Teaching Successfully during the Pandemic
Information for Members of the Teaching Staff

Information about Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has been significantly impacting our daily lives and studies at the university. However, also thanks to the progress being made with regard to vaccination among the population, recent developments also created new freedom for university teaching. As governmental regulations have been eased, the University of Bonn is able to stronger focus on in-person events in the coming semester. Of course, the University of Bonn continues to prioritize the safety of its members against a coronavirus infection. Information on which regulations will apply in the coming semester is available here.


Information for Members of Staff and Important Documents

As a member of the teaching staff, you are an employee of the University of Bonn. Please consult the web pages “Information for employees” and “Important Documents”.

Winter semester 2021/2022

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, the focus returns on in-person events. However, the government has issued a few regulations specifically in this context, of which the most important points are presented here.

Under the current provisions of the CoronaSchVO, prior to holding events (e.g. lectures, examinations, practical courses, excursions, meetings, ceremonies, sessions of university bodies, supervision of work in labs or studios (e.g. bachelor's thesis), office hours with prior appointment – this list is not exhaustive) and prior to entering buildings where teaching takes place, universities must verify that at-tendees have been tested, vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus. Due to organizational reasons, checks will take place at the respective entrances to buildings (incl. USL/MNL). In some cases checks may be held at the entrance to the event room.

By clicking on the following link you will find details on which buildings will require 3G checks at entrances and for which event rooms 3G checks will be organized via deans’ offices or the Bonn Center for Teacher Education (BZL).

All visitors of the University must carry evidence for compliance with 3G and an official photo ID; visitors must be ready to show the documentation as requested by author-ized persons upon entering the respective University building and when participating in events. Verification of 3G status2 will be carried out by security firm ASPO, student assistants or, in exceptional cases, by teaching staff themselves. Any person who refuses to be checked will be excluded from the event.

The following will be accepted as proof:

  • test certificates issued by a test center/GP or pharmacy (as app, QR-Code or hard copy)
  • documentation confirming the vaccination3 or recovery from the virus (as app, QR-Code, hard copy, vaccination passport)

Approved vaccines:

On the page of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute you will find all vaccines approved in the EU as well as the partly different names of these vaccines in other countries.

Wearing of masks outside of University buildings will no longer be mandatory. Wear-ing masks while standing in line and while attending outside events with more than 2,500 persons has been compulsory so far.

Regulations on inside spaces remain unchanged, i.e. masks must generally be worn when inside University buildings. Where seated or standing in an assigned spot, per-sons may forgo the use of masks.

With the coming into effect of the ordinance on coronavirus testing issued by the Fed-eral Ministry of Health, coronavirus testing for all citizens is no longer free of charge5, except for persons who are unable to get fully vaccinated.

The following persons in particular will be entitled to a free rapid test at least once a week even after October 11, 2021.

  • Persons who due to medical reasons were unable to get vaccinated against the coronavirus,
  • Up to December 31, 2021, persons who at time of the test are still underage, who at time of the test are pregnant and who at time of the test are students vaccinated with a vaccine not listed by the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

Anyone entitled to free coronavirus tests as per TestV will continue to be able to get tested for free at the Poppelsdorf Campus test center.

To simplify entry checks, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Faculty of Agriculture will be the first to issue an ID indicating the holder’s 2G status (i.e. whether vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus). Interested students and staff will be able to apply for a personalized ID presumably from the second week of the semester onwards at designated locations on campus (Wolfgang-Paul lecture hall, HSZ Poppelsdorf, Gerhard-Domagk-Str. 1, Endenicher Allee 19a, court at Nußallee 1). The Rectorate regards these personalized IDs as a great opportunity to keep queues and waiting times to a minimum and hopes that as many students and staff as possible will make use of this offer.

With the start of winter semester 2021/2022, on-site examinations will no longer require prior approval by the Rectorate. Please note that holding of on-site examinations (and on-site courses) will become the responsibility of the deans’ offices, where the current CoronaSchVO and, as applicable, future additional regulations will be adhered to.

Staff whose nature of work does not require them to participate in or host events and thus do not need to prove their 3G status at building entrances will be provided with staff IDs by University printing services for the winter semester. University printing services will make the staff IDs available to supervisors who will then ensure distribu-tion to members of staff.

Teaching

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a considerable impact on the teaching operations of the University, the considerable efforts of all involved have meant that teaching could continue to the greatest possible extent. A number of different regulations have been issued during the course of the pandemic; we should like to provide an overview of the rules currently in force.

Students wearing masks are sitting socially distanced in a lecture hall. A camera on a stand is visible in the background.
© Volker Lannert/ Universität Bonn

Teaching

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, the focus returns to in-person events. Events may take place in person again, provided the 3G status of all course attendees has been checked. Verification of “3G status” is carried out at entrances to the buildings or to the rooms events are held. To keep the checking process as smooth as possible, please have your vaccination, test or recovery certificate plus photo ID ready. We look forward to finally welcoming you back in Bonn. All course information is available in BASIS (the digital course catalog).

The University has expanded the following support services to help you get started with digitally-supported teaching:

e-Campus Courses
The eCampus team has established the “Teaching Digitally” portal which provides guidance, special tips and a range of information to assist you in the preparation and realization of digital teaching. You can also access the "Creating Online Courses" online tutorial on e-Campus at any time. The training packages for summer semester 2021 are published here.

BZH Qualifications
The Bonn Center for Higher Education (BZH) provides comprehensive advice, support and services to assist you in performing key tasks in teaching and studying. All information and contact details are provided on the BZH web pages.

Principle Considerations
Completion of the forthcoming summer semester will require the use of online-supported teaching forms. The University of Bonn uses the online teaching and learning platform eCampus to provide access to teaching materials (texts, tasks, etc.). Further information about the courses is provided in BASIS, the University electronic course catalog and on the faculty websites. Teaching staff can link courses registered in BASIS with an eCampus course. This means that students who have registered for a course in BASIS are usually also automatically registered in the respective eCampus course.

Students will attempt to contact members of the teaching staff by email; please check your University of Bonn email account regularly or set an automatic forwarding service to your personal email account to facilitate communication. Instructions are provided on the HRZ support page.

As the centralized procedure to link courses registered in BASIS with eCampus required considerable correction in previous semesters, responsibility for the linking process was given to the teaching staff in winter semester 2020/2021. Please check with the relevant degree program managers to ask whether your faculty has appointed administrators to perform this task (for several) courses.

eCampus facilitates communication between students and staff via email, allows you to upload documents and enables the setup of forums and much more. You can also upload PowerPoint slides with audio commentary. We encourage the use of the eCampus support services, especially if you are first-time user.

Please circulate further information about your courses as early as possible and do not forget to use the electronic course catalog BASIS and other relevant websites.

The University has equipped lecture halls with technology to enable hybrid teaching formats in order to compensate for the participation restrictions to which on-site attendance is subject. Last winter semester, teaching performed on-site was made available online via livestream with integrated whiteboard notes.

The University of Bonn has purchased a large number of Zoom licenses to enable live digital teaching. Zoom can be used with established software such as Adobe Connect and DFNconf. This enables interactive teaching in courses with a large number of participants. Assistance in the use of Zoom in University teaching is provided on a dedicated web page on e-Campus; alternatively you can contact the University of Bonn ZOOM support via email.

The University of Bonn accords the highest priority to comprehensive data protection during ZOOM sessions. To this end, we have made a number of adjustments to the system functions to ensure that they satisfy our standards. The University of Bonn Data Protection Officer has issued recommendations to ensure data-protection compliant use of this software. These recommendations are subject to continuous update and adjustment to the current version of the service. This enables us to reduce the IT security and data protection risks associated with the use of Zoom. We maintain ongoing consultation with the federal and state authorities and other universities and institutions of higher education in order to develop alternative solutions for the future.

Following consultation with the course teacher, the examination board can stipulate that the completion of certain study achievements can be substituted for an attendance requirement as the prerequisite for admittance to examinations. If the examination regulations stipulate compulsory attendance for a course, this requirement also applies if the course is held online. To verify attendance, you can ask students to register at each online session using their real names or at least a pseudonym known to you. It is possible to verify attendance without the students’ cameras being switched on.

As teachers do not like addressing a series of black squares, students have been urged to activate their cameras wherever possible in order to facilitate a profitable exchange between students and teachers and to contribute to a constructive atmosphere in the seminar. Students and teachers concerned about their privacy can generate virtual background pictures as a method of protecting their privacy.

Students are not obliged to switch on their cameras. Please bear in mind that some students have good reason not to switch on their cameras, and choosing to do so should always be an option.

In light of recent events, the University and State Library Bonn (USL) would like to point out the requirements of copyright law: If you would like to begin preparing literature for the semester now, § 60a of the Copyright Act (UrhG) applies. This means that you are permitted to upload approximately 15% of a large text (no upper limit), an entire small text (max. 25 pages), out of print texts and individual essays to eCampus. Many publishers and providers have extended access to their electronic publications, often free-of-charge. The USL has compiled further information about this matter.

The Federal Government COVID-19 Warning App

We recommend that students download and make use of the COVID-19 warning app provided by the German Federal Government to facilitate contact tracing. This enables you to find out whether you are at increased risk of developing an infection and at the same time, protect others.

A view into the main auditorium from the stage. A number of tables spaced apart in the main auditorium at which students are sitting, waiting to start their examination.
© Universität Bonn/Volker Lannert

Examinations

The University of Bonn has implemented a number of measures designed to permit the holding of university examinations. Online-supported written examinations, term papers in lieu of written examinations and (in exceptional cases) on-site examinations are currently being deployed in order to ensure that students can continue to sit examinations.

Examinations

With the start of winter semester 2021/2022, on-site examinations will no longer require prior approval by the Rectorate. Please note that holding of on-site examinations (and on-site courses) will become the responsibility of the deans’ offices, where the current CoronaSchVO and, as applicable, future additional regulations will be adhered to.

The Rectorate has issued a handout for teachers14 outlining the regulations issued to ensure student safety before, during and after an examination. Please comply with all the specifications to ensure the best possible level of protection for yourself and others. An additional handout for students15 has also been drawn up.

Update 19.08: Teaching and exams in presence can take place without mask requirement. All participants must fulfill either be vaccinated, recovered, or tested.

The University has collected all the current regulations pertaining to the conduct of online examinations in the new “Teaching Digitally” portal on eCampus. Here, you can access all the relevant documents, guidelines and regulations pertaining to online examinations. For example, the portal provides further information about the aids which are permitted for use in examinations and the recommended procedure for online examinations.

Technical difficulties experienced during online-supported examinations can result in considerable disadvantage to those suffering their consequences. In response, the University authorities have granted examination candidates extensive rights to withdraw from examinations. They can withdraw from a written examination up to the point of its submission. This withdrawal will not be counted as an unsuccessful attempt.

Students completing their final thesis in winter semester 2020/21 and/or summer semester 2021, will be granted a 14-day extension to their deadline. The deadline will end on the 14th day of this extension at the time originally determined for the original deadline. If no time was established for submission of the thesis, it can be handed in by midnight of the 14th day of the extension.

Students completing a term paper, project report, seminar paper or a comparable text in winter semester 2020/21 and/or summer semester 2021, for which a multi-week completion period with a specific submission date has been specified, will be granted a 14-day extension.

A

Abstand/ Distance

H

Händehygiene/ Hand hygiene

A

Masken/ Masks

+

L

Lüften/ Ventilation

Hygiene Requirements

Even if on-site teaching and examinations are currently organized in exceptional cases only, situations can arise - for example during an on-site examination covered by the exceptions - which require the on-campus presence of members of the teaching staff. Should you be required to attend campus, please familiarize yourself with the regulations relating to on-campus behavior issued by the State of NRW and the City of Bonn..

A student is disinfecting their hands at a disinfection station placed in front of an entrance to a university building. Two further students wearing masks are walking towards the building whilst maintaining a distance from each other.
© Universität Bonn/ Volker Lannert

Hygiene

Please note that the rules governing all on-site courses and examinations conducted at the University of Bonn require that participants wear a medical face mask (without breathing valve). The University of Bonn will provide medical face masks (surgical masks) for the individual sessions. When on the outside areas of a University campus, please make sure that you wear a mask at times when it proves impossible to maintain the prescribed safety distance from others. Such situations may also be subject to separate regulations issued by the City of Bonn, which require citizens to wear a mask on public open spaces and streets in the town.

Keep the mask with which you have been issued and wear it on your journey home and then dispose of it in the domestic waste. If you would prefer not to wear the used mask on your journey home, please dispose of it in the waste bins marked for used masks only.

Disinfectant dispensers have been set up in front of all entrances to University buildings to facilitate entry. Please apply disinfectant to your hands before entering University buildings. We recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water at regular intervals.

All seminar rooms and lecture halls allow for sufficient airing. This will be performed either automatically using a ventilation system or by manually by opening windows and doors. Information about good ventilation practice will be displayed at the entrance to every room. The room must be thoroughly aired every 30 minutes during a break of approx. five minutes (ideally through cross-ventilation, i.e. opening opposite windows and doors; otherwise through impact ventilation, i.e. opening all windows). Impact ventilation time: 10 minutes in summer, 5 minutes in spring/fall, 3 minutes in winter (outside temperature < 6 °C).


Questions and Answers

We constantly receive questions about teaching during the pandemic. We have provided answers to a number of frequently asked questions here.

FAQ

Following consultation with the course teacher, the examination board can stipulate that the completion of certain study achievements can be substituted for an attendance requirement as the prerequisite for admittance to examinations. If the examination regulations stipulate compulsory attendance for a course, this requirement also applies if the course is held online. To verify attendance, you can ask students to register at each online session using their real names or at least a pseudonym known to you. It is possible to verify attendance without the students’ cameras being switched on.

As teachers do not like addressing a series of black squares, students have been urged to activate their cameras wherever possible in order to facilitate a profitable exchange between students and teachers and to contribute to a constructive atmosphere in the seminar. Students and teachers concerned about their privacy can generate virtual background pictures as a method of protecting their privacy.

Students are not obliged to switch on their cameras. Please bear in mind that some students have good reason not to switch on their cameras, and choosing to do so should always be an option.

The results of the student survey are published on the web pages of the Center for Evaluation and Methodology of the University of Bonn.

Scholarship recipients can be deployed as proctors for written examinations. As they usually work on the same basis as University employees, they are also covered by the University insurance. This applies especially if scholarship recipients are usually integrated in conventional routines and are given identical or similar tasks to e.g. employed doctoral students. This derives from § 2 (2) SGB VII para. 2.

The eCampus team has already placed a large amount of information relating to the use of the platform online. We recommend that beginners start with the "Creating Online Courses" online tutorial provided on eCampus; this outlines a range of digital teaching scenarios and provides a number of tips and tricks for getting started. The support team also provides a number of webinars and other forms of training on a regular basis, which provide a good overview of the functions of the platform. The faculties also provide assistance relating to the use of eCampus in your particular discipline (e.g. via. eTutor:innen). Please consult your degree program manager.

No, there is no requirement to do this. You do however, need to provide sufficient digital material to enable persons who are themselves unable, for whatever reason, to participate in on-site courses, which would enable them to work independently to prepare sufficiently to sit and pass the examination. This does not equate to a requirement to record courses.

In principle, it should be possible to use different forms of study achievement to those specified in the module guide or examination regulations. Before doing so however, it is important that you consult with the degree program coordinator. The use of different forms of study achievement requires the approval of the examination board. It is important that the new form of study achievement enables students to attain the qualification targets of the module in question. Section 9.1 has sent a comprehensive handout focusing on the topic of examinations to the dean's office, in which all possible forms of examination are examined in detail. The examination board must be consulted before making any changes to the mode of examination.

The representative for students with disabilities, Marion Becker, has assembled a large amount of information about barrier-free teaching together with advice and assistance in this matter (a link has not been provided due to the current relaunch of the web presence).

Should students find it impossible to participate in online teaching, they have the right to a semester on leave. Students on leave are however not able to sit examinations. We would request that you minimize the technical requirements for participation in digital courses so as to maximize levels of student participation.

Further Information about COVID-19

Main page

Return to the homepage, from where you can navigate to a range of subpages.

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Information for Members of Staff

Here you will find the most important regulations for members of the University staff.

Important Documents

All the important documents relevant to university operations during the pandemic are available here.

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