Universiteit Leiden

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Education, Organisation

Teaching in labs and 1.5 meter distance

26 August 2020

As a lab instructor, it is difficult to give students general lab instructions to comply with COVID-19 precautions. There are many different situations, each with their own solution. But there are also some general guidelines, which are listed in this overview. Choose the suggestions that best fit the situation.

Basic rules for students and supervisors, also during the practical course.

  • If you have mild complaints related to corona, or have recently been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home and get tested. Stay in quarantine at home until the results of the test are available.
  • Don't come back to the lab until you have tested negative and/or have no complaints.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from students and other supervisors at all times.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • Cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow.
  • Use paper tissues and throw them away immediately.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water (at least 6 times a working day).

Preparation of the practical course

  • It starts with a good preparation: let the students study the syllabus or work protocol well in advance.
  • If possible, make an instructional video that the students can watch before the practicum, otherwise remind the students of the preparation in the syllabus.
  • Share with the students the work protocol and safety rules of the lab.
  • Prepare with the students a Task Risk Analysis as a preliminary discussion of the experiment.

During the practical course

  • Points of attention: let the students stay in their own seats as much as possible. This prevents them from walking around.
  • During the experiment you can use technical solutions to keep your distance from each other. For example, a monitor and camera on a 2-meter cable on one side, and the lab instructor on the laptop for instructions on 2 meters on the other side.
  • Another option is that one student per group of four actually performs the action. For the other three students, a digital lab will be created in Labbuddy. By using videos and questions, students always have to think about the next step.
  • Procedure for explaining within 1.5 meters: student steps aside and supervisor performs action. Discuss this procedure with the students before you start.
  • If intervention is necessary, a faceshield is a practical solution for the lab instructor. A barrier will be created between student and instructor for a short period of time where the 1.5 meter can be exceeded. However, an faceshield is not meant to get closer to the student or other employees (within the 1.5 meter).
  • Make sure that the student leaves the lab workplace clean and tidy.
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