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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Student Update 7

/ Coronavirus Student Updates
Welcome back to Term 2 at SWTAFE! For those of you who have started back, I hope you are settling into the new mode of study from home.

To all SWTAFE students,

Welcome back to Term 2 at SWTAFE! For those of you who have started back, I hope you are settling into the new mode of study from home.

Whilst we pride ourselves on our hands-on training, we are also proud of the enormous amount of effort going into adjusting our business operations to remote learning in order to continue to provide training to all of our students during COVID-19 restrictions.

The challenges we face as an organisation, and as individuals, continue each day as we adjust both our working lives and personal lives to living with a global pandemic.
With this comes a unifying purpose that brings us all together during tough times.
Thankfully it appears that the SWTAFE team and our students are working in a really positive way and I am quietly confident we will all come out of this period better in so many ways.

There are quite a few things I’d like to update students on, as well as recap.

Business as (un)usual

  • In line with the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, universities, TAFEs and training providers are continuing to operate.
  • Our campuses all remain operational, with limited staff on-site. So you can still call in during business hours 8.30am – 5pm Mon to Fri, or phone us on 1800 648 911, email us at learn@swtafe.edu.au or access our web chat at swtafe.edu.au.
  • Whilst we pride ourselves on our hands-on training, most of our courses have now shifted to study from home and remote learning during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Given the government have now extended restrictions until the 11 May, we expect that study from home will continue for some time (and potentially well beyond this date).

Support for study from home

With the commencement of term 2 we have kicked off new modes of delivery for our students to study from home. This ranges from classes being run virtually, some students speaking daily with their teacher; others may login and share a class online. Some students will be working on paper-based learning materials with calls daily from the teacher.

A Study from Home Guide has been prepared to assist students. The guide provides a raft of info and FAQs. This can be accessed via the SWTAFE website on the Services and Support page.

Plus, we have a NEW dedicated Student Helpline for ICT where students can get help with connectivity. Please call 5564 8854.

What if you don’t have what you need?

  • Don’t have a computer? SWTAFE does have a limited stock of laptops for loan that can be utilised by students who don’t have access to their own. We have a number of laptops available for loan at each SWTAFE campus.
  • For those students who are unable to work from home, we have made arrangements to provide a limited number of study spaces at each SWTAFE campus. These spaces are only to be used in the rare instance that a student may not have the facilities to study at home.
  • Any student visiting a campus to utilise a study space must be well and adhere to the strict physical distancing and hygiene guidelines in place across each of our campuses Students must also have an approved booking prior to attending campus and will have to follow sign in/sign out procedures.
  • To make loan arrangements or to book a study space please contact your local campus: Warrnambool campus 5564 8515, Hamilton campus 5551 4144, Portland campus 5521 0444, Colac campus 5564 8589.

You can now find the SWTAFE Student Hub on the SWTAFE website.
Here you can find support documents and utilities like Password Reset while studying from home. The link is students.swtafe.edu.au

Library borrowing (Warrnambool Campus only)
The Warrnambool campus library collection is available for students at a limited capacity. To request an item, message us on LIVE chat from the Library homepage or email us at library@swtafe.edu.au. Items will be retrieved by library staff and made available for you to collect from reception, or posted to your address upon request.

Live Chat with a Librarian
Live Chat is available Monday - Friday 9 am to 5 pm on the library’s website: library.swtafe.edu.au under “Ask a Librarian”.
Simply click on the Live Chat button. If the library is closed or unavailable for any reason, the Live Chat button will say “offline”.
You can either click on the “offline” button and submit your after-hours enquiry or email us directly at library@swtafe.edu.au. The library staff will reply to the query as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Library Update & Support Guide
The library has prepared an online guide in response to the COVID-19 situation. This guide will provide updates on affected library services as well as links to online resources to help with your study. Access the guide at library.swtafe.edu.au/covid19

Remember your responsibilities when studying from home:

  • Comply with the same standards and expectations that would exist in your normal classroom.
  • Regularly monitor your email and online platforms.
  • Be appropriately dressed for video conferences (no sleepwear).
  • Be in an appropriate place to be able to focus on your study and make the most out of it

Limited on-campus training delivery to commence

In keeping with recent advice from the Department of Education and Training, those courses that require on-campus training or learning are able to proceed under stringent social distancing and hygiene protocols that will be implemented at each campus where training may occur.

This will be limited to those courses where hands-on training or assessment is necessary and where remote study is not viable.

Our teaching staff are currently working to determine which courses this will apply to and we anticipate students will be coming on-site from next week.

In readiness, our teams will carry out a risk assessment of teaching areas approved for use, and will implement additional procedures, posters, access to hand sanitiser and any other precautionary measures identified as required to keep our students and staff safe.

Our student wellbeing team are here for you too

Our Student Wellbeing team are available to assist all students and are always happy to chat.

The adjustment from on-site at SWTAFE to study at home can be a challenge and we can help to talk through this transition, or anything else we can help with.
We encourage you to get in touch with any of our team members if you feel you need some assistance. They are a friendly bunch! 

The Disability Services team are here to continue to support you through your studies, developing individualised support plans targeted to your delivery modes. We can support you to explore online tutoring sessions, negotiation of reasonable adjustments, accessibility and more. Our team can be contacted on 5564 8720 or via email Disability.support@swtafe.edu

Have any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact our Customer Service Teams or speak to your teacher. Call 1300 648 911 or email learn@swtafe.edu.au.

We have also created an information portal on the SWTAFE website that can be accessed for the latest information, FAQ’s and student updates. Visit swtafe.edu.au/coronavirus

Stay safe. Stay at home.

It’s amazing how quickly students are adapting during this time and I want to thank you for your ongoing commitment to your studies.

Education now is so important for the workforce of the future – and TAFE skills you up for jobs in demand.

Please continue to follow the government guidelines during the restrictions to keep yourself and your family safe.

Stay safe, healthy and at home.

Mark Fidge
CEO
South West TAFE