ACU is broadening its reach at undergraduate and postgraduate level. ACU Online is an asynchronous online education portfolio to complement the existing portfolio of on-campus, online and mixed mode offerings. There are five strategic rationales that underpin the decision to pursue a stronger online offering:
Delivering on ACU values – ACU Online can unlock educational opportunities for new communities, especially those facing barriers to studying on-campus due to work or family commitments, disability or rural geographic locations.
Increasing diversification – ACU Online can open courses adjacent to the university’s highly subscribed core disciplines of health and education.
Meeting market demand – a growing proportion of students are seeking fully online options and have increasing expectations around quality. ACU Online can help align ACU’s course offerings with what students want.
Future proofing enrolments – ACU Online can help the university achieve growth targets in a changing market, particularly among postgraduate cohorts.
Keeping pace – ACU Online combines contemporary pedagogy with sophisticated online and blended approaches to learning and teaching which can be incorporated across the whole university.
Connected to our mission
Online learning is recognised as critical to widening access and participation in higher education. ACU has developed ACU Online to meet this challenge. ACU Online provides access to education and opportunities for people who may face barriers to on-campus learning. At the same time, ACU Online enables ACU to meet market demand, recognising that a growing proportion of students are seeking more flexible, fully online options. Students have increasing expectations around the quality of digital offerings.
The ACU Online student experience
ACU Online courses are designed for online learning. They are delivered via an innovative, purpose-built, virtual learning environment by academic staff who are trained in online teaching and are experts in their field. Course content is presented in manageable segments and students have a range of interactive resources to guide them through each unit. Students study alongside their peers and are networked into a community of fellow learners and academic support. Our dedicated AskACU Online team are ready to assist via phone, SMS or live chat.
Our students might be studying at home, but they are never alone.
Course content and delivery
Our learning platform, Canvas, has the in-built smarts to make it easier to offer integrated, seamless and responsive experiences. ACU Online courses mimic a student’s everyday online experiences. Our design is centred around teaming scaffolded action and application with media-rich, engaging interactions.
We’re also mindful we don’t leave any of our students behind. We ensure this by complying with web publishing standards and offering various ways learners can engage with and consume content.
A vibrant online campus
We are creating more than online learning. Students are supported by an ecosystem that encourages them to be their whole selves, not just learners. Through services such as Campus Ministry, Counselling, Disability Services, Careers and Employability, Academic Skills, Student Advocacy and the Library, students have access to a range of support beyond the online classroom. Students also have success coaches to provide specialised aid that goes beyond academic matters.
Through analytics and tailored interventions, ACU Online delivers a student experience that is relevant, satisfying and focused on supporting students to achieve their goals.
We work with academic partners (APs) to co-create units for delivery via ACU Online. Our academic partners are the anchor points for the build process.
We work with our APs to learn about their vision for their unit and their passion for their discipline. They’ll provide us with the subject matter, learning and teaching expertise to make a great experience for students.
Our academic partners will be supported by a team of learning designers, multimedia and production specialists, and content and quality editors.