Technische Universität Berlin

Information Letters from the Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

All published letters can be found here

The website lists all the information letters published to date by the vice president for teaching, Digitilization and sustainability. Please also read the ones published by TU Berlin's Crisis Committee.

Contents

2021

Information for teaching staff and students

Information Letter from Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability from 15 October 2021 - Important information for the start of the lecture period | To all students

Information Letter from Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability from 15 October 2021 - Important information for the start of the lecture period | To all staff

Berlin, 15 October

To
All staff

Subject: Important information for the start of the lecture period

Contents

  • Enrollment
  • Access to ISIS and Moses
  • Moses: using additional information option for your courses
  • Important: unused rooms
  • Checking 3G status and vaccination stickers
  • QR code for possible contact tracking
  • Requirement to wear masks: exception when seated at places

 

Dear Instructors ,

I would like to update you on some important information before the start of the lecture period.

 

Preliminary information on planning for the winter semester

Over the last days and weeks, many members of the University have written to the Executive Board and the Crisis Committee regarding pandemic regulations at TU Berlin for the coming winter semester. Some are concerned that the regulations are too restrictive; others feel they do not go far enough to reliably prevent infections.

Our guiding concern when deciding on regulations was to make possible a return to in-presence teaching while continuing to protect the health of our members and enabling effective planning. We want to provide teachers and students a feeling of being safe when on campus and attending classes. We also want to avoid having to make extensive changes regarding rooms and classes or even a return to a fully online program during the course of the winter semester as a result of a new wave of infections. The 3G rule and minimum distancing have enabled us to create the right conditions to see us safely through the winter and for teachers and students to remove their masks when seated at their places (new regulation).

We have learned from the numerous surveys we conducted in previous semesters that the greatest difficulties students face are a lack of social contact and sudden changes to schedules and plans. The current regulations enable particularly those classes, such as seminars and tutorials, which thrive on discussion and interaction to take place in presence. This is where students can enjoy social contact, get to know each other, and work together in study groups. Many instructors have already said that they will use videos rather than hold lectures in presence and only offer interactive Q&A sessions in lecture halls for those students who want them. The majority of students have also expressed a preference for instructional videos on specific subjects to 90-minute lectures on campus. This would now seem to be an essential element of the new normal in higher education.

 

Enrollment

As you are probably aware, there are delays in enrolling our new students. This is due to a number of factors. These include the extension of deadlines when applying via Hochschulstart (bachelor's programs with restricted admission) and for international master's programs, as well as, and most significantly, the two-month delay in opening our application portal as a result of the attack on our IT system. These delays are regrettable, but we have already managed to clear some backlogs. At the moment, we are working on the assumption that we will be able to complete enrollments formaster's programs in the first week of the lecture period and for bachelor’s programs in early November. New students can check how far we are with enrolling on the website of the Office of Student Affairs, i.e. which applications by date of receipt are currently being processed.

 

Access to ISIS and Moses

As a result of the delays in enrolling students, there will be a period of about three weeks at the start of the lecture period during which some first-semester students will not have a TU account. However, all students must be provided access to the ISIS platform to enable them to take part in classes. Over the last days, innoCampus and Campus Management have been developing and implementing a new solution to allow students still awaiting enrollment to access ISIS and Moses using the same data (applicant account) as they use to log into tuPORT. This means students can register for tutorials (https://moseskonto.tu-berlin.de) and use material uploaded to ISIS (https://isis.tu-berlin.de). Once students are enrolled, they can automatically use the data of their regular TU account to access Moses and ISIS. Please be aware when planning classes, that students will only be able to use the library and borrow books and other media once they have received their TU account.

 

Moses: using additional information option for your courses

Very few instructors currently use the option to provide additional information in the Moses course catalogue (URL for the ISIS course, class format: in-presence/online/hybrid). This would be very useful for students and we therefore kindly ask you to check if it is possible to provide such additional information for your courses.  You also have the option to provide a zoom link for all your classes in the course catalogue.

 

Important: unused rooms

If you will not be using any of the rooms you booked, please inform the innoCampus planning team as soon as possible so we can make them available for others.

 

Checking 3G status and vaccination stickers

As previously communicated, in-presence classes will be taking place on the basis of the 3G rule.

Based on a survey conducted among first-semester students, we can assume that approximately 90 percent of all our students are fully vaccinated or have recovered from a Covid infection.

Students who are fully vaccinated should collect a vaccination sticker for their student ID or a vaccination certificate (external students or TU students who do not yet have student ID) from the Main Building: tu.berlin/impfsticker

If you have students wishing to attend classes who do not yet have either of these, I would kindly ask you to also accept proof of vaccination via the Corona-Warn-App, vaccination passports or CovPass for the first classes of the semester. We need to remain flexible until all fully vaccinated students have collected their TU sticker or certificate.

Students who are not fully vaccinated need to present a negative rapid test result (valid for 48 hours) or proof of recovery from a Covid infection. International students who have received a vaccine not recognized by the EU are also required to present a negative test result (valid for 48 hours). Tests for international students will remain free of charge until the end of December 2021 and can be performed at TU Berlin's testing tent.

You can see what these certificates look like as well as details of what to look for.

We recommend all fully vaccinated students pick up their vaccination sticker or certificate from the foyer of the Main Building as soon as possible.

Security staff will be provided to check documents for larger classes (>40). However, as this is a new procedure, we are currently unable to say how quickly checks can be performed. We will be requesting students to arrive in good time for classes, but we have to anticipate that some will arrive late. Please adopt a flexible and accommodating approach.

 

QR code for possible contact tracking

For the purpose of contact tracking, all participants/students are required to scan the QR code located either at their place or at the entrance to the room and use this to register via Moses. Anyone without a TU account or a scanning device has to complete an attendance form. Instructors are required to keep these forms for four weeks. You can find a copy of a sample form here.

 

Requirement to wear masks: exception when seated at places

Masks must be worn at all times when in buildings on campus. However, students and instructors may remove masks when seated at their places in rooms which are regularly and thoroughly aired, provided the 3G rule and minimum distancing are observed. You can find further details about the requirement to wear masks in the Crisis Committee information letter from 15 October 2021.

I wish you a good start to the semester despite what is not always an easy situation. I would like to thank you all for your efforts and commitment. Of course, there will be some initial problems, but together and with patience and understanding, we will be able to make a good start to the semester.

Stay healthy!
Sincerely,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter of Department I – Student Services 1 Oktober 2021 | To all students

To
All students

Content
Requirement to wear a mask
3G rule for students
Implementation of the 3G rule
Issue of vaccination stickers
Mobile vaccination center on campus 14 and 15 October 2021  

 

Dear Students,

As the start of winter semester 2021/22 approaches, we would like to inform you of the current hygiene regulations at TU Berlin and in particular the 3G rule for all in-person courses:

Requirement to wear a mask
All persons are required to wear a medical mask covering nose and mouth in all buildings. Generally, surgical masks are sufficient. If it is not possible to maintain the required minimum distance, you must wear an FFP2 mask (see TU Berlin hygiene regulations for further details).

Instructors are not required to wear a mask while teaching, including when speaking, under strict observation of a minimum distance of 1.5 meters. TU Berlin recommends staff as well as external teaching staff to get vaccinated and regularly test.

3G rule for students
Students are required to adhere to the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered, negative test) to attend any course-related events or use study spaces (including computer labs, libraries, foyers, etc.) on campus. Please also see the TU Berlin hygiene regulations.

Students must present proof of one of the 3Gs to participate in an in-person course at TU Berlin. 

"Fully vaccinated" status: Students who are fully vaccinated will receive a corresponding sticker for their student ID at the beginning of the semester. This sticker is valid for the entire winter semester 2021/2022. This will allow admission controls to be administered more easily and efficiently.

Please see "Issue of vaccination sticker" for information on how to collect the sticker.

"Negative test" status: Students who are neither fully vaccinated nor have recovered from a coronavirus infection must present proof of a current (within the last 48 hours) negative rapid or PCR test at all of their courses. Self-tests of any kind are not accepted. Students must present their negative test result immediately to teaching or security personnel when entering classrooms as well as upon request in study rooms, computer labs, or foyers.

The following result formats are accepted:

  • Digital result (e.g. in the CoronaWarnApp or Luca)
  • Result issued by a laboratory
  • Result issued by a doctor
  • Result issued by testing center
  • Medical note (must include the type of test and date the test was taken)

Please remember that rapid tests will only be provided for a fee beginning 11 October 2021, in accordance with federal regulations.

This excludes international students vaccinated with a vaccine that is not recognized by the EU as well as other groups such as pregnant persons or those who cannot get the vaccine. However, this exception is only valid until 31 December 2021.

Students who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from a coronavirus infection must present a negative test result. This will be at a cost for the vast majority of students. The University cannot assume costs for rapid tests.

If you receive a positive rapid test, you are required to self-isolate and confirm the test result with a PCR test. Please also immediately contact your doctor.

"Recovered" status: Students who have recovered from a coronavirus infection must present confirmation from a doctor immediately upon arrival. A person is considered recovered if they have a positive PCR test that is at least 28 days old, but not older than 180 days.

The following result formats are accepted:

  • Digital result in the CoronaWarnApp or CovPass App
  • PCR result issued by a laboratory
  • PCR result issued by a doctor
  • PCR result issued by testing center
  • Medical note (must state a PCR test was taken and when)

A TU sticker is not available for students with "recovered" status.

Implementation of the 3G rule
Staff will be checking students' status before they enter classrooms. In courses with up to 40 registered participants, instructors are responsible for confirming students have proper documentation. Additional security personnel will assist for larger courses.

Please present your negative test result immediately to teaching or security personnel when entering classrooms as well as upon request in study rooms, computer labs, or foyers.

Please also present your personal ID so that personnel can easily confirm the documentation is yours. By having all proper documents ready upon arrival, you help ensure all students quickly gain entry to the classroom.

Please note that we are conducting these admission controls to protect the health of all TU members. We ask for your understanding and support.

Issue of vaccination stickers
A vaccination sticker will be issued for your student ID. If you do not yet have a valid student ID, you will be issued TU proof of vaccination.

The vaccination stickers or proof of vaccination will be issued to fully vaccinated students beginning 4 October 2021 at a designated collection point in the foyer of the Main Building (TU Berlin, Main Building, coatroom across from the Audimax, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin) To avoid waiting lines, students will be required to make an appointment beginning 4 October 201: http://www.tu.berlin/impfsticker Please make use of this option.

Mobile vaccination center on campus 14 and 15 October 2021
We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. A mobile vaccination center will be on Campus Charlottenburg near the Main Building from 9 to 15:00 on 14 and 15 October 2021. If you are unable to make use of this offer, please make an appointment with your primary care physician or a vaccination center as soon as possible.

We wish you all a good start to the winter semester! Stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Robert Nissen
Head of Department I – Student Services

Information letter from TU Berlin Department I – Student Services 1 Oktober 2021 | To all staff

To
All staff

Subject
Participation in Courses / 3G Rule

 

Dear Staff,

Extensive preparations are underway for the upcoming 2021/22 winter semester.

Unfortunately, it is already foreseeable that not all new TU Berlin students will be enrolled and have completed the provisioning process by the start of the lecture period on 18 October 2021.

Nevertheless, it is our common aim to ensure all future students experience a good start to the semester. This particularly includes being able to attend and participate in courses. This is only possible with your help.

In order to ensure all students can participate in courses, please observe the following until all enrollment and provisioning procedures are completed (approximately mid-November 2021).

Participation in courses
Students who do not yet have a TU account have limited access to online teaching. By implementing the following measures, you can help avoid this.

ISIS learning platform
In ISIS' standard settings, students can only attend a course after logging in with their TU account. You can change this in the settings for your ISIS course (under the cogwheel symbol) and enable guest access under enrollment methods (Einschreibemethoden). You have the option of creating an enrollment code for guest access. However, you are not required to do so. Enrollment codes are useful if you are sharing them with students without a TU account (such as on your website or in the course catalogue).

Guests will also be able to access general materials for the ISIS course. They are unable to access personal materials or tools, such as quizzes, which are individually completed and assessed. If a significant number of your students do not yet have a TU account, please schedule things such as homework submission in ISIS as late as possible.

Course catalogue (Moses)
It is possible to make the catalogue in Moses publicly accessible and searchable. Here you have the option of including the following additional information for your courses

  • URL of the ISIS course
  • format (synchronous/asynchronous online course, hybrid course) as a label

The course catalogue can be searched by label. Doing so provides students with a quick overview of the course format and allows them to access the corresponding ISIS course more easily.

Zoom/course catalogue
You can also include a Zoom link for each class meeting in the course catalogue. Previously, this was only visible to students logged into Moses with their TU account. Due to the special situation, the catalogue and course links are temporarily accessible without a TU account. This means, that external unauthorized persons can theoretically also attend your course. However, we request that you prioritize enabling non-enrolled students to participate.

Recording attendance
Students who attend in-person courses are required to record their attendance in Moses using the QR code provided. This requires a TU account. Students who do not have a TU account to log in or a smartphone to scan the QR code, must provide their contact data manually. You can find a template documentation form here.

Examination registration in winter semester
The self-service functions in QISPOS are expected to be available again in November. At this point we ask that you allow students to register for exams once again in QISPOS so that grades can also be automatically recorded.

Please schedule examination registration dates as late as possible to allow students sufficient time to register. This ensures that students who were not yet enrolled at the start of the semester can also electronically register in QISPOS.

Using the library
Students must have completed the provisioning process to use the library, particularly to borrow media. Please make sure students who are not yet enrolled also have access to the necessary course reading.

Adherence to the 3G rule on campus
Students are required to adhere to the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered, negative test) to attend any in-person courses. Staff will be checking students' status before they enter classrooms.

In courses with up to 40 registered participants, instructors are responsible for confirming students have proper documentation. Additional security personnel will assist for larger courses.

"Fully vaccinated" status: Students who are fully vaccinated will receive a corresponding sticker for their student ID at the beginning of the semester. This sticker is valid for the entire winter semester 2021/2022. This will allow admission controls to be administered more easily and efficiently. A special collection stand where students can pick up their sticker will be set up in the foyer of the Main Building beginning 4 October 2021. To avoid waiting lines, students will be required to make an appointment at http://www.tu.berlin/impfsticker. Students who do not yet have a student ID can also have TU proof of vaccination issued. Please inform your students about the vaccination sticker.

"Negative test" status: Students who are neither fully vaccinated nor have recovered from a coronavirus infection must present proof of a current (within the last 48 hours) negative rapid or PCR test. Self-tests of any kind are not accepted. Students must present their negative test result immediately to teaching or security personnel when entering classrooms as well as upon request in study rooms, computer labs, or foyers.

The following result formats are accepted:

  • Digital result (e.g., in the CoronaWarnApp or Luca)
  • Result issued by a laboratory
  • Result issued by a doctor
  • Result issued by testing center
  • Medical note (must include the type of test and date the test was taken)

Please also inform your students that rapid tests will only be provided for a fee beginning 11 October 2021, in accordance with federal regulations. This excludes international students vaccinated with a vaccine that is not recognized by the EU as well as other groups such as pregnant persons or those who cannot get the vaccine.

Students who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from a coronavirus infection must present a negative test result. This will be at a cost for the vast majority of students. The University cannot assume costs for rapid tests.

"Recovered" status: Students who have recovered from a coronavirus infection must present confirmation from a doctor immediately upon arrival. A person is considered recovered if they have a positive PCR test that is at least 28 days old, but not older than 180 days.

The following result formats are accepted:

  • Digital result in the CoronaWarnApp or CovPass App
  • PCR result issued by a laboratory
  • PCR result issued by a doctor
  • PCR result issued by testing center
  • Medical note (must state a PCR test was taken and when)

A TU sticker is not available for students with "recovered" status.

Information for students: All students have been informed of these 3G regulations as well as the requirement to immediately present the relevant documents (vaccination sticker/TU proof of vaccination or negative test result or confirmation of recovery) and their personal ID to entry personnel.

You will receive guidelines about verifying students' 3G status shortly.

Vaccination program: We continue to strongly urge all TU members to get vaccinated. A mobile vaccination center will be on the forecourt of the TU Main Building from 9 to 15:00 on 14 and 15 October 2021. Please inform your students of this option. The mobile vaccination center is also open to staff as well as the public. 

Many thanks and kind regards,
p.p.

Robert Nissen
Head of Department I – Student Services

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 8 September 2021 - Planning for winter semester 2021/2022

To
All teaching staff

Subject:
Planning for winter semester 2021/2022

Contents:

  • General planning
  • Implementation of "3G" rule
  • Orientation events for first-semester students

 

 

Dear Lecturers,

In my information letter of 27 July 2021, I announced that we would be determining further details about teaching plans for winter semester 21/22 at the beginning of September.

General planning

On 1 September 2021, the coronavirus task force, which includes the Berlin universities and Senate Chancellery, met to assess the current situation. It determined that the key parameters identified by the LKRP remain valid. As such, we would like to offer in-person courses as much as pandemic conditions and room capacities permit. In-person classes will be held based on the 3G rule (students must either be vaccinated, have recovered from COVID, or have a negative test result). All persons are still required to wear a medical or FFP2 mask in all buildings.

While current conditions do not require minimum distancing, the TU Berlin Crisis Committee has agreed to maintain minimum distancing in lecture halls and seminar rooms to prevent overcrowding. We find this a necessary step as persons who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID can still carry and transmit the virus.

Our plans are intended for the entire winter semester, and we must anticipate negative developments in the fall. Based on a recent student survey, we expect at least 90 percent of our students to be fully vaccinated by the start of the lecture period. We will be running another vaccination program for any students, particularly first-semester students, who are not yet vaccinated. Further information about this will follow at a later point.

When arranging plans for the upcoming semester, our overall aim was to find a solution with adequate hygiene regulations, including in the case of increasing incidence values and hospitalizations. We currently do not expect to enter another strict lockdown.

However, our plans to maintain 1.5 meters distance means that most lecture halls can only be filled to 20% capacity. Courses with more than 144 students (capacity of the Audimax) thus cannot be held even in our largest lecture halls.

Many lecturers for our larger courses have communicated that they would like to continue to use teaching videos and only use lecture halls for supplementary Q & A sessions. Our experiences of the last semester have shown us that not all students will attend these sessions. Some of the larger lecture halls are equipped with video technology to enable streaming or recording. Other lecture halls with a media desk can be equipped with portable video and audio systems to enable streaming and recording. All smaller courses (up to 35 students), particularly tutorials and small group practical tutorials, seminars, etc. will be held in person. However, due to a lack of smaller classrooms, units with several tutorials/small group lessons will need to offer at least some of these online. We believe this to be a sensible option as some students (with a longer commute) will not travel to the University for individual in-person courses. It is also unclear whether and how many international students will be able to move to Berlin.

Courses with more than 35 students will experience the greatest challenges. We are working with the faculties and degree program coordinators to create a list of prioritized courses for in-person teaching.

Implementation of "3G" rule

The 3G rule is intended to ensure that infected individuals are not admitted to classrooms. We plan to check students' status when entering the classroom. After presenting proof of vaccination, vaccinated students will receive a sticker for their student ID which can be quickly checked upon entry. A small number of students will need to present proof of recovery or a negative test result together with a photo ID. Test results are valid for 48 hours. For classes with 40 students or less, we ask that lecturers check that students have the necessary documents. We will provide additional security personnel for larger courses to help efficiently check students' status. Once instructors or security personnel have completed this entry procedure, students will not be permitted to enter the room.

In order to fulfill our obligation to record attendees, each classroom will be assigned a QR code. Students are required to scan the QR code upon entering the room and to sign in for the course on the relevant Moses page. This allows us to send a list of participants to the public health office in the event of an infection.

Orientation events for first-semester students

Our traditional New Student Day will not be held this year. Instead, the Academic Advising Service (IE) will be holding an orientation week from 4 through 8 October 2021, which will include comprehensive virtual information sessions, advising, and other offers in collaboration with Student Services. The week will also focus on students from the past "pandemic" semesters. Welcome and orientation videos created by the Office of Communication, Events and Alumni round out the week's offerings.

Individual degree programs may hold welcome events in person as these target a small number of students and will likely not exceed lecture hall capacity.

Other events such as campus tours are permitted in small groups. The Academic Advising Service team is available to answer questions from the faculties and is already in contact with the advisors for studies and teaching.

Sincerely,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 27 July 2021 - Current Plans for Winter Semester 2021/2022

Dear Students,

After three digital semesters necessitated by the pandemic, the increase in the number of people vaccinated means that we may be able to offer a relatively normal in-person semester this fall. To this end, TU Berlin is making preparations to hold the majority of classes in person. To attend an in-person class, you must either be vaccinated, have recovered from COVID, or have a negative test result. All individuals will be required to wear a mask. An in-person semester would allow you to meet other students and the University community as a whole to use the campus as a place for teaching, learning, discussion, and relaxation.

This will only be possible if the number of infections remains low and as many students as possible are fully vaccinated by October. TU Berlin is working with a vaccination clinic to offer appointments for both doses of the vaccine. Please use this offer if you are unable to make other arrangements. If a significant number of students remain unvaccinated and incidence rates increase, it is likely that we will be unable to hold classes on campus as planned. It will also not be possible for us to provide testing in the scope necessary.

An in-person semester does not mean that all courses will take place in a lecture hall or seminar room. Both instructors and students have found the teaching videos created in the last semesters to be an effective method of teaching and learning. As such, these will continue to be used, especially in courses with large lectures. However, supplemental synchronous offers (practical tutorials, tutorials, and Q&As) will take place in person as well as other types of courses which require direct interaction, such as seminars and project groups.

Please be aware that an in-person semester requires you to be in Berlin if you wish to fully attend and participate in your courses. We do not have the resources to offer classes both in-person and digitally at the same time. Streaming from lecture halls will only be offered in individual cases. If you are an international student and are currently not in Germany, you must apply for a visa and make the necessary preparations for travel to Germany. If you are unable to come to Berlin by mid-October, it is possible that you will not have full access to all courses.

Due to the IT incident, the TU student portal will not be available for re-registration, application, and enrollment until early August. The deadline to re-register or enroll is 31 August 2021.

At the beginning of September, we will meet with the Berlin Senate and the other Berlin universities to assess the current pandemic situation and determine further details. Please use the period until the start of the winter semester to get vaccinated. By doing so, you play a key role in allowing us to implement our plans for a winter semester on campus.

Sincerely,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability 

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 22 July 2021 - Guidelines for Conducting In-Person Exams

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability

Guidelines for Conducting In-Person Exams

22 July 2021

 

Dear Students,

Regrettably, it continues to be necessary to hold examinations under pandemic restrictions. As previously communicated, only a few written examinations will be conducted in person. We would like to remind you of our recommendations and guidelines from the past semester:

Participation in in-person exams is voluntary.

In order to protect your health as well as that of the examiners, all exams must be conducted under special hygiene and distancing conditions. There are several points which I would like to detail for you below:

 

General information

Students taking in-person examinations must present proof of full vaccination, a negative test result, or proof of recovery from the coronavirus. Negative test results cannot be older than 24 hours.

To protect yourself and others, you must wear a medical mask (surgical or FFP2 mask) at all times, including upon arrival, during the exam, and when leaving.

If you are at risk or in contact with someone at risk according to the RKI criteria (whether professionally or privately), and you are unable to avoid contact, you may submit a “Request to Change the Method of Examination” to your relevant examination board. Please be sure to do this in good time. The Representative of Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses can assist you with your request (barrierefrei(at)tu-berlin.de).

 

Before the exam

Please try to avoid needing to use the restroom during the examination. When forming a line, keep 1.5 meters distance from others. Bring your own medical mask (surgical or FFP2 mask) as well as writing materials (pen, scratch paper). Don't forget your student ID and examination registration!

All seats are numbered. Please take a paper towel and disinfectant to sanitize your assigned seat and then take your seat. Record your seat and room number on your exam paper. If your seat has been assigned a QR code, you must also scan this with a smartphone. You will then be taken to Moses, where you will be prompted to log in with your TU account to record your attendance. Your attendance will be recorded even if you receive a message saying no record of a course or event could be found. The reason for this message is that registration for exams follows a different procedure than for courses. Make sure your mask is fitted properly and present your student ID in such a way that the proctor does not need to approach you or take the ID to read it. You can place it on the table next to you.

 

During the exam

If you have an urgent (comprehension) question during the exam, raise your hand. A proctor will come over and try to answer the question while keeping minimum distance. Try and avoid leaving the room during the exam, as this will require other students to leave their seats to allow you to exit and re-enter the row. When finished, place your exam in the allocated box, disinfect your place, and leave the room.

 

After the exam

When leaving the examination room, please do not wait for fellow students to discuss the exam.

As there may be restrictions on students reviewing their examinations, the period for appealing exam results will only commence once the exam review has taken place.

We fully appreciate that the situation is difficult for you. However, it remains our priority to offer you the opportunity to take exams and make progress in your studies. Good luck on your exams!

 

Sincerely,

Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 22 July 2021 - Guidelines for conducting in-person exams at TU Berlin during summer semester 2021

Information from Department I – Student Services

 

Subject: Guidelines for conducting in-person exams at TU Berlin during summer semester 2021

 

22 Juli 2021

 

To all TU employees

 

The rules regarding the maximum permitted capacity during exams (max. 50 participants with no more than 20 per room until 31.08.21 and max. 100 with no more than 40 per room effective 01.09.2021) which were communicated in the information letter of 18 June 2021 remain in effect. Please note the following:

  • Students taking in-person examinations must present proof of full vaccination, a negative test result, or proof of recovery from the coronavirus. Negative test results cannot be older than 24 hours. Responsible personnel must check to make sure students meet this requirement before entering the examination room.
     
  • Belt barriers will direct persons waiting in the foyers and large entry areas in front of rooms H0104 and H0105. (Dept. IV will provide three marker posts each in front of H0104 and H0105 to guide candidates to the relevant exam.)
     
  • A minimum distance of at least 1.5 meters between individuals is to be observed, for instance through the use of floor markings.
     
  • Where feasible, entrances to examination rooms are to be used only to enter or exit the room. Proctors are to monitor the entrance and exit and inform participants accordingly.
     
  • Students must disinfect their table both before and after use. Disinfectant and paper towels are provided in all examination rooms.
  • Seat numbers will be used to identify all available seats (provided centrally by the Press Office/Event Management). Please do not rearrange the furniture. Also, check to make sure that furniture has not been moved and is still in the appropriate position (to allow for distancing, etc.).
     
  • A record must be kept of the seating arrangement during each exam. Examinees are to record the room and their seat number on their exam papers.
    In most lecture halls, the places available for use will be provided with a QR code. Students can scan the QR code for their seat using their smartphones. They will then be taken to Moses and prompted to log in with their TU account. This records their attendance. Attendance is only recorded at the start of the exam. Students will receive a message stating that there is no course or event, but that their attendance has still been registered. This is because the system we are using was developed for in-person events requiring prior registration. However, this system is not synced to the regular examination registration in QISPOS.
     
  • Care should be taken to ensure that, if possible, examinees seated in a row do not have to pass each other to take their seat. A suitable access and exit plan should be in place (e.g. Rows are accessed from the left and exited from the right). Should this not be possible, the seated person to be passed must first leave the row and make way for the person taking their seat.
     
  • Pursuant to the current coronavirus regulations of the State of Berlin, all persons on campus are required to wear a medical mask (surgical mask or FFP2 mask). Examiners and supervisors can collect FFP2 masks from the Hygiene Storage Facility as well as a small supply of surgical masks for students whose own masks can no longer be used.
     
  • Examinees are to present their ID in such a way so that the proctor does not need to take the ID to read it. In compliance with the minimum distance guidelines, IDs are to be placed on a nearby table. Examinees are to wear mouth and nose protection when entering and exiting the room as well as during the examination.
     
  • Examinees are to place their completed exam in the box provided.
     
  • Please use caution when grading papers, as it is possible for the virus to also be transmitted via documents.
     
  • PC labs may be used for online examinations. The authorized persons are responsible for organizing exams held in PC labs (lab management, academic chair, etc.). All devices must be disinfected before and after the exam. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters is to be maintained between adjacent stations and a minimum distance of 3 meters between stations across from each other (including diagonally). Deviations from this are possible if they are part of a hygiene concept approved by the Crisis Committee.
    The same restrictions regarding the maximum number of participants per room apply as for paper-based in-person examinations.
     
  • Exam reviews should be conducted online wherever possible. If exam reviews are held in person, the academic chair must organize appointments for students to avoid waiting lines. Instructors must reserve suitable rooms through the innoCampus LV planning team. Minimum distance regulations are to be observed during the exam review. All individuals present must wear a medical mask (surgical or FFP2) during the review. Students may only remove their mask for the purpose of identification. Examiners are to use a physical or digital copy of the exam for discussion with students to avoid any personal contact when using the same copy. All places must be disinfected after use.

 

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 24 March 2021 - Current rules for conducting examinations for Students

Dear Students,

We have adopted new rules for conducting written examinations. In light of the increasing number of infections, it is our aim to conduct exams primarily online and avoid postponing any examinations. Smaller in-person written exams with no more than 50 candidates will continue as scheduled under strict observation of the hygiene regulations. No more than 20 candidates are permitted per room. This needs to be taken into account when reserving and assigning rooms. We have purchased rapid self-tests to offer an additional safety measure and will provide further information once these are delivered.

In addition to oral examinations, examiners can choose from the following list of alternatives in place of in-person written examinations:

Closed book written examinations

  • Online via ISIS
  • Supervised (via video)
  • Simultaneous or nearly simultaneous
  • Supervision may be continuous or random

Open book exams

  • Online via ISIS
  • Unsupervised
  • Simultaneous or nearly simultaneous
  • Student downloads task > Student types or write answers by hand > Student uploads solution in ISIS as a photo or scan or submits their work via the test/task function online

Take-home exams

  • Offline or online via ISIS 
  • Unsupervised
  • Staggered
  • Task must be downloaded and solution uploaded

Please be aware that an online written exam with video supervision is possible as this has now been approved under data protection regulations. It represents an appropriate means of preventing cheating, a responsibility the University is obliged to fulfill in order to ensure that all candidates have the same chances. You can minimize any possible risk of violation of your basic rights (inviolability of the home, personal rights) by choosing either a neutral background in your home or using a virtual background in the video conferencing software. If you are concerned about data protection or do not have sufficient technical equipment, you have the option to take the examination at the designated time in the University’s mathematics computer lab. To make use of this option, you must submit a request at least one week before the exam (klausur(at)pool.math.tu-berlin.de). Participation in an electronic exam with video supervision from home is thus optional.

Electronic examinations in ISIS require two-factor authentication, ensuring a candidate’s identity. Examiners have been recommended to use the TOTP procedure (time-based one-time password).

Audio and video recordings as well as screenshots when supervising an exam are not permitted. Likewise, a 360° pan is prohibited, as this would inevitably violate the privacy of a student’s home.

Good luck with all your exams and stay healthy!

Sincerely,
Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 22 March 2021 - Current rules for conducting examinations for Teaching Staff

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 3 March 2021 - Video conferencing tools approved for examinations

To
All students
All staff

Subject: Video conferencing tools approved for examinations

Dear Students,
Dear Staff,

The Executive Board has taken the decision to allow the use of additional video conferencing tools during the current examination period:

  • When used with end-to-end encryption enabled, Zoom and Webex are now permitted for confidential meetings, including oral online examinations and scientific doctoral defenses. You must locally install the client software to enable the end-to-end encryption feature. When using this feature in Zoom, it is not possible to dial in to the meeting by phone or use breakout rooms.
  • Zoom and Webex may also be used for organizational purposes (identification/authentication, instructions, individual questions) before and during written examinations. Microphones and cameras must remain switched off and may only be turned on for the purposes stated above. End-to-end encryption is not required in this case and breakout rooms can be used.

All other rules regarding video conference tools remain in effect.

Sincerely,
Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 18 February 2021 - Regulations for in-person written examinations under pandemic conditions

Dear Students,

Unfortunately, examinations have to take place under pandemic conditions in this semester too. As we informed you in previous communications, only a few written examinations will be taking place in person (in other words in rooms on campus). The same recommendations as for summer semester 2020 apply:

Participation in these exams is voluntary.

Written examinations will take place under special hygiene and distancing regulations to protect the health of students and examiners. There are a number of important points to observe here:

 

General points

You are required to wear nose-mouth protection both during the exam and when entering and leaving the room.

If you belong to an at-risk group or have contact to persons classified as belonging to at-risk groups by the Robert Koch Institute (whether in your professional or private lives), please submit an application for an alternative exam format to your examination committee at the earliest possible date. The Representative for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses can assist you with this:  barrierefrei(at)tu-berlin.de.

 

Before the exam

Please try to use a toilet before the exam to avoid having to leave the exam room. Maintain a distance of two meters from all other persons if you need to queue outside an exam room. Please provide your own nose-mouth protection and stationery (pens, pencils and scrap paper). Remember to bring your student ID and confirmation of exam registration.

Seats are numbered in the exam rooms. Once in the room, take a towel and disinfectant to disinfect your desk and then proceed directly to your assigned seat. Please make a note of your seat number and room on your exam paper. If your seat also has a QR code, please scan this using your smartphone. This will take you to Moses. Your attendance will be recorded once you have logged in with your TU data. You will see a message informing you that there is no class. Please ignore this - your attendance will have been recorded.  Registration for exams is not the same as for face-to-face classes; this is what the message refers to.

Please ensure that your nose-mouth protection is properly fitted and present your student ID so that the proctoring team can read it without having to touch it or come within two meters. You can use the free space next to you for this purpose.

 

During the exam

Raise your hand if you really need to clarify a question. A member of the proctoring team will approach you and answer your question, maintaining minimum distance. Please try to avoid leaving the room during the exam as this will require other students in your row to make room to allow you to leave and return to your seat. When finished, please place your exam in the box provided, disinfect your seat and writing surface and leave the room.

 

After the exam

Once you have left the room, please do not wait to discuss the exam with other candidates. To reduce the risk of infection for the persons correcting exams, answer papers will remain untouched for seven days. As a result, exams will take somewhat longer to correct. Please remain patient.

The period for appealing exam results will only commence once students have had an opportunity to review their exam. Currently, the options for doing so are very restricted. The option to review an exam is only made available in urgent cases, such as when a student fails.

We realize that these measures are complicated. However, we wish to ensure that you are able to take all exams you wish to take and thus progress with your studies while at the same time protecting the health of everyone concerned. I wish you every success with your exams!

Sincerely,

Professor Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 18 February 2021 - Procedures for conducing in-person written examinations

Dear Staff,

We would like to provide you with some information and regulations regarding in-person written examinations (held in rooms on campus).

The maximum number of candidates referred to in the information letter of 3 February applies. As part of the preparations for exams, the responsible person is required to check the current situation and identify possible hazards as well as devise appropriate protective measures. The following points need to be taken into account:

  • In the foyers and main entrance areas to rooms H0104 and H0105, students waiting to take exams will be guided into the rooms using person guidance systems and queuing barriers. (Department IV will provide three guide posts outside rooms H0104 and H0105 respectively, which can be put into operation for each exam.)
  • Measures such as floor marking are to be used to ensure that the required distance of two meters is maintained when queuing. (Department IV has already provided floor marking.)
  • Where possible, separate doors will be used as entrances and exits to rooms. The proctoring teams are responsible for deciding which doors are to be used as entrances and exits and placing appropriate signs.
  • Students are responsible for disinfecting their own desks and chairs both before and after the exam. Disinfectant and boxes containing towels are provided for this purpose in exam rooms.
  • The seats to be used are clearly indicated by numbers (centrally organized by the Press Office/Event Management). Please do not rearrange furniture and check to see that everything is arranged in accordance with the coronavirus regulations.
  • A record must be kept of which person used which seat. Candidates are required to record their seat number and room number on their exam paper.
    In most lecture halls, the seats are marked with QR codes (please note: seats were numbered before the 20 candidates per room rule was introduced.)  Students can scan the QR code for their seat using a smartphone. This will take them to Moses where they need to register using their TU data. They will then be recorded as present for the exam. Only the start time of their presence will be recorded. Students will then receive a message informing them that there is no class. However, they need not worry. Their presence is recorded. This is because the system was developed for in-person classes for which students are required to register. The normal system for registering for exams via QISPOS has not been linked to this system.
  • As far as possible, candidates seated in the same row should try to avoid having to pass by each other. This should be possible using a coordinated system for entering and leaving rows (e.g. entering in a pre-determined sequence from the left and departing to the right). If this is not possible, the person already seated should exit the row to allow other candidates to proceed to their seats.
  • All persons present are required to wear a mask. The current regulations for Berlin state that standard nose-mouth protection (community masks) is sufficient. However, we recommend medical masks (surgical masks or FFP2 masks). Examiners and proctoring teams can collect FFP2 masks and small supplies of surgical masks for students whose masks are broken or damp from the Hygiene Storage Facility.  Candidates are required to wear nose-mouth protection both during an exam and when entering and leaving the room.
  • Candidates must present their ID so that it can be read by proctoring teams without having to touch it. ID should be placed on one of the neighboring desks so that minimum distancing can be maintained.
  • When leaving, candidates are responsible for placing their exams in one of the boxes provided.
  • Exam papers should not be touched for a period of seven days and only corrected thereafter.
  • Computer labs may be used for electronic written examinations (e-exams). This is organized by the relevant unit (computer lab administration, academic chair etc). As it is not possible to disinfect these areas properly at short notice, computer stations may only be used again after a period of 72 hours following their last use. Warning signs must be placed which clearly indicate when they were last used (date and end time). A minimum distance of two meters must be maintained between candidates (also when seated diagonally opposite each other) and a minimum distance of three meters between candidates seated directly opposite each other. The same restrictions regarding maximum numbers of candidates per room apply as for in-person paper exams.
  • The option to review an exam is only made available in urgent cases, such as when a student fails. Students need to contact the appropriate academic chair and arrange an appointment. Teachers should book suitable rooms themselves in Moses and provide students with a day pass for access to the relevant building. Minimum distancing must be maintained when assigning seats. During the exam review, everyone present is required to wear nose-mouth protection. Students may only remove theirs for purposes of identification.
  • Exam papers are to be placed on the desks before students take their sets to maintain minimum distancing. Examiners should use a paper or electronic copy of the exam so as to avoid close contact with students.
  • The same chair and desk may only be used by more than one student during an exam review session if thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant between uses. Disinfectant is available from the Hygiene Storage Facility.

Sincerely,
Department I Student Services

Information letter from TU Berlin’s vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 8 February 2021

Subject: Regulations for the examination period March to April 2021

To

  • All students
  • In cc: all staff

Contents

  • Written examinations
  • Examinations not counting as attempts
  • Deadlines
  • Libraries
  • Summer semester 2021

Dear Students,

I am writing to update you regarding the regulations for studying and teaching at TU Berlin.

Written examinations

We have been and continue to be in weekly contact with the other universities in Berlin as well as the Senate Chancellery with the aim of adapting the coronavirus regulations for universities to the general situation and integrating them into the latest version of the regulations for preventing the spread of the virus in Berlin. Our goal is to provide thorough and uniform regulations for all institutions of higher education in Berlin. We also need to respect the academic freedom of our professors and only impose such restrictions regarding choice of exam format as are necessitated by the situation and the need to protect health.

On the basis of these discussions and at the recommendation of the Crisis Committee, the Executive Board passed a decision on 3 February 2021 to not permit any written examinations with more than 50 candidates to take place face-to-face throughout the entire upcoming examination period through 10 April 2021. Smaller written examinations may take place face-to-face (i.e. in rooms on campus), provided that no more than 20 candidates are present in a room. These regulations reflect the current Berlin ordinance to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

We have informed our teaching staff of these regulations, requesting them to keep to the scheduled dates and find alternative formats, particularly for exams with larger numbers of candidates. We recommend online written examinations using ISIS, whereby reference material may be used (open-book exams). Your examiners will inform you about the format of your exams. Other options may include oral examinations and term papers. Postponing written examinations to the summer semester in the hope that they can then take place in face-to-face format is not a viable option.

Please rest assured that we have developed thorough hygiene protocols for any face-to-face written exams and all exam rooms will be automatically ventilated to ensure that air is exchanged four times per hour.  Please avoid gathering in groups when entering and leaving rooms, even for exams with smaller numbers of candidates. You will also be required to wear mouth-nose protection during the examination. We recommend medical masks (FFP2 or surgical masks). Participation in face-to-face examinations is voluntary. If you feel ill or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms prior to a written examination, we urge you to remain or return home and consult a doctor.

Online written exams will be designed to prevent possible cheating, as conventional proctoring is not an option. This does not mean to say that the exam will be more difficult but you need to be aware that more or less individualized exams will be provided for each candidate. We know we can rely on your integrity and your sense of fairness towards your fellow students. This is essential for online written examinations.

Nevertheless, examination law requires us to take every measure permitted by data protection law to prevent any efforts to cheat. We will evaluate the log data of ISIS in any cases of suspected cheating. Exams where cheating has occurred will be failed. Repeated attempts to cheat may lead to a student being barred from taking all further exams, thus preventing them from graduating.

Examinations not counted as attempts

The regulations regarding failed exams not counting as attempts apply for the entire upcoming examination period. The regulations do not apply to exams which students registered for but failed to take, or in cases of cheating.

Deadlines

Deadlines and writing periods for final theses and term papers have been suspended until 31 March 2021. For further information, please go to the website of the Examination Office.

Libraries

The library is currently only open for borrowing. Decisions to open study places again will depend on the development of the pandemic and will be taken in consultation with other libraries.

Summer semester 2021

We are currently planning to offer the summer semester as a digital semester with appropriate exceptions for practical format courses and classes. As soon as the infection rate permits, we will of course do everything we can to open up the campus and study spaces to you. Again, any decisions will be made in consultation with the other universities in Berlin as well as the Berlin Senate.

We fully appreciate that the situation is difficult for you and it will be of little comfort to know that our teaching staff (professors, teaching assistants, tutors) also have a considerable burden to shoulder. Nevertheless, we would ask you to show understanding for the difficulties faced by your instructors.

I wish you every success with your upcoming examinations. Stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter from 8 January 2021

Dear Teaching Staff and Students,

In anticipation of updated regulations for the state of Berlin and the special urgency of the matters at hand, we have chosen to already send you the most recent decision of the TU Berlin regarding teaching operations and examinations. These regulations will initially be in effect from 11.01.2021 to 31.01.2021.

In light of the current federal regulations and consistently high infection rate, no face-to-face courses will be held at TU Berlin during this period. 

Exceptions to this include some practical formats which are absolutely necessary and cannot be offered digitally. This is in the interest of students who would otherwise lose a semester of their studies. Participation in these face-to-face practical courses is on a voluntary basis. They will be held in accordance with strict hygiene concepts which have been approved by the relevant departments at TU Berlin and thus far prevented any known cases of infection resulting from such courses.

Face-to-face examinations are prohibited during this period. Examiners are requested to postpone exams to a later date, hold exams online, modify the exam format, or, in the event of a portfolio examination, permit students to complete the required work in another format. Examination boards are requested to demonstrate understanding when processing corresponding requests.

Face-to-face oral examinations are permitted under observance of the applicable hygiene regulations and the agreement of all participants. Students who are currently unable to take part in a face-to-face examination for reasons of health should not be disadvantaged in any way.

Due to the, in part new, difficult study conditions, particularly as concerns the closure of the libraries and their workspaces, all deadlines for submitting term papers and final theses have been suspended for the period from 04.01.2021 to 31.01.2021.

Workspaces in the TU Berlin libraries remain closed for use until 31.01.2021. Any changes thereafter will be communicated accordingly. The libraries continue to be open during their respective opening hours for you to order, borrow and collect media. Further information: https://ub.tu-berlin.de/

In the week preceding 31.01.2021, the Berlin universities and other institutions of higher education will once again confer with the Senate Department for Science whether these regulations are to be extended.

We urge everyone to significantly restrict their physical contact with others and adhere to the applicable hygiene regulations.

Despite the difficult circumstances, we would like to wish you all a healthy and happy new year. Let us continue to work together to overcome this challenging situation for each of us individually and our society as well as the University.

All information can also be found in the University’s coronavirus portal: https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/ 

Stay healthy!
The Executive Board and Crisis Committee of TU Berlin

2020

Information for teaching staff and students

Letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 22 December 2020

Dear Colleagues,
Dear Teaching Staff,

The lecture period has been underway for some weeks now. Things have not always been smooth at times, particularly for our first-year students due to delayed enrollment. However, all enrollment procedures have since been completed. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this semester is being held almost exclusively online with only a few exceptions for practical formats and courses for first-year students. Our strict regulations regarding hygiene and face-to-face events have allowed us to keep the number of TU members infected to a minimum. Until 10 January 2021, there will be no face-to-face courses and the library is offering a loan only service.

In recent weeks, we have been concerned about holding face-to-face exams in the upcoming examination period.  Due to the current restricted capacity in our lecture halls and shorter semester break, we were unfortunately unable to schedule all registered exams even while making use of off-peak times. However, we will be making use of the canteen as well as once again renting large rooms outside of TU Berlin to provide a space for most of your exams. The planning team will be contacting you with further information. Exams are tentatively scheduled to be held at Hotel Estrel. The planning team will keep you informed of any developments concerning this too. In light of the consistently high infection rate, unknown impact of the holidays on the pandemic, and recent mutations of the virus, the anticipation of an impending lockdown in March continues to jeopardize face-to-face exams. 

If you would like to ensure your exam takes place without any potential issues, you have the option to hold it online. This will also help to reduce the high demand for exam rooms. Online exams are held via ISIS, TU Berlin’s learning platform. In many cases, students take the exam from home in “open book” format, meaning they are permitted to use resources during the exam. The ZEWK online teaching team and innoCampus have compiled guidelines for holding online exams with consideration for the relevant examination and data privacy regulations. Online exams on campus, either in a computer lab or using laptops in a lecture hall, are a further option. However, this option is not suitable for larger groups and further requires you to adhere to any regulations or restrictions regarding face-to-face events.

On 17 December 2020, the Senate Chancellery resolved that winter semester 2020/21 will not count towards a student’s standard period of study. In addition, students have the possibility of requesting an extension to the submission deadline for final theses and term papers from the examination board, if the pandemic poses significant issues preventing their completion. Any failed exams will continue not to be counted as attempts. Furthermore, all current regulations listed here continue to apply.

An improvement regarding the pandemic is not foreseeable at the moment. Restrictive measures more recently implemented have not yet begun to show the desired effects and the planned vaccinations will take several months. As a result, we have no choice but to plan to hold summer semester 2021 primarily online, similar to the current winter semester. If the infection rate significantly decreases, there may be the option of holding some synchronous online courses face-to-face.

The Main Women’s Representative is holding the University’s annual general women’s assembly on 27 January 2021, from 11:00 to 12:30. All female members of the University, including students, are invited to attend. Please make it possible for your students to attend the assembly. They should not be disadvantaged in any way should they be absent from class as a result.

On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for your extraordinary dedication to teaching under these difficult conditions as well as your understanding as technical or organizational issues arose. I wish you all peaceful holidays and a healthy new year, one we all hope will see an improvement in the situation!

Sincerely,
Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter from vice president for education, digitalization and sustainability, 2 November 2020

To
All students

in CC
All professors
All research associates and research and teaching assistants
Heads of the faculty service centers and advisors for studies & teaching

Subject: Information and guidelines concerning winter semester 2020/2021

Dear Students,

My letter of 1 October 2020 communicated information which must now be amended due to the development of the pandemic in recent weeks and resulting agreements made by the Berlin Senate and the universities.

We are currently in phase 2 of TU Berlin’s phased plan. This means:

  • Most buildings continue to remain open to TU members, including students.
  • A community mask is to be worn at all times at the University, specifically in all public areas, during courses and examinations, and in closed rooms with more than one occupant.
  • Please ensure that a minimum distance of 2 meters between persons is maintained.
  • Computer labs and study rooms remain closed (with the exception of the work spaces at the University Library).
  • Student Services’ Campus Center also remains closed. The enrollment, examination, and academic advising offices can be contacted by email.
  • The number of face-to-face classes will be significantly limited. Classes in practical formats (e.g. labs or workshop classes) will continue to take place. Additionally, a number of the face-to-face courses scheduled for first-semester bachelor’s students will still be held. All other courses will be conducted online. You can find current information about your courses on the ISIS teaching and learning platform.
  • The deadline to register for tutorials in Moses has been extended to 4 November 2020, 18:00.
  • For courses held on campus, you must register in Moses and provide your contact details for the purpose of tracing any possible infections. When entering lecture halls, please wet a paper towel with the disinfectant provided to clean your seat and desk. Go to an available seat, scan the QR code, and disinfect the seat and desk surface. You are required to disinfect all surfaces again when leaving. You will not be permitted to participate in face-to-face classes without a community mask or if you do not scan the QR code. In this case, you will be required to take the class online.
  • Please register for practical formats (e.g. labs or workshop courses) with the respective instructor.
  • Classrooms which are not equipped with mechanical ventilation are to be aired out every 15-20 minutes. Please dress warmly as rooms will frequently be chilly as a result.
  • If you present symptoms indicating a possible COVID-19 infection, please remain at home and seek medical advice.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must immediately inform your instructor as well as send an email to coronafall(at)tu-berlin.de.
  • First-semester students who were unable to enroll by the start of lectures on 02.11.2020 will receive a temporary account allowing them to access and participate in their courses. Students affected by this will receive further information via email. Current information can be found at the websites of the Office of Students Affairs.

We ask that you act responsibly - including in your personal life - to help the University avoid needing to register any cases of infection. The current hygiene regulations are to be observed across the entire campus. We will inform you immediately of any changes to this situation.

I wish you a successful start to the lecture period - Stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß,
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

To all professors, research associates and research and teaching assistants as well as heads of the faculty service centers and advisors for studies and teaching

Contents

  • Information regarding face-to-face teaching formats
  • Enrollment
  • ISIS, examinations, and regulations regarding failed exams not counting as attempts
  • Summer semester 2020 instructor survey

Dear Teaching Staff,

As the general situation regarding the pandemic has worsened again over the past two weeks, we would like to inform you of some important points and regulations regarding teaching.

Beginning 2 November 2020, tightened regulations apply in Berlin to combat the rising number of infections. In light of these developments, we kindly request all teaching staff offering face-to-face teaching formats to carefully consider if these could not be conducted in digital format for the time being. Our main concern at the moment is to minimize direct contact between people. Please think about how you can contribute to achieving this goal. Thank you!   

Information regarding face-to-face teaching formats

If face-to-face teaching formats cannot be avoided, then the following applies:

  • TU Berlin buildings are closed to the public but open to members of the University and as such we are not conducting ID checks in buildings where teaching takes place.
  • All persons are required to wear a community mask covering nose and mouth in all buildings. You may only remove your mask when alone in a room.
  • Airing and ventilation: All rooms other than those with automatic ventilation systems are to be thoroughly aired three to four times per hour. This is a very important.
  • We need to know who attended a class for purposes of tracking and tracing. For centrally organized courses, students are required to register once in Moses and scan the QR code at their seat using their smartphone at the start of every class they then attend. You as teacher are responsible for documenting attendance for all non-centrally organized classes, particularly those taking place in the rooms in your own faculty or academic chair. Records of attendance must be maintained for a period of 4 weeks.
    Further information about QR codes (only in German)
  • Students not wearing a community mask may not take part in face-to-face classes. This also applies to students with a medical certificate exempting them from wearing a mask. Students registered for centrally organized courses who are unable to scan the QR code may also not attend. This also applies to examinations taking place on campus.
  • If you become aware that someone attending your class has tested positive, please inform coronafall(at)tu-berlin.de.
    Further information
  • Excursions and field trips are currently not strictly prohibited but could conflict with the current general regulations for combating the pandemic. As such, we urge you to postpone excursions to the end of the semester.
  • Other practical teaching formats such as labs, workshops or computer classes requiring local software may take place with the agreement of the academic chair. This is only possible however if the number of participants (group size) does not exceed 20, 2-meter distancing can be observed, and a hygiene concept meeting the requirements of the University’s general hygiene regulations is in place for the class. The standard concept for practical format classes has recently been revised. Please inform your faculty administration when conducting teaching in practical formats.

Enrollment

  • As you are probably aware, there have been delays in enrolling new students. To enable them to attend classes, we have provided students awaiting enrollment with a temporary account so that they can log in to ISIS and take part in video conferences. However, these students have not yet been issued with their student ID, which they require to be able to borrow books and printed material from the library. Teaching staff have the option to make excerpts of works available in ISIS for this period. Please ensure you observe copyright regulations when doing so. It seems likely that students awaiting enrollment will not have their IDs until the end of November.

ISIS, examinations, and regulations regarding failed exams not counting as attempts

  • ISIS is intended as the central location for providing students with up-to-date information about their courses and students have been informed that they should check ISIS for information. Please ensure that you use ISIS for this purpose.
  • We will shortly start planning the examinations for the winter semester. If you are planning to hold written examinations on campus, please inform your students that the publication of examination dates will take somewhat longer.
  • The deadline for registering for portfolio examinations closes 30 November 2020.
    Further information regarding examinations
  • Failed examinations will not be counted as an attempt this winter semester: “Examinations taken and failed in summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/21 will not count as attempts.” This does not apply to examinations which students registered for but failed to attend or examinations which were failed due to cheating.
  • The ZEWK online teaching team is also offering extensive information and advising services to assist you in the winter semester. You can also borrow equipment from them.
  • The start of the lecture period means that the central Shibboleth server is currently overloaded. Access to ISIS, Moses, Zoom (for teachers), etc. requires authentication via Shibboleth. Experience shows that the situation will calm down again soon.

Summer semester 2020 instructor survey

We are pleased to inform you that the results of the summer semester 2020 instructor survey are now ready. Thank you for taking part. The results have been presented and eagerly discussed in the various committees at TU Berlin.

We wish you every success with your courses and would like to thank you for all your efforts in what are difficult circumstances.

Sincerely,

Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability, 21 October 2020

Regulations for face-to-face teaching in the winter semester

To
All professors
All research associates and research and teaching assistants

Dear Colleagues,

As a result of the current increase in infection rates in Berlin, the Senate Chancellery Higher Education and Research together with universities and colleges in Berlin have agreed amendments and further restrictions to their previous plans for face-to-face teaching.

Only examinations, practical teaching formats, orientation events for newly enrolled students and selected courses for students in the first-degree semesters of bachelor’s programs may now take place in face-to-face format on campus. This means that all other face-to-face classes for up to 25 participants requested by lecturers some weeks ago and scheduled to take place in our lecture halls may no longer be held face-to-face and will have to switch to digital formats.  

The following measures are to be observed when conducting all remaining face-to-face teaching, including lectures, practical tutorials, seminars, projects, labs and workshops, excursions, field trips, etc.:

Hygiene concept: A hygiene concept is required for all face-to-face classes. This must be consistent with the TU Berlin hygiene regulations which apply at the time. The lecturer is required to explain the hygiene concept to students and any staff present at the start of the class. Lecturers are required to document that they have adequately explained the hygiene regulations to students and staff. This proof of instruction, taken together with the hygiene concept itself as a risk assessment and a statement of protective measures, fulfills the requirements to document established in Section 6 of the Occupational Safety Act.

Centrally administered classrooms will be provided with disinfectant at the entrances and exits to the rooms. Students are required to clean their own place both before and after the class. For classrooms within your own unit, you are directly responsible for ensuring that disinfectant is provided. Disinfectant can be obtained from the Hygiene Storage Facility.

Mouth and nose protection: All participants are strictly required to wear a face mask providing mouth and nose protection throughout the entire class, including when seated at their place. Anyone failing to comply will be excluded from the class. Teaching staff can pick up disposable face masks in advance from the Hygiene Storage Facility to distribute to students without masks. Anyone unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition is required to seek online alternatives. You as a teacher are also required to wear a face mask providing mouth and nose protection.

Airing rooms: Adequate airing of rooms is a key component of all recommendations for containing the spread of infection. Lecture halls where face-to-face classes are scheduled to take place are all equipped with automatic ventilation systems providing the required fourfold circulation of air per hour. Classrooms which do not have an automatic ventilation system have to be aired manually every 15 minutes to ensure a similar effect. Ideally, this should be done by opening windows on opposite sides of the room (cross ventilation) when possible. Please ensure that you air rooms regularly and thoroughly. It is important that you do so.

Tracing: Contact details of all persons attending classes (name, telephone number, email address and postal address) as well as their table or place number when possible  must be recorded for the purpose of tracing any possible infections. For classes taking place in centrally administered classrooms, students are required to register once via Moses and scan the QR code for their seat using their smartphone. Students who do not have a device capable of scanning the QR code may not participate in the face-to-face class and should be referred to the alternative online offer. For decentralized classes, such as labs, the individual academic chairs are responsible for collecting and storing data for four weeks.

Infection: If you become aware that one of your students has been infected, you are required to report this to coronafall(at)tu-berlin.de. We will coordinate with you to forward attendance lists to the health authorities for the purposes of tracing. Students with symptoms indicating a possible Covid-19 infection should remain at home and seek medical advice. Students developing symptoms during a class should return home without delay and also contact a doctor.
Further details regarding infection chain management at TU Berlin

If the pandemic worsens: Should the situation worsen, TU Berlin may be required to transition to phase 3 of the TU phased plan. This equates to essential-only presence operations (as in the spring of this year), during which face-to-face teaching is canceled. You should develop a “plan B” for this eventuality. Please consider if you then wish to switch your classes to online formats or postpone them to a later date or even cancel them altogether. This of course depends on the type of course you teach as well as the point in the semester we switch to essential-only presence. The decision is yours, but we should try to avoid canceling courses where possible. You also need to consider situations where an infection has been detected among your students and where the health authorities require some or indeed all of the students attending the course to self-isolate.

Alternative online offer: We promised prospective students who cannot come to TU Berlin in person (approximately 10 percent according to a survey) that we would make every effort to provide an online alternative for those classes taking place face-to-face (with the exception of practical teaching formats and examinations). This applies particularly to lectures and tutorials. We therefore request you to record face-to-face classes and make them available on ISIS. If you are using one of the lecture halls with appropriate equipment (H0104, H0105, H0107, H0110 and EW 201), you can broadcast your lecture as a livestream. The Audiovisual Center (AVZ) advises on the use of equipment in the lecture halls. If you wish to record classes in other rooms, please contact InnoCampus. If offering tutorials, please ensure that one session is offered online.

Regulations regarding Christmas/New Year: The two-week break scheduled for 21.12.2020 until 03.01.2021 has now been extended to take account of gatherings of family and friends and the increased risk of infection during this period. Only practical teaching formats and in-presence examinations are permitted between 14.12.2020 and 23.12.2020. No face-to-face classes or exams may take place in the week of 04.01.2021 until 08.01.2021.

Additional regulations regarding practical teaching formats

Practical teaching formats including

  • labs
  • workshop labs
  • field exercises
  • excursions and field trips

can only take place with permission. Permission is provided by the head of the academic chair where the class is taking place. The head of the academic chair also bears responsibility under occupational health and safety law. Permission for excursions and field trips during phase 2 must be obtained from the vice president for education, digitalization and sustainability.

Academic chairs are requested to inform the relevant faculty administration regarding practical teaching format classes. Centrally managed rooms at TU Berlin may only be used if booked in advance via InnoCampus. Classes attended by more than 20 persons should take place in digital format. Exceptions may be granted upon application to the Crisis Committee.

The basis for conducting practical teaching formats are the TU Berlin hygiene regulations. Lecturers are required to prepare a hygiene concept for each practical teaching format. Hygiene concepts are to be presented upon request. You can use the hygiene concept published online by the SDU as a template.

Practical teaching formats with reduced minimum distancing: FF2 (CPA) masks are available for collection by instructors from the Hygiene Storage Facility for labs during which minimum distancing regulations cannot be observed for limited periods (when operating equipment, etc.).

Travel and accommodation arrangements for participants in courses/excursions taking place outside of TU Berlin must be included in the hygiene concept. The number of participants permitted to take part in excursions is determined by the TU phased plan. During phase 1, the maximum number is 20. During phase 2, it is 10. Excursions are no longer permitted during phase 3.

It is particularly important to take account of the regulations regarding official trips, according to which visits to areas classified by the RKI or the Federal Foreign Office as risk areas or for which a travel warning has been issued are not permitted. This also applies to regions in Germany (other than Berlin) with a seven-day infection rate above 50 persons per 100,000.

We very much appreciate your active help in implementing these regulations in what are exceptional circumstances for us all. Thank you for all your support in recent months and during the semester ahead.

We hope you and your students remain healthy.

Sincerely,

Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability, 1 October 2020

Important information on the winter semester 2020/21 under pandemic conditions

Dear Students,

Temperatures are dropping and shadows lengthening as the fall approaches and with it the start of winter semester 2020/2021, which officially commences 1 October 2020. I am writing to welcome you all to this semester, which will operate as a hybrid semester. Following on from the digital semester 2020, this will represent an equally great challenge for us as a university and for you as students. TU Berlin will do everything in its power to provide you with a good teaching and learning experience under the conditions imposed by the pandemic. Let’s work together to negotiate this difficult path.

Winter semester 2020/2021 will see some changes to the usual study conditions. The hygiene regulations will continue to apply, but we will be endeavoring to improve on the situation for you as students compared to the summer semester. Particularly regarding in-presence offers, the use of study spaces, and access to TU Berlin premises. To achieve these goals, we have invested considerable sums in our infrastructure and in taking on new staff.

Working together with the Berlin Senate, universities and colleges in Berlin have developed a phased plan to safeguard the health of students and staff as well create the best possible conditions for teaching and studying. The phases of the plan reflect the current pandemic situation in Berlin. TU Berlin has adapted this general plan to its own requirements. The new regulations will take effect 19 October 2020 and will be edited to make them easy to read on the Web. We would, however, like to inform you in advance of the most important regulations, even if some details still need to be finalized. The following details refer to phase 1, the current situation. Should the situation in Berlin or at TU Berlin significantly change, it may become necessary to introduce restrictions at short notice. We will inform you of any such changes.

Access to TU buildings
Starting 19 October 2020, the majority of buildings will be open to students. In all public areas, you are required to wear nose-mouth protection and maintain a minimum distance of two meters. We kindly request you to only enter the University premises when important reasons require you to do so. Our goal is to avoid an increase in the number of people on campus and do everything we can to prevent large groups of people gathering in our buildings in the fall and winter. 

Lectures and classes
The lecture period begins on 2 November 2020 and ends 27 February 2021. The majority of lectures and classes during the winter semester will again take place online. Teaching staff have spent the last weeks working hard to develop new teaching concepts and prepare teaching videos. The course catalogue provides you with information concerning the times and rooms of your lectures and classes during the coming winter semester. Detailed information concerning courses is available via the ISIS learning platform, where you can also access teaching videos, links to synchronous online classes (video conferences) as well as other important information concerning exercises, reading material or examinations.

The registration period for tutorials in Moses runs from 19.10.2020 until 29.10 2020, 18:00. To register, you need to log into Moses using your TU account. You can register via the menu point “Tutorials”.

Practical teaching formats such as labs or workshops will take place in presence, i.e. on campus. You can also find information concerning these offers on ISIS.

Students in their first semester will also have the opportunity to attend one first degree semester course in presence. Further in-presence courses will also be offered for smaller groups of participants. You are required to register for all in-presence courses in Moses under “Tutorials” (even for courses which are not tutorials). In exceptional circumstances, teachers may also provide a separate option for registering; please consult ISIS for details.

We want to make use of all our rooms and conduct as many classes as possible in presence. Based on room size, shape and options for airing, a corona maximum capacity has been assigned to all class rooms (lecture halls and seminar rooms) to ensure that minimum distancing regulations can be complied with. This "corona capacity" is about 8 times less than regular capacity. For this reason, we are not able to expand our offers of in-presence teaching. The places available for use will be clearly marked and numbered and provided with a QR code. Disinfectant will be available at the entrance and exit to each room. Teachers are obliged to air rooms thoroughly that are not automatically ventilated at least once per lesson. You are strictly obliged to wear nose-mouth protection during in-presence classes. There is also a requirement to document attendance pursuant to the Berlin regulations for the containment of the virus, in other words we are obliged to keep a record of the names and telephone numbers of attendees for a period of four weeks. We will inform you at a later date regarding the technical implementation of this requirement. Students with symptoms consistent with a COVID-19 infection are requested to remain at home and consult the medical services. Should symptoms develop during class, you are required to leave the campus immediately.

PC labs and study rooms
We also plan to make our study rooms accessible again, albeit with a reduced number of places. As an obligation to document presence also applies here, we ask you to reserve a time slot via a central web address, which we will also provide at a later date.

Video conferencing tools and other digital tools
As in the summer semester, Zoom will be used for synchronous classes. WebEx and BigBlueButton will also be used in some cases. Please ensure that you are acquainted with and follow our Netiquette. Information regarding data protection can be found on the website of our data protection officer.

OnlyOffice can be used to edit Office documents stored in tubCloud when working together in groups. We are also currently preparing to make Matrix available to improve communication between students. Further information will be appear here once it is available.

Examinations
As a result of an ad hoc amendment to the Berlin State Higher Education Act, summer semester 2020 will not be counted towards your individual standard period of study. The Berlin Senate will decide at a later point whether this will also apply to the coming winter semester. Failed examinations taken in summer semester 2020 and winter semester 2020/2021 will not be recorded as attempts (Freiversuch). Examinations will take place either online or in presence. This also applies to oral examinations. Information sheets regarding the conducting of examinations are available via the website of the Examination Office. Dates for written examinations will be set during the first weeks of the lecture period and you will be informed thereof by your teachers. There are currently no further changes regarding exam formats as a result of the pandemic. The Examination Office can also assist you and can be contacted by email. A limited telephone service is also offered.

Advising
The Academic Advising Service can be reached by telephone, email and video chat. In urgent cases, it is also possible to arrange in-person appointments for psychological counseling. Advising is also provided by the faculties (for specific subject areas) and Studierendenwerk (social counseling). The AStA General Students’ Committee  can also advise you on university and social matters. As a general rule, advising takes place via telephone and email.

Libraries
The University Library on Fasanenstraße and our branch libraries are open again for borrowing. Study spaces are available in limited numbers and must be reserved in advance.

Canteens and Cafeterias
The canteen on Hardenbergstraße and the cafeteria on Marchstraße will be operating again with restricted opening hours beginning 19 October. You are required to order your meals in advance. You can either eat them in the canteen or cafeteria or take them away.

A number of student cafés will also be opening.

First semester
The central welcome and information event for first semester students will take place on 19 October 2020. Further orientation events for individual degree programs will also be provided by the faculties and representative committees, also in part in presence. We hope these orientation events will give you the opportunity to meet other students from your degree program and set up study groups. We are also offering at least one compulsory first degree semester course in presence for first semester students in bachelor’s programs to help foster social contact between students.

International students
The Department of International Affairs is also running a separate welcome and information event for international students. International exchange students will be provided with all key information at an orientation event offered by the Student Mobility team, while International Student Counseling will be running virtual orientation days for newly enrolled international (degree seeking) students.
International students can also continue to receive advice by email and telephone and when necessary in person by prior appointment.

General points
In the interests of achieving good conditions for living and studying, we should all strive to ensure that the general guidelines and regulations described above apply throughout the entire winter semester without additional restrictions. Additional restrictions may, however, become necessary if the pandemic worsens in Berlin and the coronavirus traffic light system for Berlin turns red, or if insufficient care is taken on campus, or if violations of hygiene regulations lead to localized infection hotspots.  Help us keep our buildings open by behaving responsibly. You will be informed of any changes immediately.

I wish you all a good start to the winter semester. Stay healthy!

Sincerely,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Bulletin from the Executive Board of TU Berlin to all members of the university from 20 July 2020

Planning for teaching and studying in winter semester 2020/2021

  • Main objectives

“TU Berlin places a high value on the quality of its teaching. The University expects that the quality of its teaching will be maintained even under difficult circumstances. Our aim is therefore to provide as complete a program as possible and to enable students to use libraries, study areas, PC labs and foyer areas for the purpose of studying. We do not yet have an evaluation of the digital summer semester 2020. Much of the feedback we have received, however, indicates that, despite the efforts made by all concerned, learning outcomes for this semester have been less successfully achieved than in previous semesters. We have to learn from the current semester how best to adapt and optimize teaching formats and to improve conditions for students in the coming winter semester.

In addition to fulfilling our teaching duties, however, our other main priority is ensuring that nobody becomes infected. As long as there is no vaccination available and a high risk of infection exists, the regulations regarding distancing and hygiene continue to apply. We must prevent larger numbers of people gathering on the campus and in the University’s buildings and rooms. This can be best achieved by restricting the presence of students on campus to a necessary minimum. TU Berlin bases its decisions on the state of Berlin's latest guidelines for containing the coronavirus. All planned regulations and guidelines listed below in this bulletin are subject to this proviso.

It is difficult to predict how the pandemic will develop and we need to adopt a highly flexible approach. A relaxation of hygiene regulations is as likely as a new lock-down.

  • General operations and access to buildings

We assume that the distancing and hygiene regulations will continue to apply in the coming winter semester. This includes wearing face masks in the University’s buildings. We would like students to have free access to buildings, but this is only possible if the requirement to record presence in buildings for the purposes of tracking ceases to apply. It is currently safer to assume that only controlled access to buildings will be possible in the winter semester. However, a system for reserving time slots for learning spaces and PC labs similar to that used in the University Library will be introduced to allow students to use these facilities. Students will be allowed to enter the relevant areas upon presentation of their reservation confirmation. To help observe distancing regulations, appropriate signs and distancing markers will be provided in all such areas as well as clear indications regarding which seats may be used. Plans for the regular disinfecting and airing of rooms are to be developed. Ideally, rooms with automatic ventilation systems should be used.

The University Library is open for loans and is operating a policy of restricted access to reading rooms. Decisions to open student cafés are based on the opening policies of the canteens and cafeterias operated by Studierendenwerk.

  • Teaching

As in summer semester 2020, lectures will be in digital format. The preferred option is for asynchronous lectures, in other words recorded videos made available for download on the ISIS learning platform. These are to be complemented by Q&A sessions, exercises, tutorials and office hours provided via synchronous video conferences. To achieve successful learning outcomes, it is essential to maintain ongoing and regular contact with students via synchronous formats and to monitor the progress students are making. We recommend you take advantage of the advisory services provided by the ZEWK online teaching team. Seminars should also be conducted as video conferences. We realize that it is more difficult to use digital formats for subjects requiring a methodological approach. Teachers therefore have the option to apply to hold smaller classes (e.g. seminars with up to 15 participants) in presence. This is subject to the availability of suitable rooms and a valid justification of the absolute need to hold the class in presence must be provided. Decisions regarding the maximum capacity of such rooms will be made by InnoCampus in consultation with SDU and Department IV. It should be mentioned at this point that due to the hygiene regulations very few rooms are likely to be available.

You may apply to offer practical formats, including labs, workshops, and field trips etc., which cannot take place digitally, in presence. A plan for observing hygiene regulations must be provided. We recommend that you organize videos to help students prepare so that they can use the lab time more effectively. To address the bottlenecks created by the reduced number of students permitted to attend practical formats in presence, the vice president with responsibility for teaching will hold talks with the faculties in the coming weeks to determine whether and how capacities can be expanded through organizational measures and/or further investment.

The extra work associated with the digital summer semester means that the planning of classes for the winter semester is behind schedule. InnoCampus will develop a schedule of classes based on the information provided by the academic chairs who will then check this schedule.

  • First semester

Our central welcome program for new students as well as our other orientation programs have proven very successful in recent years. However, it is currently not possible to stage a New Student Day with more than 3,000 people attending as was the case in October 2019. The Press Office, Academic Advising, the faculties, and representative committees are developing a concept based essentially on digital formats. Nevertheless, we believe it is important to offer in-presence orientation events for first-semester bachelor’s students. It is important that they have the chance to meet the other students from their degree programs in person. Any in-presence orientation events, such as a campus tour, should be offered in small groups and organized by the individual degree programs. We kindly request faculties, degree program coordinators and representative committees to develop appropriate hygiene regulations, etc. The period 19.10.2020 - 30.10.2020 is scheduled for orientation events, whether in presence or in digital format.

Additionally, one compulsory course per degree program for first-semester students should be offered in presence throughout the winter semester. For smaller degree programs (<=40 enrolled students), these courses can take place in a sufficiently large lecture hall using similar seating arrangements as for written exams. For larger programs (>40 enrolled students), classes such as practical tutorials to accompany lectures can take place with reduced group numbers in lecture halls or seminar rooms. Additional funds can be provided for tutors. Degree program coordinators are requested to specify which first-semester courses are to take place in presence. For bachelor's programs with summer semester admissions, there is the analogous possibility of holding a second-semester compulsory course in presence.

It is important that international students unable to attend in person are taken into account. At least one tutorial should be offered to these students as a video conference. For smaller degree programs, in-presence classes should be recorded and made available for download (or broadcast live). We also need to consider if some kind of mentoring service can be provided by experienced students for first-semester students to encourage networking. Hygiene regulations etc. will also need to be developed for such options.

  • Examinations

In accordance with existing guidelines, the basic options for examinations (oral/written, online/presence) are also available in the winter semester. We are still awaiting regulations and guidelines regarding data protection and right of examination from the state of Berlin. InnoCampus will contact the academic chairs in good time regarding the scheduling of examinations.

There are currently no coronavirus-specific special regulations for studies in the winter semester The Berlin Senate reserves the right to increase the individual standard period of study again by decree if circumstances require. Due to delays in the procedures of the Academic Senate, we cannot assume that the updated version of the general study and examination regulations will be in effect for the winter semester.

Restricted options for studying and changes to examination dates and formats affect preparation for exams. The content and organization of examinations in the winter semester should be determined as early and as definitively as possible. Examinations should be fair in terms of content, organization and grading and perceived as fair by students.

  • Advising

Academic Advising, Course Guidance and Psychological Counseling will continue to offer their services in electronic format (email, telephone, video conferencing). The reopening of the Campus Center and the option of face-to-face discussions with the Examinations team are determined by the general regulations regarding the use of offices.

  • Websites

New website are being set up for the winter semester and online teaching. All regulations and relevant information (guidelines, recommendations) on teaching, online teaching, examinations, etc. that apply to the winter semester are presented in structured and topic-related formats.

  • For teaching staff: tools and support for online teaching

We are looking to simplify the rules governing the use of video conference tools. In particular, we wish to make Zoom available for other uses. Applications have been submitted to the staff councils. The ZEWK online teaching team will also be providing web-based seminars and individual advising for the winter semester. In addition, guidelines will be revised and extra new guidelines prepared for new students. A netiquette for online teaching (code of conduct) is available. Equipment for recording classes (tablets, microphones, cameras) as well as the requisite software licenses can upon request be procured and made available centrally. Teachers who have been provided with such devices on a loan basis and who do not need them to prepare for the winter semester are requested to return these to InnoCampus or ZEWK. Additional storage, server and bandwidth capacity requirements will be assessed and acquired if necessary. Limited numbers of laptops and Internet modems will continue to be made available for loan to students with financial hardships. WebEx Teams and the integration of OnlyOffice into the tubCloud provide further tools for group work. Additional suitable online tools for group work among students (matrix server) are currently being prepared for use.

  • Acknowledgments

Providing a teaching program for this summer semester was a huge achievement and one which placed a great strain on all involved, whether students, teachers or staff with supporting roles. Despite having to improvise so much, we succeeded in providing an almost complete teaching program. That this was possible was due to the commitment, expertise and targeted cooperation shown by the academic chairs, institutions, faculties and central institutes. The summer semester has provided fresh evidence of what members of TU Berlin can achieve when working together and supporting one another. Many units have been working under great pressure and there is little prospect of the situation easing in the winter semester. We regret that we are unable to compensate fully for the increased workload and would like to thank all members of TU Berlin for their remarkable dedication.

TU Berlin Executive Board
20 July 2020

Letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability, 30 June 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we now know, the corona semester places great demands on us. Not only on students and teachers but also on those working in supporting areas.

Currently, I am being inundated with complaints from students regarding the double burden of taking examinations from previous semesters while still attending lectures and seminars. Of course, it was clear that this would prove stressful and we foresaw that there would be complaints. So, I would like to stress once again: TU Berlin neither requires nor expects its students to be able to achieve everything. We are presenting students with the opportunity to choose for themselves what they want and are able to achieve from what is on offer. And let us not forget that this summer semester will not count towards the number of degree semesters within the standard period of study.

Nevertheless, I would ask you to take account of the difficult situation faced by students when preparing and conducting upcoming exams. The obligation to wear a face mask impedes and when combined with the increasing room temperatures in some of our lecture halls can significantly impact a student’s ability to perform. It is not for me to make regulations for dealing with this. Ultimately, it is for you as an examiner to determine whether a student has achieved the learning objectives for a module.

You will also be contacted by students with medical certificates declining to take examinations which require them to wear a face mask. You have the opportunity to offer these examinations as oral examinations with the agreement of the examination committee. If this should not prove practical however, the only option is to offer students a later examination date under normal conditions.

We are also hearing from other students who have been taking part in teaching from remote locations and who are unable to participate in in-presence examinations due to travel bans. Again, you have the option to offer these examinations in oral online formats should this be practical.

We have received an increasing number of complaints in recent days that dates have not been set for some examinations. I can assure you that innoCampus is working flat-out to meet the agreed deadline (29 June 2020). The need to use external examination rooms and the costs and organization involved have further complicated the situation.

Unfortunately, I cannot make any binding recommendations regarding online exams. We have had positive experiences with ISIS online examinations, but the range of tasks is limited and it is difficult to prevent students cheating. We hope that discussions with other institutions throughout Germany will produce more best-practice options for the future.

We are sorry that it is not possible to answer all your questions. There is a sizable gray zone regarding examinations and data protection law and we are obliged to adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach. Our greatest priority remains the health of all those affected.

Sincerely,

Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Bulletin for all students concerning examinations in summer semester 2020 from 29 May 2020

Dear Students,

We have passed the midway point of the digital summer semester and are now nearing the examination period. Many exams had to be canceled in March/April 2020, which we have now re-scheduled for this upcoming examination period. Additionally, written tests are also scheduled for the current semester and summer semester exams will commence 20 July 2020. We are aware that this digital semester demands a great deal from students and instructors. Our aim is to:

Enable those students whose circumstances allow to continue their studies without delay and

Ensure those students whose circumstances do not allow are not disadvantaged by offering generous deadlines and suspending the counting of degree semesters.

As a rule, participation in exams is voluntary.

Exams will be held under special hygiene and distancing conditions in order not to jeopardize your health and that of the examiners. We have listed the details of these requirements below and ask for your cooperation.

General guidelines

Particularly in the case of large exams, turnover must be controlled to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. It will not be possible for some of these exams to be held on the premises of TU Berlin. We are currently in the process of renting larger rooms in Berlin and organizing compliance with hygiene conditions. You are required to wear mouth and nose protection at all times (arrival, during the exam, when leaving) for your own protection and that of others.

If you are at risk or in contact with someone at risk according to the RKI criteria (whether professionally or privately), and you are unable to avoid contact, you may submit a “Request to Change the Method of Examination” to your relevant examination board Please be sure to do this in good time. The Representative of Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses can assist you with your request (barrierefrei(at)tu-berlin.de).

Before the exam

Please do your best to ensure that you will not need to use the restroom during the exam. Note that if your exam is held off TU Berlin premises, you may need longer to reach the examination site and will not be able to enter the exam room together with all the other participants. Plan your time accordingly! When waiting in line, please keep a distance of 2 meters from others. Bring your own mouth-nose protection as well as writing materials (pen, scratch paper). Don’t forget your student ID and examination registration.

Seats will be numbered. Please take your assigned seat quickly. Record your seat and room number on your exam papers. Make sure your mouth-nose protection fits correctly and place your student ID in such a way that the proctor does not need to hold it to read it and can maintain minimum distance regulations. You can, for example, place your ID on the seat/desk next to you.

During the exam

If you have an urgent question during the exam (to clarify something), please raise your hand. A proctor will come to you and try to answer your question while remaining at a safe distance. Please avoid leaving the room during the exam as other students in your row will be required to clear their seats to allow you to leave and enter again. When you would like to hand in your completed exam, please leave it in the submission box provided and leave the room.

After the exam

Once you have left the examination room, please avoid waiting for fellow students to discuss the exam. Make sure to always keep a distance of 2 meters. All seats will be disinfected and the room thoroughly aired before the next exam is held. In order to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible, all exam papers will be left untouched for three days before being graded. This will increase the time needed to correct and grade your papers. Thank your for your understanding. Once exams have been graded, we ask that you only attend an exam review if there are pressing reasons or if you failed the exam. In this case, please contact the relevant academic chair. It will issue you an entry authorization for the building where the exam review is to be held. Please make sure to bring this with you as you will not be permitted to enter without it. You are required to also wear mouth and nose protection during the exam review.

We are aware that these measures require greater effort on your part. However, we would like to ensure that you are able to take the exams you wish to take and progress in your studies. I wish you every success in your upcoming exams!

Sincerely,

Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability 

Letter no. 5 from the Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability from 15 May 2020

Dear Students,

TU Berlin adopted a policy of essential-only presence on 20 March 2020. Some relaxations were introduced at the end of April and, beginning 18 May 2020, it is now possible for some TU staff to resume working on campus under compliance with the University’s strict hygiene and protective measures. The majority of staff are, however, to continue working from home as far as this is possible.

The following continues to apply for students:

There will be no in-presence teaching until further notice.

The summer semester for teaching and studying will be conducted digitally.

Students are, therefore, regrettably not permitted on campus even for the purpose of studying. PC labs, study spaces, student cafeterias and foyer areas remain closed for now. We ask you all to continue studying at home. 

Though regrettable, these measures are being taken to reduce and perhaps even prevent the spread of the virus

Some changes will be introduced from 18 May 2020 which will also impact on teaching and your studies.

As a student, it is important for you to know the following: Your lecturers will inform you in good time of any changes affecting you.

Changes and exceptions

Selected practical teaching formats, such as labs, practical labs or practical workshops, can resume on campus. The academic chairs are currently preparing for this and will inform students studying in the relevant degree programs. Local field trips in small groups to destinations in Berlin and Brandenburg will also be possible in the future.

It will also be possible to conduct in-presence examinations on campus or, depending on numbers, in other buildings throughout the city. Minimum distancing and hygiene regulations are to be strictly observed. The majority of scheduled written examinations will be taking place in presence.

Written examinations for winter semester 2019/2020 which had to be canceled in the last examination period in March/April 2020 will be made up in the period from 2 June 2020 until 15 July 2020. We are aware that holding written examinations during the lecture period creates more stress, but we wish to give you the opportunity to continue your studies without loss of time. Details of exam dates will be made available shortly.

The examination period for the summer semester commences 20 July 2020. We are still in the planning stage as we do not yet know which rooms we will be able to use. Your lecturers will inform you as soon as dates have been firmly scheduled.

Oral examinations can also be held again. Both online formats using video conferencing tools and in-presence formats are possible; the latter of course under compliance with the hygiene regulations. The examiners will decide on the format and inform you in full.

Students taking part in in-presence examinations or in-presence classes require their student ID and additional approval to be able to enter the buildings. Approvals are issued by the academic chairs. A certificate of registration is required to take an exam (further details available at:www.tu-berlin.de/?213475).

Students needing to use labs or workshops to complete their final thesis can also be granted access. The academic chairs will decide on access to labs and workshops when devising their deployment plans and issue appropriate approvals for students.

Student members of committees who urgently require an entry permit to attend in presence should contact the Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration, or faculty service center management if they need to attend a decentralized committee. If you urgently need to enter the spaces used by faculty student initiatives, please again contact faculty service center management, or the Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration for student associations and initiatives.

Student cafeterias remain closed. A one-off entry may be possible for operators of cafeterias if urgently required. Please contact Bettina Liedtke (bettina.liedtke(at)tu-berlin.de).

You may continue to borrow items from the University Library. The library building, however, remains closed to the public. This also includes the study spaces.

Student assistants should continue to work from home. Staff deployment plans are being developed by the academic chairs. These determine on the basis of decisions made by the relevant supervisors which members of staff can work at TU Berlin at which times. This also applies for student assistants. The academic chair will issue approvals to enable student assistants to enter the premises. Further information regarding current developments is available at www.tu-berlin.de/?211643.

Strict hygiene and protective measures apply for all the above exceptions. Details of hygiene and protective measures at TU Berlin can be viewed at www.tu-berlin.de/?214303.

Please ensure that you keep up to date with developments. Check your TU email account regularly, check the ISIS learning platform and visit the web pages of your faculties, institutes and lecturers. An overview is available here of all information relating to regulations and changes arising as a result of the coronavirus. www.tu-berlin.de/?211643.

Semester dates

The Berlin universities have agreed upon the following semester dates:

End of the lecture period for summer semester 2020: 18 July 2020

Start of the lecture period for winter semester 2020/21: 2 November 2020

End of the lecture period for winter semester 2020/21: 27 February 2021

From summer semester 2021 onwards, the usual dates for lecture periods will resume as far as the pandemic permits.

Deadlines for submitting term papers and final theses

Submission deadlines for final theses and term papers as well as other assessed forms of written work for bachelor’s, master’s and Diplom programs have been suspended until the resumption of regular teaching operations. This means that students will have the full remaining time to complete their theses etc. once regular teaching operations have resumed (including the full reopening of libraries and PC labs). This is to ensure that students suffer no disadvantages as a result of the disruption to teaching operations arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The universities will monitor developments regarding the spread of the virus and decide together with the Senate Chancellery at a later date when regular teaching operations can be resumed.

All current measures apply until further notice and are subject to an ongoing review of the situation regarding the spread of the virus.

Supporting our students

Many of our lecturers have now responded to the TU president’s call to support the University’s students. So far, more than 70,000 euros have been donated. This money has been used to create Deutschlandstipendium grants, which will be awarded to students in the fall. We will keep you informed!

We also recommend you visit the website of StudierendenWERK Berlin where you can find forms to apply for emergency help for students: https://www.stw.berlin/unternehmen/themen/corona-faq.html

I wish you every success for the digital summer semester. Take good care and stay healthy!

Best wishes,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information Letter from the Vice President for Research, Appointment Strategy, Knowledge & Technology Transfer from 30 April 2020

Information Letter from the Vice President for Research, Appointment Strategy, Knowledge & Technology Transfer from 30 April 2020

Thursday, 30. April 2020

Dear Colleagues,
Dear Researchers,

I have received numerous applications within just the past few days for entry permits to the University premises for the purposes of conducting research projects. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the University continues to operate a policy of essential-only presence. Entry permits can only be issued for research if compelling reasons for such exceptions are provided and even then only to a select and very much restricted number of staff for specific periods of time.

Decisions concerning the issuing of entry permits rest with the Crisis Committee. The issuing of entry permits requires information regarding specific aspects and I would request the heads of academic chairs to complete the questionnaire (see attachment) in full and return to the following address 

Application for Entry Permit to TU Berlin

Please note that applications require a statement from the managing director of the institute or the head of the faculty for units directly affiliated to a faculty. This statement should confirm that the spaces where research is to be conducted have been checked as far as is possible to ascertain if the arrangements made enable hygiene regulations to be observed (in particular regulations regarding distancing within buildings so that not too many people are in close physical proximity to each other). If you are uncertain whether arrangements have been made for your facility, please ask the neighboring institutes or units.

Once applications have been received, we will check if they have been completed in full and that the statements provided are plausible. I will then endorse the application before forwarding it to the Crisis Committee. If approved, my office will send the entry permit together with guidelines for use to the applicant.

Failure to observe hygiene regulations will result in the revoking of an entry permit as will any changes to regulations passed by the State of Berlin countermanding the current arrangements.

If you have any questions, you can contact either myself or my office at any time by email. We are here to help you!

Most sincerely,
Professor Dr.-Ing. Christine Ahrend
Vice President for Research, Appointment Strategy, Knowledge & Technology Transfer

Information Letter on online teaching in summer semester 2020

Friday, 17. April 2020

Dear Students of Technische Universität Berlin,

Welcome to the digital summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin! Teaching begins on Monday, 20 April 2020. This will be no normal semester. In recent weeks we, and most particularly your lecturers, have worked to achieve the unprecedented step of creating the conditions to enable online teaching to take place. This means there will be no in-presence courses; you will participate in classes from home. TU Berlin remains closed to students until further notice. This is difficult for all concerned and I ask you to be patient should things not function as planned. I am writing to you to update you and provide you with the most important sources of information for you.

New websites for study and teaching

We have created a new central website for the digital summer semester 2020 to provide you with an overview of key information: https://www.tu-berlin.de/menue/studium_lehre/sose_2020_digital/ 

Online teaching formats

We are providing essentially two types of online classes: Asynchronous classes with pre-produced teaching videos which you can view at any time or place and synchronous classes where teachers and students meet in a virtual room, in other words video conferencing. Many modules will consist of a mix of both types of class with both teaching videos and video conferences for questions and answers (flipped classroom) taking place at a fixed time. Tutorials and seminars will also be running as video conferences. Please refer to the ISIS website to find out about the video conferencing tools which will be used. Video conferencing will mainly be by Zoom.

List of teaching modules on offer

Please view the digital summer semester website for a list of links to tables for the individual faculties showing the classes which are on offer. This provides you with a rough overview.

ISIS teaching platform

Key information about classes, including teaching material, teaching videos, dates, video conference tools, etc. can be found on our ISIS teaching platform. Please also refer to the website of the individual academic chairs for further information concerning the classes on offer. https://isis.tu-berlin.de/ 

The LSF course catalogue used in the past to provide information concerning the times and rooms for classes will not be updated and as such provides no binding information about the times of classes. Please do not refer to LSF this semester.

Registering for tutorials in Moses

You need to register in Moses for many of the tutorials offered to supplement courses. The deadline for registration has been extended to 22 April 2020, 18:00. Remember that this is Wednesday! moseskonto.tu-berlin.de/moses/

Requirements for participating in online courses

In principle, a computer and Internet access are all you need to participate in online courses. Should you not have access to these, please contact the Academic Advising Service. We are currently organizing a small number of devices which can be borrowed by students who find themselves in this situation. If the state government regulations permit, we may also be able to open some PC labs. We will inform you about this elsewhere. You can also access the Internet via eduroam at a number of hotspots throughout Berlin: https://www.berlin.de/wlan/ 

Newly enrolled students

Digital orientation events for the various degree programs are available for newly enrolled students. You can find full details at https://www.studienstart.tu-berlin.de/ 

Examinations

Your lecturers will inform you in the first weeks of teaching about your options for taking examinations. We would ask you to be patient as it is still not clear when we will be able to conduct in-presence written examinations and whether these can be offered online or not. This also applies to when and how canceled examinations for last winter semester can be held. Further details concerning current exam procedures and extensions to deadlines resulting from the coronavirus, etc. can be found at https://www.pruefungen.tu-berlin.de/menue/sommersemester_2020_digital/studierende/ 

Libraries

The libraries remain closed until further notice. However, you can still access a wide range of e-books and other online material. We will inform you as soon as it is possible to start borrowing textbooks again. http://www.ub.tu-berlin.de/studierende2020/ 

Advising

The Academic Advising Service is your first point of contact for all questions relating to your studies. http://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de 

You should contact AStA for advice concerning studies, administration, examinations, and deadlines, etc. https://asta.tu-berlin.de/service/hochschulberatung 

BAföG and social counseling

studierendenWERK offers advice concerning BAföG and social welfare payments. Advising is available at the usual times by email or telephone. https://www.stw.berlin/unternehmen/themen/corona-faq.html

AStA also provides advising for social and financial issues: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/service/sozialberatung 

Advising for international students

Advising for international students is currently available via email at the usual times. Questions regarding visas, residence permits, dealings with the offices for foreigners, rent, working as well as general issues relating to the organization of studies or problems with lecturers can be addressed in either German or English. https://www.tu-berlin.de/?213781 

AStA also advises international students: https://asta.tu-berlin.de/service/stud-int 

Questions relating to your degree program and individual courses should be addressed to the course guidance within your faculty or directly to your lecturer.

Communication

Usually you have the opportunity to find out about and discuss important information on an informal basis or by talking to your fellow students on the campus or in class or when working in groups. During the current period this is unfortunately much more difficult. This makes it all the more important to read emails, visit the ISIS web pages for your courses and make use of the other sources of information referred to above. There are many advantages to being well informed.

We are all aware of the fact that this digital semester brings many restrictions which hamper your progress as a student. These will be felt by some students more than others. This is why it has been decided for the state of Berlin that the standard period of study for each program will be extended by one semester. Nevertheless, you should endeavor to participate in and complete as many courses as your circumstances permit. We will help you with this as far as possible.

I wish you a successful start to the digital summer semester. Take good care of yourselves and stay healthy.

Best wishes,
Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Information Letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainabilityes from 17 April 2020

Friday, 17. April 2020

++ Zoom Business ready to use for teaching https://tu-berlin.zoom.us/
++ WebEx also available as a cloud solution for meetings https://tu-berlin.webex.com 
++ Digital teaching material available from the University Library http://www.ub.tu-berlin.de/lehrende2020/ 

Dear Teaching Staff, Dear Colleagues,

In recent weeks you have worked to achieve the unprecedented step of creating the conditions to enable teaching to take place online in the summer semester. Making 1500 courses ready for online teaching within just a few weeks while working from home is an extraordinary achievement and testament to your commitment. The Executive Board of TU Berlin greatly appreciates all your efforts and would like to thank you. I would like to inform you about some important points for the start of the digital summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin.

New websites for study and teaching

We have created a new central website for the digital summer semester 2020 to provide you with an overview of key information: https://www.tu-berlin.de/menue/studium_lehre/sose_2020_digital/ 

We have put together information on some topics important for you as teachers.

Tools

For many of you the most important thing to know is that Zoom Business is now available for all synchronous classes (https://tu-berlin.zoom.us/). Webinars run by the ZEWK online teaching team for using Zoom will take place on Monday, 20.04 and Wednesday 22.04 (https://praxisblog.zewk.tu-berlin.de/webinare/). You can also find dates for webinars on WebEx, ISIS/Moodle and other topics.

Zoom has been configured to be data-protection compliant. Please only use this option as provided by the University. The free version is highly questionable in terms of data protection and therefore not permissible for work purposes. We feel that Zoom currently represents the best choice in terms of functionality, ease of use, stability and scalability and strongly recommend you to use Zoom as your video conference tool for teaching.

WebEx Teams, Meetings and Trainings are also available as a cloud solution (https://tu-berlin.webex.com). WebEx should be used for official discussions, oral examinations (including doctorates), committee sessions and job interviews due to the increased need for data protection.

The website also lists other tools which can be used for online teaching, particularly for working in small groups on shared documents such as exercise sheets. You should avoid using Google Docs and similar tools due to data protection issues.

Recordings

Recordings of synchronous classes may not be used for either “private” or commercial use. Doing so violates a person´s right to their own image. However, the author of an online course can authorize their students to record classes to enable them to better study the material. However, this should be made explicitly clear in advance. 

Similarly, the teacher should obtain permission from the participating students before recording a course or arrange things so that students who do not wish to be recorded can still attend. This must be also be communicated in advance.

ISIS teaching platform

We have informed students that ISIS is the central platform for online courses. As such, students expect to be able to find their courses in ISIS with information about course material, videos, dates, video conference tools, etc. ISIS´s storage capacity is being expanded so that all teaching videos can be saved there. Videos in ISIS may not exceed 2GB.

Registering tutorials in Moses

If you want your tutorials to feature in Moses, please note that you have to register them by 22 April 2020.

Libraries

The libraries remain closed until further notice. However, students can still access a wide range of e-books and other online material. We anticipate that it will shortly be possible to start borrowing textbooks again. www.ub.tu-berlin.de/lehrende2020/

Requirements for participating in online courses

If you have any students who inform you that they are unable to participate in online courses due to the fact that they do not have a computer or Internet access, please refer them to the Academic Advising Service who will be able to assist them. InnoCampus will be making a limited number of Linux notebooks and Internet connections available for loan. The devices have, however, not been delivered yet, so this could take a few days more. Please note that we will not be able to meet all requests. Students can also access the Internet via eduroam at a number of hotspots throughout Berlin: www.berlin.de/wlan/

Examinations

It is still not clear when we will be able to conduct in-presence written examinations and whether these can be offered online or not. It may be possible to recommence in-presence written examinations in a couple of weeks with tightened hygiene regulations and conditions regarding maintaining distance. We are also confident of being able to offer you a system for conducting your written examinations online. We will endeavor to update you as soon as possible to enable you to inform students in good time regarding examination formats. It has also not yet been decided when and how to hold canceled examinations for last winter semester. We will have to work together to find a meaningful solution. Further details concerning current exam procedures and extensions to deadlines resulting from the coronavirus, etc. can be found at www.pruefungen.tu-berlin.de/menue/sommersemester_2020_digital/lehrende/.

Labs

The federal government has decided that, starting Thursday, it will also be possible to conduct labs. We assume this will also apply to practical training and similar formats for architecture programs. We are waiting for Berlin-wide agreement and the recommendations of specialists from the Charité regarding hygiene regulations and distances to be maintained. As soon as the general framework has been established, we will approach the relevant academic chairs and ask them to draw up concepts for conducting labs etc., if required in collaboration with the TU Berlin Medical Service.

Communication

Usually students have the opportunity to find out about and discuss important information on an informal basis or by talking to fellow students on the campus or in class or when working in groups. During the current period this is unfortunately much more difficult. As such, you can expect to receive more questions from students. Please arrange sufficient online office hours to deal with this likely increase in demand.

As a classic university whose teaching is based on the principle of in-presence tuition, we have no experience of a teaching program being conducted purely and only online. I would appreciate it if you could discuss with your colleagues any problems you encounter and inform me as well via your dean of studies. We wish to provide you as much support as possible with your teaching and it is essential for us to know which problems, if any, you are encountering.

I wish you a successful start to the digital summer semester. Take good care of yourselves and stay healthy. Once again, many, many thanks for all your efforts and hard work!

Best wishes,
Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information letter from the vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability from 2 April 2020

Thursday, 02. April 2020

Dear Teaching Staff,
Dear Colleagues,

The summer semester will commence on 20 April 2020 with courses offered as online teaching. I know that you are assiduously preparing teaching material to be able to meet this challenge. You efforts are greatly appreciated. I would like to provide you with a brief update on the situation.

Webinars for transitioning to online teaching

Many of you are currently working on transferring your courses to online format. The online teaching team of the Center for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation (ZEWK) will be offering a number of webinars in the coming week to help you with this. Some of the themes to be addressed include ISIS/moodle for beginners and advanced users, how to create effective teaching videos, and using WebEx for interactive classes. You can find full details at https://praxisblog.zewk.tu-berlin.de.

Recording your classes

We are using the recommended tools for recording classes. These are Camtasia and OBS Studio. I hope you will get all the support you need with using these. Please ensure that you only use our ISIS teaching platform to provide teaching material and relevant information about participating. Campus Management and innoCampus will take measures to ensure that sufficient capacity is available to allow you to do so. Teaching videos should not exceed 2GB.

Conference tools

Only the following tools are available for synchronous courses, i.e. courses where teachers and students meet in a virtual space at a specific time:

  • DFNConnect
  • WebEx 
  • Jitsi

A number of other tools providing good functionality and performance, such as GOTO-Meeting, Zoom, or Skype, have been checked by our data protection officers and found wanting in terms of data-protection compliance. For this reason, it is not possible to make these tools available. We will inform you immediately of any changes to this situation.

You are probably familiar with WebEx as an online tool for meetings (WebEx Meeting). However, we will be making the WebEx Training tool available as a cloud solution for teaching to achieve better functionality and performance as well as scalability.

Website

Over the next two weeks, we will be developing new web pages about digital teaching at TU Berlin to provide our students with an effective overview of all relevant information. We will provide links to the teaching platforms and the web pages of the faculties and degree programs so that students can view more specific and detailed information. We all need to strive to avoid inconsistent information and to provide a “single point of truth” for all issues (in other words by providing links rather than copying information).

Overview

The Berlin Senate would like to have an overview of all scheduled online courses before the start of teaching operations. We therefore kindly request you to inform your advisors for studies and teaching by 8 April 2020 which courses will be offered online, which courses will not be taking place and for which courses no clear decision has been made concerning when and if they can take place (e.g. labs).

Examinations

Oral examinations can also be conducted using the above web conference tools. We are currently testing the functionality of a number of software systems for online written examinations. We will inform you as soon as we have completed these tests and decided on which system to use.

I would be very happy to hear all your suggestions about how best to provide centralized assistance to help you and our students prepare for the summer semester. You can either contact me directly or via your faculty administration. It only remains for me for now to wish you every success with the preparation of your teaching material.

Kindest regards and stay healthy!

Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability

Information Letter from the Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability at TU Berlin from 27 March 2020

Friday, 27. March 2020

Dear Students,

Dear Newly Enrolled Students,

In the past days and weeks we have been confronted by the developments surrounding the coronavirus and we have done everything possible to communicate essential information as quickly as possible. A number of far-reaching decisions have now been taken: Cancellation of in-person courses and examinations, closure of buildings, all staff working from home. We have had to ask students who planned to spend summer semester here as exchange students to cancel or postpone their semester abroad.  Nevertheless, despite the circumstances, we are all committed to providing a restricted teaching program for the summer semester and to offering canceled examinations at a later date. Exchange students who have chosen to remain here are invited to participate in our teaching offers. 

How will this all work? It’s simple: We are all sitting at home – no matter where in the world – and are working online from there. We are currently developing a detailed plan for summer semester 2020. Much can be independently organized in the individual faculties and degree programs, however there are central services available to provide support to all. We are exploring new avenues and not everything will work as we imagine. Please be patient with us. I would also like to remind you that TU Berlin has transitioned to essential-only presence, meaning that (nearly) all TU Berlin staff, including your lecturers, are working from home. Here is some fundamental information that is important for you as a student.

Online teaching in summer semester 2020

You should assume that summer semester 2020 will take place. Not as you are used to or expect, but online. Your lecturers will be hard at work during the coming weeks, recording their lectures and uploading them to our central learning platform ISIS (https://isis.tu-berlin.de). Special focus is being placed on all large compulsory courses in the bachelor’s degree programs. The compulsory elective courses as well as master’s courses will not be as extensive as usual. However, sufficient courses will be offered, including some in English of course. Language courses offered by ZECM will also be conducted online. We will inform you which courses will be offered online before their scheduled begin on 20 April 2020. 

Requirements for participating in online courses

It is important that you have a computer, laptop, or tablet and an internet connection. Some courses, such as seminars or tutorials, will be held through web conferencing.  A headset for such courses is useful but not required as long as your computer has a built-in microphone and speaker. A printer and scanner (also possible using a smartphone) are also useful for filling out, uploading, or sending forms or documents. If you do not have a computer or internet access, please contact the TU Berlin Academic Advising Service: https://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/menu/allgemeine_studienberatung/ 

Information and communication

We will publish websites in German and English to provide you with current information. Important information relevant to the entire University will be communicated in German and English on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as on our central web pages under “Academics and Teaching”. However, the most important information for you is that provided by the faculties regarding your degree program. This information includes phone and email contact details if you have questions. Information and materials for individual courses will continue to be made available on the ISIS learning platform. Please use all channels of communication to keep informed of current developments and new announcements. Even though the University Library is physically closed, you can still access its online resources (e-books, journals, etc.) from home using a VPN. Advising and information from the library are available through email, chat, and Facebook (www.ub.tu-berlin.de and www.facebook.com/ubtub/).

Newly Enrolled Students

If you recently enrolled at TU Berlin to take up studies in the summer semester, the current situation particularly affects you. Enrollment is still taking place and, due to the current situation, will not be complete before the start of the lecture period on 20 April 2020. However, we are making every effort to ensure that you can participate in our digital teaching offerings even if your enrollment is not yet complete. The faculties will hold welcome and orientation events online and provide all essential information on their respective websites. Orientation material for international students will also be provided online. Information from the Office of Student Affairs regarding the status of enrollment can be found at: https://www.studsek.tu-berlin.de/menue/aktuelles/ 

Until the digital orientation offerings from the faculties and central institutions have been implemented, we recommend taking a look at the recordings of the New Student Day from this past winter semester on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TUBerlinTV). These contain important tips for starting your studies at the University (even if things are going differently as planned...): All key persons and offices from advising, administration, and student initiatives introduce themselves and speak about their services and offers. Additionally, they offer tips for your studies and what is particularly important when starting out. 

Examinations

All canceled examinations will be made up, online if necessary. We are currently developing options for conducting online examinations, though there are no concrete solutions as yet.  However, lecturers do have the option, as an exception, to choose to offer oral examinations in online format. This must be announced in good time, however. We will inform you in advance about all exams, dates, formats, requirements, etc. Generous extension deadlines have been granted for current exams (https://www.pruefungen.tu-berlin.de/menue/informationen_corona_virus/). I personally recommend you use this time and focus on your studies. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your lecturers.

Organizing your studies

The Office of Student Affairs continues to be here for you. You can contact them with any questions regarding enrollment, re-registration, leaves of absence, and other organizational matters. As a rule, all relevant deadlines in summer semester will be generous, so that you are not disadvantaged in any way. You can always find all current information at: https://www.studsek.tu-berlin.de/menue/aktuelles/ 

Advising

While we have published a great deal of information regarding studies during restricted operations, not every question has been provided with a clear answer. We are working hard to expand our phone service and promptly answer email inquiries. Advising will be available in German and English. We are aware that many students have fallen into financial hardship, are worried about BAföG payments, or must care for family members due to the coronavirus crisis. But: All advising offices can still be contacted! If you have questions or concerns contact the Academic Advising Service, International Student Counseling, Exchange Student Advising, Psychological Counseling, Student Info Services, or Course Guidance. Exchange students can continue to receive (online) support from a TU buddy.  You will continue to receive support, even if we cannot be there for you in person (www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/menu/allgemeine_studienberatung/  and www.tu-berlin.de/?5190).

Physical isolation is not easy to bear under any circumstances. No canteen, no student cafés, no face-to-face study groups. Try to maintain your social contacts and telephone, chat, or skype with your fellow students, friends, and family. Psychological Counseling and the Academic Advising Service have put together  a collection of tips and recommendations for the extended time at home (https://www.studienberatung.tu-berlin.de/index.php?id=212853) and will continue to add to this list. Please send your personal recommendations to the contact information provided there. In this way you can support your fellow students as well. And please, contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Our aim is to provide as many as possible of our scheduled courses for the summer semester online and thus salvage the semester. We thank you for your understanding and ask that you strictly adhere to all coronavirus-related regulations, protecting both yourself and others. Take care of yourself and stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability at TU Berlin

Information from Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability from 23 March 2020

Monday, 23. March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Dear Teaching Staff and Examiners,

In the past days and weeks we have been confronted by the developments surrounding the coronavirus and we have done everything possible to communicate essential information as quickly as possible. A number of far-reaching decisions have now been taken: Cancellation of in-person courses and examinations, closure of buildings, (almost) all staff working from home. Nevertheless, despite the circumstances, we are all committed to providing a restricted teaching program for summer semester 2020 and to offering canceled examinations at a later date. As yet, we do not have a concrete plan and much will have to be done on a basis of self-organization. However, central support and coordination will be made available. We would like to present some key considerations.

Online teaching in summer semester 2020

Special focus should be placed on compulsory courses, particularly in the bachelor´s programs. A restricted offer of courses in compulsory elective programs is something we can live with. Deans of studies and degree program representatives are requested to coordinate teaching within the degree programs and to prioritize in terms of the allocation of resources. Erhard Zorn (innoCampus) will be providing the advisors for studies and teaching with lists of courses as well as information concerning the number of attendees. These can be used as a basis to create a priority list of courses for which online material should first be produced. The hardware we have purchased will then be lent out on the basis of the prioritized courses. I would also request that contact persons are appointed for all degree programs, with telephone numbers and emails where they can be contacted by students. We have set up a weekly web conference across the entire University for questions relating to studies and teaching. These will be attended by advisors for studies and teaching from the faculties and central institutes.

InnoCampus and the online teaching team (OLT) from the Center for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation (ZEWK) are working closely together, with innoCampus taking the leading role for the introduction of tools for online examinations and the online teaching team supporting teaching staff with the preparation of online courses. What we have in mind are relatively simple solutions which can be put together working from home without any great technical requirements, rather than filming lectures in an auditorium. You can find further details at praxisblog.zewk.tu-berlin.de/online-lehre/. Equipment (cameras, microphones, laptops) and software licenses have been ordered which can be made available and which are also suitable for working from home. We will inform you as soon as possible concerning exactly how and when these will be made available. It would of course also be a great help if the faculties are able to directly support their teaching staff with both equipment and personnel. 

In addition to “asynchronous” options, where the registered teaching material can be downloaded and viewed at any time, we will also plan to use “synchronous” options, where a small number of teachers and learners can meet in a virtual space, such as for seminars, tutorials, etc. The WebEx conference tool, which is already being used for other types of meetings, is suitable for this purpose. The number of licenses is currently being increased, but WebEx will have to be adapted if it is to be used widely for teaching. We are currently testing other options for their efficiency and usability.

There are also good online teaching materials (e.g. MOOCs) which are already available and which can be recommended for a number of introductory and basic courses. We will be putting together a collection of Open Educational Resources (OER) for this purpose. Every university in Germany is in a similar situation and as such, an exchange with the relevant subject communities is very much worth pursuing in order to make use of sharing and cooperation to reduce the workload. We will also be examining the options for cooperation within the Berlin University Alliance. The University Library will be responsible for this.

Please use the ISIS learning platform to upload materials and inform students in good time concerning procedures. A course can be offered in a compact format and does not need to be spread over the entire semester. It is important, however, to avoid bottlenecks in the overall teaching program to ensure that students are not overburdened at any time.

Please also consider how to make best use of your tutors and arrange for them to be trained in advance in the use of the various tools to be employed. The online teaching team and innoCampus could help you with this.

Labs requiring physical presence and the use of equipment cannot be conducted at the moment. We will provide you with further information concerning labs at a later date.

Orientation events

We are also expecting a number of new students in some bachelor´s programs and many master´s programs in summer semester 2020. Enrollment is still taking place and, due to the current situation, will not be complete before the start of the lecture period on 20 April 2020. I would kindly ask you to prepare online versions of the usual live events to welcome newly enrolled students. These should be made available on the website and include a welcome video from the head of the faculty and the important information students require at the outset of their studies. It is important that you include details of contact persons. 

Examinations

We are currently developing options for online examinations, though there are no concrete solutions as yet. However, you do have the option, as an exception, to choose to offer oral examinations in online format. If you do so, please ensure that

  • you inform the candidates in good time and let them know which technical requirements they need to be able to fulfill,
     
  • it is technically possible for students to choose this option and that it is their right of choice to do so,
     
  • examinations taken as a result of a free choice are binding and will be recorded unless technical problems arise,
     
  • an observer or second examiner must be present and maintain a record (as with in-person person examinations).
     

You can find information about suitable tools in the online teaching team´s blog referred to above.

Communication

We will endeavor to intensify our information service throughout this period of restricted operations and keep you informed of any developments. Your first points of contact as a member of teaching staff are the dean of studies for your faculty, the degree program coordinators and the advisors for studies and teaching.

For further questions relating to

  • the creation of online material: the online teaching team of the Center for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation ():  
     
  • online examinations, using the ISIS learning platform, borrowing digital cameras, support in the use of the Open Software Broadcaster and recording selected courses in the Math Building: Corona-Support von innoCampus
     
  • open access to digital teaching material (ebooks, MOOCs, etc.): 

Our aim is to provide as many as possible of our scheduled courses for the summer semester online. With the necessary creativity and flexibility, this is something we can achieve. Please help us and let us know how we can help you. And above all – stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Hans-Ulrich Heiß
Vice President for Education, Digitalization, and Sustainability

Information Letter from the TU Berlin Crisis Committee from 17 March 2020

Tuesday, 17. March 2020

Dear Colleagues, Dear Students,

The following measures are being implemented with immediate effect by Department I to reduce the spread of the coronavirus:

Department I is suspending all face-to-face office hours until 20.04.2020.
However, all sections within Department I can be contacted by email as usual.

Enrollment

Should it emerge that you have failed to submit necessary documents with your application for enrollment or that documents have not been provided in the specified manner, then you will be informed of a deadline for submitting missing documents. For bachelor´s programs this is three weeks and for master´s programs with no admission restrictions up to six weeks after the start of the lecture period. Individual grace periods will be granted for master´s programs with restricted admission.

If you are not able to provide proof of your successfully completed bachelor´s degree by the end of the 2nd degree semester of your master´s program, please inform us of this together with the reason by sending an email to .

Students who do not provide proof of their bachelor´s degree by 01.04.2020 will be provided an additional grace period until the end of April. If they cannot provide the necessary proof by then, they will be officially exmatriculated. Should this problem, however, arise due to circumstances beyond the student´s control, then the following applies:

  • Proof of a successfully completed bachelor´s degree will be accepted up to six weeks after the start of the lecture period (no reason required). This currently means that for summer semester 2020 until /29.05.2020 and until 27.11.2020 for winter semester 2020/21.
     
  • The only requirement is that you inform Graduate Admissions in advance by email at . Your exmatriculation will then be reversed and you will be re-registered. Please note that this is a grace period.
     
  • Should it not be possible to submit proof of your bachelor´s degree by the end of the grace period referred to above: You should apply for reinstatement to master@r1a.tu-berlin.de within a two-week period of receiving proof of your bachelor´s degree. Please note that this is only possible up to one year after the end of the second degree semester (until 31.03.2021). Your application for reinstatement must include proof of your bachelor´s degree and a plausible explanation for the delay (i.e. that it was due to circumstances beyond your control).

If you have any questions, please address them to: 

Re-registration

In principle, re-registration should be completed by 31.03.2020. However, there will be a grace period and you will not be officially exmatriculated before 20.04.2020 This means that you have until this date to re-register for summer semester 2020. An individual extension can also be granted if you are unable to submit any documents due to circumstances beyond your control.

Examinations

Implications for examinations

  • No in-person examinations will be taking place at TU Berlin from 19.3.2020 until further notice.
     
  • For examinations canceled by the University, registration for the exam will be automatically revoked.
     
  • Currently there is no requirement to submit an application for an extension due to the cancellation or withdrawal from a repeat examination  to your examination board. Summer semester 2020 will not be included in the calculation of deadlines for repeat examinations. This means that deadlines set for 31.03.2020 or 30.09.2020 will be automatically extended until winter semester 2020/21, in other words until 31.03.2021 (as for academic leave of absence).
     
  • Submission dates for term papers and other written work will be suspended from 12.03.2020 until normal operations are resumed for students (not before 11.05.2020). This means that you will have the full period for completing term papers etc. from the time the University returns to normal operation, including the reopening of libraries, PC labs, etc. There will be no disadvantages for you.
     
  • Should you de-register for or withdraw from an examination/term paper, then this will not count as an attempt.
     
  • Students will not have an opportunity to view examinations or term papers until further notice.
     
  • This will only be possible once regular operations have been resumed for students. The one-year period for challenging grades will only begin once regular operations have been resumed thus ensuring that there are no disadvantages to you arising from current circumstances.

Implications for final theses

  • Final theses are to be registered by email to the relevant exams team.
     
  • Submission dates for final theses will be suspended from 12.03.2020 until normal operations are resumed for students (not before 11.05.2020). This means that you will have the full period for completing your final thesis from the time the University returns to normal operations, including the reopening of libraries, PC labs, etc. There will be no disadvantages for you.
     
  • If you withdraw from a final thesis, this will not count as an attempt.
     
  • Final theses can be submitted by standard mail. The post stamp date determines whether a deadline has been met or not. Final theses can be handed into the information desk. Please place in a sealed envelope addressed to your exams team together with the title of your degree program (Abteilung I – Studierendenservice, Referat Prüfungen, Team IB 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5, Degree program:

Implications for certificates

You will be informed by email when certificates are ready. This email will ask you for your current mail address. Your certificates will then be sent to you by standard mail.

Robert Nissen
Head of Department I Student Services
Technische Universität Berlin