of students opted for on-campus classes. Occasionally, students were automatically allocated an online tutorial to avoid timetable clashes.
The University was able to make adjustments in other untimetabled ways, and accommodate requests from students for individual timetable changes, including switching to an on-campus class if their timetable permitted.
Pre-COVID-19, Monash made technology available in large lecture halls to stream or record lectures for students to watch on demand. During COVID-19, this was implemented for all lectures, and is now standard practice. Lectures comprise only 14 per cent of teaching at the University.
The University maintained these lectures online due to the density recommendations when the semester commenced. We intend lectures to return to pre-pandemic delivery in semester two (in person), but will continue to offer video recording for those students who opt for online – which, pre-COVID, most did.
Monash has activated its campuses with a full schedule of orientation activities and a series of March festival events, including live entertainment, which more than 10,000 people attended. In addition, the University has returned to in-person graduations with Garden Party celebrations, with more than 5000 people attending these activities.