Changes to our current teaching practices
13 Mar 2020
Message from the President and Vice-Chancellor sent on Friday, 16 March
I know that you are all concerned about the current coronavirus outbreak. I share your concerns. The safety and health of our staff, students and visitors are our paramount concerns.
We have been adhering closely to advice from Public Health England, but are now making some further changes to our current teaching practices. You will all be aware that, while some aspects of government advice around Covid-19 changed yesterday, we remain open for business. However, we need to anticipate rapid changes still to come, and to change some of our current ways of working to operate within these unprecedented times.
Accordingly, we will be transferring our teaching activities to online provision as far as possible, beginning from Monday, 16 March 2020, Week 8 in our teaching semester. We will use Week 8 as a transition week to prepare more fully for virtual education. The campus remains open, including the library and other services.
From Monday 16 March, and responding to staff and student concerns about teaching events involving larger groups in particular:
All lectures with a registered cohort of 100 or more will be delivered using on-line content. These will be recorded and pod-casted but not live streamed. From March 16th all recorded teaching from that date will be released.
For lectures with a registered cohort of fewer than 100 it is recommended to deliver your content online, but in your timetabled teaching spaces, allowing students to attend if they wish to and are able to. If you are unable to deliver these classes, for example if you are self-isolating, we ask that you try to record from home. We will be putting in support to help staff to do this. We will not release lectures recorded from last year without staff permission but we would strongly urge you to agree to release, especially as this could save making a new recording.
During Weeks 8 and 9 we anticipate that small group teaching sessions, undergraduate laboratory and practical classes, and project activity will continue on a face to face basis. However, by Friday, 27 March (end of week 9), these will mainly cease, and will move online wherever possible.
We are working at Faculty and University levels on guidance and support so online teaching can be delivered either on or off campus after Easter, depending on the context at that time. More information will follow about summer and resit examinations, but we do anticipate a substantial move to online assessments.
In addition to these changes, all international field courses and most UK field courses will be cancelled or postponed.
We now strongly recommend against any work related international travel unless it is essential and then should be approved by your line manager.
Separate notices have been sent about self-isolation and reporting.
Further messages will follow next week and we are communicating with students.
President and Vice-Chancellor