Senate Decision (522nd Session by Teleconference, Friday 20 March 2020)
The Senate of the Technical University of Crete, fully aware of the current state of emergency and its responsibility to the entire TUC community, and taking into account the expected extension of the emergency measures for an indefinite period, unanimously decided the following:
All members of the TUC Community must make every possible effort to take advantage of the options to continue the educational process and not lose the current spring semester to the detriment of the students, of course in full compliance with all the emergency measures envisaged against the spread of COVID-19.
Given the recent legislation (Government Gazette 55/vol A'/11.03.2020) [pdf], which stipulates in Article 12 that “as long as the temporary ban is in force, the educational process in Universities' programs of study of first and second cycle may be carried out by distance education means and methods by way of derogation from any other relevant national provision”, the Technical University of Crete returns to valid educational function through distance education beginning Thursday 26 March 2020, as long as the current emergency measures are still in place, up to their termination.
From the day following the expiration of the emergency measures, the TUC will return to full educational function, following the usual teaching procedures with physical presence.
Distance learning will be conducted on the basis of the current course timetable and should extend to all aspects of the educational process that can be covered online (lectures, tutorials, exercises, assignments, queries, discussion, counseling, mentoring, presentation and examination of theses, ...).
Laboratory lessons or laboratory exercises, which must be carried out with physical presence in the laboratory, will be carried out on the basis of new planning, which will be decided immediately after the expiry of the emergency measures. Field exercises and practical training will be arranged accordingly.
The interim time until 26.03.2020 is set as a preparation period and should be used by all TUC instructors (employed or contracted) to familiarize themselves with the proposed videoconferencing solutions, the organization of online meetings, the creation of digital material, the adaptation of their equipment and the provision of broadband internet access, so that they can meet the requirements of distance learning. At the same time, TUC students should become familiar with videoconferencing systems, software for accessing videoconferencing through their devices, and ways to interact with the instructor during videoconferencing, as well as secure internet access.
During the course of distance learning, it is recommended that all TUC instructors activate the built-in ability to record online meetings, which is provided by all suggested solutions, so that the video material is archived and made available online to their students through asynchronous teaching support systems or other convenient video sharing media to fully meet all needs.
The Technical University of Crete will provide all possible assistance and support through its services, and in particular through the helpdesk service, both to instructors and students, for the better conduct of distance learning. At the same time, efforts will continue to improve the videoconferencing solutions provided to the members of the TUC community.
The period during which the educational process was suspended will be supplemented by an extension of the semester. The Senate will modify the academic calendar at a later date, taking into account newest developments.
The Senate of the Technical University of Crete invites all members of the TUC community to contribute in their own way and to the extent they can to the success of this endeavor of utilizing new means of education, during the unprecedented times we experience as a community, as a country and as humanity.