Uni-Tübingen

17.04.2020

Digital teaching

Information for University teaching staff

Dear teaching staff,

Next Monday marks the beginning of the most unusual teaching phase in the history of our university. For the first time, we will be starting the semester completely with digital teaching formats, which is a special challenge – and also an opportunity – for all of us.

First of all, a heartfelt thank you to everyone: The switch to digital teaching was a great effort. Your commitment, your creativity and the willingness to get involved and to create something new in many areas deserve the greatest respect. Solidarity is a term that is often used in these times, and indeed the University has shown its willingness to take responsibility and to treat each other with care in these vulnerable times.

However, this summer semester does not only pose great challenges with regard to teaching: The living situation of the members of the university is also in part strongly affected by the current crisis. Therefore, we cannot assume that we will have a "normal" semester just with other means of teaching either.

Despite all our efforts, not everything will work out and we must be prepared for the fact that some things will not run smoothly, particularly in the beginning. Especially in the current situation, consideration, flexibility and tolerance of frustration are necessary guidelines.

We will accompany you in this initial phase to the best of our ability. For this purpose we provide an e-mail address of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs: karin.amosspam prevention@verwaltung.uni-tuebingen.de which can be used by lecturers and students alike to report problems and point out difficulties.

We are already anticipating problems, especially with regard to synchronous digital teaching formats. These entail the risk that students with technical restrictions will be put at a disadvantage and that our networks and the entire digital infrastructure will be highly frequented at peak times. In this context, please also bear in mind that, for epidemiological reasons (in accordance with the Ministry of Research and the Arts), we have asked our students not to come to Tübingen in the near future, but to use digital teaching formats from a distance, if possible. 

However, we have no influence on the quality of web access of the students at their respective location. Our responsibility towards the students requires that we enable them to obtain ECTS credits. For this purpose we have to suspend obligatory attendance. Therefore, do not make things unnecessarily difficult for yourself and the students – especially in areas that are beyond the students' control. Please inform your students where recordings of your classes can still be accessed online for some time. Technically, the university cloud service and the learning platforms Ilias and moodle are particularly suitable for this purpose. 

If you offer the possibility to participate in an online real-time lecture, please use the originally planned lecture times for this in order not to disturb colleagues and students during the realisation of or participation in other courses and to avoid network bottlenecks (e.g. when switching to certain times in the morning).

Please refer to our compilation of digital teaching information here: https://uni-tuebingen.de/en/174591

By the way: Students‘ participation in lectures should under no circumstances be controlled via digital tools. It is assumed that this would be prohibited due to data protection rules. Please use the possibilities offered by conference tools to ensure that participation is in compliance with data protection regulations. ZDV will provide further recommendations for this issue.

Best wishes for a good start in a very special summer semester

Professor Dr. Bernd Engler
President of the University of Tübingen

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