Trying to prep for 20/21

(193 Posts)
AlwaysColdHands Fri 19-Jun-20 15:54:59

We seem to be gearing up for two scenarios:

1. Blended, with reduced f2f, prioritised for year 1, but expectation that all students will come onto campus at some point (staggered times, small groups etc etc). Logistical nightmare to say the least, all delegated down to academics to propose solutions.

2. Wholly online in case of further lockdown

So I may need to transform an undergrad module into an online version with bells and whistles AND got to take on a new postgrad course. How to do this with no school and nursery ???? Dreading the summer and feeling so stressed about September..........who’s in the same boat? 😥
Misery loves company and all that.....

OP’s posts: |
damekindness Fri 19-Jun-20 19:30:11

The plans for our new academic year have been wildly aspirational and a reliance on bending the laws of physics to succeed

NeverEverAnythingEver Sat 20-Jun-20 09:59:53

Do they involve several Tardis? grin

I think Tardis would help.

AlwaysColdHands Sat 20-Jun-20 11:15:46

I cannot imagine working in our timetabling department right now 🙈

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GCAcademic Sat 20-Jun-20 17:29:50

I’ve got to the point where I’m waking up in the middle of the night in a panic about this. I know I have a lot to prepare for September, but I don’t know what I need to do. I’ve read the university’s principles for next year’s teaching, but I don’t understand logistically how I’m supposed to do it. I feel like I have not one but both hands tied behind my back.

Deianira Mon 22-Jun-20 11:18:44

I am in a similar position to GCAcademic - we keep hearing all sort of things as 'plans' (lectures online, some teaching in person) but they keep changing and nothing is very specific (which teaching in person? With what kind of class layouts or other restrictions?) so it feels like there is piles to do but I don't have enough information to start any of it. The whole thing is starting to make me feel rather panicky even when it comes to thinking about it, let alone starting work on it.

worstofbothworlds Mon 22-Jun-20 18:34:42

We are also being told we should not "lift and shift" but should have extra short feedback sessions and activities in the middle of each hour. Not really sure how.
We've been told online large groups, in person small groups, but then I've been told not to try and do my 15- person seminar face to face but what then IS going to be face to face I do not know. Well, I know some labs will be but they are usually big so yes, who'd be a timetable guru.

whoiscooking Mon 22-Jun-20 18:43:53

We have fabulous plans, just very short on detail - no-one seems very sure what it all actually looks like at the module level. Nowhere near enough time to prepare what's been proposed even if we had the knowledge and technology in place, working full-time hours but paid part-time, no school or nursery until ??, large group of PG summer students to supervise and haven't had a holiday or even taken my normal days off since Christmas. Exhausted before we even begin

parietal Mon 22-Jun-20 23:18:57

we've been told that each 2 hour lecture will turn into a 1 hour pre-recorded video (with a quiz or something??) plus a 1 hour discussion session which might be in person or might be online depending on how things work. So that is just about doable, but I will have to cut a whole lot of material from the lectures.

dodi1978 Wed 24-Jun-20 06:53:59

I hear you OP - especially the lack of childcare. As a group of parents we fought hard last week to have the university nursery reopened - with success! Think letters to the Dean, Equality Officer, etc.....

We have been told we'll do 'hybrid teaching', with big lectures fully online. If you teach smaller groups, you'll be teaching one hour online, one hour face to face with social distancing. There is luckily quite a bit of support around in my institution, but still a lot of work.

I hope you soon get some childcare restored, OP!

murmuration Thu 25-Jun-20 09:00:07

We're getting so many confusing and contradictory messages.

All lectures and any class over X-size online, but make sure practicals are done in person. Except most of our practicals are over X-size. Um? Attempts at clarification just reiterated the first statement even more confusingly - yes, practicals need to be in person but any teaching of any kind to groups of X-or-more students has to be online.

You need to do as much in person teaching as possible, and no reduction of content, and expect about 80% physical attendees but room capacity will be cut by a third and you aren't allowed to use any more rooms/times than normal. I just don't see how this can possibly work?

It all seems to be like this. I think we have a lot of good will and people coming up with imaginative solutions to make things work, but if we keep getting impossible directives that will fade fast.

worstofbothworlds Thu 25-Jun-20 09:12:39

Yes, we're being told all lectures online, but seminars in person, but well that seminar normally requires small group work, but we want students to have some in person experience, can you adjust that seminar to online? Well yes I can, but are we supposed to have a module with no in person classes at all? Or no?

AlwaysColdHands Fri 26-Jun-20 13:11:09

Yup. Having to plan for different scenarios is so unbelievably time consuming.
I spent most of one day this week breaking down ONE session into chunks online, deciding which tasks to save for possible face to face contact, which to translate into online activities, and which parts to record as a ‘lecture’

Nursery is opening up which will help a bit, but I’m looking at a colossal amount of work over the summer - great time for me to be given 3 new modules 🙄
I’m not sure when I will be able to take any holidays. But we can’t carry more than usual over......

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moimichme Sun 28-Jun-20 17:46:22

Always That's rubbish, we've at least been told we can carry over more annual leave this year. But I'm exhausted and could also do with a wee break! The childminder opened last week, finally, which helps, but I feel so unclear about what we're expected to do to prepare. Also waking up in the night thinking about it. We're apparently aiming for lectures online and half our seminar time in person, with year groups staggering their attendance (somewhat commuter uni, although there are many who live on campus or nearby, too), to maximise space with social distancing, and we academics will go from room to room while the students sit in seminar sized bubbles. I teach linguistics and a lot of our students do literature as well (a lot of optionality) so my head is exploding as I try to figure out how on earth the 'groups' can be set up with no mixing. And some twilight sessions have been suggested, which I really hope are optional, since I can't pick up ds after work in time otherwise! I really hope I can get some of this prep done quickly though, because if the childminder ever shuts, I'll have a toddler at home all day, which makes working very difficult (as I'm sure you're all aware!). Solidarity.

AlwaysColdHands Mon 29-Jun-20 16:39:56

Finally getting nursery open and a bit of school.....but so hard to concentrate, feel really anxious about children not being in the house even though I’ve dreamt about it for so long!!!

All the demands to submit plans about how we’re going to deliver our teaching are ridiculous - tell us precisely what you’re going to do for every module, do a spreadsheet for each, and do it for yesterday 🙄 Evenings & weekends on the cards too, which I can’t do because of childcare. I’m glad to be a Union member as I feel I may need their support in negotiating workload for 20/21. So much new content to sort out (loads of new modules for me) the midst of a pandemic. Great!

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PhoneLock Tue 30-Jun-20 07:49:50

All the demands to submit plans about how we’re going to deliver our teaching are ridiculous - tell us precisely what you’re going to do for every module, do a spreadsheet for each, and do it for yesterday

Just had a similar email but requesting several plans for each module to cope different levels of restriction up to full lockdown. I am not happy, I'm busy with end of year admin and it means another rushed job. I was hoping to spend a some time on it over the summer and do it properly.

GCAcademic Tue 30-Jun-20 11:54:08

We have been told we won’t know this the start of September what teaching rooms will be available to us, and therefore how long our seminars will be, how many times we might have to repeat them, etc. So I have no idea whether I’ll be able to teach a two hour seminar as usual, or will only have an hour, with other material to be delivered asynchronously. So, presumably, we have to spend the summer preparing material that could well end up being ditched. We are, in any case, being encouraged to deliver our modules asynchronously now, despite the fact that the university has announced that teaching will be face to face. Apparently we should record and upload our lectures and seminars to this end. How on earth do you record a seminar that doesn’t take place?

Bellesavage Wed 01-Jul-20 20:00:19

We've been told lectures online but no 1 hour recorded old style lecture, 10 minute segments instead.

Then seminars are online I think, although no one has decided for sure. Then there will be contact hours face to face like tutorials except I'm not sure what student will want to pay accomodation for a few tutorials?

PhoneLock Thu 02-Jul-20 09:25:41

We have been told similar. 15 minutes max.

It's frustrating as we already have last year's hour lectures recorded and this is going to make huge amounts of extra work. My husband rehashed an existing lecture to 10 minutes yesterday and it took him all day. He finished at 7 and didn't stop for lunch. Doing 30 lectures for a whole module could take six weeks!

Bellesavage Thu 02-Jul-20 09:49:54

Well I don't mind doing it in 10 min segments although agree it will take hours! But they've told us we are "not allowed" to do longer which annoys me, like Im not savvy enough to work out how best to convey information.

I'm.going to have to convert an area of my house for online lectures and probably invest in a ring light so it looks reasonable. Guess who will be paying for all that

Bellesavage Thu 02-Jul-20 09:51:21

So I don't think it's compressing lectures but my understanding is that instead of an hour lecture we have six short videos.

worstofbothworlds Thu 02-Jul-20 13:36:16

We have been told we can (probably by September) access a recording space on campus. I don't think video quality will be that important either. "About 20 minutes max per section" too; not too prescriptive.
I think we'd have 20 mins (5 min break/Q&A), 20 mins (ditto) making up a 50 minute hour.

PhoneLock Thu 02-Jul-20 14:32:38

So I don't think it's compressing lectures but my understanding is that instead of an hour lecture we have six short videos.

DH has just said that he will just give them a link to last year's hour long lectures and show them where the pause button is.

Mumteedum Thu 02-Jul-20 15:19:41

I'm feeling more nervous reading what others are doing. Ours is pressure to do as much face to face as poss.

Our sessions are 3 hours long.

Our classes will have half in and half out so smaller groups of 15 but we'll be there for considerable time.

I'm so confused and exhausted too.

impostersyndrome Thu 02-Jul-20 17:49:18

@PhoneLock I like your husband's style!

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