Updates for teachers

changes to education due to Covid-19

This page will summarise updates to the changes to education at Uppsala University due to the current outbreak of Covid-19. It will be updated as necessary, whereas information of a more urgent nature will be sent out by email.

Links to information and tips on converting to online teaching can be found at the bottom of this page

20 Aug 2020

Four documents with important information as we embark on the autumn semester:

16 June 2020

  • The TekNat faculty has now issued a new decision concerning teaching and examination at the faculty effective as of today (only in Swedish for now). The Directors of Studies are working out the details for implementing this decision, and will contact the relevant teachers when they are ready. Please await there before making detailed plans for/changes to your courses.

    A number of general principles applicable to the autumn semester can be summarised as follows:
    • With the exception of courses in the first semester of the first year of degree programs, all theory classes (e.g. lectures, tutorials, seminars) are to be web-based (digital teaching and learning).
    • For first year, first semester courses, theory classes may be conducted on campus as long as the class size does not exceed 50 students (e.g. small group tutorial classes), and physical (social) distancing and measures for minimising the risk of the spread of infection can be applied.
    • Permission for other on-campus theory classes under such conditions may also be granted if special reasons can be demonstrated.
    • For all courses, laboratory and practical classes can be conducted on campus as long as measures are taken to reduce the risk of the spread of infection (e.g. fewer students per lab to help maintain physical distancing).
    • All Master year 1, period 1 classes will be available digitally as per the earlier decision on 5 May.
    • Where necessary (e.g. to maintain physical distancing), theory classes may be scheduled until 7 pm, and lab classes until 9 pm. This will however be used restrictively.
    • All re-examinations in August will be conducted via the internet; a decision about examinations in October will be made by 1 Sep at the latest

Again, please note that these are the general principles and the Directors of Studies will provide more detailed information and guidelines once these have been worked out.

9 June 2020

  • The Vice-Chancellor has issued a new decision effective 16 June concerning the withdrawal of the government recommendation on teaching and examination by distance. The original decision (in Swedish only for now) can be found here. In summary:
    • In the autumn, the majority of courses at UU will be given as on-campus courses supplemented with digital components. (The term "distance education" will be reserved for courses that were actually designed to be off-campus, distance education courses)
    • On-campus teaching will be allowed, the general recommendations and regulations for preventing the spread of infection remain applicable. In order to avoid crowding and allow for social distancing, the spaces at the university will need to be used for longer periods of time during the day and during the semester. Digitial solutions may also be used where possible.
    • The general limit of 50 persons for public assemblies will be used as a guide for planning teaching, examinations and meetings. This limit will change should the advice from the public health authorities change.
    • When planning on-campus activities, the following groups will be prioritised:
      - Entry level courses and courses during the first semester of degree programs
      - Students will documented requirement for special pedagogical support
      - Practical course components that cannot be conducted digitially
      - Examination that are difficult to conduct digitally
      - Compulsory components and final examinations within the last year of a degree program.
  • A supplementary decision from the TekNat fakulty for implementation of the Vice-Chancellor decision will be issued next week.

29 may 2020

  • The Swedish government announced that the recommendation for remote teaching at all universities will be withdrawn on 15 June, opening up the possiblity for teaching on campus. However, the general recommendations concerning social distancing and other protective measures will stlll apply.
    The Vice-Chancellor has indicated that new decisions will soon be made concerning teaching at UU this summer and for the autumn semester. Follow official updates at:

19 May 2020

  • The Vice-Chancellor has now extended the decision for remote teaching and examination to the 30 August. The current restrictions will therefore remain in place at least until that date. This means that labs from the spring semester that had been postponed to August will now have to be further postponed. The re-take exams in August will now also have to be done remotely.
    • We are currently in the process of contacting those most immediately affected by this with regards to labs, and will soon provide broader information and opportunities for questions and discussions about our contingency preparations for the autumn semester.

5 May 2020

29 April 2020

23 April 2020

  • An information leaflet for students at the Section of Chemstry in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ) has been drafter together with the student association representations from the chemistry and chemical engineering degree programs. It summarises a number of important points relevant to students enrolled both now and the next semester, and includes information of how laboratories from period 4 will be conducted. This FAQ can be useful for teachers to be aware of as well. Download at:
  • The TekNat faculty has issued guidelines for applications for exemptions from remote teaching and examination, e.g. labs that need to be carried out before the summer. As indicated, these exemptions will be granted very restrictively. The deadline for application is 1 May and the we are examining which courses and student groups the Section of Chemistry will need to apply for. 
  • A reminder that there is a TekNat faculty support network for teachers on distance education. The chemistry "satellites" are Francoise Mathieu (BMC) and Jolla Kullgren (Å). Feel free to contact them, whether they be technical questions, or educational questions about ideas on how to implement distance teaching.
  • TUR (the Council for Educational Development) will be holding an online workshop "From exam halls to home: how can I change my examination?" on 7 May at 13.15 - 15.00. Since there are likely to be take-home exams in the near future, this will be a valuable workshop for many teachers.

21 April 2020

  • The TekNat faculty has made a decision on the procedure for applying for an exemption from examination and practical work by distance. We are analysing closely the implications of this and will be preparing applications for courses and groups of students for which such exemptions may be granted.

20 April 2020

  • A decision by the Vice-Chancellor last week opened up for the possbility for very limited examaination on campus where extenuating circumstances requiring this to take place now can be demonstrated. The Faculty Board has been delegated to the power to allow such exceptions to the general prohibition on campus teaching and examination, and this power is to be used very restrictively and cannot be delegated futher.
    • As of today we are still awaiting a more detailed response from the TekNat faculty about how this decision will be implemented, including the critieria for assessing extenuating circumstances, the risk assessments that will be required, and the procedure for applying for such exceptions.  We will communicate this with course coordinators as soon as we have more information.
  • As yet we have not received any indication about whether campus teaching and examination will be allowed after 15 May, the last day for the current decision by the Vice-Chancellor. The expectation is, however, that it is likely that we will need to continue with distance education even beyond this date, and all teachers on courses this current period should be prepared for this possiblity, including the need for examination by distance.

9 April 2020

  • A new coordination group has been established at the faulty to support teachers in the transition to distance education, as well as to establish "communities of practice" at the department level that will hopefully provide longer term support for the use of online and digitial tools for teaching and learning.
  • The faculty has now made an in-princip decision that for period 1 of the autumn term 2020, Master degree courses will be offered by distance in parallel with on-campus teaching. The Directors of Studies and the Master degree coordinator (Christer Elvingson) will be in be getting in touch with course coordinators who are effected by this decision.

1 April 2020

  • An information meeting for PhD teachers with focus on lab teaching the rest of this semester was held today. The recording of the meeting can be found here.
  • For the April re-take exams, a limited courses that have a large numbers of registered students will use the digital exam system Inspera. Course coordinators have been contacted with information on how they will be supported technically to do this. Information for course coordinators for smaller courses have also been contacted by email.
  • Student service has offered to help with distributing corrected student exams from the period 3 exams. The course coordinators concerned should now have received information via email.
  • The question of how courses requiring externa access to computer resources through VPN (such as supercomputer clusters) will be accommodated has as been raised with the faculty. It seems likely a technical solution can be found without the need for VPN.
    • Note that VPN is not needed for ordinary access to library resources such as journals. Students can access the journal first through the university library (www.ub.uu.se), in which case they will be asked to log in via CAS and gain access.

30 March 2020

  • A new decision has been made by the Vice-Chancellor concerning procedures for limiting the spread of covid-19. This decision supercedes the decision on 2020-03-17 and is valid until 2020-05-15 unless another decision is made. Most relevant to education:
  1. All teaching and examination will continue to be conducted by distance.
  2. Deviations from course syllabi and degree programs regarding teaching format and examination to accommodate distance education are permitted. Specific decisions by the relevant competent body is required.
  3. Staff and students must without exception stay home at any sign of cold or influensa symptoms.

This confirms that all re-takes in April will be conducted by distance (e.g. take-homes) and no on-campus laboratory classes in connection to courses are allowed (regardless of the number of students present in the same room).

26 March 2020

  • An error in the information about classroom closures at Ångström (24 March) has been corrected. No classrooms at Ångström are being closed, only some of the toilets.

25 March 2020

  • A TekNat organisation for coordinating support for transitioning to distance education is being set up - departments have been asked to nominate individuals as "satellites" that can help other teachers with common issues and also those that are more specific to the discipline being taught.
  • The Communications Department have collated a set of useful links to information of relevance to teachers given the covid-19 situation. Available in both English and Swedish.

24 March 2020 (updated 4 pm)

  • Official guidelines about what we will do with laboratory work are being worked on. Some labs can be done remotely (e.g. computer labs) or replaced, but others will inevitably require campus attendance. Director of Studies are working on discussing with course coordinators about possibilities.
    • If students wonder what is being planned, please let them know we're working hard on this and we will inform them as soon as we can.
  • (UPDATED) A faculty decision has been made to a extend the re-take period in August to compass the whole of August, and there can be possiblities for examining labs that could not be done during period 4. We are currently looking at the implications of this decision and how we it can help our situation.
  • The re-take exams in April will also be take-homes, so it might be a good idea to have that in mind when constructing your questions. We are aware that there are practical challenges with administering contact with students and collecting their answers given they will be from different semesters - this is currently being worked on.
    • (UPDATED) TekNat courses have now been offered the possibility of using the electronic exam system Inspera - we are looking into whether this would be helpful.
  • An additional link has been added below with hints of how to make a make-shift document camera at home with some quickl clamps and an external web camera.
  • [UPDATED] You may find that many toilets at both BMC and Ångström are now locked. This is to reduce the need to clean these, allowing time for an increased cleaning frequency for those rooms that are kept open. At BMC, a number of classrooms may now be closed for the same reason (for now, Ångström classrooms will remain open). If you are planning to use classrooms for streaming or recording teaching, check your room beforehand.

20 March 2020

The following measures have been implemented so far:

  • All teaching is to be conducted by distance education instead. There is currently no end date for this, but we should be prepared that this measure will be in place for the rest of the semester.
  • Laboratory classes on campus are not possible and are for now postponed infinitely. Computer labs that can be done remotely are allowed. The Directors of Studies are currently checking the course syllabi to see which courses for which adjustments to the laboratory course may or may not be possible.
  • The Faculty is currently working on guidelines for how to deal with laboratory classes that cannot be given during the spring semester, and cannot be replaced by other off-campus alternatives
  • Degree projects (exjobb) are exempt from the restrictions on campus teaching, as long as we can provide sufficient supervision for the student's safety.
  • All examination will also be conducted at a distance. All written examinations are to be conducted as take-home examinations.
  • Courses must continue to follow their syllabi. Due to the extraordinary circumstances, however, course examiners may, after appropriate consultation, makde decisions to adjust the methods of instruction and/or form of examination. However, all course outcomes must still be examined.
  • No automatic changes will be made to the course schedules. If you are planning to give live, streamed lectures using e.g. Zoom, you need to within the times allocated in your existing course timetable to avoid clashes with other courses. You may of course choose not to use all these times for live lectures. This would free up time for you and the students for alternative teaching and learning formats.

Information pages and digital resources for online teaching

Teachers are encouraged to be pragmatic and flexible in the move to online teaching. Consider whether certain lectures and classes can be replaced by e.g. self-study supported by study questions, shorter question times or tutorials via Zoom or recorded lectures and online discussion groups. There is little time to prepare, so try to decide what is essential to help students to learn the core content. It doesn't have to be perfect - we can only do our best in the circumstances.

The following pages contain useful information and links to resources that can help you in your transition.

The Section of Chemistry

Examples recordings with different types of presentation methods and techniques

How to make a make-shift document camera at home with an external webcam/mobile phone, quick clamps and a cardboard box.

UU Unit for Academic Teaching and Learning

The TekNat Council for Educational Development (TUR)

  • Resources and advice for teaching both online and on-campus, with specific support to digital teaching.

Webinar for transitioning to online teaching, 2020-03-20

  • Aimed at those new to online teaching, demonstration of basics of relevant digital tools and what to think about when teaching via online methods.

Webinar on student-centred teaching via Zoom (2020-04-01) and a summary (in Swedish) of the methods discussed there for promoting student activity.

Material from the webinar "From exam halls to home: how can I change my examination?" (2020-05-07) with ideas for examination by distance.

Content owner: Felix Ho