Spring Semester Organised Mainly as Remote Teaching
Remote teaching and studying continue at the University of Turku also throughout the spring semester 2021 to ensure safety. Contact teaching for small groups and guidance and counselling can also be organised as a hybrid model.
Rector Jukka Kola decided on 23 October 2020 that due to the coronavirus situation remote teaching and studying will continue throughout the spring semester (3rd and 4th period). Contact teaching that is not possible to teach at distance can be organised on all the University campuses. Small group teaching and guidance can also be carried as the so-called hybrid model.
– Teaching arrangements are outlined already for the entire spring as we want to ensure that studying and teaching can be as systematic and predictable as possible. Last spring, we had to make the decision on moving to distance teaching and on the remote teaching arrangements at a very short notice, and with these early instructions we are trying to avoid it, says Rector Kola.
The decision also aims to ensure safety in studying. The University monitors the development of the coronavirus situation closely and the instructions can be specified according to the situation at hand.
Safety and Health Are Highlighted in Teaching
Safety is taken into consideration in all contact teaching and the University's facility and safety instructions are followed in teaching arrangements.
The faculties have an obligation to read the instructions for workplaces for assessing the risk of COVID-19 infections of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health when they consider the course selection that is organised as the hybrid model. This is necessary because members of staff and people in their close circle can belong to the risk group.
Faculties Define Necessary Contact Teaching
The Government’s policy that necessary contact teaching can be organised is followed on all campuses. Necessary contact teaching refers to courses that are not possible to teach at distance.
At the University of Turku, contact teaching that is not possible to teach at distance includes laboratory teaching and field courses as well as small group teaching and guidance and counselling sessions carried out in different ways and where the restrictions to the number of participants and safety measures in force at the time are followed.
The faculties and independent units can define what they consider as necessary contact teaching and which small group teaching and guidance sessions are offered as the hybrid model. Furthermore, it is ensured in accordance with the instructions above that students can also get contact guidance when they need it.
Different disciplines have naturally a varying amount of necessary contact teaching depending on the degree structure and qualifications provided by the degrees.
Contact Teaching as Hybrid Model While Ensuring Students’ Well-being
In contact teaching arrangements, including small group teaching and guidance and counselling sessions, the hybrid model can be followed, meaning that the students are provided an opportunity to participate in both contact and remote teaching. This is necessary because some students and people in their close circle can belong to the risk group. At the same time, students’ well-being is ensured, they are heard, and, if necessary, they are directed to contact the University’s Study and Work Well-being Services.
When the course in question involves such necessary teaching that has to be organised in specialised facilities and as contact teaching to achieve the learning outcomes (e.g. training in medicine, laboratory work, clinical instruction in psychology, arts and skills education), it might not be possible to offer the course as hybrid model.
All students must have the opportunity to participate in contact teaching or guidance during spring 2021.
With individual courses, the teaching staff assess whether offering guidance is an applicable practice in addition to, for example, recording lectures or live streaming the teaching. The opportunity for receiving guidance is announced at the beginning of the course.
Applying and Specifying the Instructions, Using the Facilities
The basic instructions for organising teaching are the same at the University of Turku and all its campuses whether the epidemic in the area is at base level, acceleration stage or spreading stage.
Especially when the epidemic in the area is at the base level, it is expected that students are offered small group teaching and guidance as a hybrid model, i.e. the epidemic situation does not prevent the student from choosing whether to participate in contact or remote teaching. When these instructions were published, the Rauma and Pori campuses were at base level while Turku campus was at the acceleration stage.
The University monitors the development of the coronavirus situation closely in its campus areas and the instructions can be specified according to the situation at hand.
Students can use the exam rooms, IT classrooms, work group spaces and library facilities with special arrangements throughout the spring.
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