Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Cattolica International

Phase 3: Planning of educational activities first semester a.y. 2020/21

      
The Faculty teaches courses in two ways: though lectures and practical sessions. Lectures are held in the lecture halls and may include seminars presented by experts, with professors/instructors present. The practical sessions are held in the classroom, in a laboratory or in the field, and they may also include guided tours of businesses outside the University.

The Faculty offers three programmes taught entirely in English – one undergraduate and two graduate degree programmes – so all communications are issued in both Italian and English.

For the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the teaching activities of the Faculty will follow the general policies of Università Cattolica.

The Faculty will use a dual mode of teaching as the principle method of course delivery; classes will be held in the lecture hall and can also be accessed via live streaming. Lessons will also be recorded and be subsequently accessible on the Blackboard platform in order meet the needs of students who for any reason cannot follow the lectures in real time.

All the classes in lecture halls at the Piacenza campus are guaranteed to be held without the need to use rotas. Since Cremona is a new venue, the timetabling of lecture rooms is not yet confirmed, but the aim of the Faculty is to guarantee classes in lecture halls for all students without using rotas.

Some courses, such as English language, ICT and a few others, will be taught in the form of online interactive lectures; recorded versions will always be available. Any lessons that have to be suspended (no more than 20%) will be recorded and accessible on the Blackboard platform.

The laboratory and workshop sessions will all be carried out on site with a rota for attendance, while practical sessions in lecture halls will either be delivered in dual mode or as online interactive lectures. Field activities and external visits will still be offered, although some may be replaced by webinars.

Course and final examinations will be held on campus where conditions allow this, or otherwise remotely. Dual mode exam sessions will also be possible, with some students attending on campus with the lecturers and other students connected by video link.

We are ready to go, ready to start the 2020-2021 academic year.
We have accumulated experience, invested in spaces and technology, guaranteed systems and safety procedures.
Now we are making our quality available.
For the Faculty of Economics, being a University means building, developing, growing, evolving, educating a community of students and teachers whose value is found in the knowledge, the wealth of relationships and the skills that this community is able to express and share.
The current emergency indications - and the physical-technical and social constraints that they bring with them - have strengthened the spread of multi-channel smart learning processes and teaching/learning in order to ensure continuous interaction between academic staff and students and a productive use of available resources (spaces/technologies/times).
 
All students – not one less – will be able to take part and follow classes and practical sessions
 
All students – not one less – will be able to take part and follow classes and practical sessions whether they are physically in attendance on campus or connected remotely via live streaming Dual-Mode so that they can build and consolidate their knowledge, develop skills, strengthen and test their competences, in line with the objectives and learning outcomes of their degree programme.  The importance of relations is a priority and at the top of our actions. The technology is not an alternative to didactic activities with physical attendance, but is something added and complementary, if we know how to use it and see its value. The two modes help each other and feed off each other.
 
We have multiplied and diversified the possibilities of interaction, exchange and comparison
 
The possibilities of interaction, exchange and comparison with professors/instructors and between students will be multiplied and diversified through direct exchange and good use of the Blackboard e-learning platform, with forums, ‘collaborate ultra’, online interactive lectures, asynchronous talking heads, testimonials, webinars, live feed-back, self-evaluation of course content and intermediate learning assessments.
Following the social distancing rules and in line with the number of places available, everyone will be able to attend classes physically on campus. norme sul distanziamento sociale [collegare al link]
Those who for health reasons, whether public or personal, or because of travel difficulties resulting from the rotation of access which might be in force, will be unable to physically attend classes on campus will be able to attend remotely for the entire course of the academic year.

All classes can be attended remotely for the full academic year as set out in the #eCatt plan.
#eCatt brings together all the initiatives that will allow students who cannot come to the University campus to follow courses even though they are far from the University.

Committment of the Faculty of Economics

The Faculty of Economics is committed to:

  • guaranteeing high quality, rigorous teaching;
  • differentiating and strengthening modes of teaching delivery, using multi-channels and a blended approach;
  • making our experience gained in blended master's degree courses available for delivery of master’s programmes, graduate school programmes, and the technology and teaching competences of our ILab and CREMIT research centres;
  • complying with the general provisions of the University's governing bodies regarding the use of the facilities, the organisation of spaces, campus access regulations, in line with the "Guidelines of conduct – SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic Emergency Protocol" developed with the scientific contribution by the Faculty of Medicine and the “A. Gemini” Hospital Foundation, and in full compliance with the national, regional and local regulatory framework.

iCatt to know more and to keep updated

Your personal iCatt page and the iCatt app are the essential tools you can use to search and locate all the information available on the how classes will be held, timetables (rooms are shown for classes on campus or there will be an indication of ‘online class’), on exams and how to access services.

We recommend that first year students start using these two resources as soon as possible.
To ensure compliance with social distancing rules and to deal with the restricted availability of spaces, if necessary, students who attend classes physically on campus will be divided into groups and the days that each group can be on campus (in rotation) will be listed on the app.
Students can check the iCatt app for information on access days assigned to the various groups.
 
For more details on how your programme will be organised:

By consulting #eCatt  you will find a periodic update of these indications on the basis of the notes that will be developed by the Authorities, the national and local legislative provisions, the University directives and the evolution of the health and social situation, as well as the successive phases of evolution of the Faculty's activities.

Regular updates on this information will be available on #eCatt, which will change in line with notes issued by the authorities, national and local regulations, University directives and the development of the health and social situation, as well as further information in line with how the Faculty’s activities evolve.

Responsibility to build the future  

We have experience, we are prepared, we are ready.
We wish that from this University, from the Faculty of Economics, everyone, absolutely everyone, not one person less, comes to possess a sense and responsibility for progress, has the future in themselves, is responsible for contributing with their own experience, their life story, their commitment and their skills to the development and growth of small and large things, to the realization of small and large projects, for themselves, and with and for others.
We have a responsibility to build the FUTURE.
We want OUR STUDENTS to be part of this building.
We want to take you to the HEART OF REALITY.


Prof. Domenico Bodega
Dean
Faculty of Economics
Department of Economics and Business Administration

The guidelines set out in this document on how teaching will be carried out are based on the assumption that the application of measures for social distancing and limiting the spread of the virus will be confirmed for the entire coming academic year. It seems opportune to rethink teaching methods so that they are not limited by simply extending what was done during the emergency phase affecting the second semester of the current year but rather by mixing and matching the positive aspects of the alternative teaching methods used, in an integrated way which ensures consistency and stability throughout the year and not just for short periods.
 
The planning and configuration of course teaching – radically rethought and not merely limited to a conversion of lecture room teaching - will require considerable commitment from professors/instructors and it would not be opportune to invest only to return to traditional methods.

Primarily, the Faculty intends to take the opportunity offered by the experience gained during the enforced response to the pandemic to implement teaching methods of a more advanced qualitative standard, with the certainty that this will contribute to long-term improvements in educational skills and will not limit the effects of learning to a simple return to normality

The return of students to the lecture room and interaction when physically attending - whether classes, course exams or final exams - is still the preferred choice considered a priority and desired outcome by the Faculty and will be regularly measured to assess feasibility.  

The Faculty views the personal educational and training relationship between teacher and student and between students themselves as fundamental in any case. The university community aims for collaborative competitiveness and everyone’s commitment will be focused on the search for educational familiarity, which may be digital.

The teaching committee is already working to ensure that the message to incoming students and their families offers a clear and transparent picture of the teaching methods that will be used and constitutes an element of certainty on which to base informed choices.

The essential conditions necessary for the overall achievement of the quality output underlying these guidelines are that:

  • security protocols for students and professors/instructors entering the campus are constantly updated and implemented by the authorities;
  • the lecture rooms are adequately equipped in a timely manner from a technological standpoint (video-audio recording and streaming transmission systems);
  • professors/instructors are provided with substantial training on the use of new equipment and, following verification of ability and availability, specialist support is provided for the production of video materials (recording, editing, communication);
  • the didactic organisation of programmes takes account of the specific details of individual programmes, ensuring where necessary that the official and integrated total teaching hours can be changed and allowing for the use of additional tutors able to facilitate relations with students. 

The Faculty’s primary objective remains to guarantee serious, rigorous, quality teaching in compliance with the measures set out in the legislation and the University’s general regulations and provisions.
 
 

Academic calendar 

PIACENZA CAMPUS
Degree Programme in Economics (LT 18 and LM 77): the traditional calendar (5 + 5 weeks of classes per semester) starting on 14 September is confirmed.
Single-cycle Degree Programme in Law (LMG/01): the calendar of 12 weeks starting on 7 September is confirmed.
 
CREMONA CAMPUS
Degree Programme in Business Economics (LT18): the transfer to the new Collegio S. Monica site means that the start of classes will be delayed until 1 October.

Pre-sessional courses and remedial courses ('OFA’  courses) 

Pre-sessional courses and remedial courses will be offered in lecture rooms with live streaming. 

For the Degree Programme in Economics (LT18) in Piacenza, these courses will start on 3 September. For the Degree Programme in Economics (LT18) in Cremona, these courses will only be held remotely and will start on 21 September.

Class times

In order to organise the students’ day and allow for the socialising experience of communal learning, including when teaching is delivered online, it is essential to maintain a fixed timetable. The video recorded material, including classes, will generally be published on the BB platform and will be available for a given period of time. In order to reconcile the need for presence on campus, groupwork and participation in various teaching activities, it may prove necessary to hold lessons in the late afternoon and on Saturday morning, ensuring that each class of course a total of six hours teaching per day.

Credits and workload

Although the overall general parameter remains 1 credit = 25 hours of study, the new types of course delivery will have to be monitored to ensure that although they may alter the effort required, standards do not fall and the workload does not increase.

The ratio between teaching hours and credits used by the Faculty and set out below is confirmed:
 
Degree Programme in Economics
Up to 6 credits             30 class hours
7 credits                      40 class hours
8 – 10 credits              60 class hours 
More than 10 credits   90 class hours
 
Degree Programme in Law
4-5 credits                   30 class hours
6 credits                      36/48 class hours
8 – 10 credits              60 class hours
10 – 12 credits            80 class hours
14 credits                    90 class hours
 
As set out in the paragraph on teaching delivery, the concept of ‘classes’ will take various forms: in attendance/remote, synchronous/asynchronous, in groups, plenary.

Delivery of teaching 

Depending on the demands of the individual courses and the details of the programmes, the total hours set out above may be made up of a combination of types of teaching delivery, which however entirely guarantees the availability and efficaciousness of the course delivered remotely, and characterised by:

  • standard forty-five-minute classes live streamed (the professor/instructor holds a class in a lecture room with a limited number of students present and the lesson can be watched via the IT platform);
  • synchronous interactive sessions with students which the professor/instructor holds remotely at set times and which do not foresee students being physically present in the lecture room (group work, presentations, discussion of case studies, business games);
  • asynchronous video recorded lessons (25-30 minutes each).

It is essential that for a programme to be organized successfully from a didactic point of view at least two thirds of the total number of classes of each course should be live streamed.

Visiting professors will be able to live stream all their classes. Only when this is not feasible the lessons can be delivered asynchronously by professors recording and uploading sessions from their workplace. They will, however, be required to programme specific times for interaction with the students.
 
The same criteria apply to practical sessions, the total number of hours of which may be increased with regard to the total number of teaching hours in the Faculty, and may include the option of working in small groups. Professors/instructors are strongly advised to upload a variety of material to the Blackboard page for each course, including video recordings, sets of slides, exercises, e-books, films and testimonials.

The recording of live-streamed classes held in lecture rooms which are then subsequently made available to students asynchronously online for a limited period will be carried out at the discretion of the professor/instructor, in accordance with the programme coordinator. 

After the work of professors’/instructors’ planning for each course delivery and the coordination of the entire programme, the resulting class timetable must guarantee suitable distribution of the various types of didactic activities throughout the week, and avoid excessive concentration and overlapping of types of delivery.

It would be advisable to monitor the progress of courses, including through interviews and questionnaires (without neglecting possible informal conversations, which can be useful in highlighting difficulties and problems) in order to gather suggestions which can be useful for readjusting and correcting the path of the programme.

Syllabus

The Faculty considers it particularly useful to adopt a syllabus for each course and to share these with the students through publication on the course platform and a presentation during the first classes.

The syllabus should set out the teaching methods chosen for each class, references to the teaching materials used, recommended study materials, and assessment methods to be used to check knowledge acquired.

The syllabus thus acts as a conceptual map and an organizational support for students who may not be physically present on campus and might therefore suffer from a lack of informal alignment that is normally experienced in the social and collaborative nature of a lecture room. The course programme can in no way replace the syllabus, which performs cognitive and detailed functions not found in the course programmes.

Assessment

Where possible, within the limits of the safety measures in force, assessment of knowledge and skills acquired should be carried out with face-to-face examinations.
In general, it is strongly advised to plan regular formative assessment, based on tests, assignments and mid-term examinations so that the results can be collected during the course. The programme coordinators must be informed of all activities planned in order to avoid excessive and unbalanced workloads.

The monitoring of exam results by the programme coordinators and tutors on the pass rate of exams is recommended in order to limit the drop-out risk.

Office hours

Personal communication between academic staff and their students will be encouraged, above all with presence on campus, but also through online contact. Particular attention should be paid to what has always been a point of quality for the Faculty: the publication of office hours schedules throughout the whole period of classes and exams, keeping appointments, providing opportunity for ad hoc discussion on the progress of the course and any difficulties encountered.

Professors’/instructors’ online pages and course pages on the Blackboard platform must be kept up to date and monitored constantly.

Professors/instructors are expected to answer students’ e-mails and requests for information promptly and fully.

Access to the campus

When access to the campus is limited, the Faculty will assess the access criteria in order to ensure equal opportunities for all students. 

Room capacity can be taken into account for each course, and physical presence will be encouraged for courses with small numbers of enrolments.

Welcome day - Open day - Graduation

The Faculty hopes to be able to organise a Welcome Day for all programmes and for all programme years, dividing participants into groups if necessary, so that students have the opportunity to have contact with the campus, and renew relations and social contacts with fellow students that will be useful throughout the academic year when there might not be many opportunities for being together on campus.
 

Coordinators of the various undergraduate Education programmes have already set out timetables for the first semester, which can be summarized in the following points:
  • The classes for the various courses will be held remotely in line with interactive teaching approaches, both via synchronous activities (online interactive lectures) and asynchronous activities (video recordings, also known as Talking Heads; audio content and commented slides).
     
  • Reception activities will take place for new and returning students during the week 28 September-3 October (and possibly the following one). Alongside the reception activities, video presentations of all courses will be made available by the courses professors/instructors.
     
  • End-of-semester meetings with students will take place during the week 14-19 December (if foreseen by the degree programme).

This approach is based on threefold reasoning. We wish to:

  • Ensure the uniformity of the courses to all students.
  • Maintain focus on the interactive nature of the teaching and learning activities through the integration of synchronous and asynchronous delivery.
  • Allow students to maintain physical contact with the university environment as far as possible, albeit very limited.

Description of welcoming and closing activities
Students can be welcomed and the semester can be closed either online or when physically present on campus in small groups. For degree programmes with scheduled face-to-face meetings, dates and times should be set down by 31 July. Delivery methods will subsequently be decided.

Other opportunities for meeting during the semester
On the campuses for the degree programmes where it is considered possible, it is best to keep in mind the possibility of providing in two weeks with established dates, small group seminars with students being physically present, held by professors/instructors as available. Small group 2-3 hour seminars led by two or three professors/instructors (to be repeated depending on number of students involved) could be envisaged for each year of the programme, which students could freely enrol on.

Feasible dates for these small group seminars:
26-10 October 2020
23-27 November 2020.

The degree programmes deciding to activate these small group seminars should set out dates by 31 July.
Other synchronous activities for the day or part of the day, selected for small group seminars will have to be suspended. 

Video presentation of classes
The University is upgrading tools for video recording of classes. It would therefore be good to outline a shared framework in each degree programme, and then wait until the of August and early September for delivering it.

Dear Students,

Classes for the first semester will be held via mixed delivery.

Classes on Mondays and Fridays will only be delivered remotely, with a set class timetable.

Classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (and in once case, Saturdays) will be delivered in dual mode: some students will be able to attend physically in the lecture room and others will be able to follow via live streaming. 

Course exams during the September 2020 exam session will still be held online via the Teams platform.

You will receive timely regular information via iCatt, the University app.

Prof. Stefano Solimano, Dean of the Faculty of Law

For the first semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the teaching activities for the Master's Degree Programme in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (category: LM-37 Modern European and American Languages and Literatures) will be delivered as described here. They are oriented towards reaching the programme objectives and support language learning, interaction between students and professors/instructors and interaction between students themselves. These modes of delivery come within the Digitally Augmented Education - #eCatt project and will make it possible for all students to participate in teaching/learning activities even when they are unable to physically attend lessons on campus. This will be carried out through the use the Blackboard platform in particular, and with the addition of other tools, e.g. Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex etc.
 

The Master's Degree Programme in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (LM-37) is offered through courses and practical sessions related to the various languages and specific courses related to the different tracks (Languages, Literatures and Cultures of Europe and America; Linguistic, Terminologies and Text Typologies Sciences; the Art and Industry of Narration - from Literature to Cinema and TV).

All courses and practical sessions will be conducted in line with the scheduled timetables, with priority given to interaction through synchronous delivery (with video-recordings being made of sessions/lectures). Scheduled times must also be adhered to for asynchronous delivery mode (video-recording only) which is to be understood as an exception to the normal mode of delivery.

Courses and practical language sessions, which involve special focus on interaction between teacher and students, will be delivered via dual mode (for no less than 40% of the programme hours) and online interactive lectures. Classes delivered via dual mode allow for limited numbers of students to be physically present in the lecture room, in line with current regulations on social distancing, and for the classes/practical sessions to be live-streamed. Online interactive lectures allow for students to attend synchronous classes remotely. For both modes of delivery, all synchronous classes and practical sessions will be recorded and then be accessible via the Blackboard platform.

With regard to specific courses related to the different tracks, modes of delivery will differ according to the specific content of the track. Dual delivery mode and online interactive lectures will be used depending on the course objectives. All classes will be recorded and be accessible via the Blackboard platform.

Social distancing will be enforced for students physically attending lessons on campus. There will be a limit to the number of students who can be in the lecture room at the same time so a shift system will be used. Students should use the dedicated app to reserve their place. 

Practical sessions not pertaining to languages and literatures courses will be delivered synchronously and remotely.

Until further regulations are issued, office hours, course exams, final exams, reception of newly enrolled students and placement tests will take place synchronously and remotely. 

Programme Coordinators
Maria Cristina Gatti and Amanda Clare Murphy

The class calendars for the undergraduate programmes in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery have been scheduled for teaching with students being physically present on campus with all preventive measures being taken in accordance with government guidelines. 
Details are as follows:

For first-year students and for students on years involving practical internships (Professional Trainings for fourth, fifth and sixth year) in healthcare situations, all classes of the programme can be attended physically present on campus with suitable social distancing.
For only second and third-year students, classes will be delivered both with students being physically present and remotely. Groups organised alphabetically may be formed and will alternate, possibly on a weekly basis.
 
Anyway, all classes can also be accessed via the dedicated online platform both live-streamed and asynchronously, even for students who may have difficulty entering Italy or accessing the campus due to Covid restrictions.

  1. Classes held in the microscope laboratory
    All students taking classes for professionalising experience undertaken in laboratories will be guaranteed the possibility of being physically present, and may be divided into smaller groups so that social distancing can be practised and classes will be more productive.
     
  2. Recording attendance
    Recording of attendance will be guaranteed both for course delivery with students physically present and for courses accessed remotely. The minimum total hour requirement for each course will remain unchanged. 

 
Should further measures be invoked by government authorities regarding the health emergency, remote teaching will be guaranteed in the same way as happened in the second semester of this academic year.

Underlying principles:
Given that a more detailed premise for what choices the Faculty intends to make can be found in the document entitled “20-21 Teaching Guidelines SMFN” ("Linee guida didattica 20-21 SMFN"), I would like to underline here the principle that to maintain the quality of the teaching in our Faculty, which by reputation is very high, there must be a point where the experience of academic staff, which it is important to recognize a leverage, the health-related constraints which may need to be applied, and students’ needs and expectations need to be balanced.

With regard to the subdivision into four pillars, our Faculty has left it up to the individual professors/instructors to decide on their own teaching method, certain that their decisions will result in the highest quality of delivery.

Although they are fully aware of the importance of physically attending courses, most professors/instructors will follow the methodology tried and tested in the semester just ended, using ‘talking heads’ (video-recorded lessons accessed asynchronously) or online interactive lectures, in some cases with the use of "Voice over presentation" mode. To these, however, weekly or twice-weekly "intensive meeting places" will be added with the aim of allowing for professor-student and student-student interaction. These "intensive meeting places" may take place both in dual mode and in remote synchronous connection.

Some classes will also be held in dual mode. The hope is that we will be able to have all attending student physically present on campus, so that interaction can be simplified, although classes will in any case be recorded. Issues such as classroom capacity, being able to reach the campus by public transport and other logistical constraints linked to the emergency situation will be critical.

Holding practical courses in the Physics field is a separate question. It is very important for students to be physically present for these courses (in compliance with the regulations), although it will always be possible to access them remotely should this be absolutely necessary.
 

How course exams will be held during the autumn exam session
Except for a couple of courses, the exams will take place remotely in the same way as for the semester just ended. The two exceptions regard courses for which there are few students with outstanding exams or which are expected to have very few enrolments for the exam dates in the next session.
 

How final exams will be held
Given the usual numbers of our Faculty, we expect to be able to hold final exams during the upcoming autumn session with students being physically present. This will obviously entail strict limits to the number of accompanying family members and friends and all necessary measures will be implemented to guarantee the social distancing required by current regulations.

Dear Students,

I am writing to you again, following the summer exam session and before the summer break, with information about the coming academic year. I include as recipients of this letter newly enrolled students and pre-enrolled students for 2020.2021, to whom I offer a personal welcome in advance of meeting you personally. 

These last months have been difficult for all of us. As students, you have had to adapt to new ways of delivering courses and exams and as professors, we have had to change our teaching tools at great speed. Above all we have been forced to abandon some of the features of academic life, which is normally made up of relationships between the people who take part in it, with all the personal contacts that entails and living this in a physical place. But as a result of the effort put in by everyone, university life has continued, although in a rather unusual manner.

Despite this, we hope that it will soon be possible to return to normality. To bring to mind the extraordinary charm of university life, a life which led many of us professors to lean towards joining the academic world, I would like to quote some words from a speech that Albert Einstein gave in December 1933 to the students at the University of Princeton, where he had recently settled after fleeing Nazi Germany.

“I am pleased to live amongst you young and happy people. If an old student may briefly give you some advice, it would be: Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your future work belongs.”

May these words be a warning and a wish for the future.

With regard to the coming months, I would like to update you on some points which will be explained in more detail by your programme coordinator(s), setting out in advance some details about the organisation of teaching activities for the next academic year, briefly set out in point 2.

 

1) Autumn session of course exams and final exams

The course exams in the autumn sessions will be carried out in one of the following ways:

  • with students taking part online, as happened for the summer session just concluded;
  • in mixed mode, with some students physically present in the lecture room and others who cannot get to the campus attending remotely.

Each professor/instructor will inform the relevant offices how their exam(s) will be held. Students can access iCatt to see a list of exams that will be held in mixed mode and when they enrol they will be able to indicate whether they wish to be physically present on campus for their exam of take it remotely.

For the September-October exam session, final examinations will most likely still be organised online, in line with the procedures used for the summer session; if the general conditions allow, LM (Master’s degree) final examinations will be held with students physically present, but only a limited number of family and friends will be allowed on campus. 

2) Teaching activities for the first semester of the coming academic year

All the programmes of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences will work to a teaching model for the first semester of the coming academic year which allows students to be physically present, whenever possible, for part of the teaching done on campus; other activities can be done remotely, with live-streamed classes and video recordings. Videos of all the classes, both via streaming and online, will be accessible via the Blackboard platform, together with support materials.  Constant interaction with the professors/instructors will be guaranteed during classes on campus, during live-streaming and during office hours (also available remotely).  Access on campus for classes and other services will be organised via a specific App built into the iCatt platform, so students will be guaranteed one or more face-to-face meetings a week, in line with applicable health and safety regulations.
The second semester of the academic year will be delivered in line with the regulations issued by the health authorities in force for the period, hopefully in ways that are as near as possible to normal.

3) Welcome Day and Welcome Back Day

Given the circumstances, the start of the new academic year will be a particularly delicate moment. For this reason, we have decided to organise welcome meetings dedicated not only, as is usual, to the newly enrolled undergraduate students, but also for students from all years of the undergraduate programmes. During these meetings, organised online, you will be given information and explanations regarding the general organisation of the teaching activities for the coming academic year, and for the courses that are about to start up. The timetable is as follows:

  1. for all new students on all undergraduate programmes there will be the traditional Welcome Day and this year it will be held online: the date will be announced shortly and will be put into the University calendar;
  2. for new students on the programmes delivered in English: Welcome Day will be held online as follows:
    • Communication Management - COMMA: 17/09 at 16.30 
    • International Relations and Global Affairs – IRGA: 18/09 at 10.00 
  3. for all other students on the undergraduate and graduate programmes the Faculty has organised a Welcome-back Day, online, in line with the calendar below:
Undergraduate programmes 2nd year 3rd year
Scienze politiche e delle relazioni internazionali - MI 14/09 at 17.00 15/09 ore 17.00
International Relations and Global Affairs - IRGA 18/09 at 11.30
Scienze politiche e delle relazioni internazionali - BS 17/09 at 15.00
Comunicazione e società 17/09 at 17.00
Scienze del servizio sociale - MI 16/09 at 16.30 15/09 at 16.30
Scienze del servizio sociale - MI 17/09 at 16.30 22/09 at 16.30
Sociologia 21/09 at 17.00

 

Master of Science programmes 1st year 2nd year
Politiche europee ed internazionali 15/09 at 17.30 16/09 at 17.30
Gestione del Lavoro e comunicazione per le organizzazioni - MI - Curriculum ERGOLABOS 17/09 at 17.30
Gestione del Lavoro e comunicazione per le organizzazioni - MI - Curriculum COR 15/09 at 17.00 22/09 at 17.00
Gestione del Lavoro e comunicazione per le organizzazioni - BS - Curriculum GEOR 05/10 at 15.30
Politiche per la cooperazione internazionale allo sviluppo 01/10 at 16.30 15/09 at 16.30
Lavoro sociale e servizi per le famiglie, i minori e le comunità 05/10 at 14.30 15/09 at 17.00
Politiche pubbliche 22/09 at 17.00

Students will receive a specific invitation nearer the date of the meeting.

I look forward to meeting you all soon and I wish you all a good summer break.

Guido Merzoni
Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences

Undergraduate degree in International Relations and Global Affairs

Dear IRGA Students,

For the first term of the next academic year (October-December 2020), all the Degree Courses of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences will adopt a didactic model that will allow students to attend lectures, classes and other didactic activities in presence or remotely on line (either on live streaming or through video-recorded lectures). 

The supporting teaching material (notes, slides, and other accompanying materials) will be made available through the Blackboard platform. Constant interaction with lecturers will be guaranteed during the lessons in presence or in live streaming, and also during office hours (in presence or online in compliance with the safety norms).

The IRGA lectures will take place mainly in presence in the classrooms (with the lectures being also streamed) and, for a minority of courses, only  online through live streaming or video-recorded lectures (there will also be a small number of lecturers who have organized their lecture as a mixed of lectures in class and  lectures online)  .

The face-to-face lessons will be scheduled from 10.30 until 16.30, to allow students to use public transports off peak hours. All lectures will be streamed for students who are at home and, in the following days, their recording will be made available on the Blackboard page of each course. 

Thanks to the new digital tools made available by the University, interaction will also be allowed to students who will attend lectures from their place through audiovisual mode or via chat.

Access to the venue for lessons and other University services will be regulated through a specific App integrated into the ICatt platform; each student will receive detailed information about the possibility of participating in the activities offered throughout the day on the basis of his/her belonging to a pre-defined group (for example, based on their surname initial). 

Access will be set on a daily basis, guaranteeing each student one or more presences during the week, depending on the expected health and safety conditions. There will also be the possibility of booking seats that were not claimed so to make attendance even more frequent.

In order to reduce, as far as possible, students’ transfer between buildings, all teaching activities of the same day will be concentrated in one or few classrooms.

Lessons that will be performed asynchronously (video-recorded) will also be made available on the course Blackboard page. Also for these lectures, frequent live moments will be guaranteed, with or without the presence of students in the classroom, especially for special focus and question and answer sessions.

Exams and Final Tests will take place in presence (if the general conditions will allow it), and/or remotely. Mixed formulas will also be possible, with some students present in the classroom with the teachers and other students - possibly unable to be present – remotely (special precautions will be put in place so to avoid any “strategic decisions” when choosing the exam modality). For at least the entire first half of the year, the possibility of taking the exams remotely will be guaranteed to those students who chose to stay at home for the first term.

If the limitations deriving from the health emergency persist for the second semester, the modalities identified here for the first semester will be extended to the entire academic year.

Through ICatt and your @icatt email, all students will be constantly updated on the evolution of teaching activities, hence make sure you constantly check them.

On September the 18th, a “Welcome Day” for freshmen (at 10.00 a.m. CET), and a “Welcome back day” for all other students (at 11.30 a.m. CET) is scheduled. Both events, which will be offered online, are designed to present the organizational and didactic methods in greater detail and to answer any students' questions.
 

Undergraduate degree in Communication Management

Dear student,
 
The School of Political and Social Sciences has decided the bachelor degree program in Communication Management’s classes will start on October 5th, 2020. Due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, the School will deliver the courses during the first term only online. The first-year class is mainly composed of international students, and it may be unlikely for most to be able to travel to Milan in the Fall.
The Professors of the program and myself as coordinator, together with Università Cattolica, will take all the necessary measures to start the program safely with in-person attendance by the second term. 

Nonetheless, we look forward to welcoming you as warmly and as soon as possible. This is why we will organize a webinar in September to introduce each other, with some hope that we will be able to meet in person in the Spring.
 
You may therefore make plans to travel to Milan from January 2021 or choose to arrange an accommodation in Fall 2020 if you are allowed to enter the Italian territory and if you wish to get familiar with the city and the Cattolica campus. In this last case, the professors and I will be glad to welcome you personally, according to the safety measures adopted at our Campus.

Looking forward to our new shared venture, I wish you a safe and happy summer.

Emanuela mora
Coordinator Comma Degree


The Dean’s communication to the students of the Faculty of Psychology


Dear Students,

As the second semester of the academic year comes to a close and as we are about to embark on our summer break, I address this message to you, one which looks at the past on the one hand and to the future on the other. 

Since last February, we have been living through an unusual experience which has led to a significant reorganization of the university activities with all the associated challenges this has brought, but also with some justification for satisfaction. We have been forced to make changes which have not only made us appreciate the potential of new methods of delivery of teaching, course exams, final exams, orientation activities and liaison with the profession, but also allowed us to become more aware of the value of face-to-face interactions. It was a period of learning for everyone involved and overall I believe we have come through it more enriched.

Whether you are reading this as someone who has just completed secondary school and are considering our university for your university studies, or have completed your university studies in another institution and are now thinking of enrolling in a master's degree programme at Università Cattolica, I imagine you will be able to see yourself reflected in these considerations even though you have undertaken your studies in the past few months somewhere else.

It is precisely what the semester just ended has taught us that has given us the impetus to organise the new academic year in way that confronts the uncertainties that we still have about what the health situation will be in the autumn by with an articulated plan that allows you to be able to plan your commitments in the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year. In fact, the calendar for the October to December period has already been published on the Faculty website, with the teaching activities for each year for the courses activated by the Faculty together with details of how they will be held. You will be able to find out right away which days of the week teaching activities are programmed with physical attendance on campus so that you can make your own decisions on e.g. accommodation in the city where courses are held if you live in a different area. 

In developing these calendars, we have had the foresight to concentrate the teaching activities requiring physical attendance on certain days of the week so as to reduce the number of trips needed to the course venue and to make the day spent on campus productive, by avoiding hours with no classes programmed. For each degree programme, part of the teaching activity is expected to be carried out with students physically on campus. The possibility of taking part in face-to-face activities will be balanced against the capacity of the classrooms, which will also be based on the relevant regulations on health protection. Should more students be expected to follow a specific course than can be accommodated, students will take turns to attend and will have to book their place in class.

Classes delivered with students physically present will also be live streamed so students can follow them from home, and they will also be videorecorded so that they can be seen at a different time. If you wish to follow the entire first semester remotely, for whatever reason, you may do so, aware of the value of the in-person attendance that you are giving up. The University has upgraded its tools for delivering remote teaching activities in recent months and this should allow for reliable connections with our students who decide on distance learning, assuming that their devices and internet connections are adequate. Office hours with professors/instructors will take place remotely. University services such as the library, study rooms and the bookshop will be open, with access limited in line with health and safety. 

Course exams for the autumn sessions will all be held remotely while exams for the December 2020-February 2021 session are expected to be held with students being physically present. Decisions will be taken for the final exams in September when the university starts up after the summer break. In any case, we have found that the thesis discussions and final exams conducted are still meaningful for the students and their family and friends.

For those planning to complete their studies in the coming months, we can guarantee the possibility of carrying out the post-graduate internship (and then the State Exam) in any situation you find yourself in since we have verified that it is possible, with good results, to carry them out remotely.

The Faculty is fully aware that it is inevitable that the restrictions which are likely to still be in force on travelling and on the possibility of meeting outside classes may lead to a weakening of the effects of the social and cultural aspects of attending the university. For this reason, initiatives are being developed to allow for remote interaction with the professors/instructors and between students on the topics you are interested in, so that apart from the semester being a period of attending classes, it will also allow for the opportunity to open your minds in a way which goes beyond what is offered via your courses. 

With all this in view – which will ensure that we will be able to have a fruitful semester whatever the outside circumstances – I offer my good wishes for a serene month of August, arriverderci to students returning in September, and a warm welcome to new students due to arrive for the new semester.  

Alessandro Antonietti

Undergraduate degree in Psychology

July 31, 2020


Dear incoming students, 

On behalf of the whole Faculty of Psychology, I want to welcome you to the Bachelor in Psychology at Università Cattolica. As you know, the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unpredictable, which means that we do not know whether there will be movement and gathering restrictions. In this situation of uncertainty, the first semester of your bachelor includes both in-person and online teachings. We are mindful of the fact that for some of you it may be hard to reach the campus, therefore the in-person activities will also be accessible through the internet. Our hope is that the second semester will be characterized by a full in-presence activity, should that be allowed by the health authorities. 

While most teachings will be done online, there will be in-person moments for each course, plus some multidisciplinary events that we are preparing. Moreover, the course of Cooperative Learning will be done in-person, with online connection for those who may not be able to reach the campus. As for extra-curricular activities, we are aware that the student community organizes informal events and gatherings. On the Faculty website, you can find a provisional calendar from October to December. 

This calendar has been designed to reduce the number of travels and the in-person activities will be all provided on the same day of the week (tentatively, Thursday). The in-person meetings will be safe and respectful of the guidelines provided by the health authorities in terms of available space and sanitization. As mentioned before, every in-person activity will also be online streamed, with the possibility for those at home to interact, ask questions, and make comments. The activity will be generally recorded and made available to the students. 

Students can decide, for any reason, to completely follow the courses with remote learning. Università Cattolica has further enhanced its IT infrastructure and the Faculty members are experienced with distant learning platforms, maintaining a high level of personal interactions with the students. In fact, the student evaluations for the previous semester, which has been managed completely through at-distance activities, were positive. 

Traditional office hours, when students can privately interact with the teacher, will be held remotely for the semester. Università Cattolica services such as the library, study rooms, etc., will be open, with limited access according to the health authority guidelines. The exams of the Dec 2020 – Feb 2021 session are expected to be conducted in-person. 

The Faculty is aware that the restrictions, which are expected to remain and include movement and gathering limitations, can be detrimental to the social and cultural experience that is part of the student’s journey. For this reason, we are discussing some new initiatives that encourage the interaction between students and Faculty members on relevant topics. Through these ideas, we hope that the first semester will not only be characterized by the simple fruition of the teachings, but also a chance to develop an open-minded attitude, which goes beyond the mere contents of the teachings. 

Despite the challenging times that we are all living, we are looking forward to providing a stimulating and engaging learning environment, which will allow you to reach a successful learning experience during the next semester. Meanwhile, I wish you all a nice and relaxed holiday season and I look forward to welcoming you, more directly, in September.

 
Professor Alessandro Antonietti
Dean at the Faculty of Psychology