Starting Coventry University in January: What to expect?
The Covid-19 pandemic shaped up our academic journey, determined us to adapt to new ways of information-delivery (the switch between f2f teaching and online based sessions) and also helped us build up an approach which proves itself efficient in the context of a deadly virus still having to be eradicated.
The pandemic has drastically changed the educational landscape for millions of university students around the world, and international students have their own set of unique challenges. The many sudden changes, along with the chronic stress of the pandemic, may pose mental-health challenges, particularly if students suffer from pre-existing mental-health issues. I’m sure everyone got perplexed when the new national lockdown has been announced by the Government. This is a challenging period for everyone and it’s no point to detail.
Basically, Coventry Uni is now preparing to deliver almost all courses fully online until at least mid-February for our safety.
Also, our team will continue to place great emphasis on supporting students. Help and advice is available if you need a chat with any of our ResLife team members. We are all mental health aiders and drop-in sessions can be booked all the year round. Here are some tips and tricks you should consider before the second semester starts:
It is important that we have been announced that students should remain where they are now and not travel between term-time and permanent addresses.
In other words, due to current situation, you should not come back to campus until further notice. National lockdown restricted us to leave or be outside our home excepting where absolutely necessary (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home).
How to prepare for Uni?
Although many of us miss the face-to-face lessons, some students find online teaching advantageous because they don’t have to leave their homes. Also, Coventry Uni implemented assessment support systems to ensure we have a fair education during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are in addition to the normal pre-COVID support systems available in the University.
Here are some:
- The implementation of no detriment commitment which can be found on the University website (https://share.coventry.ac.uk/students/Pages/No-detriment-commitment.aspx);
- Automatic 24hours coursework extensions;
- Relaxed extension approval process;
- Online exams guidance.
Students who are already on campus will receive all our support in order to overcome boredom in this period. Isolation Chat Station is one of our weekly activities and you are invited to participate. Just keep an eye on ResLife Instagram page (@reslife_covuni).
Study spaces will be available on Coventry Uni campuses once teaching starts (18th of January). Some buildings remain open now including the Lanchester Library and The Hub.
Moreover, symptom-free community testing for those who are on campus is currently available in Coventry (for more details, please visit https://livecoventryac.sharepoint.com/sites/students-return-to-campus)
How to stay safe?
Remember the Rule of Three!
HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
Travelling during the pandemic
Travel may increase your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If you do decide to travel during lockdown and have a good reason, make sure you take these steps during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Know when to delay your travel. Do not travel if you or your travel companions are sick.
- Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings, including on public transportation and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm’s length) from anyone who is not from your travel group.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
My personal perspective about this situation focuses on two different areas: student experience on campus and the efficiency of the online teaching sessions. It is obvious that tackling this pandemic is a challenging task: we all must stay alert and sensible while being worried about our health and safety. I find switching all the teaching to an online-based structure a brilliant idea: in these troubling times, enjoying the comfort of our homes while learning may prevent the anxiety associated with transmitting the virus or getting infected. Also, it limits its spread.
As about my course, the online sessions were incredibly efficient and encouraged us to be productive. I received the right dissertation support, along with a wide range of options in terms of postgraduate study.
Blog written by: Bogdan
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