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Important information on digital support for teaching

In a circular letter today, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor Gerd Mannhaupt, once again informed the students of the University about important aspects of digital teaching in the summer semester 2021. The text of the letter...

Dear students of the University of Erfurt,
on April 12, the lecture period for the summer semester will begin. Due to the necessary health policy measures, the Senate of the University has declared the summer semester 2021 to be an online semester. In order to support you, we would like to provide you with the following recommendations for preparing for the semester, dealing with digital teaching, digital learning, as well as information on important service points.

Important information on digital support for teaching

  • In many courses you will be asked to use a universal enrollment key to access the Moodle room of the respective course.  This universal enrollment key for all Moodle course rooms is UEdigitalSoSe2021.
  • Valuable advice, information material and a forum where you can ask your questions about digital tools in teaching can be found in the Moodle room "UE Digital Studieren".  The enrollment key is OnlineStudieren.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions if you have problems of any kind. If your fellow students cannot help you, please contact support.digitalelehre@uni-erfurt.de for technical difficulties. For questions regarding the content, the lecturers are available to help you as usual.
  • You can get further support at the open office hours of the Digital Teaching Task Force. Information for this is available in the Moodle room "UE Digital Studieren".

What you can do before and at the start of lectures:

  • Familiarize yourself with the tools that UE instructors will be using in the coming semester. These are mainly WebEx, BigBlueButton (in Moodle), Opencast and the examination software WISEflow.
  • Take care of your technical equipment: test (if available) your microphones, headphones, and webcams. Do backups and updates, declutter your end device to have more (working) memory available. If possible, get a headset or borrow one. The microphones built into the computer can interfere with ambient noise and feedback.
  • Check the comments section of the ELVIS course catalog to see what content requirements you should bring to your classes and prepare accordingly, if necessary. The commentary will also provide you with the latest information on how the course will be taught.

What you should pay attention to during the semester:

  • You are not new to the fact that it makes sense to systematically distribute work over the days of the week and to firmly schedule times to work as well as to relax. To prevent overwork and stress, it's even more important if the lines between where you work and where you relax don't become blurred.
  • The following formats can provide structure and opportunity for social networking: Form groups to talk about your upcoming tasks at morning check-ins or standups. Briefly summarizing the week or the day together in reviews can help to review and reflect on work processes. It makes sense to agree on a fixed time and a limited speaking time per speaker for these formats.
  • Collaboration is a good idea despite isolation. Form working and learning groups, using digital applications that allow you to collaborate well. Plan time for personal exchange.
  • Use Moodle, especially the forums for exchanges with your fellow students and lecturers. If you want to remain anonymous, talk to your lecturer about anonymous forums. A supra-regional exchange is encouraged by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (University Forum on Digitization), among others. The ten-minute podcast "Studium im Shutdown" might also be of interest to you.
  • Netiquette is essential. Contribute to a relaxed and friendly working atmosphere by adopting a benevolent and polite tone.
  • Copyright law must still be observed. Refrain from redistributing instructional videos and other study materials made available to you via Moodle or otherwise. If you use images in presentations or the like. If you use images in presentations or similar, this is also copyright relevant. You can find more information under Section 60 of the Copyright Act (UhrG).
  • Tips on learning with digital media can be found, for example, at eteaching.org.
  •  The student council, in cooperation with the student councils, provides support as usual for problems and questions during studies. For the time being, the office of the student council is not occupied, but all units can be reached by e-mail or phone. The meetings will take place via WebEx until further notice, the respective agenda and a meeting link can be found on the StuRa homepage. In addition, the StuRa posts regularly on Instagram.

In addition, we would like to give you some more information:

  • The protection of your data is important to us. That's why the University of Erfurt only recommends applications to your teachers that have been checked for data protection. If you are not comfortable with something or have questions about it, please contact datenschutz@uni-erfurt.de. You can find more information here.
  • There are no disadvantages with BAföG in the coming semester. Information on financial matters and assistance can be found here. In addition, the Studierendenwerk offers hardship loans of up to €800.
  • The particular current situation is stressful for many people, and social isolation can have a compounding effect. If you would like support, or have someone in your social environment who needs support in coping and processing the current experience, please contact the psychosocial counseling service of the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. Counseling is free of charge and can take place by phone, online or by e-mail.
  • In addition, the worry phone for students will be available from the summer semester 2021.
  • If you have time for it: Get involved. Especially if you (want to) study teaching, an experience as an online tutor* can be valuable. On portals like https://www.corona-school.de, you can volunteer to help students with their schoolwork. Of course, other forms of engagement are also of great importance.

We hope you are all doing well and wish you a successful summer semester 2021!

Kind regards
Your Task Force Digital Teaching