As issued by the responsible authority, the Rectorate has decided to take the following measures in the area of studying to help prevent the further spread of SARS CoV-2 infections:
Will courses be taking place?
Classroom teaching at the University of Salzburg has been suspended until further notice. This means that courses will continue, but must be organised in such a way that the students’ presence is not required at the university for the time being. The same applies to excursions and other courses with external teaching.
For the sake of transparency and clarity, changes in the course procedure and, if necessary, in the examination requirements must be announced, as well as documented, in PLUSonline.
Will exams be taking place?
All exams are suspended until after Easter. The first possible examination day is expected to be April 20, 2020
Will courses within postgraduate programmes be taking place?
The above-defined requirements for regular courses also apply to courses within postgraduate programmes.
Will university events still be taking place?
All public events at the university are cancelled.
Is the library open?
All library locations will be closed as of March 14th, 2020.
Will USI courses be taking place?
USI courses are temporarily suspended.
Can I still use the computer rooms?
The computer rooms are closed until further notice
Will graduation ceremonies be taking place?
There will be no graduation ceremonies taking place until further notice.
Are administration departments (examination department, admissions department etc.) still open?
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, all offices with personal contact will be closed.
When will teaching resume?
It is not yet possible to estimate when teaching will resume. However, the current regulations are valid until at least the 3rd April 2020 (beginning of the Easter holidays).
What possibilities are available for online learning?
Various tools are available for the implementation of online learning. Here is a brief overview:
· The standard tool is our well-known online learning platform "Blackboard". It offers a range of possibilities and is very easy to use thanks to its automated participant administration. You can also use tools you may not have used before, such as the discussion forums, tasks, tests, blog, wikis or the group functions. More information can be found in this manual: www.uni-salzburg.at/index.php’id=33282
· We have already mentioned the possibility of Echo360 to record lectures in yesterday’s announcement. The recording is not only possible with audio equipment and appropriate software in lecture halls, but also with a laptop or iPad at home. With the software, it is possible to voice-over PowerPoint slides. This recorded lecture can be made available to the students via Blackboard. Should students have further questions, teaching staff can set up a discussion forum in Blackboard.
· Another useful method is the implementation of video conferencing systems, which enable live-streamed lectures. We recommend Webex Teams or Google Meet.
o Webex Teams:
Both teaching staff and students and can hold meetings via Webex Teams, share the screen, activate the whiteboard, mute others and create a recording. Note: everyone can view the participant lists. The software can be downloaded using the following link: www.webex.com/de/team-collaboration.html. Information on how to use the software can be found here: help.webex.com/en-us/nxmbalq/Cisco-Webex-Teams-Video-Tutorials.
o Google Meet:
All students at the PLUS have a Google account and can easily register and access the software with their login. Teaching staff do not have direct access if they do not have a (private) Google account they wish to use and must be registered by a participant (e.g. student assistant, tutor) (unfortunately, there is currently no other alternative). All necessary information for the use of this software can be found here: support.google.com/meet.
IT services can only offer limited first level support for Webex Teams and Google Meet at the moment. We will try to expand this in the future. We discourage the use of similar software, especially if students have to register or pay a fee. Webex is licensed by the PLUS and all students already have a Google account.
The current situation is not only a challenge for teaching staff and students, but also for administrative staff (including all faculties and departments, the team in the Vice-Rectorate, the Centre for Flexible Learning and the IT Services). Thank you to everyone who is helping to make the best out of the current situation!
Please keep in mind that our infrastructure is not designed for such intensive use. For example, sending emails via Blackboard may cause delays. Do not save any downloaded recordings from WebEx directly to Blackboard to avoid overloading the server. This might cause problems if too many students are watching the recording at the same time.
Administration and Research
- Business trips into any other country are prohibited.
- Commuting across borders to reach the work place is still allowed.
- All library locations will be closed from March 14th, 2020.
- Home office: In consultation with the responsible supervisors (within the administration: Department Head AND responsible Member of the Rectorate; in science: management of the scientific organizational unit), home office can be arranged where possible. In any case, information about home office times must be sent to the Department of Human Resources ( bernd.engelsberger(at)sbg.ac.at ) (for all employees assigned to the respective organizational unit at once). Availability by phone and e-mail must be ensured during this time.
- In case you have a child or children under the age of 15 (up until the 9th school level) and you are confronted with closure(s) of childcare facilities or schools you will receive extended nursing leave if necessary. A written notification to the supervisor and the HR department is mandatory.
- It is possible to use vacation days and overtime hours in the upcoming period.