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Novel Coronavirus Response Plan

About us

UPDATED THURSDAY 19 MARCH

In response to COVID-19 developments in the ACT and around the globe, St Mark’s National Theological Centre will move online, effective from Monday 23 March.

We will review our position after ANZAC Day.

This means that all our classes are moving online and our staff will work from home. As an experienced distance learning provider, St Mark’s is well equipped and ready to extend our online classroom experience to our on-campus students.

Our purpose in this decision is to serve our community by not giving the virus a foothold. We continue to aim to be a place that points to God’s steadfast love and all good things springing from that, as we continue to learn and grow and pray, together, online.

The sections below detail the changes relevant to you and gives you guidance on making the transition. We are here to help you through this, and pray that good things will arise for you out of the challenges ahead.

Changes to library services

If you have contracted COVID-19, please let us know. We are concerned about your health and would want to know if you are unwell. We will also need to let our community know if they have been potentially exposed.

St Mark’s and CSU are already brilliantly set up for online learning. The majority of our students already study online, and you will be joining them for a time. We are ahead of the game, and ready to support you in your learning.

Connecting to lectures online

Our online classrooms operate through a platform called ‘Adobe Connect’ (also known within CSU as ‘Online Meeting’).

Need technical help?

Do not ask your subject coordinator for help with IT issues, but contact Student Central. We find that hearing lectures is the main challenge for most people, so try to understand the sound settings on your computer and within Adobe Connect.

Classroom discussion

Even though there are drawbacks to not meeting face-to-face, online learning can strengthen community through strong and focussed discussions, both using the Discussion forum on your Interact2 site, and through the chat facility of Adobe Connect.

Your subject coordinator will indicate whether your voice input is possible, or simply your typed input; the latter is easier, the former is more fun, but requires a headset or mic and familiarity with the mic functions of your system.

Residentials

At this stage, all April residential schools are being moved online. Your subject coordinators are working on details and have already been in touch with you.

Chapel online

We also hope to livestream Chapel at 10.30am on Tuesday to Thursday. Details are being confirmed; check back here for how to join.

Library services

Check our Library Help section for details about library services.

Special consideration for assignment deadlines

Another way we can support you is through flexibility with due dates of assignments, especially in this time of change and disruption. In the first instance, your Subject Coordinator can usually help. CSU also has a Special Consideration procedure, should you need it.

Duration of online classroom learning

We continue to monitor COVID-19 developments to decide when on-campus classes can resume. We anticipate we will be off-campus at least until Anzac Day. At around that time we’ll review and let you know what’s next.

Census date

Friday 27 March is our Session 1 Census Date, the last date you can withdraw without fee or penalty. Sometimes people need to do that, and we understand. However, we really hope you will not. It’s normal to feel edgy at a time like this, but talk it over with your subject coordinator first, or our Course Advisor or Course Director. We’re pretty good at online learning and are confident we can get you through this.

CSU’s Novel Coronavirus Update

Information pertinent to students is being regularly updated on your student portal and on CSU’s COVID-19 information page.


Finally: we are aware that changes in the weeks ahead will be a stressful time for some. We encourage you to support your classmates by whatever virtual means you can: a message of support on the discussion board can be gold, for example. (Remember also to respect other students’ boundaries and privacy, though; only offer such support as is welcome.)

Our faculty also wants to support you in whatever way we can. You can also seek advice from CSU’s student support services.

The next few weeks are a great time to be a distance learner with St Mark’s! Teaching will continue as usual and with minimal disruption.

  • Residentials
    At this stage, all April residential schools are being moved online. Your subject coordinators are working on details and have been in touch with you. Please cancel your flights and accommodation.
  • Chapel online
    We have been planning for some time to livestream Chapel for distance learners, and now we can do it for everyone. Join us at 10.30am on Tuesday to Thursday. Details are being confirmed; check back here for how to join.
  • Library services
    Check our Library Help section for details about library services.
  • Assistance and Counselling
    While teaching and classes are going ahead as normal at this time, we recognise that students may experience disruption and pressures due to this situation.

Please make use of student support services or be in direct contact with your lecturer if you need support or a listening ear.

If you need extra time to complete assignments you can apply for special consideration. Information pertinent to students is being regularly updated on your student portal.

We are very glad you joined us as an auditing student at the start of this year. Since we are moving now all our teaching online, that has some implications for you.

  • Connecting to lectures online
    St Mark’s is well set up for online learning. Our online classrooms operate through a platform called ‘Adobe Connect’.

  • Library services
    Check our Library Help section for details about library services.
  • Getting a credit note or a refund
    We understand if you would prefer to withdraw from our lectures. We can give you a credit note to audit other subjects in future (valid for 12 months), or refund your fee in full. To pursue either option, please

St Mark’s is already brilliantly setup for online learning. The majority of our students already study online, and you will be joining them for a time. We are ahead of the game, and ready to support you in your learning.

  • Classroom discussion
    Even though there are drawbacks to not meeting face-to-face, online learning can strengthen community through strong and focussed discussions, using the Discussion forum on your Moodle site.
  • Chapel online
    We also hope to livestream Chapel at 10.30am on Tuesday to Thursday. Details are being confirmed; check back here for how to join.
  • Library services
    Check our Library Help section for details about library services.
  • Special consideration for assignment deadlines
    Another way we can support you is through flexibility with due dates of assignments, especially in this special time of change and disruption. Contact your trainers if you need special consideration.
  • Intensives
    We are working on online alternatives as needed. We will be in touch as needed regarding changes to your training calendar.

St Mark’s is still ‘open for business’ and operating at our usual hours — just fully online. If you need to get in touch with any of us, the best thing to do is to contact us online and we’ll endeavour to get back to you within our usual timeframes.

We are winding back our events and shorter courses

While this situation is playing out worldwide, St Mark’s will wind back on our public events and cancel our shorter courses for now. With the odd exception, our events generally do not breach the 100-persons limit imposed by the government.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

ACT Government Health — Coronavirus Update: https://health.act.gov.au/about-our-health-system/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Australian Government’s Department of Education Coronavirus Factsheets: https://education.govcms.gov.au/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

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