Update (March, 20th) of the Information for Students

2020-03-20 As you know, we are currently in a new and serious situation whose further development is still open. Some people are worried about this, some have already had their first experiences with the new pathogen, some will still have them, others already see the chances in such a process of necessary change. In any case, great prudence, mutual assumption of responsibility, readiness for new solidarity, flexibility and a high level of commitment will be necessary in order to find suitable paths in and for your studies. We all do not yet know when and how we will be able to see each other again personally, but we want to remain connected in terms of content and media.

Due to the current measures to contain the coronavirus, the university has decided last week not to offer the courses that were previously planned as on campus courses for the summer semester 2020, but to switch to alternative formats in as large a number as possible at short notice. You have received initial information on this in the previous newsletters and also at www.leuphana.de/coronavirus-info.

All professors and lecturers at Leuphana are already working and will continue to work intensively to enable you, our students, to continue your studies and to provide you with a rich learning experience, at least as far as this is possible.

Currently it is planned that the summer semester 2020 will begin on 6 April 2020, if possible as originally planned, but without being present on campus. In view of the foreseeable development of the coronavirus pandemic, we are preparing for the fact that we will not be able to hold any on-campus courses for a much longer period than 19 April 2020. Our courses in the summer semester 2020 will therefore be held in a new, virtual form. In particular, we want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital teaching.

In addition to digital formats, there are many other possibilities to use the formats known from classroom teaching in a modified way to enable you to have a productive semester despite the difficult circumstances. We are aware that these formats cannot fully compensate for personal presence. Above all, many habits that have formed implicitly over time will no longer be possible in this way.

After intensive consultation with deans, deans of studies, student representatives, schools and administration, we recommend three possible options to our professors and lecturers for the design of their courses, which we would also like to inform you about in the following.

MODERATED SELF-STUDY

In this first stage, lecturers provide you as a student with literature via myStudy or by e-mail as well as suitable questions or tasks for individual processing. Students can either upload their results to myStudy or send them to their lecturers by e-mail.
As far as the technical possibilities allow, we have also recommended that the lecturers provide live digital formats of all participants on the date of the course planned and published in myStudy. The university is currently setting up the necessary technical tools for this purpose. Consultation hours or other formats should also be offered in this way at certain further times. Of course, you yourself are invited to support each other as students in the sense of "peer-to-peer learning" in virtual working groups etc.

INTEGRATION OF MULTIMEDIA ELEMENTS

In addition to the possibilities of level 1, lecturers and students can use further possibilities to support the courses digitally with simple means. For example, lecturers and students can use the forum in myStudy or a channel in RocketChat for discussions about the course, provide slides they have discussed themselves using the recording function of PowerPoint, or upload audio files and recordings to myStudy.

MOODLE COURSE AND OTHER DIGITAL TOOLS

In addition to levels 1 and 2, teachers can also set up a classroom in Moodle for their courses. Pre-structured course templates are available for this purpose, which are based in particular on the experience of the online continuing education courses at Leuphana Professional School. These course templates can be individually adapted and extended by our lecturers.

All professors and lecturers will successively adapt the course descriptions in myStudy to the new situation. If you have any questions about individual courses, please contact the individual professor or lecturer directly by e-mail. Further information on course organization will follow successively in the coming days. At present, you should still be able to start your course selection on 27 March, provided that sufficient reliable information is available by then.

Of course, in the current situation it will occur that the implementation of some courses will have to be fundamentally re-planned in terms of scheduling or concept or may not be virtually feasible. This applies in particular to all courses that provide for excursions or practical parts of courses, that are based on exchange formats with third parties (practice partners, cultural institutions, etc.) or that include external events. In the coming days, after consultation between the professors and lecturers concerned and the deans of studies, information will be provided successively on how to deal with these situations. Please be patient until then.

The challenge of converting courses for the summer semester to virtual formats as completely as possible in a short time is very big for all of us. We would therefore like to ask you for your active help and support. Your ideas and suggestions for the design of the teaching are welcome and necessary, at best in direct dialogue with professors and lecturers, or the deans of studies. On the other hand, we ask for your understanding and patience if not all the usual processes can run as you were used to in the previous semesters, if not all courses can be designed equally perfectly or if individual courses have to be cancelled or postponed due to the difficult situation. We are all in a process of adapting, changing and learning.

We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, especially in this challenging situation and also on behalf of the Deans and Deans of Studies, for your commitment to your studies and for helping to shape your courses and the university as a whole in new formats.