Guidelines for conducting teaching during Corona (autumn 2020)

Principles for teaching at Natural Sciences og Technical Sciences in the autumn semester 2020 (August 18)

This document describes the principles for how Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences will implement the teaching in the Autumn Semester 2020. The principles are based on the Health Authorities' recommendations and the guidelines for responsible reopening of higher education institutions, which were published by the Ministry of Education and Research on 2 July 2020 (in Danish only). The principles have been discussed in the faculty management at Natural Sciences 7/8 2020 and have been out for commentary in the faculty management team of Technical Sciences.

In addition, the vice dean for education at Nat and Tech on 14 June 2020 issued "Guidelines for planning teaching at NAT and TEK in the autumn semester 2020", of which the three main principles for teaching are as follows (brief outline - the full version can be read here):

  1. The teaching must be completed within the time frame that appears in the course catalogue and the room allocation that is in the schedule planning.
  2. The learning objectives that apply to the course must be met, unless there are unusual circumstances preventing this.
  3. The precise planning of the educational activities in the individual courses can be done freely by the individual course coordinator, in consultation with the Head of Degree Programme / Degree Programme Director, within the above framework and in accordance with AU's general guidelines.

The Guidelines for Responsible Reopening of 2 July 2020.
The guidelines from the Ministry of Education and Research give the higher education institutions a possibility to deviate from the general recommendation of keeping a minimum of one meter distance between students, if the students are organized in fixed study teams of 25-30 people, and if deviation from the general distance requirement is necessary to complete teaching in an appropriate way. In situations where several groups gather in the same classroom, e.g., lectures in large auditoriums, the fixed study teams, that already deviate from the recommendation of 1-meter distance, must be placed within allocated zones, which has a safe distance to other such zones.

In connection with laboratory and workshop teaching, it may be necessary to bring together students from several fixed study teams in the same exercise team in order to utilize room capacity efficiently. In this case, the 1-meter distance requirement will apply. If it is considered necessary to deviate from the 1 meter distance requirement in order to carry out the teaching appropriately, especially in laboratories and workshops where students must move around in the room to complete their tasks, students must wear a face mask and pay extra attention to good hand hygiene as well as reducing the number and duration of face-to-face contacts, in order to limit the risk of infection.

Principles for teaching at Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences in E20:

  • Students will in the 1st and to a certain extent the 2nd year of study, where possible, be divided into fixed study teams of up to 30 students - reference is made to the guidelines issued by the Ministry described above. Alternatively, the teaching is carried out in compliance with the 1-meter requirement.
  • In the B.Eng. educations (diplomingeniør), fixed students groups cannot be set up for practical reasons.
  • Teaching of large groups with limited opportunity for interaction between student and teacher should be considered changed to online form, at least for 3rd year bachelor students (for the diploma engineering programs: 6th and 7th semester students) and graduate students.
  • It is the responsibility of the department in charge of the education, in collaboration with the study administration, to secure that the fixed study teams are not mixed up. In cases where this can not be avoided, please refer to the current guidelines for security measures issued by the Ministry of Education and Research July 2, 2020 regarding distance, hygiene and, if the distance requirement cannot be complied with, use of protective equipment, such as a facemask.
  • In study spaces, the 1-meter requirement must be complied with. The faculties have taken the initiative to set up tents at Katrinebjerg, Universitetsparken and Navitas, so that the study space capacity is increased.
  • For 1st and 2nd year students, lectures attended by a limited number of fixed study teams can be conducted, so that the fixed groups sit at the required distance. Within each fixed group a number of students will be appointed to conduct surface disinfection after the lecture. These students will be instructed in how to do it safely.
  • For 3rd year bachelor students and master's students, the teaching is carried out in accordance with current guidelines, incl. 1-meter requirement. This may imply that part of the teaching must be converted to virtual teaching, or alternatively, that the individual courses alternate between attendance teaching and virtual teaching.
  • Laboratory and workshop teaching: The students must wear face masks in the laboratory teaching (LØ) and the workshop teaching (including workshop practice and semester project work in B.Eng. educations) to limit the risk of infection. This also solves the challenge that TØ teams and LØ teams are not identical.
  • For 1st year students, it should be considered to prepare regular study groups from the start of the study, so that a possible complete or partial closure due to the risk of infection still ensures that the students have academic and social sparring partners online.

The faculties are taking the initiative to organize marking and signage in relation to regulation of movement in the faculty's buildings. All teaching rooms will be marked with a maximum covid capacity, incl. information of maximum number of zones for fixed groups in lecture theatres.

Faculty students and staff are strongly encouraged to use the Danish national infection control app.

There is a special challenge with supplementary subject students (sidefagsstuderende) and external students, that participate in teaching events organized with fixed study teams, but whom do not themselves belong to a fixed team. A marked zone with 1 meter requirement (“Zone with 1 meter requirement”) will be created in each auditorium for this group of students. In the case of theoretical exercises the challenge must be solved by placing such students at a safe distance from the fixed student group.

Students at increased risk may in the teaching situation choose to sit at a distance from the other students and / or protect themselves with protective equipment. Students who for health reasons cannot participate in the teaching by physical attendance can be offered help through AU's extended study assistant scheme.

It is the responsibility of the institutes to ensure that the principles are followed.

In case of suspicion or detection of infection, please refer to the AU's guidelines for this:

Comments for teaching plan (August 18)

Reading the published teaching plan

  • General remarks on fixed teams (family groups)
    • The number of groups is determined considering partly wishes from the departments and partly the capacity of the classrooms in question. The latter consideration means that it has not always been possible to comply with the wishes of the departments.
  • The lectures in lecture halls have been planned considering the guidelines that associate dean Finn Borchsenius issued on June 14th: https://nat.medarbejdere.au.dk/en/education-and-teaching/teaching-and-exam/. Among other things, this means that there are teaching sessions where the number of students or fixed teams cannot be accommodated in the assigned classrooms with reference to the limitations as required by the 1-meter demand or the zone division of the fixed teams.
  • For courses at the science bachelor programmes’ 3rd year as well as master programmes’ courses, the students are generally composed of a mix of different study programmes and can therefore not be sorted into fixed teams. This means that if teaching is placed in rooms that would only just be able to accommodate the registered students in “non-Corona times”, then there will not be enough room in these rooms now, as the 1-meter demand must be observed. It will not be possible to offer other rooms as the faculties do not have the necessary number of rooms in the required size available to meet the demand arisen by the 1-meter demand.
    • In practice, this means that the individual course coordinator/teacher is compelled to consider online teaching in some form or other when conducting the course.
  • For courses on the science bachelor programmes’ 2nd year, the situation is rather more balanced.
    • At the following programmes’ 2nd year, it has proved possible to operate with fixed teams for which reason the 1-meter demand need not be observed:
      • Agrobiology
      • Biology
      • Computer Science
      • Data Science
      • Geoscience
      • IT Product Development
      • Molecular Biology
      • Molecular Medicine
      • Nanoscience
    • At the following programmes’ 2nd year, it is NOT possible to operate with fixed teams, which means that the 1-meter demand MUST be observed. This means that teaching at these courses must be handled in the same way as the courses on the bachelor programmes’ 3rd year as well as master programmes’ courses, see above.
      • Physics
      • Chemistry
      • Mathematics
      • Mathelmatics-Economics
      • Medicinal Chemistry
  • For courses on the BSc in Engineering programmes’ 2nd year, it has proved possible to operate with fixed teams for which reason the 1-meter demand need not be observed:
    •  
      • Biotechnology
      • Civil and Architectural Engineering
      • Computer Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering

The capacity of classrooms and lecture halls

Fixed study teams and other students (August 18)

Fixed study teams

As stated in the Principles for teaching in E20 at Nat Tech, it is possible that the teaching can take place in the so-called fixed study teams of max. 30 students (formerly called Family Groups). When large classes can be divided into fixed study teams, more students can be allowed in the lecture theatres, as the distance requirement of 1 metre need not be observed.

The guide to teaching plans contains information regarding which study programmes are available for fixed study teams. Please note that none of the Bachelor of Engineering programmes (Diplomingeniøruddannelser) are covered by the fixed study teams.

Fixed study teams have been set up for all first-year students on the science degree programmes and the Bachelor's of science in engineering (civilingeniør). The students will be divided into fixed study teams during their intro days.

For second-year students in the degree programmes where it is possible to use fixed study teams, the degree programme can choose this option. This must, of course, be done with respect for the conditions for the use of fixed study teams:

A fixed study team on the first academic year or second academic year is:

A. A group of max. 30 students

B. The group is the same for all teaching in E20 (however, other rules may apply in the lab)

C. The group must sit together in a designated area in the auditoriums, which is marked for the purpose

D. The group must ensure disinfection of tables after teaching has ended.

E. If the group is with other students, the 1-metre requirement must be observed.

F. For theoretical exercise classes, the fixed study teams are allowed to deviate from the 1-metre requirement in the rooms.

Other students:

In courses with fixed study teams, other students may also be admitted due to credit modules, subsidiary subject or students who follow the course again. These students are NOT covered by the guidelines for fixed study teams, and must therefore always sit in the zone in the auditoriums marked' Zone with 1 metre requirement ' so that the distance requirement is observed, and the group must ensure the disinfection of tables after completing the teaching.

For teaching in smaller classrooms, e.g. in connection with theoretical exercises, this group of students must also comply with the 1-metre requirement. It is the lecturer's responsibility to ensure that these students are able to observe the 1-metre requirement.

For all other teaching without fixed study teams (excluding laboratory teaching), the distance requirement of 1 metre must be observed. A capacity limit has been specified for all classrooms and lecture theatres, and this limit must be complied with. Therefore, it may be necessary to plan the teaching according to this by converting to digital teaching, in whole or in part – see the Principles for teaching in E20 at Nat Tech. The departments and the faculties have been tasked with ensuring that the teaching is carried out in a safe manner and that a mix of attendance and online teaching is used, so that distance requirements and other security requirements can be observed.

Laboratory Teaching:

All laboratory teaching will be subject to the requirements of protective equipment. Information about this is available from the relevant departments.

The practicalities:

A. The large lecture theatres are marked with colors so that each fixed study team sits in its own color zone and that there is a distance between the fixed study teams. If you are in a fixed study team, all places in the color zone can be used. Students outside fixed study teams must sit in ' Zone with a 1-metre requirement '.

B. If teaching takes place in accordance with the 1-metre requirement, the students must sit in the colored seats – with an empty space between them.

C. Where possible, a separate entrance and exit will be established in the lecture theatre.

D. Teaching sessions with fixed study teams in lecture theatres must be shortened to allow time for disinfecting tables after teaching, and for getting students out of the auditorium and new students into the auditorium. It is recommended that the teaching starts 5 minutes later than planned and ends 5 minutes earlier than planned.

E. Breaks in blocks of several lessons with the same class, are planned by the teacher. Distance rules and the students’ well-being should be observed.

F. Every time a teaching session is finished, the tables must be cleaned. It is the lecturer's responsibility that this cleaning takes place in order for the room to be ready for the next class. Guidelines will be provided

G. Each fixed study teams must ensure the cleaning of tables at the end of the teaching. Guidelines will be provided.

H. There will be disinfectant and paper in all classrooms.

I. Info Slides/video about good practice for the entrance and exit of rooms will be handed out to all teaching staff and instructors.

Example of color marking in Auditorium E on Ny Munkegade (Pink places reserved for "Zone with 1 metre requirements"):

Nat-Tech classrooms with capacity estimation (September 2)

Guidelines for the course administration at Nat and Tech – autumn semester 2020 (June 12)

June 12, 2020 / Vice-dean for Education Finn Borchsenius 

The following is written on the basis of the AU general guidelines for teaching activities in E20, which was discussed in the emergency response group and UFU on May 14, 2020 (see attachment) and furthermore, the expectation that in Autumn 2020, we will still be subject to the restrictions that currently applies to teaching activities on campus. In specific, the requirement of 1-meter distance causes challenges with room capacity, which means that parts of the teaching must be conducted digitally.

In relation to teaching activities in E20, there are three main principles that we have to adhere to:

  1. Teaching must be conducted within the time frame set out in the course catalogue and the room allocation in the timetabling. This is because it will not be possible, in terms of resources, to significantly expand the room consumption, as required by, for example, a general duplication of activities. In addition, given the temporal horizon, it will not be possible to carry out a whole new timetabling based on the stated wishes of the individual programmes / courses.
  2. The learning objectives that apply to the course must be fulfilled, unless very unusual circumstances exist. This should be possible within the current framework for educational activities, including distance requirements. We will not conduct a session of individual adjustments to learning objectives, as happened during the emergency planning in Spring.
  3. The precise planning of teaching activities in the individual courses adjusted freely by the individual course coordinator, in consultation with the head of degree programme / degree programme director, within the above-mentioned framework and in accordance with the AU general guidelines. For example, this gives an opportunity to make adjustments to the room capacity within the planned framework: e.g. if lectures are converted to a digital format, which can be accessed asynchronically (i.e. the students can organise when they work with the material – e.g. video plus reflection questions, quiz or similar), it releases space in an auditorium that can be used to increase the capacity for theoretical exercises.

A process for communicating any changes to the students will be planned in consultation with the study administration and the degree programme management.

In general, we encourage you to give special attention to new students to ensure a structured schedule with as much physical attendance as possible. If this requires adjustment to local planning, then it is recommended primarily to use rooms that are allocated at the same time as another course (e.g. 3rd year or master) on the same education - by agreement with head of degree programme / degree programme director and the course coordinator. If it requires an extension of the teaching period or that other changes are made to the timetabling, contact the Vice-dean / study administration.

In addition, it will require a professional estimate as to which activities can be converted to a digital format, within the framework of AU's general guidelines. The semester team is available to be included in the prioritisation of which parts of E20 can be digitized advantageously and which parts must continue to be attended physically. STLL is also available and prepared to provide advice and sparring on rescheduling.

General suggestions for prioritization could be:

  • Lectures given primarily on textbook material are converted to a digital format - while perspectival lectures are conducted, if possible, by duplicating them.
  • Theory and practical exercises and other classroom instruction can be conducted through the involvement of auditoriums released by digitizing lectures. Possibly, part of Theory and practical exercises is converted to online group work so that the group size can be reduced for the remaining Theory and practical exercises.
  • Special efforts will be made to organise online study groups for both the new first-year students and for the third semester students who have been particularly affected by the spring lockdown.
  • The academic and social integration of first-year students can also be promoted by prioritizing study space on campus for this group of individuals and making extra efforts to organise well-functioning study groups.

Laboratory teaching is a special issue. Plans for the implementation of laboratory teaching are being prepared at the departmental level in dialogue with the Dean’s Office, Faculty management and work environment organization.

Finally, it should be emphasized that the current situation, and the extensive experience from online teaching that has been gathered in the spring, give us a unique opportunity to take a big step towards blended learning, including all the opportunities for an even higher quality of education within this field.

RELEVANT INFORMATION TO THE STUDENTS

Info about the Corona situationen from Nat-Tech and AU

From Nat-Tech

From AU

New arrangement for students unable to come to campus due to Corona

If a student is unable to come to campus due to a situation directly related to the Corona virus, he/she can apply for an academic assistant who will help him/her keep up with the coursework.

Find more information on academicassistant.au.dk.