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[March 20, 2020] Communication of ESEIAAT. Adaptation of Teaching Activities in relation to COVID-19

Dear school community,

As you already know, the face-to-face teaching activities were suspended on March 13. First, I want to thank you for your dedication from this day in order to be able to launch the non-face-to-face teaching activities at ESEIAAT. I know that it has being an important supplementary effort for everyone; students PDI, and PAS.

The Directors and the Deans of the UPC Centers are in constant contact with the Executive Council, in order to know on firsthand the measures decreed by the Government and the Rectorate, and to be able to agree among all its implementation. In this regard, the latest news that has come to us indicates that the suspension will be longer than initially expected.

Consequently, we should not consider that the current stoppage is just a two or three week break. We assume that it is not wise to count on the activity that cannot be done now that it can be recovered later. In fact, right now there is a non-zero possibility that the suspension will be extended almost to the end of the course.

Despite this possibility, work must be done to make sure that students do not miss the course and do not have to cancel the semester. That is why the directive that comes to us from the Rectorate is to do ALL THE TEACHING ACTIVITY IN A NON PRESENTIAL WAY.

This decision is not obviously from our School, it is a temporary change in the teaching model that affects the entire university system. That is why, together with the UPC’s Rectorate, the Schools and Faculties, working together will try to fulfill all the needs. We ask you for patience and understanding, because the future is unpredictable, so we move forward and adapt measures day after day. The statement issued this Tuesday after the CRUE’s meeting with the Ministry stated, “We have gathered today to ensure that no student will miss a course due to current circumstances…” and this is the line in which UPC asks us to work.

Fortunately, we have telematics tools that will certainly, help us to develop our teaching activities in this complex situation. As the days go by, we will get to know them better. I know that there is not little what we have learned in these four days and the effort made by ICT’s services to make it them accessible and comfortable.

Although, several strategies have been followed at ESEIAAT, we know that the possibility to guarantee the availability of teaching materials, most of the tools used have been at ATENEA, teaching on-line or videoconferences with Google’s apps like Hangout Meet. This last App is also the most used for making tutorials and academic follow-ups.

Now, with this new scenery, and on behalf of this, we need to think about how to design and implement online learning follow-up and knowledge evaluation mechanisms.

UPC is intensively working to prepare, report, and train on non-face-to-face-teaching systems and in the future messages; we hope to attach you  evaluation  resources links through the digital campus ATENEA. In this sense, the points that we are most concerned with right now are on-line evaluations and laboratory practices.

Regarding the evaluations, we suggest that multiple partial assessment tests be implemented in each subject, even if they are not included in the teaching guide: assignments, exercises, questionnaires, tests of projects, problems, reports of practices that you can maintain, follow-up of activities you propose, etc. Needless to say, these changes are authorized by the Rectorate, taking into account the exceptional nature of the situation. It remains to be seen, as the case may be, how on-line tests will be performed.

As far as internships are concerned, we want to ask you, as far as possible, to make does activities on-line or substitute the “laboratory activities” for other alternative activities or change its content within the theoretical part of each assignment. If face-to-face classes were resumed before the end of the course, we would prioritize practice sessions with ad hoc schedules. Since that depends on many unknown variables, we ask to work with the scenario that it is not possible.

The two weeks extension of the academic calendar, gives us some flexibility to face the current situation as well as the hypothetical future situations (ex. teachers’ sick leave). However, in no case should it involve increasing the content of the subjects. In this way, the assignments, which follow on-line the same rhythm as if it was in a face-to-face form, will not have to use the two extra weeks. Thus, the School would have these hours for other activities that could not be performed, especially laboratory practices. Details of this point will be provided as far as possible.

From Rectorate has been created a UPC’s Teaching Monitoring Committee, which has entrusted the Centers to collect the teaching adaptations. That means, the mechanisms and activities that have been adopted in each subject to achieve the educational objectives. In brief, the subjects’ coordinators will shortly receive an email requesting this information in a structured manner. When this information is available, meetings with the coordinators of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and with the interlocutors of the Departments will be held to inform and analyze the specific situations. We, in advance, thank you for your collaboration.

We are aware that for now, there are more questions than answers and many more conditionals than we would like, but the truth is that we do not know how events will evolve. It is our firm intention to keep informing regularly as we have data and dates. And of course, we know that we are doing this due to the efforts, dedication, proposals and suggestions of many people. Thank you for the commitment and the complicity.

From the School’s Board, we are sure that, BETWEEN ALL; we will make it possible for ESEIAAT to continue preparing quality engineers.

We remain at your disposal and please, take care of yourselves.

Big hugs,


Xavier Roca



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