Technische Universität Berlin

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

Information for teaching staff and students

Info-Brief an alle TU-Student*innen vom 15. Mai 2020: Änderungen an der TU Berlin, Fristen für das Studium

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