Wittenborg Open and Ready for Classes with New Virtual Tour of Facilities
Curious about how classrooms at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will actually look like once the new academic year starts in September? Students and prospective students got a virtual behind-the-scenes tour with Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall, who showed off the safety precautions installed in classrooms and other facilities at the campuses in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam now that the Dutch government has given the go-ahead for institutions of higher education to start in-person classes again.
One of the big changes is that classrooms in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam have been planned in such a way that there is enough room for students to keep a safe distance from each other and from the lecturer. Wittenborg's most recent graduates already experienced what this is like at the 2020 Summer Graduation Ceremony this month where they were seated at least 1.5 m away from each other, all wearing face masks.
"We have very clear regulations on hygiene," Birdsall states in the video as he points out the signs put up all over the building that remind students to observe social distancing, wash hands regularly, sneeze or cough in elbows and not to shake hands with others. Also, only two people are allowed to use the elevator at one time.
"The way it is going to work in September in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam is that our students and teachers will be online with Microsoft Teams and in Wittenborg's virtual learning environment - but in the classroom. This means that even students who cannot attend classes, can still follow the lessons online." Before the outbreak of COVID-19 Wittenborg had a strict physical attendance policy. This will now be dropped.
The Executive at Wittenborg released a plan detailing its return to class-based education after moving online in March due to COVID-19. All lessons will be run on location and students are required to attend with laptops or tablets. Wittenborg is investing heavily in online databases of journals and books, and successfully extending its ICT infrastructure to facilitate online delivery. "These investments will help make our education provision in the future even better," Birdsall says.