| Internal service, University, Studies

Online teaching also in the summer semester 2021?

In preparation for the teaching schedule for the summer semester 2021, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prof. Dr. Gerd Mannhaupt, wrote to the lecturers at the University of Erfurt this week. The letter in wording...

Dear lecturers,

it is highly likely that you and your colleagues have already been involved in planning teaching for the summer semester 2021. The question has certainly arisen as to what form teaching can take in the coming semester. Yesterday, Wednesday, the Concilium Decanale dealt intensively with this question and came to the conclusion to submit the following proposed resolution on teaching in the summer semester to the Senate for a vote in its upcoming meeting on 13 January 2021:

"Teaching at the University of Erfurt will take place online in the summer semester 2021, with the exception of courses that absolutely require spatial or technical resources of the University. Exceptions to this can only be granted by the Faculty Councils. At the same time, the rooms for the courses will be planned in such a way that it will be possible to switch to face-to-face teaching."

The reasons for this proposed resolution lie, on the one hand, in the fact that the Concilium Decanale assumes that the measures to contain the Corona pandemic will continue to be necessary until early summer, since despite the vaccinations that have begun, no comprehensive protection against Corona will have been achieved by then. On the other hand, based on the experiences of the current semester, the Concilium Decanale considers it unjustifiable to plan with an optimistic view of the development of the pandemic and then gradually transfer courses planned and prepared for face-to-face or hybrid teaching to online courses at considerable expense. It therefore proposes to the Senate that in the long term, in a predictable manner and for the greatest possible protection against infection, all teaching in the summer semester should be prescribed as online teaching, with the exceptions listed above.

Of course, the Senate will discuss this proposal in its upcoming meeting and may deviate from the proposal in its decision. Following the discussion on this proposal, the Senate Study Committee agreed on the following course of action in its meeting yesterday, Wednesday, for the organisational preparation of the summer semester, subject to this resolution:

In principle, the subjects should set up all courses as online courses via their course planners. For courses that have to use technical or spatial resources on campus due to special didactic/content requirements or for which the lecturers apply for an exemption, the justified applications for exemption from online teaching must be submitted to the dean's offices of the four faculties, the management of the Max Weber-Kolleg or the management of the Erfurt School od Education by 10 January 2021. For courses in the "Studium Fundamentale", the applications must also be submitted to the StuFu examination board by 10 January 2021, which will then decide on them. In this way, a decision on these applications can be made in the regularly scheduled committee meetings on 20 January 2021, if the Senate decides on online teaching for the summer semester 2021. This procedure will not delay the planning of the teaching and there will be clarity for the preparation at an early stage.

We will not yet be able to make a general arrangement for a special form of teaching for the summer semester. For all internships at school or in other professional fields, it is currently not foreseeable whether and how they can be carried out in the institutions or companies. Here, the preparatory and concluding activities can also only take place in an online format. We will have to discuss and decide again at the beginning of the summer semester how to deal with the practical work components.

I hope that in this way we can help you to cope with the high demands through early decision-making and planning preparation.

Yours sincerely
Gerd Mannhaupt