The shared teaching portfolio varies from small group teaching rooms to large lecture theatres holding over 500 students in normal circumstances. In classrooms and lecture theatres under the remit of UCD Estate Services, work has taken place to establish the occupancy limits based on 2 m social distancing where possible and 1m spacing where necessary. This will be managed through a number of methods:
The maximum number of people allowed in a teaching space will be in accordance with the prevailing public health guidance (currently 50 people) and this may change in accordance with the evolving COVID-19 situation nationally. Any changes will be communicated through the appropriate University channels.
There is no maximum duration of a teaching session (for example a laboratory practical) from an Infection Protection Control perspective. However, if people spend 2 hours or more in a shared space together, they may (following a risk assessment) be regarded by the HSE as COVID-19 contacts, in the event that an individual present in that space is subsequently identified as a case. In such scenarios the University will follow the advice received from the HSE.
The shared teaching portfolio varies from small group teaching rooms to large lecture theatres holding over 500 students in normal circumstances. In classrooms and lecture theatres under the remit of UCD Estate Services, work has taken place to establish the occupancy limits based on 2m social distancing where possible and 1m spacing where necessary. This will be managed through a number of methods:
Signage at the classroom entry will note the following:
- Capacity at 1m and 2m physical distancing.
- A request not to move any flexible furniture from its set position.
- That when entering the room, seats should be occupied in sequence beginning at the furthest point from the entrance, at 2m distancing in the first instance and thereafter at 1m.
- To sit at chairs that have been highlighted for use
- That face coverings are mandatory for all teaching and learning events
- A reminder to individuals to sanitise their workspace before use
If there are multiple entry/exit doors to a classroom, doors will be designated for use as entry or exit only with signage to this effect.
Current guidelines permit 1m physical distancing between students in lectures, tutorials, practical classes, and other teaching activities, in conjunction with the use of face coverings.
Each teaching space has been measured and new occupancies have been allocated for physical distancing, the rooms have been set up to accommodate students at a minimum of 1m physical distancing but should be occupied first at 2m or more physical distancing where possible.
In non-teaching scenarios, staff to staff and staff to student interactions should be at a 2m social distance. In class and other teaching environments, staff will be positioned at least 2m from students.
Physical distancing measurements carried out to date at UCD between people at 1m and 2m have used a “nose-to-nose” or “centre-to-centre” methodology. This is because the disease is primarily transmitted from infected people to others who are in close contact through respiratory droplets from the respiratory tract, along with direct contact with infected persons, or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.
All teaching spaces have been measured for social distancing and chairs available for use have been highlighted with a green sign:
For fixed seating in lecture theatres, available chairs will be clearly marked.
For moveable seating such as journalist’s chairs / tables and chairs, classrooms have been configured under physical distancing rules to have the correct number of chairs set out in each location and marked appropriately. Any excess chairs will be neatly stacked in the corner of the room or removed. Users of room are asked to please refrain from moving flexible furniture from its set position. If a chair has been moved by a previous occupant, the user is asked to return the seat to its correct position as designated by the marking before sitting.
When entering the room all students are asked to occupy the available seats beginning at the furthest point from the entrance. All seats will be individually numbered to allow students to keep a record of their seat number for physical distancing and contact tracing purposes.
There will be an enhanced cleaning regime in place whereby student and teaching desk surfaces will be centrally cleaned twice daily, once in the morning and once later in the day. During the day, between these times, users of the space are requested to wipe down surfaces with the materials provided in the teaching space. Please note that waste generated by materials used in protecting against the spread of COVID-19, such as wipes and disposable masks, can be disposed of in the General Waste bin.
A two-way “keep to the left” system will be in operation throughout the walkways within the University. When approaching the entry point to the teaching space, be mindful that it may be necessary to wait outside the space to allow other students vacate. When waiting outside the teaching space form a que, maintain social distancing, and try not infringing on others in the area.
All doors into teaching spaces have information signage erected to guide users of entry and exit points, room capacities and best practices. Please follow the signage.
In some instances, exit doors must be used for wheelchair access. For those situations, the following signage will be present on the door.
For rooms with multiple doors there will be clearly designated entries and exits using the following signage.
Once you have entered the teaching space, begin to occupy the seating furthest away from the entry point.
All seats will be numbered, and signage will be present which will indicate which chairs can be occupied and their configuration within the space in order to maintain social distancing. Where possible try to maintain a distance of 2m from the closet occupied seat.
Allow students closest to the exit to vacate the area first. This will ensure physical distancing can be maintained throughout the exiting process. Fire exits should not be used unless they are indicated with signage as an exit routes for the space. Once you have exited the room follow the floor signage and keep left.
Sanitise touchpoints on the teaching lectern using the cleaning materials provided. Touchpoints may Include:
- Light switches
- AV equipment
- PC and PC equipment
- Work surfaces
Ensure all windows are open. Some rooms are passively ventilated teaching spaces, they are ventilated by opening windows. Windows will be opened in the morning and closed in the evening by Estates Services as part of the management of the shared teaching spaces. Windows should be opened (if found closed) when entering the room.
This is not a requirement of lecturers; however it would be appreciated if you could read the following at the start and conclusion of your lecture if you have time.
To be read out at beginning of every class:
- Please ensure your COVID tracker is working and that your Bluetooth is turned on.
- Please wear a face covering.
- Please make a note of your seat number, room, date and time on your phones or in your diaries.
Maintain two metres distance from the first row of occupied seats. The floor has been marked to indicate the distance.
A face covering should be used if teaching less than two metres from the first row of occupied seats.
Advise students to leave their seats and exit in sequence beginning at the nearest point to the exit door. Sanitise touchpoints on the teaching lectern using the cleaning materials provided.
In the event that a staff member, or student present with symptoms of the virus while present in a classroom, the University Emergency Line, 7999 should be used to inform Campus Services. The Duty Manager team have procedures in place to manage such scenarios.
Any persons, staff or student, who tests positive for COVID-19 is asked to contact the Emergency Line on ext. 7999 / 01 716 7999 and report their status. This is in order to allow the university to begin the process of gathering information about their close contacts whilst on campus which can then be provided to the HSE.