Questions and answers for lecturers

Since the start of the semester on 20 April 2020, Ruhr-Universität has been offering its students a complete semester. Since in-person classes must be suspended for the time being, you as teachers are obliged to organise your seminars and lectures in such a manner that they can be carried out remotely, wherever possible. In order to help you tackle this challenge, the Centre of Academic Didactics (ZfW) has set up a website for you, providing information on possible scenarios and digital tools as well as service and advice. The ZfW page is continuously upgraded and updated.

Here, we essentially answer teachers’ questions. The page was created on 19 March 2020, has been fundamentally updated on 13 July 2020 and is continuously updated. The date stamp behind each question indicates when it was answered.

If you have any general questions regarding classes, please reach out at the following address:

May oral exams take place? (13 July 2020)

You can find all information on this on the special page "Prüfungen" in the "Serviceportal".

How and when can postponed examinations of the winter semester 2019/2020 be taken? (13 July 2020)

You can find all information on this on the special page "Prüfungen" in the "Serviceportal".

What if the use of RUB laboratories is required for the completion of final theses? (13 July 2020)

You can find all information on this on the special page "Prüfungen" in the "Serviceportal".

May holiday classes or “Blockseminare” take place during summer break, i.e. from August? (13 July 2020)

Holiday courses and block seminars can take place if the rules for attendance and examinations at RUB under Covid-19 conditions are observed.

What about the deadlines of Bachelor’s/Master’s theses? (13 July 2020)

You can find all information on this on the special page "Prüfungen" in the "Serviceportal".

What about application deadlines for teacher training (Referendariat)? (13 July 2020)

The deadline for the submission of documents for the start of the teacher training on 1 November 2020 will be set by the Ministry of Schools and Education (MSB) in a separate regulation. As soon as more detailed information is available, it will be published here.

Can members of the teaching staff record lectures in lecture halls that are equipped for that purpose without any students or other people being present? (4 May 2020)

You have three options to record events.

You can easily record your lectures at home, for example directly in PowerPoint. The Centre of Academic Didactics has compiled a tutorial and a list of alternative options here: This remains the preferred option at present.

For members of the teaching staff who don’t have the means to record lectures at home, IT-Services offers a no-contact service, facilitating the recording of lectures in dedicated lecture halls. Due to limited slots, it is necessary to register online in advance:

If recordings are to be made in specific rooms, for example to demonstrate experiments or use specific technology, members of the teaching staff can have someone else record them, while observing all applicable hygiene regulations.

Since many teachers are now relying on Moodle or RUBcast, will the servers be able to handle the traffic? (4 May 2020)

The systems at the RUB run stable, as server capacities were considerably increased before the start of the semester. Nevertheless, systems may not react as quickly as usual, especially during peak times. As the capacity is continuously being optimised, it is to be expected that the situation will gradually improve from day to day.

What if students don’t want to participate in courses using Zoom video conferencing? (Last updated: 28 April 2020)

The US company Zoom is certified according to the EU-US Privacy Shield. The specifications of the data protection shield comply principally with the data protection requirements of the European Union. RUB has concluded a contract with the Zoom provider that complies with the requirements of art. 28 GDPR and the requirements of art. 44 ff. GDPR. Additional information is available on the IT.Services information page.

If students don’t wish to attend a course where Zoom is used, they can’t be forced to attend. If video conferencing via Zoom is an integral part of the course, students must switch to other courses, or attend the course in a later semester if they don’t wish to use Zoom. If video conferencing via Zoom is an optional element of the course, students can attend and complete the course without taking part in Zoom conferences.

In order to facilitate accessibility, formats in which web conferencing is used as an additional tool should be preferably used.

Am I allowed to record web conferences? (28 April 2020)

Members of the teaching staff are permitted to make recording, as a general rule. You must ensure that audio and video recordings of students are not made without their consent. If you make your own audio and video recordings in order to share them with students, please let us know in advance, as per the RUB’s ZOOM data protection notice. Recordings can be shared on the RUB’s Opencast platform, for example.

Will the RUB purchase licenses for web conferencing tools? (28 April 2020)

RUB has purchased a campus licence for the Zoom video conferencing tool. The university management has decided to use the tool in teaching, research and administration. It is planned to be used until April 2021, as agreed with the staff councils and the data protection officer. Information on how to obtain a license, FAQs and other tips on how to use ZOOM can be found on the IT.SERVICES website.

As part of its RUBel services, the Centre for Science Didactics also offers brief tutorials on how to use the tool in teaching.

Other conference systems can naturally also be used, for example “DFNconf” to ensure higher privacy standards. For all systems, recordings may only be made with the explicit consent of all parties concerned – i.e. the persons in video and/or audio recordings. Consent must be verifiable. Furthermore, the use of the systems is voluntary.

Are students allowed to record web conferences? (28 April 2020)

No. Recording is not permitted and is punishable under § 33 and § 34 of the NRW Data Protection Act. Lecturers may make a recording with the consent of all participants and share it with the participants. They can use the RUB Opencast platform for this purpose, where the recordings are stored on RUB servers.

Are there any support services in place for members of the teaching staff with family and caring responsibilities? (22 April 2020)

In consultation with the Vice Rector for Teaching and International Affairs, the strategic unit Family-friendly University and the Equal Opportunities Officer have set up a fund for members of the teaching staff who have been particularly affected by the pandemic.

Call for applications (german language)

The advisory services offered by the Family-friendly University and many links to additional information can be found in the "Serviceportal".

Which orientation courses for teaching and studying does the Professional School of Education (PSE) offer in the summer semester 2020? (20 April 2020)

The Professional School of Education, in cooperation with the eLearning team at the Centre of Academic Didactics (ZfW), supports and supervises all members of the teaching staff and student teachers at RUB in the speedy conversion of all in-person classes to online teaching and eLearning. Information on their workshops and courses for the summer semester 2020 is available on the following page:

Where can I find information on teaching in the summer semester 2020, specifically for my faculty or central research institution? (3 April 2020)

Our faculties and central research institutions have established their own information channels, which are usually indicated on the homepage of the respective institution. A continuously updated overview is available here (German).

What alternatives do I have as long as I don’t have any or only limited access to libraries? (24 March 2020)

In addition to the regular online portfolio of the libraries, many publishers currently provide low-cost media online. The university library compiles a list of these offers on the following page (German).

Our Faculty should have held the mandatory evaluation of classes in the summer semester 2020. Will the evaluation take place anyway? (24 March 2020)

Mandatory evaluations are suspended for the summer semester 2020. Online evaluations can still take place using the standard surveys (see Administrative Department 1 is currently assessing whether it can provide an evaluation in the course of the semester that is modified for online teaching.

Where can I find information on how to convert my classroom teaching concept to an online-based format in the summer semester 2020? (24 March 2020)

In order to help you tackle this challenge, the Centre of Academic Didactics (ZfW>) has set up a website (German only) providing information on possible scenarios and digital tools as well as service and advice. The ZfW page will be continuously upgraded and updated.

As member of the teaching staff, may I use the university library? (19 March2020)

All information on available and non-available services of the university library is compiled here (German).

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