Aug 19, 2021

History Department to Hold Some Classes of Under 20 Students Online

All modules for third and fourth year students will feature at least some in person teaching.

Emma TaggartDeputy Editor
Sinéad Baker for The University Times

Trinity’s history department will hold some classes of under 20 students online due lack of adequate space.

Each School in Trinity has been assigned specific classrooms to carry out in-person teaching. The lack of rooms means that some classes of between 12 to 18 students will be carried out online.

In an email statement to The University Times, Prof Ruth Karras, the head of the history department said: “The Department of History will have to hold some class meetings online because of lack of space. Each School has been allocated specific classrooms and with distancing there are simply not enough rooms that will hold 12-18 students.”


“We can timetable the classes only at certain times because of the TEP ‘pillar’ structure (so they will be available to students doing TJH).”

Karras stated that for third and fourth year students all modules would have at least some in person teaching.

“No JS or SS History module will be taught entirely online. If they meet twice a week one of those two meetings will be in person, and if they meet every week then every alternate week will be in person.”

“Modules that meet every fortnight will be in person. If a module is showing up on someone’s timetable with a different pattern than this, it is a computer glitch that will be ironed out”, Karras added.

In an email to staff and students last week, Chief Operating Officer Orla Cunningham and Director of College Health David McGrath said: “When term starts on 13 September (or 27 September for first years), students are permitted on campus for any timetabled (in-person) events that they are involved in.”

“Large lectures above 150 will continue to be online. For lectures between 50 and 150 Schools have discretion as to whether they should be in-person or online. Students who have no timetabled in-person events on a given day will be requested not to attend the campus to manage overall campus capacity”, they said.

The email did not say how long large lectures would continue to take place virtually.

“Guidance for Orientation Weeks will be finalised and issued once the Public Health Guidelines for that period have been issued by government.”

“Trinity is preparing for a return to campus with increased on-site activity and in-person teaching in line with the Discretionary Framework A Safe Return to On-Site Further and Higher Education and Research which the Higher Education sector agreed with government. The Framework’s clear intention is for a ‘predominately on-site learning experience for students and learners’ for the year 2021/22”, the email added.

In an Instagram Live Q and A with Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Leah Keogh, the provost said that College was waiting for the government to issue guidelines on what kind of in-person activities will be allowed to take place in the coming academic year.

“We will still have, for the moment, big lectures online, but we’ve signed a pact with all of the universities and institutions in Ireland, about the safe return to on campus education, and it will be the case that everyone will have some in person experience”, she said.

Students will not have the option to dial into lectures remotely if they are taking place in person, Doyle added, but provisions will be made on a case-by-case basis for students who cannot attend physical classes.

Lecturers are being encouraged to record in-person lectures so “everyone can have access to it”, but it’s not the case that you can say: “Okay I want to do this one in person I want to do this one online”, she said.

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