Technische Universität Berlin

Regulations for face-to-face teaching at TU Berlin

University operations under pandemic conditions

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.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß, Vice President for Education, Digitalization and Sustainability
21 October 2020