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Further information for lecturers on digital teaching in the summer semester 2020

At the end of the first digital lecture week in the 2020 summer semester, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the University of Erfurt, Prof. Dr. Gerd Mannhaupt, addressed another letter to the lecturers. The letter in the wording...

Dear teachers,

after the first week of the digital semester 2020, I would like to give you some information on the implementation of digital teaching as well as inform you about resolutions and recommendations of the senate's study committee.

1. We have been informed that teachers occasionally use tools in their communication with students that do not comply with data protection regulations, such as Zoom or Whatsapp. I therefore urge you to use only the tools that the University of Erfurt provides for this purpose. AdobeConnect and BigBlueButton are available for direct communication - directly from your moodle room. Furthermore, you can use the Webex tools Meeting, Training and Events. All three applications can be used in compliance with data protection regulations.

2. We also know that some lecturers have asked students to attend classroom events at the university and have also held the events in presence. This practice is expressly not permitted! You expose students and possibly yourself unnecessarily to an increased risk of infection in several ways: In the course itself by exposing students and teachers in general, but also participants with relevant pre-existing conditions, to the risk of infection. In addition, students must expose themselves to an unnecessary risk of infection because they may be forced to use public transport for this individual course.

3. Arrangements have been made for lecturers to initially reward the extraordinary burdens for the digital provision of their course offerings by receiving remuneration for the 14 weeks agreed in their contracts. If, in addition, an increased expenditure is demonstrably necessary, the remuneration rates can be increased on application in individual cases. The examination is the responsibility of the faculty or structural unit.

4. I would like to ask again to hand in possible backup notebooks to the service desk at the University Computer and Media Centre so that they can be made available to lecturers who need them very urgently.

5. In order to give lecturers with lacking technical equipment the possibility to use the tools for online teaching nevertheless, an appropriate workstation has been prepared in the University Computer and Media Centre premises. In order to use this workstation, a corresponding registration at the ServiceDesk of the University Computer and Media Centre is required.  

6. Upon urgent request of some colleagues, the pool rooms of the University Computer and Media Centre are available for special courses and can be used by a maximum of six persons if software is used in the courses which is only available on the pool computers. This use must be carried out in accordance with the hygiene regulations and documented in lists. These lists must then be handed over to Department 4 for safekeeping. Please send the request for such a use to rz@uni-erfurt.de. The pool rooms are still NOT available for public use.

7. At the beginning of the year, I reported to you about the possibility of handing over the original examination documents to students on request and having this issue confirmed on a list of names. This practice does not comply with data protection regulations. Upon request to the data protection officer, either the individual entries such as name and matriculation number would have to be protected by a template in such a way that the lines above and below are not visible. The other option would be to print out a separate confirmation for each student and have it signed. The study committee would then recommend the creation of scans/copies, the handing out of which does not have to be recorded.

8. As the first of three topics related to examinations this semester, I would like to recommend a recommendation of the Senate's Study Committee: In a semester in which all those involved are facing a high concentration of teaching as well as learning activities due to the special challenges of digital teaching, the existing opportunities should be used to reduce this burden. One possibility is, above all, to waive the exams for qualified certificates of participation. In this way, you can focus your energy on high-quality teaching and the students can concentrate their efforts on preparing and successfully passing the module examinations, for which, after all, the courses with qT also prepare them.

9. The Study Committee also points out that the time for learning should not be shortened by having exams taken very early. It asks you to limit the examination period for examinations and oral/practical exams to the last week of the lecture period and the first week after the lecture period.

10. In cases where there are still postgraduate and retake examinations, these can be held in attendance. For this purpose, the hygiene regulations must of course be observed and only rooms suitable for this purpose in accordance with the maximum number of people present may be used. This use must be carried out in accordance with the hygiene regulations and documented by lists. These lists must then be handed over to Department 4 for safekeeping. Please register for these examinations as usual at vorlesungsverzeichnis@uni-erfurt.de .11. Last but not least: If you want to keep up to date with new tools for digital teaching and benefit from the experience of other colleagues, a member of the Taskforce Digital Teaching recommends the moodle room OLS202 (access key: Uedigital).

Thank you very much for your commitment and stay healthy!
Gerd Mannhaupt