Faculty implementation of university framework for continuation of education during COVID-19 – Semester 1 2020-2021 (Science)

Preface

Utrecht University has drawn up a framework for COVID-19 measures for education in semester 1 of the 2020-2021 academic year. This framework is a leading document. Within the framework, faculties themselves can give substance to the further elaboration thereof. This current document concerns the further development of faculty education (including exams) on-site and looks at the regulations for when students cannot or will not be present on site.

University framework for absence during on-site education

The framework states that students who (currently) cannot or do not want to follow education on site, will be able to participate via alternative ways during the first semester (including exams), for example remotely or at a later time. Students who cannot follow on-site education are, for example: students who belong to a high-risk group, students with (housemates who have) symptoms associated with a COVID-19 infection, students who have tested positive for COVID-19, and students who are staying abroad in the first semester. Students who do not want to follow education on-site are, for example: students with fear of contamination.

General faculty guidelines

Within the faculty, we have agreed that lecturers have the obligation to provide students with the possibility to take in the teaching material to the best of their efforts. For example, through a replacement assignment, or by following the lesson online. This will not be possible for all learning activities (such as lab practicals).

A didactic guide for lecturers has been drawn up, in which pointers are given for the design of education that takes place partly on-site and partly online. This teacher’s guide can be found at https://www.uu.nl/en/education/quality-and-innovation/remote-teaching

Various categories

Students who are unable or unwilling to attend the on-site teaching activities can be divided into two groups:

  1. Students who cannot or do not want to be present on a structural basis. These are, for example, students who are staying abroad or who belong to a risk group themselves or who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Students who cannot or do not want to be present at a certain time. These are, for example, students with (or who have housemates with) symptoms associated with an infection with COVID-19, such as a cold, or students who have been in recent contact with infected people ánd who have been instructed by the GGD to go into quarantine.

Students who are structurally unable or unwilling to attend education or exams on-site

Students who are structurally unable or unwilling to attend education and/or testing on-site report this to the study advisor as soon as possible. The study advisor can determine whether it is desirable to invite the student for an (online) consultation on the subject and records the report (without stating reasons) in an overview and provides feedback to the student that the report has been registered.

The student also reports (as early as possible) to the course coordinator that they will not be present at the teaching and/or exam on location. In case of doubt, the course coordinator can ask the study advisor whether the student in question is indeed registered as such. The course coordinator informs the students within a week to what extent it is possible to follow the course remotely and how the active participation obligation is fulfilled.

An alternative test format is organized for these students. For example, an online exam with online surveillance or an oral exam. The test moment takes place around the time of the regular exam, but the exact moment is determined in consultation between the student and the course coordinator. It is a condition that the content and reliability of the alternative assessment can be given an equivalent design to the assessment on-site, and that it is manageable for the teacher/examiner.

Students who cannot or do not want to be present at a certain time for education or exams on-site

Students who cannot or do not want to be present at on-site education at a certain time, must report this to the course coordinator. When it comes to education with an active participation obligation, this still applies. Students can participate online or receive a replacement assignment.

Students who cannot or do not want to attend an exam on-site at a certain time, in principle, fall under the regular regulations for illness during an exam. If an alternative test format has already been organized (for students who cannot participate structurally), these students can join. If this is not the case, course coordinators are advised to schedule an extra resit opportunity to minimize study delay.