Student guidelines for my online lectures


Added during Semester 1, 2020/21

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Dear students,

I feel sorry that due to the Corona pandemic, in this semester again all lectures need to be given online. Fakultas Hukum UGM and its lecturers do their best to provide you the same high quality of academic education online as usually in the lecture room. However, this is not easy, neither for the lecturers nor for the students. It requires more discipline than usual, a more intensive preparation and follow-up work and reliable technical conditions. Therefore, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. I will give my lectures with Zoom. The access data for the Zoom meeting will be provided at the course website shortly before the start of the lecture. I recommend to install Zoom on both your notebook and your smartphone (in case that the connection with one of them fails) but you can also join the meeting directly by clicking at the provided link. Please make sure that you have a strong and stable internet connection during the lectures. Use wifi if possible but be prepared to connect via 4G (using your smartphone as wifi hotspot) if the wifi connection fails.

  2. Connect to the video meeting on time. The screenshot for documenting your attendance will be made five minutes after the official start of the lecture. If you are unable to connect on time, make a screenshot yourself once you have connected, prepare a note for the study program administrator (mas Wawan) and keep them in your files so that you can document your attendance if necessary.

  3. To prepare for the online lecture, download the relevant course materials from the course website, print them out and study them carefully before the lecture. Otherwise it will be difficult to follow the lecture since we need to go through a lot in a short time. Note any questions you have so that we can discuss them in the lecture. You should also study the links at the course website to additional online resources. Furthermore, to prepare for the online lecture, take enough drinks and snacks with you (online lectures are exhausting!), tell your family, friends and domestic animals that your are in an important meeting and close the door behind you.

  4. During the lecture, please switch off your microphone when you are not talking but keep your webcam on permanently! You may switch it off only in exeptional cases: if the internet connection is unstable, if it is too weak and the audio quality suffers from the video transmission, if you need to connect via 4G and a permanent video transmission would be too expensive, or when you need to make a short break from sitting behind your computer. In case that your camera is switched off for a longer period I may control your presence in the lecture by asking you a question which you must answer immediately. For the quality of an online lecture, it is crucial that the lecturer observes the reactions of the students in their faces. Without this visual feedback he cannot know if they understand what he is saying. For the lectures of a European legal scholar in Indonesia it is even more important because cultural differences (e.g. a different general attitude towards the law) can easily cause misunderstandings.

  5. If there is any problem - technically or with regard to the contents - please wave your hands or interrupt me by using your microphone. In Zoom you can unmute your microphone and talk spontaneously by holding the spacebar. Anyway, you are always welcome to participate actively in the online lecture and if necessary interrupt me for that purpose. However, be aware that it may take some seconds before we can hear you, so better start your intervention with a short introduction ("Excuse me...", "I have a question..." etc.).

  6. In the courses with two classes, students who have problems to follow the online lecture (for technical or other reasons) are welcome to attend it twice, in Class A and Class B.

  7. Outside the lectures, you are welcome to contact me at any time for any questions, suggestions and criticism via e-mail (, Skype (Dr.Thomas.Schmitz), WhatsApp (+62 852 1402 9884) and phone. We can also discuss questions altogether in the WhatsApp Group for the course. Do not accept that you miss any knowledge, skills or understanding just because we had to switch to online teaching!

Please do not let frustration or "Zoom fatigue" overwhelm you but have fun! Even during the pandemic you can get a decent academic education! Socialise, collaborate and discuss with your fellow students in WhatsApp groups and private Zoom meetings for more success in your studies and a better private life. When you are finally back in Yogya in the next semester, there will be lots of gatherings, events, parties...


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