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Update from College Secretary, Senior Lecturer to students and staff

19 March 2020

Dear students and staff,

Thank you all for your engagement and dedicated effort at this difficult time as we are moving our teaching and learning online. Early reports suggest that the process is working well for most students and staff and we are continuing to monitor progress. A large measure of thanks goes to IT Services which has given training to more than 400 people since last week’s decision to move teaching online.

Exams

We are preparing to carry out final assessments through a mixture of continuous assessment and online assessment. Schools are implementing a set of measures to replace in-person examinations with written assignments, take-home open-book exams, or real-time online exams. This applies both to undergraduate and to postgraduate taught classes.

A small number of tests may have to be carried out in-person. These include elements required for professional clinical accreditation. We are working hard to put in place plans to carry these out or to negotiate an acceptable replacement with accrediting bodies. Similarly, where clinical or professional placements have been interrupted, we are developing alternative mechanisms or timelines for achieving the appropriate professional competencies, following consultation with regulatory bodies. 

Returning library books

As many of you may wish to return books to the Library, the Library will be offering a book return service via the Library van at the Lincoln Place entrance tomorrow, Friday, (March 20) from 12 noon to 2pm. Students living on or off campus can avail of this service. If this slot doesn’t suit your schedule, we recommend that you hold on to your Library books until the libraries reopen (all loan dates have been extended and no fines will accrue during the closure period). If you will not be returning to campus, please consider asking a friend to return the books on your behalf.

Please note other important library services available during the closure period include:

Graduations

Spring Commencement Ceremonies were due to take place on April 7, 8 and 9. Unfortunately public ceremonies will not be possible. It is our priority to ensure that all our graduands who have earned their degrees can be commenced in a timely manner so that they can take up graduate opportunities. The Registrar has contacted all graduands due to be conferred at one of the seven planned Spring ceremonies asking for their permission to be conferred in absentia in a closed ceremony to take place on April 7. The Chancellor Mary McAleese will lead the ceremony which we hope to live web stream so that graduands can hear their name being entered into the University record (circumstances permitting).

Secure Remote and Mobile Working

Staff and students should ensure that University-controlled data is processed securely and measures should be taken to ensure that no unauthorised person can access such information. To ensure that Trinity-controlled data is processed securely, the Trinity Data Protection and Information Security Offices have drafted guidance for secure remote and mobile working. This guidance is available at: https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/working-remotely/

Further questions

The website remains the main source of information and the Frequently Asked Questions section is being constantly updated here https://www.tcd.ie/about/coronavirus. If you have questions that are not  answered there, please email coronavirus@tcd.ie for advice.

The College Health Centre also continues to answer questions by telephone but demand is strong and it is important not to call unless you have good reason for concern .

Thank you for your patience at this time,

Yours sincerely,

John Coman – College Secretary 
Kevin Mitchell – Senior Lecturer