Milan, 24 September 2021
I am writing to you on the eve of the new Academic Year to welcome you to our University. I wish each and every one of you that this educational experience will be an important moment in your lives, an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills that will make you the protagonists of our country's development.
As you know, due to COVID-19 we still have some limitations, but I am pleased to confirm that all classes will be held in presence. You will still have to book your access to the University through the appropriate App, as long as the rules related to distancing remain in force. The lectures will also be streamed via the Blackboard platform. On the same platform, for 15 days, you will find recordings that will be available to students who are unable to follow the lectures live. The internship and laboratory activities will normally be held at a distance, apart from a few exceptions that will be communicated to you by the Course Coordinator. This decision has become necessary due to the impossibility of guaranteeing access to all students in the group at the same time, because of the rules concerning distancing.
If students are unable to attend the few face-to-face meetings scheduled for the internship and laboratory activities due to COVID-19, they will have to produce a self-certification stating their health condition and only in this specific case will the student be allowed to follow the laboratory activities at a distance.
By 1 October 2021, students can find on the Blackboard platform, on each course’s page, a short video presentation of the course which aims to present the teacher, the course content and the teaching methods envisaged, in order to facilitate the compilation of the study plan. In the Milan campus only, lectures start at 9am.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a fruitful Academic Year.
Prof. Domenico Simeone
(Dean of the Faculty of Education)
Milan, 23 July 2021
We are at the end of an academic year that has been strongly affected by the health emergency. This emergency will continue to have an impact on the next academic year, although hopefully to a lesser extent than in the past. We are confident that we will be able to gradually reduce the restrictions necessary to combat the pandemic.
In view of the new academic year, we are organising our activities in the best possible way to encourage your participation in the Faculty's activities.
In view of the start of the next academic year 2021-2022 (classes start on 4 October) and in light of Rectoral Decree 7708 of 15 July (https://www.unicatt.it/DR%207708.pdf), I would like to clarify a few aspects relating to teaching and the conduct of exams.
Lectures will be held in presence, and live streaming will be guaranteed. The recording of lectures will be made available via the Blackboard platform for one week. Access to lectures in the classroom will take place on the basis of shifts that take into account the need to respect the distancing required by health regulations.
b) Laboratories and internship activities
More precise information on laboratories and internship activities will be provided in September. The offices are currently studying logistical solutions that will allow the activities to be carried out properly.
In the autumn session, exams will be held remotely, as in the summer session.
d) Final examination
The final examinations of all the Faculty study programmes will be held in presence. Graduating students may be present in the classroom, although it is always possible to request that the examination is held remotely. No more than 5 people indicated by the student may attend the discussion in presence.
These indications are subject to change in accordance with health regulations and the measures that may be taken if health conditions change.
I look forward to meeting you soon and I wish you and your families a happy and pleasant summer.
Prof. Domenico Simeone
(Dean of the Faculty of Education)
May 14, 2021
In light of the considerations shared by the Faculty Council of April 28, 2021 and in compliance with the Rectoral Decree no. 7467 of May 4, 2021, I inform you that in the Faculty of Education the exams of the summer session, oral and written, will be delivered remotely, according to the methods already tested.
As far as written exams are concerned, the Presidents of the exam commissions may, if they deem it necessary, provide for a supplementary oral test, either for all students or for individual students.
The final exams of the undergraduate and graduate degree programmes will be held in presence, unless a specific and motivated request by the student has been presented. In this case the student will be able to take the exam remotely according to the criteria and technology already identified.
In the case of final exams in presence, no more than 5 people will be allowed to attend the discussion. The discussion, whether in presence or remote, can be recorded, and - on request - made available to the student who sat the exam.
As far as internship and laboratory activities are concerned, please refer to the Rectoral Decree mentioned above.
In the context of the indications provided by the Decree, the coordinators of the single study courses have the possibility to organize these activities in the manner deemed most appropriate to achieve the educational objectives.
Prof. Domenico Simeone
Milan, 10 April 2021
As you probably have already heard, in compliance with the Ordinance issued by the Ministry of Health on 9 April 2021, the University has ordered the resumption of in-person lectures .(https://www.unicatt.it/info-covid-19-aggiornamenti-emergenza-covid-19).
From April 19, 2021 all courses -for all yearsin all three campuses (Milan, Brescia, Piacenza) - will recommence in person. Some lecturesmay be delivered remotely due tothe impossibility of physical presence for some professors/lectures. From 12 to 17 April all lectures will be held online in the same way that you have been accustomed to,as communicated to you by your tutors. Students who cannot be present at the University will be able to attend remotely.
For the Milan, Brescia, Piacenza and Cremona campuses, it is mandatory to confirm your attendance at lectures at least 48 hours in advance; you can access lectures on days other than your designated dates by means of a reallocation system based on unconfirmed places. Access is controlled, so please ensure to always carry your University Student ID badge with you.
I would like to remind you that the inauguration of the Academic Year will be held on April 13 in the presence of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella (https://secondotempo.cattolicanews.it/news-universita-cattolica-il-presidente-sergio-mattarella-all-inaugurazione-dell-anno-accademico). Unfortunately, due to the restrictions imposed by the health emergency, it will not be possible to attend, but you can follow the ceremony on the University's social channels. This is a particularly important moment because it falls in the 100th year of activity of our University. In order to facilitate participation, all classes will be postponed on the morning of 13 April.
Lastly, I would like to remind you that 18 April is the date for the celebration of Università Cattolica's Day. I wish you a successful resumption of your lectures.
With my best regards for the resumption of lessons,
prof. Domenico Simeone
Milan, 18 February, 2021
Our second semester lectures will resume on Monday, 22 February, 2021. The Faculty has prepared a timetable of courses that includes classroom and remote activities, which vary according to the different degree programmes. Remote teaching activities will continue in the ways devised by the Faculty and which you have already experienced in the first semester with good results in terms of learning and teaching effectiveness. Classroom activities will focus on students who are enrolled in the first year of all the degree programmes of our Faculty in all campuses.
Where the logistical conditions are favourable, also the teaching activities of subsequent years will resumefor some degree programmes. The coordinators of each degree programme will provide further and more specific information on each course and with reference to the individual campuses. I suggest you check the personal pages of the lecturers, which will be duly updated in the next few hours, and specifically the "classroom timetable" section, to find the timetable and mode of the lesson and, if the lesson is held in presence, its classroom. Class lectures will be held in dual mode and can therefore be followed remotely also by those who, for various reasons, are unable to reach the University. In some cases, students may have to attend both face-to-face and distance-learning lessons on the same day. In this case, the students on campuscan follow any distance learning lessons from their own device. For this purpose, special spaces or classrooms will be set up to accommodate them.
At the Milan campus, complying with the instructions of the competent authorities, lectures begin at 10 a.m. Lectures scheduled before 10 a.m. will normally be delivered online in asynchronous mode. At the moment, students have been divided into two macro-groups and will be allowed to access the University on alternate days according to what the iCatt App indicates. Experience from the last few months has shown that not all students who have the opportunity to be present at the University decide to attend lessons on site. It is therefore important that students who decide not to attend lessons on campus cancel their booking at least 48 hours in advance. This will allow students who wish to attend lectures on campus to reserve their seats also on days when they would not be supposed to be present.
I wish each and every one of you a successful resumption of classes, whether in person or at a distance. I count on your collaboration so that, even in a situation still strongly conditioned by the health emergency, the University may be for everyone a place of learning, research, positive debate and growth.
Prof. Domenico Simeone
Coordinators of the various undergraduate Education programmes have already set out timetables for the first semester, which can be summarized in the following points:
- The classes for the various courses will be held remotely in line with interactive teaching approaches, both via synchronous activities (online interactive lectures) and asynchronous activities (video recordings, also known as Talking Heads; audio content and commented slides).
- Reception activities will take place for new and returning students during the week 28 September-3 October (and possibly the following one). Alongside the reception activities, video presentations of all courses will be made available by the courses professors/instructors.
- End-of-semester meetings with students will take place during the week 14-19 December (if foreseen by the degree programme).
This approach is based on threefold reasoning. We wish to:
- Ensure the uniformity of the courses to all students.
- Maintain focus on the interactive nature of the teaching and learning activities through the integration of synchronous and asynchronous delivery.
- Allow students to maintain physical contact with the university environment as far as possible, albeit very limited.
Description of welcoming and closing activities
Students can be welcomed and the semester can be closed either online or when physically present on campus in small groups.
Other opportunities for meeting during the semester
On the campuses for the degree programmes where it is considered possible, it is best to keep in mind the possibility of providing in two weeks with established dates, small group seminars with students being physically present. Small group 2-3 hour seminars led by two or three professors/instructors (to be repeated depending on number of students involved) could be envisaged for each year of the programme, which students could freely enrol on.
Feasible dates for these small group seminars: 26-10 October 2020, 23-27 November 2020.
Other synchronous activities for the day or part of the day, selected for small group seminars will have to be suspended.
Thursday 7 May
As we know, with a government decree our country has introduced changes in the lockdown since May 4; the hope is that they will be the basis for further elements of collective reassurance.
I would like to thank you all once again for your understanding of the inevitable difficulties caused by the pandemic. I also thank all the Colleagues of the Faculty for their willingness to help, as well as the entire administrative structure of Università Cattolica, which has always guaranteed adequate support and help.
With this letter I would like to highlight two issues:
- As we approach the end of the second semester, I would like to point out that remote teaching has developed satisfactorily for students and professors in general. Faculty members have identified the methods of working which, with the appropriate adjustments, have been evaluated as the most appropriate for the proposal of the scientific-cultural content and for the completion of the teaching programmes.
The professors adopted methods of synchronous and/or asynchronous interaction (webinars, videolessons, forums, e-mails, etc.) and used more or less sophisticated technological tools. Both of them will presumably accompany us in the near future (the so called phases 3 and 4), a time when it is hoped that the emergency situation can end and the teaching, study and research activity can resume at a regular pace. In this regard, it seems appropriate to draw everyone's attention to the fact that, with high probability, university teaching will necessarily have to involve some changes: the emergency situation cannot be cancelled, starting again as if nothing had happened. For this reason the Faculty of Education, like all the other Faculties, encouraged by our Magnificent Rector, is reflecting on possible paths of renewal to be undertaken, in order to be more and more in line with today's times and to the unprecedented educational-formative needs that have emerged.
- Next June, the summer exam session will begin. While I recommend you to consult the notices published on the home page of the Catholic University, containing precise organizational and procedural indications, I would like to briefly recall some general information:
- all the scheduled dates of the calls are confirmed; any changes will be promptly communicated;
- the exams will be held remotely, in oral and/or written form, according to the indications that each teacher will communicate by notice on the official page of the course, on Blackboard by email approximately within the month of May. In any case, the exams will take place, as far as possible, in a form similar to the traditional one and the required preparation will be the same;
- the platforms used for the exams will be Teams (for the oral exams and for the video surveillance of the writings) and Blackboard (for the administration of tests and open questions concerning the written exams);
- in order to take the exam you should have the necessary equipment (PC, software, internet connection, etc.) and technical skills. With regard to the latter, I would like to point out that the University regularly provides training in the use of the various platforms, as per the communication published on the UC website. I advise everyone to take advantage of these training moments, in order to familiarise themselves with the various platforms for the exam;
- by registering for the exam, to be taken at the time and in the manner provided, the following procedures will be implemented:
- three days before the date of the call, the student will receive an automatic email confirmation of registration for the exam;
- a few days before the roll call, the Commission will send the call containing the link to the Teams exam session to the students' @icatt.it email. In case of non-receipt of the convocation email, it is necessary to contact the teacher;
- during the exam, the professor will be able to constantly view all the students, as well as request to view the rooms where the exam is taking place with the webcam;
- in the case of a large number of students enrolled in the exams, the Commission may form several sub-commissions that can examine the students in parallel.
I would recommend everyone to register for the exam only and exclusively when they are certain that they will take part in the written and/or oral test. This is in order to allow the teachers to plan the organization of the exam in the best way possible, i.e. the time schedule of the students' invitations.
I also recommend that, at least two days before the call, you communicate your decision not to take the exam. This virtuous behaviour will certainly help the good progress of the organizational phase.
Finally, I would like to remind you that the provisions of the Code of Ethics apply to the remote examination (with particular reference to art. 35 "Training commitment and relations with the teaching staff"). I trust that, even during the exams, you will be able to demonstrate your competence and proper conduct.
In the hope that you will do a great job, I wish you a good time at work, encouraging you to seek, in the critical situation that you have been given to live, useful elements to face with greater competence and renewed enthusiasm the future that expects you.
Monday 7 April
I hope that you and your families are doing well. As you know, this quarantine has been extended. However, there seems to be hopeful evidence that a slow, but progressive recovery is on the way. We still wait and hope that the efforts that we are all making and will continue to make will soon help us to return to our everyday life.
Focusing on our academic activities, I believe that the situation is progressing in a satisfactory way. Both you and your professors have shown great enthusiasm in understanding the peculiarities of this moment and in your attempts to deal with the difficulties. Our Course Coordinators, with whom I am in contact on a daily basis, confirmed that our remote lectures are progressing successfully and that you are participating actively. I sincerely thank you for this. Any difficulties in planning, any communication issue, poor connection services are due to an objective fact: as professors, within a few days we have been asked to familiarize ourselves with new interactive methods for the development of the teaching activity. For this very reason, I would like to thank you once again for your understanding of the inevitable problems/limitations that may have emerged, and perhaps will continue to emerge, in teaching.
Concerning exams, some Faculties have already experimented with the "remote" exams. In the coming weeks, the teachers of the Faculty of Education will evaluate these experiences in order to make the most of them and to prepare suitable tools for the summer session of exams. All ofthe above, as I said at the beginning of this email, while we continue to hope that we can soon return to our normal activities.
It is important to consider that as professors, led by our Magnificent Rector Franco Anelli and supported by our Administrative and Technical Staff, we are doing our best to ensure the high level of quality in the educational services that are delivered by Università Cattolica.
We want to show that we are a community truly committed to work with enthusiasm, despite the difficulties. Every one of us sincerely hopes that the sad and often distressing situation that we are experiencing will come to an end in the shortest possible time and that we will return to our teaching activities "in presence". It is a hope supported by the data of the latest statistical surveys which, although not yet fully reassuring, push us to have confidence for the future.
A few days ago, a colleague informed me about a recent publication with Vita e Pensiero by José Tolentino Mendonça:Il poteredellasperanza. Mani chesostengonol’anima del mondo (The power of hope. Hands that support the world’s soul) I wish to share with you this reflection: «It seems a paradox, but this time also represents an opportunity for us to meet again. Confined to isolation, perhaps we can better understand what it means to be a community in the most profound way. Our lives do not depend solely on us and our choices: we are all in each other's hands, we all experience how vital interdependence is, a web of recognition and gift, respect and solidarity, autonomy and relationship. Everyone hopes in each other and is positively stimulated to do their part. Everyone counts» (pp. 10-11)
These are words that prompt us to detect, from the problematic nature of the present, signs of hope concerning the meaning of our living together, of our participation in the various situations and events, of our contribution to improving the space, albeit a small one, in which we are living. As scholars of educational problems, therefore of the processes of improving personal and communal existence, we cannot help but adhere to Tolentino's plea that is filled with new meaning if we consider the issues of our own life in these days, and especially as the Holy Easter is approaching.
To all of you and to your families a sincere wish of serenity and good health.
My Best Wishes
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.