UniversityNews & EventsInformation on the Coronavirus
Nachricht der Hochschulleitung an die Lehrenden der LUH

Message from university management to teaching staff

Online teaching activities in summer semester 2020

Dear colleagues,

The drastic measures implemented to contain the coronavirus pandemic will be in place for a prolonged period of time. Most likely, "regular" teaching activities including face-to face lectures will not take place in summer semester 2020, which starts on 20 April 2020. The Presidential Board has therefore decided that teaching activities in summer semester 2020 will take place online.

Facilitating online teaching and learning will be a significant challenge - both for you and for our students. In your roles as members of teaching staff, you will be required to familiarise yourself with various online teaching options regarding technology, organisation and methodology. Not all face-to-face lectures can be replaced by online formats. Due to the closure of libraries, accessing literature will be difficult for students and members of teaching staff. In addition, please bear in mind that some students currently struggle with financial and spatial problems as well as the challenges that many university members face with regard to caring for children or other family members.

However, we will make the best of the summer semester and provide great opportunities for students, teaching staff and researchers. Enabling students to continue or complete their studies, as well as to provide further education opportunities for teaching staff and researches to ensure that they can proceed with their projects is of utmost importance to us.

The Presidential Board fully supports the position of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and aims to ensure that examinations and degrees can be completed with as little disruptions as possible.

Please transfer your teaching activities to online formats until 20 April. The new website provides comprehensive information on available tools, including tutorials and handbooks as well as recommendations regarding which tools are suitable for which teaching formats. Tools such as "Big Blue Button" will be available next week. Please do not hesitate to contact ZQS/elsa or the team of the Organisational and Human Resources Development Department with any queries regarding your online teaching activities.

Many of you have already gained experience in providing online teaching formats. Please discuss your experiences with your colleagues - both within and outside of your institute/faculty - gather information and share your ideas with others, plan your lectures together or based on the division of labour. The ZQS/elsa team are currently working on a platform for teaching staff to discuss online formats in Stud.IP.

Whether academic activities in small groups such as lab work, field trips and surveying will be able to take place again at a later point (in part as compact courses), greatly depends on when the measures enforced by the federal and state government to contain the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

Although we are demanding a lot from you, please see this as an opportunity to try new and different teaching formats. We see no other solution to provide the compulsory courses available in accordance with the examination regulations. Please rest assured that we are taking your capacity into account and are searching for solutions to reduce the burden on teaching staff too.

It will not be possible to bindingly resolve certain organisational and legal aspects, concerning examinations for example, until the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience in this matter! In the meantime, you can stay up to date by visiting our website where many questions are answered in the FAQ.

The issues that we as researchers, students and administrative staff must now resolve together are proving to be unlike what we originally expected. We, the Presidential Board, once again urge the commitment, creativity, solidarity and especially the perseverance of each individual. Thank you!

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Volker Epping