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Infos for the winter semester 21/22 for teachers

In-Person Teaching during the Winter Semester 2021/22 in the Department of Political and Social Sciences

 Status as of September 22, 2021

Dear Lecturers,

With this letter we would like to prepare you as best as possible for the upcoming Winter Semester 2021/22. This coming semester will be a transitional semester, which should, however, be marked by the resumption of in-person classes wherever possible.

 These rules are based on the regulations at the FU Berlin, which can be found on the FU’s info page.

 Preparation for the winter semester:

  • As an instructor, you are not required to teach within a specific format. Whether in-person, digital, or hybrid—you decide which format you’ll use and in what combination, if any.
  • Classrooms will have their regular, full number of seats. You decide and are responsible for whether or not minimum spacing between individuals should be observed in your course—and thus (depending on the size of the room and the number of participants) also whether your course will be entirely in-person with all students, whether only one group can attend in-person per session, or whether you choose a hybrid format.
  • Please inform the Lehrplanungen of your institute in what format you’ll offer your courses by September 30, 2021 at the latest. Please also make this clear in the annotated course catalog, so that students are informed with sufficient time before the registration period.
  • You do not have to create a hygiene concept if you choose in-person instruction. The departmental administration has a central hygiene concept for the teaching rooms of our department.
  • Please consider providing digital access to the first session of in-person courses (or holding them entirely online, or in hybrid format) in order to hear from students how realistic planning a course entirely in person is in the first place. Students may not have moved back to Berlin yet; there may also be other reasons keeping them from attending in-person.
  • Students are not entitled to a parallel digital offering or a hybrid teaching format. However, it is desired that you accommodate students who, for various reasons, are not yet able to return to in-person courses (e.g. chronic illness/disability, supervision of children in quarantine, etc.). The department has purchased sufficient equipment to broadcast courses via the so-called Owls.
  • Students may not be able to attend regularly due to their situation (e.g. child in quarantine, etc.). In order to enable such students to participate nevertheless, you can arrange substitute performances for the proof of active participation (see RSPO § 9 (4)).

Rules for in-person teaching

  • As an instructor, you are responsible for observing the hygiene rules during your course. We assume that all participants will adhere to the rules. If this is not the case, persons can be excluded from the course or the course can be cancelled and continued digitally. However, we rely on communication here and are sure that we will find ways to work around such situations.
  • Please acquaint students with the following rules in the first session, if necessary as a pinned post on Blackboard, and repeat them as necessary throughout the semester. It is crucial that everyone is aware of the rules and agrees to the terms of attendance.
  • Masks are mandatory for all, including at one’s seat. If you teach a hybrid course or have been assigned a room that maintains the minimum distance of 1.5 m, wearing a medical mask is sufficient. Without the minimum spacing between participants, an FFP2 mask is required.
  • The “3G” rule applies at the Freie Universität. You can take responsibility for checking compliance with the 3G rule (either randomly or completely), but you do not have to do so. The FU relies on mutual trust.
  • Contact tracing is organized with the application a.nwesen.de. All attendees scan the posted QR code upon entering the room. This applies to every session.
  • If you have students from countries that have not been vaccinated in their countries of origin or have received a vaccine that is not approved in Germany, there is information here about vaccination options.

 Hybrid courses

  • In the case of camera-supported in-person seminars, a consent form must be obtained from all participants for data protection reasons. The appropriate form can be found on the department’s website. A person who does not give his/her consent may not be expelled from the room. We are sure that ways will be found to conduct hybrid courses even if individuals do not consent to being recorded. Preliminary discussion should be had in the first session on how to deal with this; measures like searching for a blind spot or putting up a moveable wall can both be possibilities to reach a consensus.

 Positive test results

  • A positive test result from a student in one of your courses must be reported to the administrative management or the dean’s office in order to identify and inform possible contact persons. Please use this email address for this purpose, indicating the name, course, date of last session, and room of the event: covid-pandemie@polsoz.fu-berlin.de. We will then contact you with additional procedures.


  • Examinations can be conducted either in person or in “distant” examination formats (often online). The decision as to the type of examination is the responsibility of the lecturer(s) or the department(s) responsible for the course.
  • For both in-person and distant examination formats, previous regulations (laid out in the relevant key points paper) remain unchanged.
  • Under the current circumstances, students will continue to participate in exams on a voluntary basis. Students will not be subject to disadvantages in the event of non-participation.

The dean’s office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences is relying on this basic principle for the Winter Semester 2021/22: Courses are a social space. This means that everyone shows consideration for each other, abides by the rules, and relies on trust a communication. This information, as well as other information that may not be able to be addressed at this time, can be found on the pandemic page of the department. We will also create an FAQ page where we will try to answer new questions from you and students.


Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

The Office of the Department of Political and Social Sciences

Prof. Dr. Maria Löblich

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