Distance teaching - a letter to teachers
We are starting a truly challenging semester with remote teaching from the very beginning - despite the fact that a week ago we still planned to at least start to teach in person. Due to considerable efforts of many of you, in my opinion, we are prepared much better than in the spring and we also have more experience.
At the beginning of the semester, we should recall some rules and point out some new ones. Instructions from the faculty management are now available https://www.mff.cuni.cz/coronavirus. Please, pay attention to this page. Strarting from the next week it will also include a simple up-to-date summary of rules and restrictions.
In the School of Computer Science, the main tool for streaming will be we zoom; in addition, some courses use the Moodle distance learning system. Technical details are available at https://www.mff.cuni.cz/en/internal-affairs/it-and-services/services/possibilities-for-remote-education.
For zoom, regular employees should preferably use zoom accounts on cesnet.zoom.us and the corresponding university license. (See the previous link for instructions.) We also have 10 shared accounts available, mainly for exercises led by PhD students. Here it is necessary to include the name of the teacher in the meeting's topic and check possible collisions in the schedule at https://kam.mff.cuni.cz/mffzoom/.
Online lectures should be recorded and published appropriately. Faculty management recommends that the recordings should not be freely accessible. It is preferred to put them on a password-protected part of your web, or it is possible to upload files to the SIS; also a cesnet repository is being prepared, which should have a capacity even for high-resolution recordings (e.g., from auditorium N1).
The biggest new challenge this semester is teaching in the freshman year. This year, the number of enrolled students has grown by more than a half to more than 260. New students will hardly come in touch with the usual academic life, they have no experience with our remote teaching; thus the transition from high school can be particularly difficult for them.
As in the previous semester, I consider it important to prevent social isolation and also to take good care of ourselves. Please keep in regular contact with your colleagues, supervisors, students (with special emphasis on the freshman classes and the English program). Should unexpected situations and problems arise, it is very appropriate to speak up, to inform your department head, vice-deans for study, me.
I wish you a good start of the semester and a nice extended weekend.
Prof. Jiří Sgall
Vice-Dean for Computer Science
September 24, 2020