College to issue communication on teaching for remainder of semester, School of English says

The School of English has moved all teaching online for the rest of the term

College intends to circulate communication to students on how Trinity will respond to tightened Covid-19 restrictions, which are expected to be decided by Cabinet later tonight, according to emails sent to students in the School of English.

Two emails circulated by the School of English today to English students said that College would issue an announcement on teaching decisions after the government makes its announcement on restrictions.

In an email from the school’s Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning, Dr. Brendan O’Connell, students were advised that “we expect an announcement to be issued by College following the Government announcement today”.

“It has been decided at college level that, given the current public health situation and the unlikelihood of things improving in the short term, current arrangements for teaching will stay in place for the remainder of the term. For the School of English, this means that all our teaching will continue to be online for the rest of the semester,” O’Connell wrote.

An email sent earlier this afternoon to English students from Head of School Jarlath Killeen stated that given the current public health situation and the unlikelihood of an improvement in the short term, it had been decided at a “college level” that the current teaching arrangements for courses within the School of English are to remain unchanged for the rest of Michaelmas term.

Government is expected to present the move to Level 5 restrictions until the end of November this evening. 

According to the emails sent to English students, the Library will remain open “for as long as possible”, even if the current level of restrictions increases.

Students have been subject to a “blended learning approach” over the last few months, with many Arts, Humanities and Social Science (AHSS) students being taught entirely online. 

Tutorials for AHSS students were originally to be taught in person, with only lectures online, however following the introduction of Level 3 to Dublin, students were told they would not have any in-person teaching until after reading week. 

Some Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) and Health Science students have had a limited amount of face-to-face learning, especially where such classes are required for professional accreditation.

Students of Trinity’s law school were also told that the school intends to continue teaching online “exclusively” for the remainder of the semester. The email sent to law students assured them that all classes will continued to be recorded even if they are live sessions.

This article was updated at 18:50 on October 19. A previous version of this article said that an email from the School of English sent by Killeen communicated that a decision had been made at a college-level to continue the current teaching arrangements for the remainder of the term. The sender has since clarified that by “college level”, they were communicating that a decision had been made for the School of English at a college level.

This article was also updated at 23:07 on October 19 to add that law students were also told their classes will be held online until next term.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.