With student timetables being published today, questions have been raised about the issue of students being assigned consecutive online and in-person classes. Students in these situations may be forced to remain on campus to complete their online classes, which some feel would defeat the purpose of online classes in the first place.
It is also unclear whether spaces will be provided for students to participate in online classes on campus should the need arise.
Speaking to Trinity News, Trinity College Dublin’s Student Union (TCDSU) Education Officer Megan O’Connor expressed disappointment at what she said had been an “ongoing issue”.
She said that the various schools had been advised not to schedule consecutive online and face-to-face classes in student’s timetables.
O’Connor also suggested that a number of schools within Trinity were simply not ready to publish timetables this week, saying “it seems like some of the timetables were prematurely circulated”, resulting in a number of other issues, including the scheduling of classes as late as 9pm. She said that this was “unfortunate”, and that a lot of students were relying on the publication of timetables in order to notify their employers of their availability.
While these issues have caused confusion, O’Connor said that College was acting quickly to address them saying that “With every issue that I’ve raised today, there has been active preparation in fixing it, which is reassuring”.
O’Connor also expressed concern about students in the school of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) being assigned single daily classes, rather than blocks which would allow them to limit the number of days they spend on campus. She said that this was “needlessly putting students at risk”.
Speaking to Trinity News, College’s Director of Communications, Tom Molloy said that Trinity is aware of students’ concerns, and that help would be given by the college: “We will be providing nearly 500 additional spaces on campus – aside from the libraries, where students will be able to engage with online learning.”
Molloy also said that “Where there are particular concerns, students should engage directly with their School or Programme Office”.
While a number of student timetables were published today, many are still incomplete with some students unsure of how many face to face classes they will have in the upcoming term.
Continuing students are to commence classes on September 28, the first day of face-to-face classes for students since March 12, when government announced the closure of all schools and colleges to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Freshers’ week is to run alongside the first day of classes for continuing students, with classes for continuing students starting from October 5.
This post was updated at 7:00pm on Tuesday, 15 September to include comments from Trinity’s Director of Communications, Tom Molloy.