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Questions Might Not Be Allowed For Remote Learners In New Model, University Of Malta Informs Students

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With university set to commence in the coming days, details of how the new ‘hybrid’ model involving both face to face and remote learning will work have emerged.

Gottfried Catania, Head of the Psychology Department at the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, sent students an email this afternoon after receiving instructions from the Registrar’s Office.

“As announced by the Rector and Registrar yesterday, given that all our groups of students are too large for lectures to be held fully face to face, we will be adopting a P+R mode of lecturing for all study units for the time being,” Catania wrote.

He said psychology students have been split into two groups, which will alternate between face-to-face and remote learning on a weekly basis. Students are not allowed to change groups at any time.

The email states that as per instructions from the Register’s Office, lecturers are to prioritise the students who are physically present in the lecture hall.

“In other words, the lecturer will start a Zoom link in the room, and then lecture the group in the class,” he said. “The other group at home is expected to listen to the lecture but, in all probability, will not be able to see the lecturer most of the time and might not be able to ask questions.”

“Lecturers are not being expected to monitor the group chat, although some may choose to do so.”

He urged students to appreciate that lecturers have only just been made aware of this requirement and that some teething problems are to be expected, especially in the first few weeks of lecturing.

“We will be monitoring the situation as we go along, and making any necessary adjustments where possible,” he said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have had to endure online lectures for almost two years now and many were hoping for a return to the full university experience now the vast majority of the Maltese population has been vaccinated.

However, concerns were raised that there aren’t enough large lecture halls to cater for the bigger student groups, particularly seeing as the gateway hall is being used for COVID-19 purposes and as a vaccination centre.

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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