Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Facoltà di Scienze Linguistiche e letterature straniere

Friday 24 April

Dear Students,

After resuming our courses, I would like to give you some general and essential information about language written tests (Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian, Spanish, German).

The tests of the summer session for the 2019/20 academic year will be held remotely through our BlackBoard platform.

The kind of exercises remains unchanged with respect to what specified in the Student Guides and corresponds to the language exercises delivered during the academic year.

From a quantitative point of view, the tests will be recalibrated according to the needs dictated by remote testing: both the duration and the extension of the test will be reduced by about 30%. This solution will also apply to the written tests of the autumn (September 2020) and extraordinary sessions (January 2021), while the mode of delivery in presence or at a distance will depend on the evolution of the current health emergency.

The scheduled dates are confirmed. Timetables during the day may vary and will be promptly communicated.

A simulated run of each type of test present in the remote exam will be carried out for each language and each academic year starting from May 11. The calendar for simulated runs will be communicatedfor each language. Each student will receive information on how to access the exams in order to simulate the entire process. For the simulated runs, it is necessary to be equipped with the required tools: a personal computer with webcam and a suitable keyboard. To clarify how to work on BlackBoard, materials will be made available in the Help section of icatt together with the webinars already present.

As far as the other teachings are concerned, each professor during lectureswill provide accurate information on how the exams will be carried out.

Best regard
Giovanni Gobber


Tuesday 8 April

Dear Students,

the first six weeks of the second semester were held with commitment and participation in the teaching activities. Although they were held remotely, the interaction between professors and students has been effective and strong. One fundamental element emerged: communication is based on mutual trust.

We take advantage of the circumstances to strengthen this mutual understanding - a crucial factor in the educational process. I would like to appeal to the professionalism and responsibility of each student to

collaborate in handling the next phases of this troubled semester in a conscious way. After Easter, there are four more weeks of teaching, followed - in the second half of May - by a period dedicated to the recovery of the various teaching activities. This is followed by the summer exam session.

The Faculty's exam calendar will be kept as it is. On the scheduled dates there will be written and oral tests, according to the syllabus for each course. However, the tests will not be in presence (they will not be in the classrooms): the provisions of the Government and the emergency situation do not authorize it. The exams- written and oral - will therefore be held remotely, both for languages and for other subjects.

You will be explained clearly and precisely how the tests will be conducted for each exam. In particular, for the written language tests, a simulation of the examination will be carried out. It will take place between the end of April and the first half of May: the dates of the simulations will be communicated during the lessons.

Every effort will be made to meet your operational needs. In view of the remote examinations, it is important from now on to check that you have an adequate network connection. If everything has worked during the lectures done so far, everything must also work in the exam session.

The Faculty has decided to invest in the seriousness and correctness of the students. For this reason, I ask that your behaviour corresponds to the trust that the Faculty places in you. Take this opportunity to experience the mature behaviour of adults who are responsible towards others. Do not allow yourself to give in to small cunning, leave it to those who are little and not very serious.

Thank you again for your willingness and - as a leitmotif these days - for your resilience. Perhaps the most difficult test is the life experience of these weeks. There is a feeling that this scenario will continue well beyond the summer session. We will have the opportunity to strengthen our courage and resilience even further, trusting in the help of God Almighty.

Again, best wishes for the Holy Easte
Giovanni Gobber


Monday, 16 March

Dear Students,

Another week of remote teaching has begun. Most of the teaching activity is carried out on BlackBoard, based on specific methods chosen by each professor/lecturer. Our University is committed to enabling professor/lecturer to enhance their service. For the lectures, asynchronous teaching has been chosen above all (with a time gap between the sender and the receiver). The recorded lecture, although it does not allow the typical interaction of in-presence communication, offers the opportunity to be listened again and again - and this makes it possible to better assimilate contents and methods. Other teaching materials always available on BlackBoard allow students to keep up with the activity of the semester.

Thanks to the commitment of professors and lecturers and your personal efforts, the Faculty is showing its ability to react to the adverse situation and continues to work, by integrating and improving the service, relying on the collaboration of everyone, professors/lecturers and students.
Information for internships ("Languages for business"): the possibility of reducing the hourly commitment (reaching at least 60% of the planned activity) is extended to the whole summer session. For the autumn session the possibility of a reduction is given, provided that at least 80% of the planned commitment is reached).

Concerning the graduate degree programme graduation sessions that has been scheduled for the end of March, as already indicated in the University's communication, the exam will be held remotely, through Microsoft Teams. The participation of the graduating student is expected only by remote connection.

For undergraduate degree programmes' dissertations, the deadlines mentioned in previous communications are still valid.For both graduation levels, we will arrange a Graduation day at a later date, in order to celebrate all our graduates of the April sessions.
This experience is very important for all of us since it prepares us to manage remote communication, which isremote even when the teacher's voice is recorded.  Our Faculty has always favoured interactive communication ("in presence") and we realise how distance attenuates the depth of personal interaction. 

This situation, which is difficult for us, is dramatic for our communities.  We are close to you and your families and we trust in the goodness of divine providence.  Each of us is given the task of facing reality with courage, as the generations before us have done in much difficult circumstances. 

Best Wishes,
Giovanni Gobber
 


Tuesday 10 March

Dear Students,
Based on the provisions of the Government Authority, the suspension of lectures has been extended until 3 April.

We will continue our lectures by means of tele-teaching activities on our platform BlackBoard.
The standard way is video recording of lectures through Collaborate Ultra, that enables us to record lectures (including slides), materials etc. that are accessible but cannot be downloaded as video files. Together with the video lectures, the slides that refers to the contents will be loaded and all the materials that professors and instructors will consider useful to continue teaching activities.
Some lectures will be carried out by using mainly written documents (slides, documents, tests, etc.), based on the requirements of each subject.
The transition to online teaching, although with the reservations already expressed, seems indispensable in this situation. We trust that we will be given, in this semester, to resume the activities, in the forms and ways that are now allowed.

Graduation and exam sessions and student reception hours
For the Master's Degree of 30-31 March: you will receive further information on how and when the exam will take place. Since many graduating candidates ask for a postponement of the session, the dates of 30-31 March are maintained for those who are available for a distance examination  (it is forbidden in presence, until 3 April). For the other ones (several cases concern students unable to access the library services, due to movement restrictions), there will be an exceptional graduation call for the extraordinary session at the end of May. For those applying to graduate in the end of May session, the deadlines for delivery will be postponed. The dates - both the deadlines and the exam roll call - will be communicated by the Offices. The deadlines for three-year degrees in April and the date of proclamation of 16 April remain unchanged.

As far as reception requirements are concerned, each professors and lectures will give you specific instructions on how to proceed (via email, which remains the main tool for communication with teachers, or through forms of distance communication such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or similar).

In this difficult situation, we will continue serenely and earnestly to carry out the planned teaching commitments.
Best Wishes
Giovanni Gobber


Thursday, 5 March

Dear Students,

A further update in the light of the recent measures imposing an additional week of suspension of frontal teaching.

Based on the recommendations received by our Rector and the guidelines set out by Università Cattolica, I would like to share with you all the decisions taken by our Faculty in order to allow you to continue your studies, even remotely.

Online teaching. Video lectures on BlackBoard

We will continue, as indicated by our University, by adopting online lectures to continue our activity until frontal lectures could resume which I hope will happen soon.

The key tool that we have identified is BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra. It is essential that each of you will register to BlackBoard. In the next few days, Professors and lectures of your courses will make available, video lectures based, in particular, on the contents of the weeks of the second semester that have been suspended so far.

Together with the video lectures, the slides and all the materials that your professors and lectures will consider useful to carry on teaching will be uploaded.

The transition to online teaching, even despite the doubts already expressed, seems essential in this situation. However, it is important for all of us to start again as soon as possible with the activities, in the forms and ways that we are now authorized to do.

Graduation sessions, exams sessions and student hours

As regards the deadlines for the graduation sessions, and the calendar for April sessions : the indications given in the previous communication remain unchanged.

As far as the students reception requirements are concerned, each professor and lecturer will provide you with specific instructions on how to proceed (via email, which remains the main tool for communicating with professors and lecturers or through remote means as Skype, Microsoft Teams or similar).

Confident that we will return to our classrooms soon, I wish you a good time at work.

Best Wishes,

The Dean

Giovanni Gobber


Dear students,

I have waited to write to you because I wanted to have the complete picture of the current situation in which we find ourselves. This letter illustrates our plans to manage it.

  1. Lectures and practical sessions from Week 1 (24-28 February)
    All teaching activities from the first week (24-28 February) will be caught up through distance learning activities, made available on BlackBoard by the teaching staff. Most of the teaching material is in written form (texts, slides [some with audio comments], exercises and tasks to carry out).
    All information will be made available via the lecturer’s personal webpage  (referred to as PPD on the UC website – Pagina Personale del Docente); some lecturers make teaching material available there too, rather than on Blackboard.
    1. Everyone needs to be enrolled in their courses in BlackBoard : in order to access the distance learning materials on Blackboard, it is essential to be enrolled.
    2. The University will officially communicate with you through i-catt, the UC app and the official University website. All teaching staff use BlackBoard and their PPD. You must therefore refer to i-catt, the UC app, the www.unicatt.it website, BlackBoard and lecturers’ personal webpages (PPD) to keep up to date.
      1. I would ask everyone to  help students who have not yet used these communication channels to start using them. Thank you for collaborating with us on this matter.
         
  2. Lectures and practical sessions from Week 2 (2-6 March)
    All teaching activities of Week 2 (2-6 March) will be caught up on the following days: Monday 6 April, Tuesday 7 April, Wednesday 8 April (the week before Easter), and Thursday 16 April and Friday 17 April (the week after Easter). There is another week for catch up lessons in the last 10 days of May, before the start of exams.
     
  3. Graduations
    The deadline for applications to graduate this coming April was the end of February. This deadline has already been postponed to 12 March.
    Deadlines in April: at the moment of writing, no change has been made to the deadlines for uploading dissertations for undergraduate degrees (BAs/LT) and for submitting theses for graduate degrees (MAs/LM). There have been no changes to the graduation calendar either.
    Although there are currently no lessons, the University is open and the libraries are available to all.
     
  4. If the governing authorities issue a decision to extend the suspension of teaching activities, distance learning will continue: apart from the above-mentioned teaching materials, lessons will also be recorded on video. If this should come about, you will be informed in good time.

We are concerned that all our activities should be available to all our students. For this reason, we are not adopting digital tools (e.g. video streaming lessons) which do not guarantee good quality and are not accessible for everyone. We believe it is essential that all students can access the same materials, which will allow them to deal with and get through this challenging moment for our University and our communities who continue to work quietly through the difficulties. Without making grand media announcements, our academic staff and students are working calmly, professionally and extremely hard at this time.

With best wishes,

Giovanni Gobber
Milan, 3 March 2020