Fecha: Tuesday, 28 de July de 2020 a las 12:30h
On 14 September, the new academic year will begin, and the Inter-University Council of Catalonia (CIC) that comprises 12 Catalan Universities has declared it will be one of “restricted on-site attendance”, meaning certain physical distancing measures will be applied in the classrooms, corridors and common areas. This decision arises from the need to prioritise the health of our students and the rest of the university community as we carry out our teaching activities.
In this context, teaching at our university will be incorporating the concept of dual attendance, which consists of a combination of physical attendance on campus with interactive digital attendance (which will be simultaneous), meaning we will have classrooms where both of these types of attendance coincide at the same time.
The goal is to maximise safety and minimise chances of contagion. The protocols and measures already implemented by the University are key in achieving this, and this is why we have obtained COVID-19 Protected Area accreditation in an audit verified by AUDELCO.
Limited physical attendance
Another basic aspect is limiting and monitoring the distribution of classroom seating. The following limits have been set:
- Teaching activities will be planned taking into account a maximum classroom occupation of 2.5 m2.
- If the layout of the room does not achieve a minimum distance of 1.5 metres, use of a mask will be compulsory, and a register of potential attendees will be kept, with measures being taken to ensure students don't come into contact with one another.
- The distance between people cannot fall below 1 metre without regular contact, except in cases where exercises require it.
This implies that the capacity within classrooms and teaching spaces is reduced to approximately 30-40%.
To ensure that these parameters are complied with, there is one essential element: dual attendance classrooms. These classrooms are equipped with the latest technology so that students who follow the teaching remotely can fully interact with the dynamics of the classroom. This guarantees compliance with seating regulations while ensuring that all students have access to quality teaching, regardless of whether they attend in person or through digital interactive tools.
Attendance and dual attendance
The general criteria will be that teaching across degrees will be taught 100% in person, provided that the number of students enrolled in the course allows for the educational activities to be held while complying with health regulations. Where the number of students enrolled means we cannot comply with the plan approved by PROCICAT (Territorial Civil Protection Plan of Catalonia) in terms of physical distribution, courses will be taught using the dual attendance model.
In this case, the register will be divided into alphabetical order. This division will create two subgroups which will alternate weekly. Each course will ensure a balanced distribution between the number of in-person, on-site sessions and interactive digital sessions.
People vulnerable to COVID-19, people living abroad or outside the Barcelona metropolitan area and people in other particular circumstances, with prior authorisation, may choose not to attend the UAO CEU campus in person and attend all training and assessment of their courses using the digital, interactive format. To take advantage of this modality, an application must be submitted to the Faculty’s Teaching Secretariat.
In any case, students must accredit a minimum of 80% attendance, be it in-person or through interactive digital attendance. It should be noted that the model of continuous assessment remains in place.
As for placements, each programme will draw up, prior to the start of the course, calendars of external curricular placements included in courses. In the event it is not possible to adhere to the usual schedules of external placements, special adaptations will be made for each of the courses involved. This must ensure:
- The student is able to carry out this practical training activity in person.
- The assessment calendar of these courses is adapted to the time requirements of the placement for each group of students.
- All students will be able to be assessed for this educational activity on an equal footing.
- In no case will any calendar adaptations imply additional costs in terms of tuition fees paid by the student.
During the academic year, we will continue to offer personalised support for students, something which characterises our university and which has become increasingly important given the exceptional circumstances of the health crisis.