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Coronavirus Emergency: Measures Related to Educational Activities - 17/03/2020 Update

11 March, 2020

A. Educational Activities: lessons

1. All traditional classroom activities have been suspended, no matters where they should have been held (within the University or elsewhere).

2. If the content of an educational activity allows it, lessons are guaranteed via web and can be of two types - not mutually exclusive:

‘synchronic’ online lessons through videoconferencing, with student interaction;
‘asynchronic’ online lessons through the publication of audio- and/or video-recorded material, with the guarantee that the teacher will answer students’ requests for explanations, even if only from remote.

3. Both online lesson typologies must be published on the courses’ websites; on those sites one will find the schedule of the ‘synchronic’ online lessons. ‘Asynchronic’ online lessons will be published taking care to optimally distribute the student load.

4. Those lessons that cannot be held via web (e.g. laboratories, classroom exercises) – and cannot be substituted by other online activities during the period of ban of all in-presence educational activities – will be postponed, according to the complying national and regional regulations. The number of hours/credits (CFUs) may be recalculated within the limits of the existing course provision and according to each teacher’s teaching duties.

5. Teachers can record/broadcast their lessons from home, from their office or from a room of their Course provided that – when working within the University facilities – there is no more than one person per room.

6. In case the attendance of a course is mandatory, it may be verified also for online lessons, via teleconferencing.

7. Online lessons will be recorded in the teacher’s register as frontal lecturing; in this sense the definition of ‘academic’ hours applies, as indicated in the Esse3 online register; these criteria, as well as those indicated under the following three points apply to permanent and temporary teachers as well as to lecturers.

8. Teaching hours held via teleconferencing correspond to those that would have been traditionally held in a classroom and contribute to determine the number of credits (CFUs) indicated by the plan of study as well as to the fulfilment of the teacher’s teaching duties.

9. Newly-recorded lessons (not the use of lessons audio- or video-recorded in the past) correspond to those that would have been traditionally held in a classroom and contribute to determine the number of credits (CFUs) indicated by the plan of study as well as to the fulfilment of the teacher’s teaching duties. However, considering this particular typology and exclusively in this case, ‘academic’ hours may be reduced to a maximum of 30 minutes, thus corresponding to a recorded time between 30 and 45 minutes. Audio/video lessons during less than 30 minutes can be summed up for the purposes of assessing a teacher’s teaching duties (for example, two recordings of 15’ or 20’ count as one academic hour).

10. In any case the knowledge transfer indicated in the courses’ syllabus must be guaranteed. Merely uploading a presentation or other materials is not considered as fulfilling a teacher’s teaching duties.

11. The tool adopted by the University of Trieste for online lessons is Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) which allows to hold a lesson on-line and/or video-recording it; it is an element of the MS-Office365 academic license available to all students and teachers (including temporary staff) as well as to all library and technical-administrative staff.

12. Students and teachers may access MS Teams via the University website; on the site one can find the platform user’s manual; one can directly access the virtual class created by the University or the class group autonomously created by a teacher.

13. Other e-learning tools are also allowed, but we suggest you to migrate to the Official UniTS system, MSTeams, while still respecting the organisational needs of each Department.

14. The MS Teams platform allows to record a lesson and store it in the cloud that one can access through the Stream application,  by following the instructions published on the above-mentioned website.

15. To video- and/or audio-record a lesson one may use MS Teams or other tools one should autonomously identify.

16. We specify that any autonomous upload of video- and audio-recordings on Moodle is prohibited in order to avoid the server overload. The only way to upload a video is to use the Videocenter service; the upload of audios is allowed provided one respects the limits indicated in the guidelines.

17. For those using the videoconference classrooms set up in the Departments, the current procedure for their use apply, but on condition that the lesson is held excluding students and public; in this case the teacher can stream a lesson to his students (without interactivity) or record a lesson for later use. All these activities can be uploaded on the videoconference server (videocenter.units.it).

18. Should a teacher not have a personal computer or a tablet and not be able to use one of the Department’s, a solution will be found, prior to a documented request stating their reasons.

19. Teacher-student meetings are suspended. However, teachers will guarantee the service from remote in full respect of the established schedule.

 

B. Other educational activities

1. Besides traditional classroom lessons, all educational activities are suspended – within the University facilities or elsewhere – for all undergraduate or postgraduate studies, with the sole exception of medical Specialisation Schools. The following activities are therefore suspended:

  • internship activities – related to graduation thesis or necessary for a student to graduate – that cannot be held online or transformed into activities to be held from remote, as per decision of the Board of the Course; 
  • national curricular internships (except for hospital internships, according to the University decisions); 
  • national extracurricular internships; 
  • non-curricular internships of newly-graduated students in external bodies/enterprises.

3. For the entire duration of the suspension of all educational activities, no new curricular or extracurricular internships can be activated.

4. Individual research activities by PhD students are allowed only if really necessary and prior the explicit authorization of the PhD Course Coordinator.

5. The University of Trieste guarantees the respect of the specific needs of disabled students.

 

C. International Mobility

The beginning of incoming or outgoing mobilities within the Erasmus+ programme or any other international mobility programme is suspended.

2. According to the principles of the Force Majeure clause and the general rules applying to the Erasmus+ programme and other international mobility programmes, the following activities are also suspended:

  • the beginning of curricular or extracurricular internships of outgoing students;
  • all activities of curricular or extracurricular internships of incoming students; all necessary information must be given to the project partners, in the framework of bilateral relationships.

3. In order to reduce the risk of contagion, students in mobility that are in safe conditions are invited not to go back to their original country, to stay within their dwellings, to avoid all social contacts, and to respect all indications from the local government and health authorities, except in case of specific bilateral agreements between the Ministries of the two countries – should this be the case, they will be promptly informed.

4. The International Mobility Office is in charge of all communication and implementation of  possible measures for the homecoming of students – be them Italians abroad or foreigners in Italy – requesting for it under the Force Majeure clause, as agreed upon by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the partner country (including opportunities published on the websites of the pertinent Embassy/Consulate) and always in full respect of the national regulation for people movement under the  Covid-19 emergency.

 

D.  Examinations

1. Examinations can only be held orally and from remote, in compliance with the principles of publicity, transparency and impartiality, following the given modalities, through systems allowing the simultaneous access of participants as peers, such as videoconferencing systems.

2. Committee members must attend from remote.

3. The examination has to be public in the sense that all candidates must be invited (via link to the virtual event); students not having to pass the exam must also be allowed to participate, prior explicit request to the head of the Committee.

4. The platform provided by the University of Trieste is the same used for online lessons, i.e. Microsoft Teams; you will find information on how to use MS Teams to hold examinations on the link given above for e-learning tools (see A.12).

5. It should be noted that MS Teams complies with data processing regulations (as do all data recorded in streaming via the University network), while other applications or systems, such as Facebook or Instagram are not. For this reason, their use is not allowed.

6. The administration of official examinations and similar tests is responsibility of the Head of the Committee or of the teacher in charge of that teaching, depending on the rules established by each Course and the telematic modalities adopted as well as in compliance with the rules given above.

7. Any audio/video recording of the examinations is strictly prohibited.

8. Candidates must be visually identified with the help of their identity document or their student card.

9. Examinations can be oral or even written, if it is possible to examine the student’s work, that shall be transmitted from remote to the Committee after a given time. In any case the committee will have to ensure the regularity of the examination.

10. We suggest to teachers to convert written and practical examinations into oral ones. Written examinations that cannot comply with these rules or practical examinations that cannot be converted into oral ones must be postponed, according to the national and regional regulations. The possibility to hold them during the weekends should be considered.

11. In case of technical difficulties to access the platform used for the examination, the identification and the continuous vision of the candidate can also be made through other tools, such as videocalls, prior official communication from the candidate. Should it be impossible to re-establish any form of contact with the candidate, the student will be considered as absent and will be contacted via e-mail to schedule a new date.

12. Before to announce of the examination result, the committee will have to exit the location of the connection to make its evaluations. The results of the examinations are recorded according to the University existing rules.

 

E. Graduations and other final examinations to obtain a degree

1. Graduations and other final examinations aimed at obtaining a degree must be guaranteed, but only from remote and in compliance with the rules for official e-meetings (Regolamento per lo svolgimento delle sedute collegiali in modalità telematica).

2. All committee members must attend from remote.

3. The examination has to be public in the sense that all candidates must be invited (via link to the virtual event); students not having to pass the exam and other people must also be allowed to participate, prior explicit request to the Head of the Committee.

4. The platform provided by the University of Trieste is the same used for online lessons, i.e. Microsoft Teams.

5. It should be noted that MS Teams complies with data processing regulations (as do all data recorded in streaming via the University network), while other not-complying applications or systems are not allowed. The graduation – or other final examination – must comply with the rules of confidentiality of the image and of copyright relating to the candidate’s thesis.

6. The administration of the virtual ceremony of graduation or other final examinations is responsibility of the Head and/or of the Secretary of the Committee.

7. Any audio/video recording of the examinations through the adopted tool is strictly prohibited. It also prohibited to spread any audio- or video-recording of the final examination through other tools without prior authorisation of the candidate and of all the members of the committee.

8. Candidates must be visually identified with the help of their identity document.

9. In case of technical difficulties to access the chosen platform, the final examination will be suspended.

10. Before to announce the graduation marks, the committee will have to exit the location of the connection – or exclude from it the candidates – to make its evaluations.

11. The solemn proclamation and the relative announcement of the marks must take place during the online session.

12. The brief recording of minutes of the graduation must take place through the forms and according to the instructions given by the Student Secretariat.

13. We strongly suggest to convert pre-graduations into full graduations in the respect of the rules given above.

14. In case of graduation from remote, a celebratory event will be later organised by the University.