FAQ - in English - Italienska

Here you can find the answers, divided by topic, to the most common questions about online courses in Italian.
Olives
Foto: Johan Wallin

Didactics

Are online academic courses easier than traditional courses?

No, they follow the same curriculum and syllabi as campus courses. Some students think they can do their studies after a working day; this is possible but students need to be aware that online courses have the same workload as traditional studies.

Are there any obligatory campus meetings?

No. All courses are held completely online: teaching, exams, student tutorials. However, online classes are obligatory according to the set timetable.

I don't have any Italian qualification/exam record, but I know Italian because I am a native speaker/because I studied/lived in Italy for a long time. May I enrol in an Italian course?

Yes. However, you will need to pass a placement test, both oral and written, with one of our teachers.

To arrange this test you need to contact support@du.se. Due to the high number of requests, please allow time for this and get in touch with us as soon as possible.

How many courses do I need to pass to complete a 30 credit level?

In order to complete the first part of Undergraduate Level (Grundnivå), 30hp, you need to take and pass the following 4 courses:

Offer each term:

Italian A: Phonetics and Oral Proficiency, 7,5 credits

Italian A: Grammar and Written Proficiency, 7,5 credits

Italian A: Culture and Society, 7,5 credits (fall term 20 and spring term 20: South Italy)

Italian A: Text analysis, 7.5 credits (fall term 20 and spring term 21: A Literary Journey in South Italy)

In order to complete the second part of Undergraduate Level (Level B), additional 30 credits, you need to take and pass the following 4 courses:

Fall Term:

Italian B: Grammar and Written Production, 7,5 credits

Italian B: History of Literature with Text Analysis, 7,5 credits

Spring Term:

Italian B: Oral Proficiency and Cultural Knowledge, 7,5 credits

Italian B: Italian Language, Past and Present, 7,5 credits

In order to complete Undergraduate Level 1 (level C), you need to take and pass the following 3 courses:

Italian Linguistics, 7,5 hp

Italian Old Literature, 7,5 hp

Essay in Italian, 15 hp

Do I need to take 4 courses per term (30 hp); may I choose how many courses I want to study each term?

In order to facilitate your studies, we have planned our curriculum in a flexible way. Therefore you can choose freely if you want to study full-time/100% (4 courses); 75% of full-time (3 courses); part-time 50% (2 courses) or 25% of full-time (1 course) according to the time you think you can realistically commit to your on-line studies.

Also from a psychological point of view, it is advisable not to enrol for more courses than those you can actually complete, otherwise you risk to lose confidence in yourself and not to terminate your studies.

Considering that courses can be chosen freely within each and every level of studies, which courses is it advisable to prioritize from a pedagogical point of view?

Having said that you are free to choose the sequence and the number of courses you like, for those interested we generally suggest this order:

Undergraduate Level, first part:

Firstly:

Italian A: Phonetics and Oral Proficiency, 7,5 credits

Italian A: Grammar and Written Proficiency, 7,5 credits

Then:

Italian A: Culture and Society, 7,5 credits

Italian A: Text analysis, 7,5 credits

Undergraduate Level, second part:

Fall term:

Italian B: Grammar and Written Production, 7,5 credits

Italian B: History of Literature with Text Analysis, 7,5 credits

Spring term:

Italian B: Oral Proficiency and Cultural Knowledge, 7,5 credits

Italian B: Italian Language, Past and Present, 7,5 credits

Undergraduate Level, 3th part

Firstly:

Italian Linguistics, 7,5 credits

Italian Old Literature 7,5 credits

Then:

Essay in Italian, 15 credits

 

Does a 7,5 credits course correspond to 5 weeks of scheduled classes?

No, our 7,5 and 15 credits courses last for an entire semester.

This is the method we consider most effective to learn a language, by that we mean to work continuously for a number of months instead of studying short, intensive courses.

Timetable, scheduling and attendance

What time are the courses running?

Italian classes are mostly scheduled in the evening, usually after 18:00.

Sometimes, if there are many students in one course and it is necessary to break the number down and divide students in smaller groups, it is possible that we try to arrange morning sessions for one of these smaller groups.

Lessons are scheduled from Monday to Thursday evening, so that Friday evening and weekends are always free.

Also, when we arrange the timetable we make sure that classes belonging to the same group (for example, Undergraduate level 1, first part: 4 course as mentioned above) do not overlap.

Are classes obligatory?

Yes, they are.

When you study on-line class-participation is important. During class time it is possible to ask questions, receive instructions and helpful suggestions from the teacher, and it is also possible to express your ideas and share problems, as well as socialize and give/get help to/from your fellow students. It is very easy to get discouraged and lose motivation when you study on your own, without any contact with teachers and other students.

For this reason our classes are obligatory and it is very important to take active part in them.

I couldn't attend an obligatory class. What is it going to happen? Can I make up for it somehow?

You have to take active part to X-number of the classes (t.ex. 8 classes of 10); if you miss more, you need to re-take the course in the following term. Please check your Course Handbook about it.

Missed classes (for any reason) can't be made up for, exactly as in a traditional course at Campus. For this reason it is very important to try not to miss classes.

Classes cannot be recorded.

May I choose independently how to manage my study time?

Not completely. You have a set time given by the teacher to complete assignments and homework, generally this is one or two weeks. It is certainly up to you to decide in which part of the day you want to study. On-line classes, as mentioned before, take place mostly in the evening.

The teacher decides deadlines for assignments (essays, tests, homework, etc.) and also the dates of on-line classes.

Required technical equipment (hardware and software)

What technical equipment do I need in order to attend on-line courses?

A desktop computer or a laptop, not older than 4-5 years. We advise against the use of mobile devices such as tablets or mobile phones. In order to follow on-line classes you must have a headset and a webcam. For the online written exams you also need an external webcam (i.e. not integrated into the frame of the computer screen).

We recommend the use of a headset with USB connection. We do not recommend, however, the use of Bluetooth headset or headphones with microphone (like the ones used for mobile phones).

What are the system requirements I need?

You will need a minimum of 800kbps / 1.0 Mbps (up/down) connection. A connection speed above 2,5 Mbps is recommended. It is also recommended to use a wired connection where available. You can check your connection speed here: Bredbandskollen.

What software do I need on my computer in order to follow the Italian courses without any problems?

For online classes you need: 

The Zoom application which is available from: https://zoom.us/download. Running zoom from a web browser is also possible, but the application tends to be more stable.  

Our university offers the Windows Office package 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) which can either be downloaded and used as an application or used online. The office suite can be accessed here: https://www.office.com/. Students should log in using their university username and password.  

Adobe Acrobat Reader is useful to read the files in PDF format (free download from the Adobe web site) 

Where can I test my equipment to see if everything is working properly?

It is essential that you test your equipment (especially microphone and webcam) before the course to avoid problems during the first meeting which will be held on-line in Zoom.  

The University offers online technical support via their Zoom support café where you can test your equipment and get technical support. Technicians are available all working days from 8.00 to 22.00 (Fridays only until 15). 

I have never used Zoom before. How can I learn to use it?

Zoom is very intuitive and easy to use. If you feel you need extra support, we recommend the an introductory course in Zoom given by our technicians at the beginning of the term.

The schedule of the introductory classes can be found on the Zoom Meeting Portal.

You can also access the Zoom how to guides here: https://www.du.se/en/study-at-du/study-tools2/zoom/. 

Who should I contact if I have technical problems?

For any other technical problems please contact the support: support@du.se. Please remember to give clear information in the email header about the problem you are having (e-mail, log in, Zoom, etc.).

Course literature: books and handouts

Do I need to buy all the books mentioned in the course outline document?

Yes, you need to. All the books included in the literature section are necessary and you need to get them before the course begins (you can buy them, new or second hand, or borrow them from a library).

However, remember that a number of works which do not have copyright (this generally expires 70 years after the death of the author), such as Divina Commedia, I Promessi sposi, ecc., can be downloaded from the internet at no cost from a number of websites, as for example www.liberliber.it

The books that are under the Reference literature section are not obligatory, but they are suggested reading, so you can decide if you want to buy them or not.

Being a distance student, can I borrow my course books from the University library?

Falun University library has got one copy of every book included in the courses' literature. Books can be sent to your home address (only if you live in Sweden) for a month, but the expenses for returning the books are on you.

Naturally there is a queue system depending on when you put through your book request. For further questions on the Library and the borrowing system, please have a look at:

http://www.du.se/sv/Bibliotek/For-dig-som-laser-pa-distans/

I already have a book included in the literature, but I don't have the most recent edition. May I use it anyway?

Naturally you can if the book is a dictionary or a grammar book.

Double check with your teacher in any other case, course books and exercise books can vary considerably depending on editions.

Is there any bookshop in Sweden where I can order the books?

You can buy course books wherever you prefer, also in Italy if possible or on line.

 

Teacher contacts

May I use my private email address to communicate with teachers?

We don't recommend it. Communication with teachers should run through the University email account that you receive when you enrol.

This is a requirement both for security and privacy reasons. However you can download your University post on your private email account. Instruction is here https://www.du.se/sv/hjalp/it-stod/webmail/vidarbefodran/

If I write an email to a teacher, shall I expect an instant answer?

No, you shall not. Teachers have their working hours and they don't sit constantly in front of the computer. Your teacher will reply as soon as possible but you need to let him/her the necessary time. Generally, our policy is to answer to all emails that require an answer within three working days (so not including weekends and public holidays)

I sent an assignment or a test to the teacher, how long shall I wait to be sure to have it back marked?

Generally, teachers have about 15 working days at their disposal (so not including weekends and public holidays) to mark your homework/assignments.

Shouldn't this happen, try to contact your teacher first, he/she might be ill for example, and then, if you do not have a reply, the subject coordinator.

Temporarily or Permanently residents abroad

I am permanently resident abroad. Is there anything particular I should think about?

First of all, make sure you have your books on time; this might actually take longer if you are abroad. Do the same for any extra material you need.

If you reside in countries outside Europe which have a much different time (Asia, Australia, South America, etc.), obligatory classes might take place at awkward hours for you. 

I will be away during term time and I will be able to connect only using shared computers in an internet café. Can I access Adobe Connect from an internet café?

Relying on a well-functioning internet connection is extremely important for an on-line course. Before you leave, please make sure you have all the necessary information to ensure that everything will be working. You can possibly access internet abroad with a portable broadband device you can buy in many countries, or you can maybe ask friends or relatives to access internet from their computers, if that is the case. In any case, contact support@du.se before you leave, so that they are informed and they can suggest what to do depending on circumstances.

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