Rector Steinar Kristoffersen encourages everybody to explore and experience all possibilities provided by new pedagogical platforms. Archive photo: Arild J. Waagbø

Life and health comes first

We experience rather exceptional times. However, I urge you to bear in mind that our biggest problem right now is uncertainty, and that our work as educators, students and university administrators, goes on.

Professor Steinar Kristoffersen er rektor ved HiMolde.

Although we have closed our campuses to prevent a contagious virus from spreading, we have not shut down! We have been very fortunate in both Molde and Kristiansund. We have taken necessary steps to reduce the eventual impact of the COVID-19/corona-epidemic. Within that simple ambition, we still want success for our students in this academic year.

With limited relevant experience from similar situation, and even less accurate information about the current status of the infection in the population, planning comes across as short-term and measures may seem hectic. It is currently the best we can do. Concerted efforts by students and staff will make it sufficient.

All staff at HiMolde are doing their utmost to provide and act according to the latest information as soon as the government and health authorities provide it for us. I am happy and proud to see that all our staff and students have been handling the situation to the best of our capacity. Thank you very much for all your contributions.

We are still in an early phase of the epidemic. There are no certain estimates available of how long it will last and how many will be directly affected.

Life and health comes first. Please do not doubt that this is what is at stake, especially for those groups most vulnerable. Fortunately, we can all increase everybody’s chances of staying healthy throughout the epidemic, by acting as if we are also in this group ourselves.

Wash your hands. Keep the distance. Work from home. Inasmuch as our international students have not been already returned to their homes from Norway, please keep in touch with our international coordinator to make sure that the latest and correct information is acted upon.

Dear students. Our ambition regardless of the epidemic is to provide dedicated and resourceful teaching and under the circumstances, the best possible preparations for you to perform well at your exams and well prepared for a working career later. We shall teach the same curriculum as before; however, it will be digital for the first time for most teachers as well as students.

I hope that we manage to see this as an experience also to engage with each other in a learning experience with new media and potential. When we have settled back into normal – very shortly, I hope – the best practices from a period of enforced innovation carries on, hopefully, to strengthen the university. On the other hand, if we do not meet our teaching objectives due to the exceptional circumstances, students and our institution will take even longer to recover afterwards.

Please be prepared to make a solid contribution to our shared success and engage readily in interactive studying within Canvas and other media.

We have an important job to do as a university college, which is to make sure our students get ready to contribute to civil society as rapidly and competently as possible. Hence, teaching and assessment duties must go on with the same determination as before. It will improve immensely as feedback is collected from students continuously.

Forced to switch fully to digital teaching, I am sure students and staff perceived this as more challenging than it was. I encourage everybody to take this as an opportunity to explore and experience all possibilities provided by new pedagogical platforms.

The switch in teaching format will require more work from all involved, to get the same results as before. However, those results and better are exactly what society will need in the upcoming months, and possibly longer.

Therefore, I ask all staff please to prioritize teaching above other duties, which have a longer-term perspective. It is an investment well worth making. It is even more needed now than before.

I have one final request to everybody. Please do not trust, “Like” or share news or information that you suspect may be less than 100% correct. Fake news are dangerous and create fear. Ask us, if you are in doubt.

Good luck with teaching, studying and other work, stay healthy and remain in good spirits.