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FAQ on studying and working online

Teaching on campus cannot take place at FUAS at the moment. But teaching and your studies will continue even without lectures in lecture halls and seminars in classrooms. On this page we have gathered some of the questions that keep arising in this context and answered them.

When and how will teaching take place?

What is the planned timetable for online teaching?

For most classes, teaching online will start in the week from 23 to 27 March 2020. But even for classes that will not start in that week, our teaching staff will contact students until Friday, 20 March and inform them about plans and ideas on how teaching will take place. So, a concrete plan for each class should be determined and communicated by 27 March 2020.

Please note that putting classes on hold and postponing all teaching to the nine weeks after 17 April is not an option. This would not work due to the limited number of rooms and labs on campus.

When will webinars, video lectures and similar live formats take place?

Where classes are taught live, i.e. with all participants attending at the same time, they will take place according to the timetable announced for each degree programme and semester. This way there will not be collisions between different classes. Any lecture or class streamed live has to take place in the time slot assigned to it in the timetable.

Can students work in groups?

If you have to work on a project in a group, this has to be done using online tools. Please do not meet in person. 

Can I come to campus to work in a lab?

Laboratories can be used for research projects and, if necessary, for final theses. The hygiene regulations in place have to be adhered by. Due to work safety regulations, the members of teaching staff and project leads have to ensure that there is always more than one person present when a lab is used. Please coordinate your working hours at FUAS with someone who is authorised to enter the buildings as all of FUAS’ buildings are currently closed to the public.

There will not be any teaching in our laboratories until 19 April 2020.

If there is no obligation to attend classes, why do lectures that are streamed live or virtual laboratories take place at a binding time?

It makes sense to stick to the class schedule in order to avoid collisions between classes. Where members of teaching staff have arranged for a re-scheduling of dates with their colleagues, classes can be re-scheduled of course.
 

Do teaching staff have to record a live video in case my connection to the internet is interrupted?

We recommend that this is done. It is not compulsory, however.

Will teaching on campus really resume on 20 April?

This is a question that is being discussed on all levels, from national government to the Länder and the universities, at the moment. As a university we are an active part of this discussion representing the interests of our students. To do this as well as possible we are collecting feedback from many perspectives: students, teaching and admin staff.

The President's Office does everything in our power to make the summer semester 2020 a successful one for you and your studies.

There will not be any teaching on campus in the week from 20 April. All further decisions will be made based on the Ministry's decision in the next days.

How will lab classes be re-held?

We have asked teaching staff to re-plan their teaching so that purely theoretical parts will be taught in the early part of the semester where possible and labs requiring students to be physically present will be taught later. This applies to those labs that cannot be taught online in particular of course.

[Update, 20 May 2020]:

On 15 May 2020 the so-called “Corona bill” came into effect, this bill includes amendments to the Higher Education Act of Schleswig-Holstein and provides the universities with the freedoms and the legal certainties they need to act. The government of Schleswig-Holstein also agreed on a number of measures easing the impact of the regulations in place, these measures also concern the operations of FUAS and teaching on campus.

For the rest of the summer semester 2020 the major part of teaching will continue to take place online. Exceptions from this rule can only be made for those classes in which physical attendance of students is absolutely essential. A request has to be filed with the Dean’s Office if a member of teaching staff wishes for any (lab) classes and assessment or exams to take place on campus. The President's Office (with the Chancellor being the person in charge) will decide on whether these requests can be granted. Such requests have been filed for a lot of classes already.

What happens in the few cases where we don’t get any support from our professors and teaching staff?

In this unusual situations no student should be left without any support! We talk with the Heads of the General Students Committee on a daily basis. They are in close contact with the individual degree programme’s student representatives to find out what works well and what doesn’t.

We are also moderating a best practice sharing amongst our teaching staff.

Can I study from home for the entire semester?

Looks like online teaching is not all that bad - that’s nice!

We are supporting our teaching staff in continuing with those components of their online teaching that are of a high quality.

How and when will teaching on campus resume this summer semester?

On 15 May 2020 the so-called “Corona bill” came into effect, this bill includes amendments to the Higher Education Act of Schleswig-Holstein and provides the universities with the freedoms and the legal certainties they need to act. The government of Schleswig-Holstein also agreed on a number of measures easing the impact of the regulations in place, these measures also concern the operations of FUAS and teaching on campus.

For the rest of the summer semester 2020 the major part of teaching will continue to take place online. Exceptions from this rule can only be made for those classes in which physical attendance of students is absolutely essential. A request has to be filed with the Dean’s Office if a member of teaching staff wishes for any (lab) classes and assessment or exams to take place on campus. The President's Office (with the Chancellor being the person in charge) will decide on whether these requests can be granted. Such requests have been filed for a lot of classes already.

What will the winter semester 2020/21 look like?

At the moment we cannot make a reliable prognosis for the winter semester 2020/21. We, too, have to live with the uncertainties regarding the development of the numbers of infections. Currently we are expecting that teaching on campus will not take place in the usual manner in the winter semester 2020/21 and that online teaching will be part of the upcoming semester.

Studying materials

What about using books to study?

The Campus Library Flensburg will be closed until 19 April 2020. Because of that we have asked our teaching staff to use eBooks or other studying materials available online for their classes.

Of course you can still use the Campus Library’s online resources. You can find helpful links to those resources here.

[Update, 20 May 2020]:

The Campus Library Flensburg will re-open on a reduced level and subject to the hygiene regulations on Monday, 25 May. For details and the re-opening schedule please check the Chancellor’s e-mail from 19 May (in German only).

How do I obtain scripts for my classes?

As the AStA paper shop on campus is closed at the moment, we have asked our teaching staff to provide their scripts via Stud.IP.

What are the tools/software that should be used for online teaching?

At the moment a number of tools are being used. The decision to allow this use of a variety of tools was taken to allow a greater flexibility for our teaching staff and to make teaching during these times as easy as possible. Our teaching staff have a platform and a weekly meeting where they can share their experience. We will evaluate the current situation soon and then establish a mainline for e-learning tools for which we then will be able to prove proper support.

We have already set up an e-learning support that can be reached at elearning-support@hs-flensburg.de.

Technology & infrastructure

Students with a slow internet connection

Unfortunately, there is no solution for this group at the moment. Problems may arise for classes streamed live (webinars, web conferences) in particular. Classes that are taught in an asynchronous manner and that offer studying materials as downloads should cause less problems. We have asked our teaching staff to create studying materials that will use as little data as possible.

If working in very small groups cannot be avoided at all (e.g. for students with no access to the internet), please make sure that the group contains as little people as possible and that the members of the group stay the same so as to keep the risk of infection at a minimum.

Content such as videos, studying materials and screencasts can be downloaded at times when fewer people access the internet (at night for example).

Helpdesk and contact persons

There are problems with AdobeConnect and DFNConf at the moment, these problems are almost solely caused by the high number of access requests for the servers. At the moment FUAS cannot answer any questions regarding these tools.

If you have questions on your university mail account, the OwnCloud service or VPN, please contact our IT helpdesk at it-support@hs-flensburg.de. For questions on Stud.IP, please ask the Campus Management team at cm-support@hs-flensburg.de.

[Update, 24 March 2020:]

Your first contact if you have any questions is the member of teaching staff in charge of the module you are taking. They know the teaching concept of each class and are therefore best qualified to answer your questions. Please help us to bundle the flow of information as best as possible and do not contact your faculty’s support directly.

What platforms are used for teaching?

The platforms and tools used to organise teaching and provide studying materials such as scripts, videos etc. are Stud.IP, OwnCloud and your FUAS mail account. (Teaching staff and students of International Technical Communication will mainly communicate via CommSy.)

Stud.IP

Stud.IP is the base for online teaching in the current situation. It will be used to organise and schedule classes as well as to ensure communication between teaching staff and students and to provide studying materials.

OwnCloud (online storage space)

Storage space on our OwnCloud is available to all members of our teaching staff and, for the duration of this situation, our students. This storage space is comparable to Dropbox and follows the rules defined by the GDPR; it is hosted on FUAS’ servers. You can access OwnCloud via this link.

Please use your regular FUAS user name and password to log in.

Assessment, exams & final theses

Can I still register my final thesis?

Yes. You can scan the signed registration form and e-mail it to our Examinations Office. You can hand in the original form later.

The registration form can be found here.

Before you register your theses, please think about whether you can actually complete your theses in a meaningful manner currently. Take into account that, according to our current information, the Campus Library will be closed until 19 April 2020.

[Update, 24 March 2020]: The original registration form does not have to be handed in at a later point in time.

The deadline for my final thesis is before 19 April 2020. What do I have to know?

If you have any problems completing your thesis because the Campus Library is closed for example, please report this to the Examinations Office. A decision on ow to proceed will be taken for each individual case.

Will the colloquium for my thesis take place as planned?

Please contact your thesis supervisor to find a way of letting the colloquium take place online or via phone.

When will those exams of the exam period summer semester 2020-I that were postponed take place?

The exams that had to be postponed will probably be re-scheduled to 24 and 25 May 2020.

[Update, 16 April 2020]:

We realize that you need enough time to prepare for your exams. We also know that some of you are faced with great challenges while trying to prepare for exams at the moment. That’s why we are working very hard to find a feasible solution soon. We will let you know about this decision via the various channels that are well established by now.

We are doing our best to ensure that you can make use of this exam period. The arrangement that students do not need to present a doctor’s certificate if they cannot attend an exam they have registered for in the current exam period remains valid. Please act responsibly and decide whether not attending an exam makes sense if you have a cold for example.

In terms of organising these exams we are currently trying to make possible whatever is possible: We have reserved the Flens-Arena (the sports arena on campus) for the period from 23 to 25 April to ensure that students can physically attend and take exams with the necessary safety distance between them. We are discussing the details of this with the City of Flensburg’s health department at the moment.

As soon as the details are settled (probably by next week), we will share the information with you.

Of course a decree by the national or state government could still put a halt to our efforts and require us to rethink again.

What are the rules for term papers and semester projects?

Whether or not the deadline for term papers and projects should be re-scheduled will be decided by the examiner.

[Update, 24 March 2020]: On the overview of grades the examiners mark those participants that could not be graded yet because of the current situation with a “C”. The overviews of grades can be e-mailed to the Examinations Office until 1 April 2020.

How do I hand in my final thesis?

Students still have to hand in three printed copies of their thesis (by post). The date of the postmark is regarded as the date on which the thesis was submitted, i.e. the date of the postmark cannot be later than the designated submission deadline. You can also e-mail a digital version of your thesis to a copy shop, the copy shop can then print three copies of the thesis and post it to FUAS. In this case the submission deadline will be deemed met if the date on the confirmation of you having sent the thesis to the copy shop is within the deadline. Please e-mail this confirmation to the Examinations Office.

Terminating the work on final theses

Where the topic of a thesis cannot be worked on (e.g. because it was based on empirical surveys to be carried out), students can withdraw the topic they have registered by writing an e-mail to the Examinations Office. The attempt will then count as not started and you can simply register a new topic. This also means the time to complete your thesis will start from the beginning.

Another alternative is that you talk to your supervisor to find a way of making your topic work without an empirical part for example and complete your thesis with the registered topic. The content of your thesis may be slightly different than first intended, but the topic will remain the same.

Record of the colloquium for your thesis

The record of the bachelor’s/master’s thesis (incl. the colloquium) can be handed in via e-mail or by post. If it is possible to e-mail the record prior to sending it by post, the original document is to be handed in at a later point in time.

When will the exams that were cancelled take place?

We realize that you need enough time to prepare for your exams. We also know that some of you are faced with great challenges while trying to prepare for exams at the moment. That’s why we are working very hard to find a feasible solution soon. We will let you know about this decision via the various channels that are well established by now.

We are doing our best to ensure that you can make use of this exam period. The arrangement that students do not need to present a doctor’s certificate if they cannot attend an exam they have registered for in the current exam period remains valid. Please act responsibly and decide whether not attending an exam makes sense if you have a cold for example.

In terms of organising these exams we are currently trying to make possible whatever is possible: We have reserved the Flens-Arena (the sports arena on campus) for the period from 23 to 25 April to ensure that students can physically attend and take exams with the necessary safety distance between them. We are discussing the details of this with the City of Flensburg’s health department at the moment.

As soon as the details are settled (probably by next week), we will share the information with you.

Of course a decree by the national or state government could still put a halt to our efforts and require us to rethink again.

Do I have to register for these postponed exams?

Your registration for the original exam remains valid, yu do not have to register again.

Will the contents or the difficulty of the exam be adjusted to meet this unusual situation?

Teaching staff were asked to set exams in an appropriate manner - what this means in each case is up to each member of teaching staff.

Will all other assessment take place as planned?

For the next exam period (summer semester II) we are in talks with the ministry to set up regulations allowing students to fail an exam without the usual consequences or to make the recognition of grades acquired in this semester an option. So far no final decisions have been made.

Can a form of assessment be adjusted to the current situation?

This is what the Head of the Examinations Board, who is in charge of questions like this, has to say: The module descriptions are legally binding. The intended learning outcome has to be fulfilled. The form in which teaching takes place is flexible. In accordance with the Principles of Assessment (PVO) the form of assessment can be handled flexibly and can be applied for by the member of teaching staff responsible for a module with the Head of the Examinations Board. The deadline by which this application has to be handed in is 20 April.

By the way: The change of the form of assessment into a form more appropriate to the current situation is only valid for the exam period summer semester II. The re-take exams will then be the original form of assessment (written exam).

[Update, 20 May 2020]:

In accordance with §105, para. of the 1 - 4 Corona bill: "Universities may replace a form of teaching as defined in the Study and Examination Regulations by a different form of teaching that is appropriate to teach the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the intended learning outcome for a module."

The form of assessment for a module may be adapted from that defined in the degree programme’s Examination Regulations where this is necessary to carry out the assessment if the form of assessment is appropriate to determine whether the intended learning outcome has been met. The students will be informed about any change in the form of assessment by the member of teaching staff once this change was granted by the Examination Board.

How can final theses be completed under these circumstances?

The fact the laboratories cannot be used does not only pose problems for teaching but also for the writing of final theses. If your final thesis is part of a research project, it may be possible to find a solution with your supervisor. This solution must ensure that hygiene, conduct and work safety regulations are complied with.

We are also working on a solution allowing students writing their master’s thesis (restricted) access to the Campus Library. Unfortunately this does not include bachelor’s candidates.

This is what the Head of the Examinations Board has to say: If you are facing problems with completing your theses, please contact the Examinations Office. We will find individual solutions.

So please consider carefully before registering your thesis: Does it make sense to register now? Will you be able to complete your thesis under the current circumstances?

Will there be so-called "free shots"?

In accordance with §105, para. 6 of the Corona bill: "The Dean determines in which degree programmes or modules exams/assessment will count as not attempted if they are not passed in the summer semester 2020 due to the impact of the limitations to teaching on campus on the study and examination conditions (“free shot”). The Dean can commission the Vice-Dean or the Examination Board to take this decision. For students with childcare duties for children under the age of 14 and whose study and examination situation has been made significantly more difficult by the fact that schools and kindergartens were closed, an assessment/exam taken but not passed in the summer semester 2020 shall not count as failed (“free shot”)."

 The regulations specifying this are currently being finalised in cooperation with the AStA. 

What are the rules in regards to orientation test and basic practical training?

If basic practical training is a pre-requisite to attend classes of the upcoming semester and if this basic practical training cannot be completed due to a change in the lecture and teaching period, it may be postponed to the next year.

If a candidate does not pass an orientation test and as a result thereof cannot attend classes in the next semester, a hardship case can be petitioned. A decision on how to proceed will be taken for each individual case.

What are the rules in regards to discontinued degree programmes?

If a degree programme is discontinued after this semester and if, in accordance with the regulations specifying the details of this discontinuation, assessment were to be held for the last time in this semester, this assessment will be offered again in the upcoming semester.

What about exams in the exam period summer semester 2020-II aus?

The Examinations Office is faced with a number of challenges this year. Due to the distancing and hygiene regulations the number of exam candidates allowed in a room will be reduced significantly. We are doing our best to keep the exam period as short as possible and there is a high probability that we will use the Flens-Arena and the main cafeteria as exam locations. We kindly ask you to help us to manage the exams under these difficult conditions.  Please act responsibly and only register for those exams that you actually intend to take.  

Internships

My internship was cancelled before I could start it or finished early because of COVID-19. What should I do?

Please contact the internship coordinator for your degree programme. He or she will be notified about the regulations and they will then decide on the recognition of your internship or whether any supplementary or additional tasks will have to be fulfilled. Please make sure you have a written statement confirming that you could not start/complete your internship due to COVID-19.

FUAS recommends that in the current situation internships are moved to the home office where possible; however, this has to be decided by each employer individually.

[Update, 20 May 2020]:

In accordance with §105, para. 7 of the Corona bill:  "If an internship cannot be started and if this cannot be made up for in due time, it can be replaced by another form of assessment taking into consideration the intended learning outcome. If it was not possible to complete the planned duration of an internship, the internship can be recognised if the intended learning outcome has been met."

An alternative form of assessment and the recognition lie with the internship coordinators.

Organisational matters

What are the rules for students with children?

We will try to do everything possible to find suitable solutions for students who have children and need to care for them and who are at a significant disadvantage with schools and kindergartens being closed at the moment. Please contact the members of teaching staff teaching your classes and the coordinator of your degree programme to find a solution. Where there are individual hardship cases, the Examinations Office will be involved in finding a solution.

What are the rules for members of teaching staff with children?

We will try and find constructive solutions. Please contact your Dean’s Office to figure out details. 

I work as a student assistant. Can I come to campus to work?

Wherever this is possible, all employees of FUAS work from home at the moment. This also applies to student assistants. Please stay at home and work from home unless your task is critical to the operation of our university and this has been agreed on with your Dean’s Office or the President's Office.

What about BAföG funding when I cannot prove that I have completed all the necessary exams and modules?

A decision on how BAföG will be dealt with will be made on a superior level as this affects all universities in Germany. As of now, no further information is available.

Can the political boards and bodies of FUAS meet?

In accordance with §98 of the Corona bill: "Political bodies, boards and committees of Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (FUAS) may hold their meetings via video conferencing tools."

This includes student bodies.

Can I apply for a master's degree programme if I am not able to finish my bachelor's as planned due to Corona?

In accordance with §102 of the Corona bill: "For a limited period of two semesters, or, for a period of one semester if the master’s degree programme is a two-semester programme, applicants can be granted access to a master’s degree programme even if they have not successfully completed all assessment and thus their first university degree. This applies if, on the basis of the course of studies and the assessment completed so far, it is to be expected that the degree will be completed by the end of this period. If access to the master’s degree programme is limited by the pre-requisite of a minimum grade acquired with the first university degree, this minimum grade shall be derived from the average grade of the assessment completed so far. The provisional enrolment as a student becomes void if the first university degree cannot be provided within the set time period (resolutive condition)."

I was planning to spend a semester abroad during the winter semester. What should I do?

The infection rates and the overall situation in regards to Covid-19 in the different countries across the globe are very volatile and we cannot be sure that the situation in Germany and abroad will not worsen again in the winter. This could lead to significant difficulties during your semester abroad in which we as FUAS will not be able to support you as the institutions in the respective country will be in charge. An option we also have to take into account is that our partner universities will cancel exchange programmes at short notice if the situation in their country deteriorates. Therefore, there are risks connected to spending time abroad in the winter semester and you should consider postponing your semester abroad.

 This is what we recommend you to do: 

a) If you have **planned and organised your semester abroad yourself** please contact the International Office, so the team there can talk to you about your individual situation and find a solution.

b) If **your planned semester abroad is a compulsory semester abroad** please contact the study abroad coordinator of your degree programme to find out whether there is an alternative programme that will allow you to complete your semester abroad at a later point in time and complete other semesters of your programme in the meantime.

"Corona semester"

How exactly will this “corona semester” look?

The President's Office does everything in our power to make the summer semester 2020 a successful one for you and your studies.

We will urge the ministry to create conditions that allow us to be as flexible as possible. Our main objective is to ensure that our students have a successful summer semester. This will require that the teaching period is adjusted so that those parts of the curriculum that could not be taught can be taught at a later point in time. Some teaching can only be done with students attending physically. So at the moment our plan is to use more than the usual time frame in the semester to hold classes and exams. But of course our students and teaching staff still deserve a summer break. We are currently in talks with other universities, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) and our ministry to find a solution. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) in which the Ministers for Science of the German Länder meet is discussing this question at the moment. We are trying to influence the discussions and decisions taken by the HRK in the interest of our students.

We are working on different scenarios for how to get teaching and working at FUAS running again.

But it is not very likely that we will be able to finish the teaching period in the rime planned. We are i talks about the details of this with the Ministry of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs. The semester dates will be decided on on KMK level in the following days - we vote for flexibility.

But we will notice the impact of the current situation for a long time coming: However, we want to make sure that we will not only remember the difficulties but that we will use the positive learnings in the area of online teaching for example in the future.

[Update, 20 May 2020]:

You can find FUAS’ teaching and exam periods here – the planned times are subject to the conformation by the Ministry and a discussion in the codetermination bodies of FUAS.

How will first year students be provided with the information they need to study successfully?

The official welcome didn’t take place the way it usually does but online - but large parts of it were cancelled. So part one of the welcome for our new students took place online and via video.

For part two we will also go online, it will include information on “who to ask when...” and the Study an d Examination Regulations and it will take place on 21 April, starting at 8:30 a.m. We will provide access details on our website.

When can we come back to campus and enjoy stuff like the Campuskino cinema and the Klause students bar?

We have a beautiful campus and it can be very relaxing to spend time there, especially outside. In general, the rules that apply to public spaces also apply to our campus.

And of course the Klause students bar is an important part of campus life. But right now curricular events, i.e. classes etc., take precedence.

The Campuskino cinema has adjusted to the current situation and will take place on 22 April at 8 p.m. - online in a Campuskino@home edition. You wil find the details for this on Facebook.

What are the regulations on the period of time designated to complete a degree in

In accordance with §103 of the Corona bill: 

"(1) In regards to any regulations in higher education law related to the period of time designated to complete a degree in, the university will not count the summer semester 2020 as a subject-related semester.

(2) Students enrolled in the summer semester 2020 can receive a confirmation from their university stating that they were unable to successfully complete assessment or exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic and their studies will therefore be extended by one semester. This confirmation will be issued upon request."