The University of Jyväskylä has decided on 26 January that contact teaching will be increased starting February 1st.
According to the new guidelines, contact teaching can be arranged for a maximum of 50 students at a time and teaching for bigger groups will still take place remotely. Hybrid-teaching will also be possible if the teacher decides it is appropriate. The University encourages teachers to arrange contact teaching when group sizes and facilities allow it.
Studies have shown that the pandemic and remote learning have weakened students’ well-being and mental health, and these themes have been highlighted by student unions throughout the pandemic.
A preliminary review of JYY’s recent survey to students also shows that a majority of students believe that increasing contact teaching have a positive effect on their life situation. A total of 3796 students answered the survey.
-Increasing contact teaching is important for students’ well-being, which is why JYY supports this decision by the University. We also want to thank all those who responded to our survey, as the information we get from students is vitally important, says Aija Hokkanen, the chairperson of JYY’s board.
Hokkanen, however, also wants to emphasize that there are differences between students’ circumstances and opinions on contact teaching. A preliminary review of JYY’s survey also shows that opinions on this are quite evenly divided. For this reason, JYY wants to ensure that the shift to contact teaching happens in a gradual and measured way, and that different students’ circumstances are taken into consideration.
-There are a lot of students who have considered remote teaching a positive thing that has increased the flexibility of their studies. For many, the return to contach teaching can also affect their living arrangements or work situations. This is why it’s important that the shift to contact teaching happens gradually and that students are supported during this period of transition, Hokkanen emphasizes.
-This shift requires flexibility and adaptation from both staff and students, so it is important to be understanding to each other, Hokkanen adds.
Preliminary results of JYY’s survey find that increasing contact teaching can support students’ sense of community and daily routines. However, students also hope for flexibility in their studies in the future through things like recorded lectures.
-Due to the positive effects, moving towards contact teaching is the right decision. We also hope that in the long term, we can take with us lessions from remote teaching to make sure that students in different circumstances can be taken into consideration, Hokkanen says.
The Universtity’s news about the increase of contact teaching can be read here: The University of Jyväskylä to increase contact teaching from the beginning of February — University of Jyväskylä (jyu.fi)
Chairperson of the Board
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