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Information for professors and lecturers: Teaching and learning in the winter semester 2021/22

2021-09-02 After three semesters of almost exclusively digital teaching, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, like other universities and colleges in Lower Saxony and Germany, plans to return to largely face-to-face teaching starting with the upcoming winter semester. At the same time, the state of Lower Saxony enacted a new Corona Ordinance on August 25, 2021, with which the state is responding to a new phase of the pandemic in accordance with the agreements between the federal and state governments. Against this background, we would like to inform you today about the decisions made by the Executive Board on the basis of the new ordinance and their impact on the design of courses at Leuphana and on the ongoing preparations for the winter semester.

  1. PRESENCE TEACHING AS A BASIC PRINCIPLE
    Since, in principle, all university members will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against infection with the coronavirus at the beginning of the winter semester, on-site lectures will once again be the standard at Leuphana in the coming winter semester. Subject to further developments in the pandemic situation and corresponding decisions by the state or the university management, all lecturers will once again be able to offer their courses in attendance and on site in Lüneburg, and will in principle be obliged to do so. Exceptions for teachers and students in special situations can be found under points 7 and 8.
     
  2. ONLINE AND HYBRID TEACHING AS A SUPPLEMENT
    As a supplement to face-to-face teaching, but no longer as its substitute, fully online or hybrid courses can and should be used in the future in those cases where such an offering has proven to be an improvement for the quality of teaching and studies or is useful or necessary for didactic reasons (e.g. in the Professional School or in doctoral studies). In this case, please obtain the consent of the dean of studies responsible for you in advance. In addition, it is of course possible to use online or hybrid teaching or study elements as part of a course that would otherwise be taught on-site. In the coming semesters, we will evaluate all previous experiences in this regard and make them available to teachers, especially through the two projects "Leuphana: Digital Transformation Lab for Teaching and Learning" (DigiTaL) and "Souver@nes Digitales Lehren und Lernen in Niedersachsen" (SOUVER@N), coordinated by Leuphana´s Teaching Service.
     
  3. 3G RULE FOR LECTURES IN PRESEN@ON.
    In the winter semester 2021/22, participation in courses in presence on campus at Leuphana University Lüneburg will only be possible for vaccinated, recovered or tested students. The university is thus following the so-called 3G rule introduced by the state's recent Corona ordinance. Access to specific university services and facilities, such as the library and university sports, will also be available only with proof of vaccination, convalescence or testing, as is already the case.

    On the one hand, students will be required to present proof of vaccination, convalescence or testing when entering a course room; on the other hand, the university will also be required to actively demand proof of vaccination, convalescence or testing from its students. Since the verification of the proof must relate to the specific course on a daily basis and health data may not be stored without the students' consent, a check will have to be organized at the entrance to the lecture halls or seminar rooms. Therefore, we will have to ask and oblige you to cooperate accordingly and to make sure before the start of a course that all participants have a proof of vaccination, recovery or test according to the rules then in force also in their course.

    The testing underlying a proof of test must be confirmed by the testing facility and must not have occurred more than 24 hours (for rapid antigen tests) or 48 hours (for PCR tests) prior to the start of the event. Testing will continue to be available on campus at the testing station operated by the DRK until further notice. However, unlike in the past, testing at testing stations will generally have to be paid for by the students themselves as of October 11; free testing is expected to be available only to those who cannot be vaccinated or for whom there is no general vaccination recommendation.

    To alleviate the burden on instructors for 3G verification testing in courses with more than 100 people held in the auditorium or lecture halls 1-4, centralized support from the University's Facilities Management will likely be available as needed, unless support can be arranged through individuals assigned by the instructors themselves (e.g., SHK team for a course). In this case, please contact the Building Management (Ms. Borodin, -1032, erika.borodin@leuphana.de).

    As a faculty member yourself, you are exempt from providing proof of vaccination, convalescence, or testing because teaching constitutes the performance of a professional activity.
     
  4. MOUTH-TO-NOSE PROTECTION FOR TEACHING IN PRESENCE
    In light of the 3G rule, the limit on the number of seats for students in seminar rooms and lecture halls, which was previously still in place due to Corona requirements, will no longer apply. However, please make sure that only registered students attend the event and that the regular room capacities shown in myStudy are not exceeded. If this capacity is exceeded, please contact Facilities Management (Ms. Borodin, -1032, erika.borodin@leuphana.de).

    Wherever possible, all participants in a course are still asked to maintain the minimum distance of 1.5 meters whenever possible. However, due to limited space and room capacity, this will no longer be possible in many courses. For this reason, all participants in courses remain generally asked to wear a medical mouth-nose protection also during the course. However, according to the current status, the mouth/nose protection may be removed as long as the participants have taken a seat. As a teacher, you may also remove the mouth-nose protection in the course of your professional duties, e.g. during a lecture or presentation. In all other situations, especially when moving, mouth-nose protection is still mandatory to wear in all university buildings, including on the way to/from and during classes.
     
  5. CONTACT REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES IN ATTENDANCE
    In view of the work of the health authorities to track possible infections - and only for this purpose - the participation of students in courses in presence will continue to have to be registered for each individual course in the winter semester as it has been in the past; either digitally by the students themselves or by you as instructors. We will inform you separately about the exact regulations in due time before the beginning of the semester.
     
  6. COURSES IN ALTERNATIVE FORMATS
    The further development of the pandemic cannot be foreseen at this point in time. However, the possibility remains that drastically increasing incidence or hospitalization rates may necessitate at least a partial return to digital formats as well. We therefore ask you to plan your events for the coming winter semester in such a way that you are also prepared for such a case. Please follow the applicable regulations of the Corona Annex to the Framework Examination Regulations for your course of study in the coming winter semester and publish the corresponding regulations on the potential alternative implementation in the information on your course on myStudy.

    In this context, please note that the implementation of courses in alternative formats is currently not planned or possible without a corresponding (and currently generally not available) resolution by the state or the presidium.
     
  7. EXCEPTIONS FOR TEACHERS IN SPECIAL SITUATIONS
    If you cannot be vaccinated against the corona virus for proven medical reasons or if you belong to a group of people for whom the RKI does not (yet) recommend vaccination - and you therefore do not wish to expose yourself to contact with people who may be infectious despite vaccination or negative tests, despite the 3G rule - you still have the option of offering your teaching in an alternative (digital) format within the meaning of Section 2 (1) Corona Annex to the Framework Examination Regulations. In this case, please obtain the prior consent of the Dean of Studies responsible for you.
     
  8. EXCEPTIONS FOR STUDENTS IN SPECIAL SITUATIONS
    Students who a) cannot be vaccinated against the coronavirus for proven medical reasons or who b) belong to a group of persons for whom the RKI does not (yet) recommend vaccination and who therefore do not want to expose themselves to contact with persons who may - despite vaccination or negative tests - be infectious, or students who c) as international students cannot enter Germany due to applicable visa restrictions, are requested to contact you as lecturers in good time before the start of the semester in order to find an individual solution for participation in your course in the individual case. An appropriate solution can be, for example, individual support for these students (e.g. literature study with individual feedback possibilities, reading protocols in connection with office hours or similar). In individual cases, please consult with the Dean of Studies office responsible for you.
     
  9. DISTANCE AND HYGIENE RULES
    With the exception of the specific regulations for face-to-face lectures, the existing and well-known rules for avoiding infection (keeping your distance, observing hygiene, wearing masks and regular ventilation) will continue to apply in the coming winter semester. Therefore, please ensure that the distance and hygiene rules are observed at all times in the future as well. In particular, the requirement to regularly ventilate rooms and wear a medical face mask when moving within University buildings remains in effect.

    Please watch for appropriate updates to the University's General Hygiene Policy and the Event Hygiene Policy. These are expected to be updated again in early October in time for the start of the semester. You can still access the guidelines here: https://www.leuphana.de/intranet/leitlinien-fuer-den-arbeitsplatz/ordnungen-und-richtlinien-der-universitaet.html

    In addition, the request remains: please do not come to campus if you have any signs of respiratory illness - even mild symptoms. In these cases, please stay home and seek medical advice if necessary.
     
  10. FURTHER INFORMATION
    For any additional questions concerning the University's management of coronavirus, you may continue to contact cv-info@leuphana.de. General information is also available at https://www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus.html. In addition, if you have specific questions regarding the implementation of your courses, please contact the Dean of Studies Office responsible for you. The teaching service will also be happy to assist you with support as in the past.