Teaching Planning Principles 2022/23

For the last two years, the University has developed planning principles to help guide teaching planning and teaching timetabling activity.  The principles have evolved as the external guidance from Scottish Government has altered.  For 2022-23, we will be working within a Scottish Government framework that will align Higher Education with other sectors. This is different to the previous two years where there were often notable differences.  ​​

Consistent with that framework, the principles for 2022-23 reflect changed expectations of the use of face coverings, the removal of a specific upper limit on class sizes, and the adoption of public health measures that are consistent with other settings.  With that though, remains the need for flexibility in the event of future outbreaks or new variants such that face coverings could become mandatory and some other limitations (e.g. on larger gatherings) could be put in place.  Please be assured that wording in relation to face coverings both when seated in classes and when moving around, will be updated if required in advance of Semester 1 to ensure consistency with wider University public health measures and messaging at the time.  

The principles are being shared now to inform and align with the beginning of timetabling process and Planning for Teaching 2022-23 on how they can be interpreted in light of the L&T strategy has been shared with learning and teaching leads, and timetablers.

We are currently building a FAQ section to support colleagues. In the meantime if there is a question that you would like help with, please contact us. ​

Teaching Planning Principles 2022/23

  • The upper limit of 150 on large classes no longer applies.  There will not be a specific upper limit although pre-pandemic teaching space capacities will also no longer apply – they will be reduced due to the measures outlined below. 
  • CO2 monitoring will continue, and capacities in teaching spaces will not exceed any limits determined by a ventilation assessment.
  • Capacities in teaching spaces will be set based on collaborative-learning norms of 2sqm/person (min) except in fixed-seat lecture theatres. This allows more space per student than traditional capacities would allow. This additional space both enables more scope for collaborative opportunities and provides ongoing comfort for students and staff around class sizes amidst the ongoing pandemic situation.   Face coverings will not be required but can continue to be used at individuals’ discretion.
  • Colleagues whose courses are evolving towards more active learning experiences and seeking to alter traditional teaching norms/patterns of use, will be given priority in the allocation of collaborative teaching spaces.
  • Fixed-seat lecture theatres will be roomed to 80% capacity to allow for some additional circulation space[1].  Although reduced capacity is not required, it is thought to be a helpful measure in easing a transition for students and staff into larger class settings and allows some opportunity for vulnerable students to maintain distance from others. Face coverings will not be required but can continue to be used at individuals’ discretion.
  • Laboratory teaching planning can proceed as it did pre-pandemic given additional circulation space typically already available in a lab setting, whilst incorporating new approaches and lessons learned during the pandemic that enhanced lab-based teaching. Face coverings will not be required but can continue to be used at individuals’ discretion where PPE or other protective equipment is not otherwise required.
  • Wholly online teaching is not expected as a pandemic contingency unless there is a future lockdown.  Some online support for late arriving students will be in place on pre-agreed programmes as an interim measure. This need not be equivalent to the on-campus experience but should be sufficient to support them to achieve the ILOs during the period that they are reliant on this online support. For other UG and PGT programmes, registration, enrolment and arrival dates will revert to the normal calendar dates. 
  • Planning for exams will assume a mixed-diet of online and on-campus exams with the criteria for on-campus exams continuing to evolve. 

[1] It may be that in some spaces, alternatives such as a linked, over-flow room would be possible thereby avoiding automatically having to double teach every session.