TU Delft increasing study spaces on campus

News - 26 February 2021 - Webredactie Communication

Studying online places a heavy burden on students. Therefore, TU Delft is looking at various possibilities to enable more physical education and study places on campus. “We realise that for some students it is very difficult to study at home. That is why we are looking at increasing the number of study places on campus. For now, we have reserved a very limited number of study places for vulnerable students. We are going to expand that,” says Rob Mudde, Vice President of Education TU Delft.

At the moment, study places on the TU Delft campus are limited, and they are only accessible to vulnerable students, who have to apply to their study advisor. This is going to change as of next Monday. The number of places at TU Delft Library, educational building Pulse, and later on also at various faculties will be greatly expanded. Students will no longer have to request a spot through a study advisor, but can reserve a slot in the online booking system. “These places are also intended for students who have difficulty studying at home,” says Rob Mudde. The expansion of the study places can be done within the current framework of the RIVM (the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment).

Pilots with practicals

In order to make more physical education possible, TU Delft will also carry out a pilot project. The University of Groningen has already started a pilot with quick tests, aimed at large(r) groups of students taking exams simultaneously. TU Delft would like to conduct a pilot about making practicals possible through the use of additional measures, influencing behavior, detailed monitoring and advanced walking and interaction modeling. Practicals that would otherwise not be possible because the 1.5 m limit cannot be adhered to. For example, a group practical in a workshop or study area, a laboratory practical, or a flight test.

TU Delft will offer those attending a pilot practical the opportunity to be tested (via rapid, breathalyser and/or PCR tests). Furthermore, all kinds of additional measures will be taken in and around the location of the lab to make sure the risk of infection doesn't increase, such as social distancing, increasing hygiene and influencing behaviour. If possible, the practical should be conducted in smaller groups, so-called bubbles. In parallel, a data collection system is deployed to determine interactions between attendees or between bubbles in the practice rooms anonymously but in real time.

Real-time feedback

This unique data combined with advanced pedestrian flow models give detailed insight in people’s behaviour, e.g. what interactions look like in terms of distance, duration and frequency, but also which measures are more or less effective. It also offers the possibility to give back real-time information, for instance by means of a vibrating wristband, a sound signal or light when people are too close to each other for a longer period of time.

The pilot allows for better risk assessment and the development and optimisation of protocols. Participation in the pilots is voluntary and there is always an option not to participate and to pursue education in an alternative way.

Which practicals will be part of the pilot is currently being determined.

The Haagse Hogeschool and ROC Mondriaan are also participating in the TU Delft pilot. The TU Delft pilot is part of a larger package of pilots aimed at enabling more physical education on the campus as soon as possible, which is stimulated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

How can data collection contribute to the fight against the corona pandemic?
Click here for an interview about the research (in Dutch).

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