Teaching from September 2020
From September 2020, teaching at Leiden University will be partly on campus and partly online. What can you as a student expect?
The aim is that around a quarter of the teaching will take place face-to-face on campus, although this may differ per faculty. Practical sessions in particular, small tutorials and tutor meetings for first-years will take place on University premises. As we have to observe the one and a half metres distance, capacity is limited. The exact arrangements are different for each programme and building. You will hear more about your timetable from your programme department.
In recent months, almost all teaching was online – from 15 June a limited amount of teaching, such as practical sessions and graduation research, could also take place in University buildings. Fortunately, in the new academic year, from 31 August 2020, some teaching can take place on campus again, within the government guidelines. On campus or online: we will make sure that all the teaching and all the exams continue with the high level of quality that you expect from us. Our teachers have gained a great deal of experience with online teaching, and they are receiving professional support. Our aim is for you to get the most out of your study years.
What is possible on campus?
The capacity of our buildings is limited because we have to observe the one and a half metres distance in lecture halls, tutorial rooms and libraries. Our aim is for first-year students to have about a quarter of their contract hours face-to-face, and for students in later years, about a fifth of their contact hours. Please note: this may change if the virus does not remain under control, because the health of our students and staff is and will remain our primary concern. All other teaching will remain online.
In all buildings, measures are in force to allow people to work and study together in safety. Areas have a maximum capacity, designated walking routes have been laid out and there are extra facilities for cleaning your hands. Obviously, we are asking everyone to observe the national guidelines: this means you may not come to the University if you or the people you share your house with have any symptoms. You can be tested at the Local Health Authority if you have any symptoms.
Almost everything that can be done face-to-face in the lecture rooms can be done online: listening, discussing, asking questions, making presentations and working in groups. Our lecturers have now gained a lot of experience in different teaching methods, and there are different ways that students can work interactively online.
As well as short knowledge clips or recorded videos on the course material that you can watch in your own time, you can also follow live online lectures. Interactive online tutorials are a further option, where you can work on course material with your teacher and fellow students, either in a plenary setting or with a few fellow students in break-out rooms. You can take part in discussions via chats or forums, or make a video or podcast as an assignment. And, of course, there are also Q&A sessions where you have every opportunity to ask questions.
Teachers and students use various systems, such as Kaltura, Microsoft Teams and Brightspace, for online teaching and learning. Naturally, you will receive information from your programme department about which subjects are online and which will be given on campus, what the timetable will look like, on which online platforms you will follow your chosen subjects and how you can make use of the different online facilities.
Support for studying online
To support first-year students, we have intensified our tutorial system. First-year bachelor’s students meet in small tutor groups of ten to fifteen students with a lecturer and student tutor. They will help you learn about the University, your study programme and the city. This way, you’ll soon get to know your programme and your fellow students, while at the same time focusing attention on academic training and social bonding. Coaching will also be provided for master’s students.
It goes without saying that we are here to help if you have any questions or problems, such as:
- If you don’t have access to a good PC;
- If you need extra facilities or time because of a functional disability, such as dyslexia;
- If you want advice on studying online
- If you need support with your studies because you have problems with the timetable due to a functional disability, you are involved in top-class sport, you have family care responsibilities or you are looking after children.
- You have to organise a quiet place to study, with a PC and a good internet connection;
- You are motivated and have the self-discipline to work hard at your studies;
- You will stay in contact with your fellow students and play an active part in your tutor groups.
Success with your studies!