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[28/03/2020 - 20:53 h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report. COVID-19

[28/03/2020 - 20:53 h] Notes of the Director. Weekly Report. COVID-19

Two weeks of confinement have already passed and, again, I want to thank everybody their implication in contributing maintaining the academic activity, and in particularly to the teaching staff.

As you know, we are in an exceptional situation that unfortunately, can vary from day to day. I am aware that you receive a bombardment of emails from many different sources, but my will and of the School Board’s team is to have as much information as possible on matters that, on a mayor or less measure affects directly on your daily activity at the UPC. I ask you for understand on this point.

On this crisis, the School is reacting in the best way as possible, despite there are still some points left to improve. I think that everyone (PDI, PAS and students) are working hard to make everything work: degrees, masters, mobility, business, internships, infrastructure, promotion, etc.

This week we had been collecting the information obtained through the questionnaires that had been given to the teachers and to the students. I thank the Students Union for its work. Collecting this information will allow us to detect and solve specific problems, if there is any, and also will provide us essential evidence to document the processes of Monitoring and Accreditation of the School’s qualifications. I take this opportunity to remind you that we are lacking of answers of some subjects and that it is necessary to submit all of them to the coordination’s subjects of the spring semester (Q2, Q4, Q6, Q8)even if they are from the second semester and have not started. Thank you for your cooperation.

Both Minister Celaá and our Rector have announced that in the best of scenarios we could resume the face-to-face teaching classes for a couple of weeks in June. If so, these two weeks would be spent on final assessments and some practice that could be considered essential, as long as the schedule allows it. However, it is necessary to work with the hypothesis of finishing the course on teaching and having assessments in a NON-FACE-TO-FACE, and if we finally have a couple of weeks, they will be very welcome.

On March 13, the ESEIAAT modified the academic calendar to adapt to the new situation. This calendar is in force, with the intention of maintaining it during the rest of the course. I remember you that Easter is still a NON-READING period between April 4 and 13 and that we keep the week of assessments close.

Consequently, it is essential that the teaching/academic planning be adapted to the new situation. Submit to the students a schedule work of all the activities that you have programmed so that they can organized themselves. The tasks to be done must be organized taking into account the weekly workload. We have detected specific courses with high oversaturation tasks. We remind you the need of making evaluative tests during the course, but above all, they have to be announced well in advance.

In this sense, in relation to teaching, we recommend that all subjects that have synchronous sessions (I mean, a live or streaming) with the students. I am not necessarily referring and exclusively to the exposition classes, which can be encapsulated in videos or other materials, but also to consultations or tutorials or support works. It is important not to lose contact between teachers and students. In this sense, we ask you to do teaching during enrollment hours of each group (for subjects with more than group) in order to avoid overlaps with other subjects of the same course and group.

We understand that non-face-to-face teaching it is a big challenge for everybody, particularly the points that I want to remark:

  • As for internships, it is necessary to find online mechanisms that enable students to acquire the associated competencies, though they may be in a less effective form.

  • From the School Board we work on how to make the defense of the final works (TFGs and TFMs) in a non-face-to-face form, by which we will enable exceptional defense mechanisms. The same it happens with the external internships that can be affected by the present situation. We are solving individually the students’ problems who depend on any of these elements to finish their degree. In addition, we are solving individually all exceptional cases related with students’ mobility and all the action protocols to be followed, have been notified.

  • As for online assessments, they will require that the teaching staff and students put all their capacity and best will. We have asked the Board of Directors (Rector’s Team) and the Academic Management Service to help us draw up a protocol for online assessments, check students’ identity and keep a record of the test. Both by oral tests (which are viable for small groups) and written tests. Additionally, a code of ethic has been requested for students so in this way they will have to subscribe.

Next week a new form will be sent to the subjects that have planned partial exams, to tell us if they will stay online form or in what way they will be replaced by doing activities throughout the course, keeping the same weight in the final note. The limit date to inform the solution adopted to the School (to organize the exams period) and as to the students (via Atenea) will be April 14).

In this week, from ESEIAAT and UTG we had taken some initiatives to help you on the online teaching.

  • The Computer Services are working against the clock to get our “physical” computer classrooms virtualized. This means that students will be able to access from home to the School’s PCs rooms with all the software installed. Early next week will be on.

  • A series of basic training capsules for online teaching have been directed to ESEIAATs’ teachers with the collaboration of professor Vallverdú. The initiative has been widely accepted, with more than ESEIAATs’ PDUs. The intention is to make specific, basic, short, very practical, and direct training; focus to solve doubts and concerns that could be detect within our community. Next week, these capsules will be intensify as an alternative for non-face-to-face classroom evaluation. You will receive calls soon. This training complements the one that ICE offers in an institutional way.

  • A website ( was created to centralize all information, training, proposals, success stories, etc. linked to the situation of non-classroom teaching. Here everyone will be able to participate by sharing experiences in a way that makes the adaptation more fruitful and enjoyable for everyone. Our commitment is that the site can be used to collect everything that can come to us, in different ways, about online teaching. I recommend you check it to keep up to date.

Finally, as the situation we are experiencing is a consequence of a global health crisis, the fight against it must obviously be the first priority. For this reason, I want to dwell on the contributions we are making from our community to help combat the pandemic that is threatening humanity. Specifically I emphasize that:

  • In front of the closure of the School’s laboratories and given the critical situation related with the distribution of individual protection equipment (EPIs) of the Catalan Health System, we collected masks, gloves and other necessary material and donated to Mútua de Terrassa.

  • In conjunction with the School’s FabLab and joining citizen initiatives, we are developing individual protection masks on 3D printers and laser cutting.

  • The possibility of manufacturing disinfectant fluid with the provisions of components available in the School's laboratories are being studied.

  • While sanitary alarm state lasts, the parkings of UPC Terrassa have been opened for the health staff of Mútua de Terrassa. The aim is to reduce the risk of contagion of the healthcare personnel, avoiding public transport or car sharing. The parkings that have been temporarily assigned are the students parking TR11, parking PDI-PAS TR9 and the parking CITEM TR12 that are close to the Mútua, with almost 200 places.

  • Several teachers have elaborated studies or answered specific questions from COVID-19, highlighting the one that Professor Mònica Ardanuy has made on masks, which had a great media impact.

  • ESEIAAT’s students and former students with the participation of our fellow teachers are collaborating in the design the field hospital at Fira de Barcelona.

I want to end by reiterating my appreciation for your efforts. Thank you for the dedication and interest in making everything work out. We have a great responsibility which entails a great deal of effort, but from the ESEIAAT’s School Board we believe that with the help of everyone (PDI, PAS and Students), at some point we will be able to look back and be proud of our community.

Good weekend end please stay safe.

A big hug,


Xavier Roca

Director de l’ESEIAAT

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