Principles of Education for the 2020 - 2021 Spring Semester
With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which challenged the course of our lives, still prevailing, our University is working at various levels to establish the educational principles and procedures of the Spring Semester of the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Based on the directives of the Council of Higher Education and the Ministry of Health and in consideration of the difficulties our students, our faculty members and all our staff continue to face during the pandemic, we work in constant and regular communication with our academic and administrative departments and units. In this process, we also gather data on and analyze the urgent needs for face-to-face education in our academic departments throughout the Spring Semester. On the basis of the analyses conducted, the METU Senate convened to establish the principles and procedures of the educational processes for the 2020-2021 Academic Year Spring Semester. In this meeting, it has been agreed that as in the 2020-2021 Fall Semester, classes to commence on March 15th, 2021 will be delivered online in the Spring Semester. In this meeting of the METU Senate, all our facilities were analyzed and the following decisions were taken with the aim of reducing, as much as possible, the adverse impacts of this challenging period we are going through:
- Provided that the course of the pandemic allows us to do so, upon the approval of the UAB (ÜYK), the courses that are judged to require in-person attendance in delivery process due to their practical content and ineligibility for online methods will be delivered in two independent rounds of one-week sessions of intensive face-to-face practical delivery at the end of the Spring Semester.
- Any student (Department of Basic English, associate degree, undergraduate, and graduate students) who may fail to proceed with their education will be granted the right of freezing registration for the Spring Semester, which may be exercised by June 25th, 2021, when the courses of the Spring Semester will be finalized.
- For undergraduate students, the right of withdrawal from courses within a semester will be extended to cover 2 (two) courses in total by increasing the number by one as well as the courses in the first and second years, and the deadline for the submission of withdrawal requests will be extended until June 25th, 2021 when the courses of the Spring Semester will be finalized.
- All our academic staff will determine “office hour(s)”, during which students will have the opportunity to pose their course-related questions outside the course hours; the relevant academic staff will inform their students of this practice in the first course session.
- The METU Medical and Counselling Center and the Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching (ÖGEM) will engage more in guidance and seminar activities that focus on increased student motivation during the pandemic.
In addition to these decisions taken by the Senate, it has been agreed to have a “Spring Break” within the Spring Semester, upon the assessment of the requests submitted to the Office of the President by our students. Within this scope, the University Administration decided that during a break of 9 (nine) days between May 8-16, 2021, covering the Ramadan Holiday, there will be no course delivery.
In the 2020-2021 Spring Semester, during which distant teaching methods will be retained and the standard letter grading system will be employed, it is of utmost importance that the academic supervisors and the lecturers are in regular and healthy communication with our students and that the administrative transactions of our students under the academic departments are refined to enable easy access, in order to support our students in following their course processes without any trouble while outside the campus. This is a concern shared by all our departments that drives us to continue to make all due directions in the upcoming days. Feedback we receive from you and our faculty members are used also to improve distant teaching processes of our University. For announcements and updates on the relevant subjects, you may visit https://odtuzem.metu.edu.tr/en.
As you know, all the work we have been carrying on regarding educational processes of our University is being performed by following the suggestions and guidance of authorised institutions regularly, by considering the possibility and risks of using the facilities of our University sustainably, healthily and safely, and by prioritizing the health of all our students, faculty members and staff. Our motivation and efforts to go through these educational processes by maintaining the educational standards of our university will increasingly continue in the Spring Semester in which the pandemic is expected to still be prevailing. As the METU family, I wish all of you a healthy period with the belief that this process will be completed with the support of all our students, faculty members and staff in a fully mature environment that befits our university.
I wish you wellbeing and success.
Prof. Dr. Mustafa Verşan Kök