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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Staff Updates

Latest updates for DkIT Staff on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

This page was last reviewed and updated at 18:30 GMT on Friday 8th May 2020.

Following the Government’s recent announcement, we can confirm that the Institute’s campus closure will extend until Monday 18th May 2020 and all existing measures will remain in place until further notice. This conforms with national measures previously announced and the revised measures announced yesterday by the Government and An Taoiseach. 

This is a rapidly evolving situation and our Task Force continues to meet (in a virtual capacity) to resolve issues as they arise. We will publish more details on the implications of this extension for students and staff later this week.

We understand that you will have questions and we will endeavour to answer these over the coming days through our communications. In the meantime, please feel free to send your questions to covidenquiries@dkit.ie and we encourage you to remain in regular contact with your lecturers and colleagues. 

At this time, we would like to re-emphasise that the health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains of the utmost importance to the Institute.

  • We remind you to continue to follow the HSE guidelines to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection, particularly in relation to social distancing.
  • Please take note of the new measures on physical distancing (see here) that have been introduced by the Government from midnight last night in an effort to flatten the curve of this virus. 
  • We also encourage you to take proactive steps to mind your mental health at this challenging time.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the fantastic effort that our entire DkIT community has made in keeping things going while also keeping apart. It is important that we do not lose momentum at this vital time.  

For all specific questions related to the campus closure, please contact your line manager or directly email covidenquiries@dkit.ie.

DkIT Supporting HSE COVID-19 National Response Effort

You  might also have seen recent reports that the Institute has been working with the HSE to develop a ‘drive-thru COVID-19 testing site’ on the grounds of our campus. We can confirm that this facility is now operational and is fully managed by the HSE. The sampling service is being provided on an appointment-only basis and only those who are displaying symptoms and have been referred by their GP will be seen. View full article here. 

We would also like to commend the swift action of our School of Health & Science, DkIT Estates, caretaking and housekeeping team for coordinating with the HSE and helping to establish plans under short notice.

The Institute in currently in discussions with the HSE around other areas that it may be able to support their national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will provide further details on these as plans are confirmed.

DkIT Community Response

DkIT is assisting Louth Volunteer Centre to recruit personnel from DkIT staff that may have relevant skills to support specialised COVID-19-related volunteer opportunities. These specialised volunteer opportunities are listed on our new DkIT Community Response Portal where you can register your interest.

Remote Teaching and Learning Model

As per our communications last week, we have advised students that commencing Monday 23rd March 2020, teaching will resume through remote means (where possible).

We have advised students that remote teaching will take place via a variety of methods and have requested their patience in this regards.

Where possible we have asked lecturers to follow the existing Academic Calendar timetabling. Where significant changes apply, we recommend that lecturers communicate directly with their students.

Students have been reminded to check their emails and Moodle regularly for the latest resources and communications relating to their modules.

Staff are reminded to revisit the Online Teaching Supports section of the Information Portal for the latest tutorials that have been created by CELT. If you have specific questions or require further support please contact Gerry Gallagher or Moira Maguire.

 

Assessments & Examinations

At a meeting on 27th March 2020, the DkIT Academic Council approved the following contingencies regarding assessment in light of the COVID-19 emergency:

  • DkIT seeks to maintain academic integrity, provide assessment for our students to enable as far as possible timely completion of final awards, and provide the flexibility that will be required during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable all of our students to either progress to their next academic year or enable graduation as appropriate.
  • All final examinations arranged on campus at the institutional level for May 2020 will no longer go ahead.
  • Alternative assessments will be developed where feasible to replace final examinations on campus due to take place in May 2020. These assessments must meet the programme learning outcomes and assessment element balance as validated.
  • Any assessments, planned or scheduled, up to the end of June 2020, will not take place in a face-to-face format.
  • All continuous assessment due for completion between now and the end of 22nd May 2020 (unless normally scheduled later) will continue to be offered via a remote option where feasible.
  • A process will be developed in order to satisfy quality assurance requirements for the alternative assessments.
  • Each school will provide a record of the alternative assessments to the Registrar’s Office

Further information on how this will operated at School level will be communicated to you by your Head of Department/Head Of School.

Latest Update: Friday 3rd April 2020:

Following last week’s update in relation to Examinations & Assessment, academic staff across the Institute have been busy developing alternative assessments where feasible to replace the final examinations on campus.

To support this process, a Standing Committee of Academic Council has agreed upon a set of guiding principles. These include: validityfairnessacademic integrity and proportionality. This means that the programme teams are working to ensure that students are not disadvantaged while also preserving integrity of their degree qualifications. 

Each of the four Academic Schools have prepared individual statements for students to update them on the current state of play for Assessments and Examinations within the respective Schools. Please see statements below: 

School of Business & Humanities:

  • Final on site examinations that were scheduled to take in May are being replaced with Alternative Assessments where feasible.
  • Details of the format of these Alternative Assessments, which will commence in the week of 11th May and conclude by May 22nd (inclusive)  are currently being finalised and students are advised to monitor their email and Moodle for further details from the School.

School of Engineering:

  • The School of Engineering has agreed that all Lecturers will communicate to their students concerning the form of the alternative assessment for their module(s) by Tuesday April 7th.
  • Alternative assessment schedules will be issued as soon as practicable thereafter.
  • Students are also advised to monitor their email as any alterations to alternative assessments,  notification of alternative assessment schedules and any subsequent changes to arrangements for scheduling  will be notified to them by email.

School of Health & Science:

  • The School has replaced all final examinations due to take place in May with alternative assessments. 
  • Programme Boards have prepared alternative assessment schedules including the dates on which the actual assessments will be provided to students.
  • The submission dates for the revised alternative assessments has been set by the lecturers for each module and can be expected to be in the period up to and including the 22nd May. Guidelines are also being prepared for students relating to these alternative assessments.
  • The updated schedules for the Department of Nursing Midwifery & Early Years will be sent to students by the 3rd April.
  • The schedules for the Department of Life & Health Sciences and Department of Agriculture Food and Animal Health shall be sent to students early next week. Students should continue to engage with Moodle for module/programme specific updates.

School of Informatics & Creative Arts:

  • All continuous assessment schedules have been reviewed and revised, where appropriate, with deadlines amended or tasks altered to reflect the difficulties students may encounter during this period of crisis.  These continuous assessment schedules are in the process of being issued.
  • Additionally, final examinations will be replaced (in most instances) with Alternative Assessments.  Details of the format of these Alternative Assessments (which will commence in the week of 11th May) are currently being finalised and students are advised to monitor their email and Moodle for further details.

 

Safe Work Practice: Temporarily Working From Home (COVID-19)

The DkIT Health & Safety Coordinator has provided guidance in the form of a Safe Work Practice Sheet (SWPS) with associated Risk Assessment (RA) for employees who are temporarily working  from home. All staff are encouraged to read through this document carefully and make necessary adjustments as advised. Click here to view document.

 

Online Teaching Supports

For staff who will be using Moodle to move more of their teaching activities online, CELT has developed a module, Learning with Moodle, which should be available to all staff after logging into Moodle.

This module which is available at https://2020-moodle.dkit.ie/course/view.php?id=984, contains instructions and resources relating to a small number of key features of Moodle which can be used in the coming weeks.

This module will be updated on an ongoing basis in response to the needs of students and staff. If you have specific questions or require further support please contact Gerry Gallagher on Gerry.gallagher@dkit.ie or Moira Maguire moira.maguire@dkit.ie.

 

Access to Campus

    • Following the latest announcement by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, TD we can confirm that the campus will remain closed to students and staff until 18th May 2020.

      We are aware that some staff may have urgent requests to visit the campus to collect materials relating to assessments etc. If you are in this position, you are reminded to inform your line manager directly who will liaise with their School/Functional Areas lead (unless already done so). Further updates will be provided in due course.

 

Finance Team Updates

Finance processes are continuing to work albeit at a limited capacity at present.

Purchase Orders/Supplier payments:

  • If staff are aware of goods having been received but not GRN'ed, can they please let procurement@dkit.ie know via email immediately.
  • If staff are sent invoices directly from suppliers, can they please forward all invoices to both procurement@dkit.ie and accounts.payable@dkit.ie.
  • Can all budget holders please ensure they approve POs immediately.
  • Where POs need to be raised for essential purchases only, can you please send the Excel Requisition form to  procurement@dkit.ie.

Payroll:

  • Salaries have been processed up to the 21st May pay-run.
  • All Part-time academic staff and LLL staff will continue to be paid during the period of the campus closure.

Agresso:

  • All staff who require access to Agresso via Citrix should raise a ticket via the IT Helpdesk Ticketing Service.

Petty Cash:

  • The petty cash limit has been increased to €100 in light of the current working arrangements. Expenses must be pre-approved by your line manager. Please retain all receipts which can be submitted via ESS once the system re-opens. Travel & Sub will be next processed in the June pay-run.

Flights:

  • Please cancel all foreign travel and flights if this has not already been completed. Some airlines are offering vouchers to the staff member travelling as a refund rather than the Institute being refunded directly.
  • Where possible we are asking staff to avail of this voucher option and subsequently to inform Accounts Payable of same and we will provide details how this can be refunded to DKIT from the staff members at a later date.

HR Team Updates

This week, The Minister for Education & Skills issued a circular to all IoTs and Universities with information relating to regulations and procedures regarding the special arrangements to cater for COVID-19 for staff employed in approved posts funded by monies provided by the Oireachtas. All staff are encouraged to read this circular carefully here: https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0022_2020.pdf

In the situation that staff or their dependents are advised to enter self-isolation or become ill over the coming weeks they are asked (where possible) to follow the standard reporting procedure:

  • Please inform your Line Manager of your situation as soon as possible. Your Line Manager will in-turn inform HR.
  • Where possible you will be asked to provide medical certification via remote means.

The Employee Assistance Programme is still available to staff at this time. For more information please visit here. Or contact HR directly via email (HR@dkit.ie).

IT Support

Computer Services Helpdesk

  • If you are having password difficulties or problems connecting to your Moodle, Institute email or OneDrive please raise a ticket on the IT helpdesk at https://helpdesk.dkit.ie If unable to raise a ticket then send an email to Helpdesk@dkit.ie with your problem/request. When raising a ticket or emailing please include your contact details and as much problem detail as possible to assist IT technical support team in responding and resolving. 

OneDrive

  • In the current environment of remote teaching and home working OneDrive is a useful storage utility for saving File & Folders in the cloud and sharing with classmates and colleagues. All staff and students in DkIT have a OneDrive with 1TB of secure storage space accessible using the url: http://Onedrive.dkit.ie. Your Onedrive is backed up in the cloud and files are recoverable for up to 30 days. 
  • There are many ways you can share files and folders using OneDrive. When sharing please be conscious of how you are sharing your files and folders and review access management on a regular basis. 
  • Another feature is the OneDrive Sync utility. This utility allows you to synchronise files to/from your OneDrive. Select the files and folders you wish to synchronise carefully otherwise you could have all your Onedrive data (up to 1 TB) syncing to your local hard drive and vice versa.

File Transfer

  • FileSender (https://www.heanet.ie/services/hosting/filesender) is a free and secure way to share large files with anyone. It works through your web browser to send a file to any email address. FileSender can securely send files of up to 500 GB. This considerable sending power allows users to transfer large files with ease. Files sent by FileSender are available for download for up to 30 days after sending. Files can be downloaded an unlimited amount of times over this period.

Discounts

  • Please be aware of the HEAnet Store https://www.heanet.ie/store where you can find discounts on a range of products and services brought to students and staff by HEAnet on behalf of the Irish Higher Education & Research Community.

QuickLinks

*In all cases above you authenticate using your DKIT username & password.

Working from Home

The DkIT campus will remain closed to staff and students until the Monday 30th March 2020. Only essential staff will be allowed access. During this period, staff are asked (where possible) to work remotely.

Please find detail on the DkIT Policy for Working Remotely during COVID-19.

During the period of campus closure, staff are asked to check their emails regularly and respond to enquiries from students and colleagues, where possible.

If you have any questions about working from home, please contact your Line Manager.

Health & Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of our staff and students remains our highest priority at this time and we hope that you and your family are well. We encourage you all to continue following trusted HSE guidelines on issues relating to self-protection, hand hygiene and social distancing.

Collectively we all have a responsibility to help ‘flatten the curve’ and reduce the spread of this infection by taking the necessary precautions.

Health & Wellbeing Tips from the HSE:

The HSE and public health representative have publish a series of articles related to health & wellbeing, stress management, parental support and physical movement which might be useful to you at this time.

Dealing With Anxiety

We understand that this is a stressful time for staff particularly given the uncertainty surrounding the situation.

The DkIT Counselling team has provided a useful factsheet for students and staff with some useful tips around managing your mental health at this time. Please view here.

Point of Contacts

During this period of closure, staff are encouraged to maintain contact with their colleagues and Line Managers, where possible. If you encounter any difficulties, please inform your Line Manager.