- Slides: 17
PROFESSOR ANDREW LANG DIRECTOR OF PGT STUDIES 8 th September 2020 “Town Hall” meeting for new students
Professor Andrew Lang Director of PGT Studies The purpose of today’s Town Hall • To give you an idea of what starting life as a Law Student at the ELS this month is going to be like and the changes we’ve been making to adjust to COVID-19. • The focus will be on 2 things: • (1) The way we teach and staff-student interaction more generally. • (2) The use of our building and University premises more generally. • We won’t be discussing general academic issues today (e. g. How to study, how to find books, etc) as these issues will be addressed, as they are every year, in the courses you are taking, and during Welcome Week.
Some resources for students 1. New student, Uni-wide webpage: https: //www. ed. ac. uk/students/new-students 2. COVID-19 specific webpages: https: //www. ed. ac. uk/news/covid-19/health-safety-travel 3. Law School current students website https: //www. currentstudents. law. ed. ac. uk/ 4. University social media channels: https: //twitter. com/edinunistudents https: //www. facebook. com/Edin. Uni. Students 5. Law School social media channels: https: //twitter. com/Uo. ELaw. School https: //www. facebook. com/Edinburgh. Law. School/
Some resources for students 6. Scottish Government COVID-19 resources: https: //www. gov. scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ 7. A wide range of study skills resources: https: //www. ed. ac. uk/institute-academic-development/study-hub/learning-resources 8. Some specific study skills tips on hybrid teaching: https: //www. ed. ac. uk/institute-academic-development/study-hub/learning-resources/hybrid-learning-and-t 9. Some just launched, new (optional) online short courses to aid transition to hybrid teaching: https: //www. ed. ac. uk/students/new-students/ready-university/hybrid-learning/short-courses 10. The Law School’s “Recommissioning Law School Spaces” document which provides information for s This has been emailed to students and is also available on the current Law students website at: https: //www. currentstudents. law. ed. ac. uk/covid-19/.
The way we teach and staff-student interaction generally • • The approach we are taking to teaching is a hybrid one All students’ main source of information will be the individual course webpages for each course, available through www. learn. ed. ac. uk (all your courses will be listed and accessible through this portal). Some differences between teaching approach for Masters courses and Diploma On-campus: the challenge of social distancing rules. Limited the numbers in teaching spaces. Rota system possible if the on-campus attendance in a course is higher than the room capacity. For those who can’t be in the classroom in a specific week, they will be able to access the classes electronically through a range of resources which have been designed for online learning.
The Law Library • Social distancing rules also apply to the library spaces, so not all students who want to study in the law library or other libraries will always be able to find a place. • We have been increasing our electronic collection over the summer to ensure that as many resources as possible are available in electronic format. • All the essential reading for each course you take will be available electronically. • Library study spaces will be able to booked, for blocks of time, using a new Uo. E app called Seat. ED, about which you will be given more details. • There will also be additional study spaces in buildings near the Law School, including at Adam House (in Chambers Street, just across from the Old College building). Again, these additional study spaces will be bookable using the Seat. ED app.
Accessing the PG office The PG Office is not currently available for in-person drop-in appointments. You will be able to: · email us (pg. [email protected] ac. uk) · book virtual appointments · and/or connect via Microsoft Teams. All students will be given further information about connecting with us. If you do have an issue that cannot be resolved virtually, or via an online appointment, please let your student support team know.
Other meetings Meeting with personal tutors (PTs) will, in the first instance, take place virtually. If your circumstances are such that you cannot meet your PT online, please let the PGO know. We will then endeavour to work with both you and your PT/supervisor to find an appropriate space for you to meet. In terms of things that are likely to take place on campus, student societies may meet, and other social events may take place, on campus, in an appropriately socially distanced way, as sporting activities will (wherever possible). Those organising such events will tell you what is possible.
The use of our building and University premises more generally A rigorous assessment has been made of the Law School’s Old College building and the Annex at Holyrood Rd to ensure that they will comply with all COVID-19 health and safety requirements and to ensure that they are regularly cleaned. Your cooperation to ensure that the building stays in a state appropriate for usage will be essential. You will notice some things when you enter our premises: • Perspex screens erected at reception areas • Hand sanitising stations at entrances to our buildings • A one-way system to guide you round certain parts of the building. It is crucial that everyone follows the system and does not double back and go the wrong way. • Signs on the wall and floors to guide you and to note social distancing requirements, and mirrors on walls at certain spaces to show you whether someone may be coming from the other direction in those corridors where 2 -way traffic is permitted.
Our buildings Please be aware that in some cases, where someone has a reason related to a disability, they may not be required to follow the onway system. Everyone else must do so. There are signs in lavatory spaces to indicate only one person can use the facilities at a time and to remind everyone of hand-washing rules:
Our buildings • A comprehensive cleaning regime has been implemented, including (i) an additional cleaning period (between 12 and 2 pm) which is in addition to cleaning at the start of the day, and (ii) further regular cleaning during the day at key “touch points”. • We are encouraging all staff, students, and visitors to wear face coverings when in the building, including in teaching rooms, but this is not an absolute rule except in libraries and other study spaces where face coverings MUST be worn. (Staff sitting behind perspex screens in reception areas won’t be wearing them). This approach complies with Scottish Government advice for higher educational institutions. • Remember that there a number of valid reasons, recognised in legislation, for not wearing a face covering where it would otherwise be required. • In an emergency, where we have to evacuate the building quickly, the one-way system will not be in force and you should leave the building by the nearest and quickest emergency exit (these are signed).
Additional questions posted on slid. do Q: When will we have a chance to select our electives and have access to our timetable? A: You will have received a link to elect your courses some weeks ago, and should have filled that in already. Students are being enrolled on courses from now, and you will see your timetables populate as that happens. All students will have their timetables by the end of Welcome Week at the latest. Q: What plans are in place (assessment, seminar attendance etc) to cater for students who need to self-isolate or be off-sick due to COVID during the Semester? A: Time off for sickness will be dealt with in the usual way, eg through Special Circumstances applications. Where students need to access materials when self-isolating, they will be available online. Q: Will lectures and seminars be recorded? What if I miss one of the lessons? A: For LLM/MSc courses: the plan is to record all seminars, and make recordings available. But weekly engagement is critical: lessons cannot be missed and caught up later.
Additional questions posted on slid. do Q: Is it correct that there are neither classes nor assignments whatsoever between 22 December and 11 January, so we could plan on visiting relatives? A: There will be summative assessments to complete during this time. Q: Can I arrive in October? A: The University has given students the choice to study from their home countries for some part of the year, but of course you must engage with your studies from the beginning of the academic year. You can attend classes in person after any required self-isolation period. Q: When do we have to pay the tuition fee? Do we have to pay it in full at once? A: You are eligible to pay fees from the point you have confirmed their attendance. This will be completed by PGO following student engagement with Welcome Week activities. Please can contact the Ed. Help service for further advice on fees.
Additional questions posted on slid. do Q: I need to self-isolate during the first week of semester 1, should I inform my professors that I can’t attend the offline seminars in person? A: Yes, please keep the School informed of your circumstances at all times. Please notify your lecturers, personal tutor and the teaching office of any absence. Please note that the Diploma has a specific absence policy which students will need to follow with regard to workshop attendance. Q: Can you provide further information on what Welcome Week will consist of? Also, will it be predominantly online or will it require us to go into campus? A: A detailed Welcome Week schedule will be sent to you shortly. There a small number of in-person events for smaller programmes, but for the most part the induction programme will be virtual.
Additional questions posted on slid. do Q: is it necessary to attend the lecture at the time it takes place (in person or online) or can it be accessed online at any time afterwards? A: For LLM/MSc courses: the live element takes the form of a seminar-style discussion, with recorded mini-lectures in advance. You should attend the live session, but if you are abroad we recognise that sometimes that may not be possible. Where possible and appropriate, recordings will be available for that reason. Q: What will the school policy be re students going abroad (during e. g. reading week) and then having to unexpectedly quarantine because of changed govt advice? A: You are ask to be mindful of this possibility when planning any travel. Should this happen, then you would be expected to engage with your studies as usual during quarantine, through the online mode.
Additional questions posted on sli. do Q: How likely are we to receive our elective choices? A: Because of our commitment to seminar-style teaching (as opposed to merely large lectures) we cannot guarantee all students will get all of their course choices. In past years, almost all students have received places almost all of their chosen courses.