19 March 2020

All face-to-face teaching suspended

It was bound to happen! After international travel was banned, and then Open Days, it was clear the next thing would be to ban all conventional teaching. And it happened. So no more lectures! No more practicals. No more field trips. No more tutorials. Or rather; none of that face to face. I assume the field trips are off altogether now; we only have one audiovisual employee and we can't really make him do, and film, all trips. He might be busy making virtual Open Days already. And I don't know about the practicals. The lectures we can just record. The tutorials we can do on Skype I suppose!

The exams will also be done online. We'll have to think about how exactly! And the students have now pretty much all gone away. And several colleagues have already started working at home. So it's quiet here now! But we who are still here are busy adapting our work. Sending out emails to students about how all their modules (including the dissertation module) are affected, recording lectures that haven't taken place yet, making instructions of how to now do things such as recording your powerpoint presentation rather than presenting it in person. Thinking of new marking criteria. And getting familiar with 'Microsoft teams' to have yet another way to communicate with colleagues without being within infection radius. And wrestle through the torrent of updates from colleagues, and questions from students. Lots to do!

An important thing I now also have to do is thinking about how to change the project for my MSc student. We can't take him into the field! Can't let him work in the lab. So now what? Stay tuned!

Altogether these are strange times. But I hope the measures work! So far so good (considering circumstances); no confirmed cases in Gwynedd yet. But that will surely change. I hope everybody who gets ill will recover soon! And that all our students still get a serviceable end of this term.

Will the new academic year be all back to normal? One can only hope!

Bad picture of me about to record a lecture

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