Symposium: Teaching well and supporting students during COVID-19

Ordinary people teaching well during extraordinary times

This University-wide symposium on Wednesday 8 July will celebrate and share ‘simple, but different’ COVID-related teaching and student support activities by Sydney colleagues during semester 1, 2020. The aim of this is to highlight ‘ordinary people teaching well during extraordinary times’ and to come together to share practice and ideas. Join educators across the institution who have made simple but effective moves for remote teaching, assessment, and student support that have helped students feel connected, engaged, secure, and that they belong.


Key details

Date: Wednesday 8 July 2020, starting at 9:30 am AEST.

Venue: This symposium will be delivered via Zoom. Details have been emailed to registrants.

Cost: Free but registration essential.

Availability: Registration is available to University of Sydney staff and students, as well as staff from other higher education institutions.

Registration closed


Symposium program

Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
9:30 am
DVC (Education) Pip Pattison
9:35 am
Supporting the University in emergency remote teaching
PVC (Educational Innovation) Adam Bridgeman
9:45 am
The student response to online emergency teaching
Jessica Frawley & Samantha Clarke
10:00 am
[Engaging large cohorts] Caramello Koala in Cyber Campus [1A]
Margaret Van Heekeren

As I am co-ordinating a large undergraduate unit of first years my aim from the outset was to replic... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] Connection, care, and consistency in undergraduate Education [2A]
Victoria Rawlings, Remy Low

As we watched the headlines come in daily (if not hourly), it became apparent to us very early in Se... [more]
[Experiential learning] Moving allied health placement simulation online [3A]
Merrolee Penman, Jennie Brentnall

In response to COVID-19 public health requirements, we needed to move our full day placement simulat... [more]
10:15 am
[Engaging large cohorts] Flipping workshops online in Business [1B]
Helena Nguyen, Anya Johnson, Maria Ishkova, Mesepa Paul

We were very fortunate as a flipped-learning unit of study that we had a large percentage of our mod... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] Culturally-aware online teaching and assessment [2B]
Jacqueline Bloomfield

As a result of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, in mid-February the Singapore Nursing Board Teac... [more]
[Experiential learning] Connecting peers and teachers through engaging video assessments [3B]
Andrew Barnes

The normal situation is that the woodwind unit have a weekly class in which students are rostered to... [more]
10:30 am
[Engaging large cohorts] Student-Led Webinars to Increase Engagement [1C]
Caleb Owens, Shaun Boustani

Earlier in the year we had planned a weekly live webinar to supplement the student experience. The i... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] Students assessing students – transforming the testing and development of practical skills [2C]
Helen Parker

For the practical exam in this core first-year unit of study, instead of in-person practical skills ... [more]
[Experiential learning] Co-designing change in a co-design class [3C]
Raphael Hammel

When you teach how to run workshops to guide groups through complex situations and Covid-19 hits, it... [more]
10:45 am
Speakers from this track
Speakers from this track
Speakers from this track
10:55 am
11:00 am
[Small and large class teaching] Building teacher and student connections through simple synchronous sessions [1D]
Peter White

I converted lectures to live Zoom sessions and made sure I left ample time to answer questions raise... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] Breaking down to build students up for business [2D]
Louise Luff

The major difference in Semester 1 2020 was adopting a “breaking down” and “working with” te... [more]
[Experiential learning] I’ll meet you there – Improving student presence and visibility in online studio learning [3D]
Jane Gavan

In the first-year unit at SCA, an online friendly curriculum reprioritises learning according to eac... [more]
11:15 am
[Small and large class teaching] Meeting diverse student needs with synchronous and asynchronous learning [1E]
Estrella Pearce

For CRIM1002, the teaching, lectures and tutorials were transferred to online delivery. Students wer... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] From exams to scaffolded portfolios and better student learning [2E]
Jennifer Smith-Merry

60% of unit assessment comprised mid and end of semester in-person exams. The move to online learnin... [more]
[Experiential learning] Surgery@Home – Zooming surgical skills [3E]
Kate Mills, Denis Verwilghen

We transformed a Surgical Skills Fundamentals Practical Laboratory class into a multimodal on-line l... [more]
11:30 am
[Small and large class teaching] Getting students involved through dialogic and iterative pedagogies [1F]
Alyson Simpson

I adapted my teaching approach to emulate the same dialogic principles that are usually embedded in ... [more]
[Assessment or curriculum-wide shifts] Transforming assessments and classes to engage engineering students [2F]
Young No

I used more online-based tools such as Kahoot, Socrative, Zoom whiteboard, and Padlet to support the... [more]
[Experiential learning] Immersive whole-day simulation – a Model UN exercise and assessment through Zoom [3F]
Eyal Mayroz

We ran in early April a full day exercise (over 7 hours) with 50 postgraduate coursework students at... [more]
11:45 am
Speakers from this track
Speakers from this track
Speakers from this track
11:55 am
12:00 pm
Student panel on experiences learning and living through COVID-19
1:00 pm
1:45 pm
Inter-institutional panel on lessons learnt about supporting staff and students
Liz Branigan (La Trobe University), Karen Benson (University of Queensland), Adam Bridgeman (University of Sydney)
2:30 pm
2:45 pm
Supporting the University to support students
PVC (Student Life) Susanna Scarparo
3:00 pm
[Student life] Speak and Connect – Building a Sense of Connection and Belonging Online [SL1]
Katherine Olston, Elizabeth (Lisa) Giammarco, Josh Aarts

The Speak and Connect Program is a series of 6 weekly peer-facilitated conversational workshops that... [more]
3:15 pm
[Student life] Building community and connection with ‘Students on Pause’ [SL2]
Juliette Overland, Daniel Smith

In semester 1, a significant number of our students chose to suspend their studies due to travel res... [more]
3:30 pm
[Student life] Success, challenges and lessons learnt from the rapid online transition of student engagement programs during the COVID-19 pandemic [SL3]
Karen Walker, Freia Kirkaldy, Caitlyn Sinclair, and Student Partners

In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Student Affairs and Engagement rapidly transitioned to t... [more]
3:45 pm
4:00 pm
Closing statements
Adam Bridgeman


Associated professional learning opportunities for teaching during COVID-19

Following the symposium, a ‘winter school’ will be run twice in July (Monday 13 July to 15 July, repeated on Monday 27 July to 29 July). This will comprise modified Modular Professional Learning Framework (MPLF) modules to equip Sydney educators with the tools to redesign their curriculum, delivery, student support and engagement, and assessment approaches. They will be delivered by Educational Innovation with assistance from experienced teachers from across the institution. They will emphasise how sound pedagogical principles are key to successful student outcomes and how key technologies can assist.

There are five different 2-hour modules running in each iteration of the winter school. Pick just one module, a few, or all five depending on your needs.

Find out more about the MPLF and sign up


More information

This symposium is being organised by the Educational Innovation and Student Life teams in the DVC (Education) Portfolio, and is led by Jessica Frawley, Samantha Clarke, Susanna Scarparo, Lydia Dutcher, Danny Liu, and Adam Bridgeman. To contact us, please email

For more information on the MPLF, please visit the MPLF Canvas site.