Information for professors and lecturers

2020-06-09 Courses and examinations in the current summer semester and upcoming winter semester

Dear professors and lecturers of Leuphana,
dear colleagues,

as we are already in the second half of this special summer semester 2020, we would like to thank you once again for your extraordinary commitment during this special semester. At the same time, we would like to inform you - also on behalf of the Deans and Deans of Student Affairs - about the current status of the planning of courses and examinations for the current summer semester and the upcoming winter semester.

The great efforts that you as professors and lecturers – as well as all members of the university – are currently making were important and have paid off: On April 6, we were able to offer our students a punctual start to a digital summer semester, which most of us probably would not have expected. We all know how important this is for our students, because for many of them, many decisions in life depend on the possibility to continue or finish their studies as once planned until mid-March. Last but not least, the opportunity to continue studying is also a sign of perspective in times that are not normal.

As you know, we are currently observing a decreasing number of cases of coronavirus disease. Against this background, the state government of Lower Saxony has adapted its regulation to combat the corona pandemic several times. In the meantime, examinations and courses at universities are in principle also possible in attendance again. At the same time, however, severe restrictions and strict hygiene and distance regulations continue to apply to prevent the spread of the corona virus. For the time being, we must therefore assume that the university's operations will continue to change significantly for the foreseeable future and that all activities in attendance will be significantly reduced in the winter semester as well. In recent weeks, the Presidential Board, the Deans and Deans of Studies, the heads of schools and departments together with the staff council and student representatives and – regarding necessary changes in the academic regulations – last but not least the Senate have intensively discussed the consequences of these changes.

Our goal at Leuphana will always be to continue to live and strengthen the idea of an on campus university with physical presence, and where it is justifiable to do so, to make it possible in the coming months in appropriate formats as part of a changed reality. With its specific university and study model, Leuphana focuses on intellectual rigor that is only made possible through personal dialogue, personal experience and personal encounter. The idea of a presence university therefore has special potential especially at Leuphana – through in-depth personal involvement, e.g. in research projects, seminars or small groups, through special formats such as Leuphana Semester, complementary studies, opening week, conference week and academic events, or through a variety of initiatives and projects by students. We therefore want to continue to act professionally in the coming months and, despite the current restrictions, continue to develop ways and formats for new, possibly hybrid, forms of teaching.

1) COURSES AND EXAMINATIONS IN THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020

Courses in the summer semester 2020 can and should basically continue to be held in the special course forms according to § 6 of the Examination Regulations (RPO) in the form of moderated self-study, integration of multimedia and by means of digital tools provided by the university (e.g. telephone/video conferences, online platforms, etc.). If such an alternative implementation is not possible for individual courses (e.g. in the case of laboratory courses, sports courses, excursions, projects, etc.), the Deans of Studies will take appropriate measures in coordination with the module coordinators and you as professors or lecturers and will inform the students of these measures. Therefore, if you have any questions regarding the implementation or completion of your courses in the summer semester 2020, please contact the Office of the Dean of Studies responsible for your course.

With regard to examinations, the Senate has in the meantime decided to extend the adapted regulations on the performance of examinations. Detailed information including links to the adapted examination regulations can be found at www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus/ortsunabhaengig-lehren under the keyword examinations. In concrete terms, this resolution of the senate means for you as a professor or lecturer:

A) WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS FOR THE SUMMER SEMESTER 2020 can continue to be held both in alternative online formats and – within the limits of available space – in presence. This means that you as a professor or lecturer have basically all options open to you:
a) Written exam with immediate online processing time according to the time given in the subject-specific appendices via online platforms,
b) Written exam with extended processing time (6-24 hours) via e-mail or mystudy,
c) Written exam with immediate processing time via e-mail or myStudy,
d) Written test in presence.

As a lecturer, you decide which form of examination you wish to take for your course in the summer semester 2020. However, if possible we would ask you to discuss the most suitable form of the alternative examination for your course with your students.

When planning examinations in presence, it is also necessary to consider the possibility of an online examination in an alternative format, since a renewed and possibly short-term intensification of measures to restrict contact and physical distance cannot be ruled out if the incidence of infection increases again. Please inform the Student Service Department about the respective information at klausurenplanung@leuphana.de.

B) WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS FOR THE WINTER SEMESTER 2019/2020, which could not be offered in March 2020, will generally be held in attendance at the beginning of September. To reduce the examination load, examiners can offer an additional examination in alternative online formats. However, this does not mean that the attendance date in September no longer applies, unless there are no longer any candidates. All students who had registered for the examinations of the second examination phase of the winter semester 2019/2020 (March 16-28, 2020) are still considered registered unless they withdraw from the examination according to the applicable regulations.

C) ORAL EXAMINATIONS
Oral examinations are held in front of two examiners or in front of one examiner and one expert observer as an individual examination or as a group examination for up to four students at the same time, generally as a video conference examination using an online tool. Lecturers can also decide independently whether, in exceptional cases, an examination with physical presence needs to be performed.

D) WRITTEN SCIENTIFIC PAPERS
Written scientific papers must now be submitted in printed form again, as the state regulation on combating the corona pandemic no longer prevents compliance with the formal requirements for submission of written papers.

E) FURTHER GUIDANCE ON THE CONDUCT OF EXAMINATIONS
If you wish to hold examinations in person, please note that, due to the reduced seating capacity, the responsibility for supervising the examinations, even in several rooms at the same time, must rest with you as professor or lecturer. The university administration will support you in all organizational matters concerning the preparation of the rooms and the observance of the necessary distances when entering and leaving the examination rooms.

When conducting alternative examination formats, please also note that the Senate has decided that examiners must give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with alternative examination formats, e.g. by testing the online platform or software provided or by conducting a mock exam.

We will inform you in detail about further organizational questions in connection with the performance of the face-to-face exams in due course. Until then, please contact the colleagues of our Student Services Department responsible for your degree program with any questions you may have regarding the planning and organization of your examinations.

2) COURSES IN THE WINTER SEMESTER 2020/2021

The winter semester 2020/2021 will begin at Leuphana with the opening week for all first semester students from October 1-9, 2020 or with courses for all students from October 12, 2020.

In close cooperation with both the state government and the other universities in Lower Saxony, we are currently expecting that most of the courses for the winter semester will also be largely digital. From today's point of view, normal study and lecturing operations on campus will not be feasible, if only for logistical reasons, given the distance and hygiene regulations in force. The regulations mean that our lecture halls and seminar rooms can only be occupied by 10% to 30% of the usual number of people and that extensive precautions will have to be taken for access to the buildings and attendance times. We must therefore ask you, as things stand at present, to plan courses that are to be held digitally for the coming winter semester as well. As in the past, the Teaching Service (lehrservice@leuphana.de) will be available to you with advice and assistance regarding the planning and development of your course.

However, after consultation with the deans and deans of studies and in accordance with the current Lower Saxon regulation to combat the corona pandemic, selected courses at Leuphana should be able to be held in physical presence again in the future. This concerns primarily courses that for successful completion require the physical presence of students, such as laboratory exercises in biology/ecology, chemistry or engineering sciences or courses in sports. In second priority we want to develop concepts for selected courses for first semester students both on bachelor and master levels, if necessary also in hybrid formats. Only in third priority will it be possible for a proportion of all other courses to be held in presence.

In order to plan and discuss all the possibilities, creative formats, cooperations, infrastructures, etc. necessary for holding these courses in attendance, a working group consisting of deans of studies, colleagues from the faculties and schools and student representatives will meet these days to work out concepts and criteria. We will keep you informed about the results as soon as possible. If you would like to contribute your ideas and experience or have any questions, our teaching service (lehrservice@leuphana.de) will also be happy to help.

In any case, however, the following applies to the implementation of face-to-face events: Since the university is required to provide evidence of health protection, individual courses on campus may only be held in attendance with permission of the respective Dean of Studies and the Occupational Safety Department until further notice. Therefore, please coordinate with your respective Dean's Office and the Department of Occupational Safety (arbeitssicherheit@leuphana.de) if you plan to hold your course or parts of your course in attendance. A guideline that applies in this context, to which we as a university are obliged, can be found under the keyword "Hygiene guideline" on the intranet (www.leuphana.de/intranet/informationen-ueber).

For the coming weeks and months, we ask for your understanding that all of us will have to continue to deal with a high degree of uncertainty and to make pragmatic decisions time and again, as situations can change even at short notice. In the end, none of us can predict with certainty what teaching at Leuphana will look like in the coming months.

At the same time, also on behalf of all deans and deans of studies, we ask you as a part of our university community to continue to support the university and our students with dedication, inspiration and commitment. We are all deeply indebted to you for being there for the students in these difficult times with the same energy as always – or with even more commitment than usual – and for being open to ideas, discussions, dialogues and projects that will shape our future as a society and also as a university community. This kind of openness and commitment will be more necessary than ever before in order for us as a university to be able to make our contribution to overcoming these difficult times.

Thank you.

With kind regards

Sascha Spoun
President

Christian Brei
Executive Vice President

Carola Schormann
Vice President College

Markus Reihlen
Vice President Graduate School

Jörg Terhechte
Vice President Professional School