Cork Institute of Technology has released information on the learning model that will be in place for the coming academic, 2020/21 year, which will be a hybrid model with the majority of learning done online and remotely.
The delivery model has been developed “in a climate of uncertainty” and guided by the health and safety of CIT students and staff as well as the effective delivery of academic programmes.
A statement from CIT said that the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent public health guidelines will dictate it’s activities for 2020/2021 and the delivery schedules for respective programmes take into account that these guidelines are likely to change over the year.
The number of students and staff will be limited on campus with only essential work being done on-site.
Zoom lectures will be in place for live classes and other communications for staff and students alongside Canvas, the virtual learning system in place at the Institute. Microsoft Teams and Big Blue Button are other forms of live conferencing in use on campus this academic year.
In terms of ensuring there is a good sense of a CIT community and enhancing the student experience for first-year students, new supports have been designed and first-year students will be given priority.
A new initiative called REACH has been developed linking first-year students and second-year students with an academic mentor, who will be a selected member of teaching staff to reassure, support and mentor students throughout the year.
The CIT statement said: “COVID-19 continues to be an unprecedented emergency. We will work together as students and staff to ensure that the continued focus is on the relevance and professional standing of our individual programmes while simultaneously prioritising the health and safety of students, staff, their families and the community at large.”
In a 16 page document, that goes through the different courses and the various stipulations within each department, some standard rules were outlined including the wearing of masks being mandatory indoors in all campus buildings as well as physical distancing of two metres in communal areas.
A one-way system will be in place and libraries, Student Services, restaurant and retail facilities will continue to operate although capacities are significantly reduced and card payments encouraged.
All staff and students are recommended to download and use the Ireland Covid Tracker app available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.