The University of Oulu has decided on guidelines regarding teaching for the start of autumn. According to the bulletin released on the staff intranet Patio and on the website of the University on Tuesday 9 June, remote teaching will continue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During the first teaching period (August 1 – October 25) contact teaching will be organised on the campus only if the teaching cannot be held online. This means mainly teaching and learning in laboratories or other experimental teaching.
The orientation for new students will be organised in small groups on campus. According to the University, this should support the formation of groups of new students and to ensure that the new students starting their studies will be attached to the University.
Lecture-type events will also be organised for all new students via remote connections. The guidelines issued by the University also state that the orientation period must also take into account students who cannot come to the campus.
The electronic Exam will be the main tool for assessing learning during the first period, but other alternative methods for completing courses can also be implemented, such as essays, home exams, or learning diaries. Traditional exams at campus are not recommended to be held on the general exam days but organised by the course teachers individually. However, general exams can still be arranged with the safety distance of 2 metres between the students. This in turn requires more supervisors for the exams.
These guidelines and principles apply to the first teaching period, from 1 August to 25 October. Decisions regarding teaching after week number 44 will be made in August.
The University of Oulu moved to online teaching in March. While some of the restrictions have already been lifted, teaching has continued remotely. From the beginning of June, students have been able to enter the campuses with the 24/7 access card on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm. At the Linnanmaa campus, entry is possible through the main door 2T and door A3, and at Kontinkangas through door 7A.
The effects of the coronavirus to students have been analysed in a survey by the Student Union of the University of Oulu. According to the survey, the exceptional spring has caused extra workload and stress, and has caused problems in advancing studies. Students have been mainly happy with online teaching, though there are some differences between the faculties. The students at the Oulu Business School were highly critical of remote teaching in the survey.
According to a survey done by the University of Helsinki, students have been more exhausted than normal during this spring. The survey was answered by 2,500 students of the University of Helsinki from various fields. Out of all the respondents, 29 % said they were highly motivated and committed to their studies and felt no exhaustion. Another 29 % deemed their wellbeing fine and found their studies quite interesting. However, 18 % of the respondents were exhausted by online studying and 24 % were at a risk of burning out.
According to the guidelines by the University of Oulu, teacher tutors will follow and monitor their students’ progress closely, and be in touch with their students if the studies are not advancing as planned.
Translation: Kalle Parviainen