Monday 16 March
Unfortunately, this health crisis is still ongoing. Every day we wait for the political and institutional representatives, through the various media, to announce the downward phase of the contagion situation. Until now it has been a vain wait. For this very reason, I appeal to all of us to act in the best possible way, so that the opportunities for coronavirus to spread can be limited as much as possible.
As you may have noticed, on social media, this serious situation we are experiencing is often faced by some with irony, with concern and with humour. I think, however, we must pay attention, above all, to the many messages which, as bearers of hope, invite us to reconsider our model of life. For my part, I think it is my duty to emphasise that, as scholars of educational issues and/or as educators, we cannot lose our optimism. We are obliged to cultivate in ourselves and in others the conviction that we can find appropriate solutions to the current drama. I invite you to have and instill courage. Difficult situations must be faced, working to find solutions that are respectful of each individual and of his or her belongings. Educators, pedagogues, teachers, like all those with educational responsibility, cannot lose optimism and hope.
On behalf of all the professors and lectures of the Faculty of Education I would like to point out that we miss you. We do miss the dialogue and confrontation that we can have in a classroom, during programmed meetings, common reflections. However, I think I can say that we above all miss your enthusiasm, your willingness to live with others, your desire to grow together with others. The new teaching methods with which in the space of very few days, we have had to become familiar with, to reformulate the teaching proposal, as teachers, do not fill the void of real interaction. Nevertheless, these modalities allow us to keep our dialogue open. The individual teachers, helped by Technical Staff and Colleagues, recorded the lessons using Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. To date, 175 teachers of the Faculty of Education have adopted the new teaching methods: 289 recorded video-lectures, 182 live lectures, 471 sessions of Bb Collaborate. I confess that I have been particularly impressed by your level of participation in video lectures, forums, webinar discussions, live lectures, meetings mediated by more or less commented slides, etc.. Like professors and lecturers, all of you have had to find new ways of taking part in the university experience. I hope you will soon be able to "regain possession" of Largo Gemelli, of the cloisters of Bramante, of St. Ambrogio ... On everything, I encourage you to reflect on the fact that, situations like the one we are experiencing, requires us to cultivate a new and more mature approach to the university experience. Our readiness to deal with change and to respond to it in a rational but also creative way.
I will now give some final reflections on frontal lectures, supplementary activities, exams and graduation, aware of your concerns in this regard. - As Faculty of Education, if the emergency will stop, in the second half of May we will make up for the two weeks of lessons lost in February. In the coming days, together with the Coordinators of the Study Courses, we will define some solutions to recover lab/workshop activities and internship activities: it will be my care and the individual Coordinators of the Study Courses will keep you updated. To this end, I recommend you to frequently check your e-mail on icatt address, because it is the tool we can use to reach you all. - With regard to exam calls and gradutation sessions to be held in the extraordinary session in April, I can reassure you: the UCSC, while respecting the needs of the individual Faculties, is making choices to allow you to take the tests. Soon (if it has not already been sent) you will receive a document indicating how the tests will be carried out remotely. I believe that exam calls and graduation sessions throughout the month of April will have to be held in this way. - For those who have had or are having impediments in the realization of their thesis work, the UCSC is thinking of organizing a further graduation session, after the one in April, or to ensure that the summer ones are at zero cost for students graduating in April
Best wishes to you by all the professors and lectures of the Faculty of Education.
Thursday, 5 March
In the light of the persistent health emergency and the consequent suspension of lectures at least until 15 March and based on what indicated by our Rector, together with the Coordinators of the Study Programmes, we have considered it advisable to provide a teaching plan based on online activities. Through this plan we intend to respond to your needs in this critical stage, putting you in the condition to continue your course of study without losing any of the university experience and minimising the inconvenience.
Everyone knows how important it is for us the centrality of the individual and the teaching experience. This implies, in our organizational choices, to reserve the right space for teaching and educational interaction. This is why we have preferred to ponder the teaching model to offer without abandoning ourselves to easy solutions that would probably have required exceptions from the anthropological and pedagogical approach in which we recognise ourselves.
The teaching model we have designed for you tries to keep together the need to work remotely and the quality of the interaction, by balancing self-learning work and synchronous and asynchronous moments of confrontation with your professors and lectures.
The official working space for everyone will be our Blackboard platform, which many of you already know because it is used by several professors and lectures to support classroom teaching in presence.
Organisation of teaching activities
The outline of the weekly activity of each course is as follows:
- 1 hour of content proposal (it can have two different forms: 1) a video lesson or 2) a series of PowerPoint slides with synchronized audio. In both cases the University recognizes the equivalence of 45' of teaching in presence with 20' of video lessons or series of commented slides);
- 1 hour of individual study (a micro-activity - reading a song, carrying out an exercise, web search, analysis of a document or video stimulus, etc.). - to be carried out on the basis of the indications provided by the teacher);
- 1 hour of discussion (through a synchronous webinar in Blackboard Collaborations); alternatively, 1 hour of asynchronous interaction in Blackboard forums.
This means that each of you
- first attend a video lesson (or scroll through a Powerpoint);
- then carry out an activity, identifying problems and questions to ask the teacher during a webinar (or within a forum);
- finally participate in a webinar (or forum) by interacting with the professor or lecturer
In the next few hours, the Coordinators of the individual Study Programmes will provide you with more detailed information via Blackboard, focusing on the specific teaching characteristics of each
single programme. I trust in your collaboration and availability. The proposal we make to you can represent, I believe, a challenge to be accepted in order to learn new ways of interaction and teaching/learning. In a Faculty of Education, you can understand it well, technology represents an important professional scenario to develop and include in your cultural background.
To all of you a sincere thanks and a wish for good time at work
Wednesday, March 4
I also point out, in line with the communication of the Rector Franco Anelli, that the national emergency situation continues to be critical. This does not allow us to have precise news about the resumption of teaching activity. The hope is that on 9 Monday March they can resume their lessons. If this is not the case, immediate communication will be given on the UC website. With regard to the two scenarios mentioned above, I would like to point out that Università Cattolica, under the guidance of our Rector, with the permanent involvement of the Deans of the various Faculties and of the Administrative Representatives, is committed to promoting the development of the technology in the field of education.
To all of you a sincere thanks and a wish for good time at work Luigi Pati
Wednesday, March 4
I too observe, along the lines of the communication of our Rector Franco Anelli, that the national emergency situation continues to be critical. This does not allow us to have precise news about the resumption of teaching activity.
The hope is that on Monday 9 March they can resume their lessons. If this is not the case, immediate communication will be given on the UC website.
With regard to the two scenarios mentioned above, I would like to point out that Università Cattolica under the guidance of our Rector, with the permanent involvement of the Deans of the various Faculties and of the Administrative Representatives, is committed to outlining methods of action that will make it possible to deal with the emergency situation in the best possible way, whether the teaching activity resumes on 9 March or is extended.
The various Faculties are reflecting on this matter on the basis of their academic calendar. The reflection is supported by the conviction that it is not conceivable to abandon what, in our University, mainly qualifies the teaching-learning processes, the research activity, the professional training paths: interpersonal communication. It is this relational modality that allows professors and students to go beyond the simple exchange and accumulation of information, to the benefit of mutual, harmonious, integral human growth.
In this light, all the Faculties of Università Cattolica and among them the Faculty of Education, are intent on confirming, as far as possible and without hesitation teaching "in presence" as far as recovery, replacement and integrative activities are concerned.
By the end of the current week we will communicate when it will be allowed to resume teaching activities. On that occasion we will clarify whether the recovery of the suspended lessons can take place "in presence", using the whole month of May; whether the first three days of Holy Week (6-8 April) and the last four days of the following one (15-18 April) can be used for the recovery of the workshop activities, which at the moment are foreseen as holiday days.
For students living in the "red zones", who will not be able to be present in the classroom when the lessons are resumed, educational tools that can be used remotely, such as video recordings of lessons, commented slides or other. In any case, I would like to point out that any publication of supplementary didactic materials will be provided by our Blackboard platform.
We would like to remind you once again that all the University's decision-making bodies are committed to finding suitable solutions to deal with any scenario that may arise in the coming weeks and to ensure the regular performance of all teaching activities in the manner that the situation will allow us, and I thank you for your attention and I wish you all good time at work.