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Hybrid teaching

Although the corona situation has eased somewhat, there are also good reasons to create an online offering in the fall semester, e.g. to circumvent time and space bottlenecks, to protect vulnerable people, to relieve the environment of unnecessary traffic, etc.
Therefore, those who think about a hybrid teaching setting that allows students a certain flexibility in terms of space and time are well advised.


What is hybrid teaching?

Hybrid teaching takes place in both a presence and an online mode. Depending on the technical means used, hybrid scenarios enable teaching/learning activities to take place simultaneously in different formats (presence – online) or create learning opportunities for time-independent use (synchronous – asynchronous).
In contrast to blended learning scenarios, however, the didactic framework in hybrid teaching continues to be formed by the face-to-face events, from which the online offerings are then derived. A typical scenario for hybrid teaching is holding a lecture that is simultaneously streamed and recorded as a podcast. This allows students to participate both on-site and location-independent in front of a screen. Importantly, during such hybrid sessions, collaborative activities are planned in which everyone can participate.
Hybrid settings offer many advantages to students, they open up options in terms of space and time, they allow more flexibility and freedom of choice in when and where to attend a course and when and where to learn. In addition, they also better serve the different learning types and media preferences of students and help to keep lecture halls and trains less crowded.
Didactically, hybrid settings are very challenging, as they require good planning and confidence in dealing with different situations and media formats.

Possible scenarios

Podcast recording of lectures
The lecture is recorded and made available as a podcast via SWITCHcast. The lecturer as well as his presentation can be seen on the video. A lecture can thus be viewed with a time delay.
Not all lecture halls are equipped for recording podcasts. Therefore, it is important to reserve a room early enough and to register a recording. Read the information on how to do this. General information about lecture recording can be found on the Central IT Services website.

Livestreaming for large teaching events (> 300 people)
With livestreaming, the event is streamed almost simultaneously so that a large number of participants can follow the event online and regardless of location. The transmission is unidirectional, which means that the recipients of the livestream have no possibility to interact. For interaction possibilities, an additional tool such as Teams must be used for the time being. Livestreaming also records the event and can be made available as a podcast.

Use of livestreaming must be registered early enough. More info on livestreaming can be found on the Central IT Services website.

Video conferencing with ZOOM or Teams
For smaller courses, a video conferencing tool such as Teams or ZOOM can also provide livestreaming of the event and/or serve as a recording tool for the event.
The advantage of video conferencing tools is that interaction options such as chat, breakout rooms, and collaboration tools are built in. A major challenge in using video conferencing tools in a classroom is sound. Appropriate video conferencing microphones should be used. Central IT Services has made a helpful compilation of possible tools for hybrid meetings.

Flipped classroom
The flipped classroom approach is also well suited to hybrid teaching. With flipped classroom, learning content is no longer taught live in lectures but via podcasts that are recorded in advance. Classroom time is used for questions, exercises, discussions. It is important that learning activities such as exercises and discussions can also be participated in online, that these are at least digitally documented somewhere and, in the best case, are supervised asynchronously.

Tips for hybrid teaching

For lecturers, a hybrid setting means more complexity and also more effort for the design and provision of the additional online offerings – at least in an initial phase. To keep this effort as low as possible, here are some tips:

1. The initial setting determines the choice of tools
Face-to-face lectures should still be the focus, so use technologies that best suit your teaching activities:
If you are giving lectures, then use the podcast infrastructure of the Central IT Services, or if you have large numbers of participants (>300 people), livestreaming may also be an option.
For seminars, online participants can be included via teams or Zoom. In this setting, it is important to use a suitable microphone that is placed in the room so that the students‘ voices can also be heard.

2. Take advantage of opportunities
Take advantage of opportunities by recording a lecture while you have the chance. Many lecture halls are now equipped with lecture recording capabilities.

3. Create overlaps
Create activities that lend themselves to both face-to-face and online situations e.g. integrating voting and feedback tools, using a shared chat, working on a collaborative tool such as Miro or Padlet.

4. Common place for storage of digital learning content
Use OLAT or, if necessary, Teams as a central repository where all learning-relevant aids (slides, podcasts, scripts, exercises, chat histories, etc.) are stored in a structured way and accessible to all.

5. Support and relief by teaching assistant
For larger courses, it is advisable to have (additional) teaching assistant. Teaching assistant can provide technical support and coaching during live sessions, as well as take over simple content-related tasks such as supervising the chat, moderating discussions, compiling or even answering questions, etc.
Teaching assistant can also provide support for asynchronous activities, especially for all online matters that take place on the learning platform OLAT:  For providing the recording and learning content, for creating quizzes, for compiling reading lists and reading material, for organizational and communicative activities related to teaching.

Info and support

Tools and Infrastructure of Central IT Services

Information of the university didactics center

Request for additional teaching assistant (applies to PhF members only)

  • Support is available through Fördermittel Digitale Lehre und Forschung (

General questions about the implementation of hybrid teaching at the PhF

Last update 13.08.2021 by aho
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(Digital) exams

Below you will find important information in connection with the online and on site testing at UZH. Further information can also be found on our community «Open Channel Distance Learning» on teams and also on the website of the EPIS-Team. For information on didactic questions, please consult the website Teaching Tools of the team „Hochschuldidaktik“.


1. Form of examination

Remote open book exams

According to the decision of the Faculty of Humanities, written examinations should „in principle be provided online-only“ in the fall semester 21. „Written examinations for compulsory modules must be conducted online only under all circumstances“. Thus, remote open-book examinations will also be the focus of the fall semester 21.

In a remote open book exam, students take the exam at home in front of their computer. If no Safe Exam Browser is used and if no proctoring software is available, no monitoring is possible during the exam and no restrictions on access to other applications and websites are possible. This means that, in theory, all permitted and unauthorized aids are available to students. Remote open book exams would never have been conceivable without the lockdown and the switch to online teaching. The experience of the spring semester 2020 shows that there are also some advantages associated with remote open book exams: there is no need to organize a room and infrastructure for (online) testing. There is no need for entry control and supervision personnel either. As the responsibility for a fair and honest examination is left to the students, it is important that the exam is designed in such a way that it creates as few opportunities for fraud as possible. The conception and implementation of a good open book examination is therefore a challenge and requires many technical, didactic and legal considerations in advance.

No factual knowledge testing
Open book exams must be designed so that working with additional resources, be they books, documents or websites, is part of the exam. For this reason, there is no point in testing factual knowledge that can be researched easily. The questions must be open, so that an answer must be justified in its own words, substantiated with examples or explained with a concept.

Randomization of questions and answers in MC tests
It is also recommended to randomize the answers and questions of a topic block. It is also important that the questions are not numbered if possible and do not bear individual titles. Randomization and no titles make it difficult if not impossible to solve questions together and to exchange ideas.

Code of honour
It is recommended to introduce a code of honour and that students be made aware of the impending consequences of violation. It is also advisable to inform students about what information is being tracked during the exam.

1.2. BYOD exams

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means that students bring their own computer. BYOD exams are online exams where students take the exam on their own laptop in a location at the university. Thus, closed-book exams can also be conducted.
The advantage of BYOD is that students can work on their own computers and less exam equipment needs to be purchased. However, it is still advisable for the exam organizer to have some spare devices ready to be used in case of problems (forgotten power supply, outdated operating system and/or program, performance problems). Experience has shown that approximately 5% of spare devices should be available.
As with normal on-site exams an incoming inspection should be made. It is also important to have enough personnel to supervise examinees and help with computer problems (crashes, updates, battery problems).
If a safe-exam browser is not used, there is still a need for clear rules and supervision to see that unauthorized documents, websites or chat windows are not used.
It is important to inform students early enough that a BYOD exam is taking place and what devices are recommended for the exam. In addition, all students should be able to take a test exam on their device. When using the Safe Exam browser, there also needs to be straightforward support where students can get help with installation. It is equally important that suitable rooms are reserved early on for a BYOD exam that are equipped with enough sockets and powerful internet connection.

2. Platforms

2.1. Online examination with OLAT

Additional OLAT instances are available for conducting open-book exams. These guarantee more security and a better load distribution. It is therefore strongly discouraged to use the normal OLAT learning platform for online examinations.

+ Lecturers and students are familiar with OLAT.
+ For examinations on OLAT there are proven processes of the Central IT Department and the EPIS team.

– The results are output in a confusing CSV file, which still needs to be revised.
– Reading the results can be quite time-consuming.

It is important to know the exact procedure of the examination, as this is the only way to ensure successful completion. Please pay attention to the deadlines. All institutes have an examination officer and a contact person for first level support. Contact these people at an early stage to find out what the procedure and deadlines are for the semester in question.

Question types
With the introduction of OLAT15 there are now 14 different question types available for an online exam:


2.2. Essay and task submission via OLAT


Students are given one or more tasks at a certain time, which they must solve and submit within a certain time. This type of examination is especially suitable for essay tasks, i.e. for writing longer texts, for calculations or evaluations with third-party applications outside OLAT.

+ Low preparation effort for the exam
+ Students can work with the programs they are familiar with
+ Less technical problems, as students can work offline

– High correction effort
– The regular saving of the text does not happen automatically, but must be done individually.
– Students are responsible for any loss of data themselves.

For this type of test the task module in OLAT is recommended.


2.3. Oral exams with MS Teams or ZOOM

Oral exams are conducted via web conference software. The following services are available:

For the grading of lectures, both a synchronous and asynchronous procedure can be selected. With a synchronous approach, students present their lecture live in ZOOM or in teams to the people present via screen sharing. Afterwards a discussion is possible. The live character of this procedure remains the same.
In an asynchronous approach, students prepare their presentation as a podcast and then upload it to a streaming platform such as SWITCHtube. The podcast can be viewed individually prior to the discussion. By creating the podcast, media-specific skills are strengthened in addition to content and communication aspects.

Tips for individual oral exams

  • Secure the „room“ in Zoom with a password.
  • In Teams set up a separate private channel for each examinee, to which you invite only the participants present at the exam.
  • Test the connection of all participants at least 15 minutes before the exam starts.
  • For older computers, the use of a headset is recommended, as the audio quality is much better than with microphones and speakers built into computers. In most cases, a headset supplied with smartphones is suitable.
  • If the examination is to be recorded, students must be informed prior to the examination.

Teaching Tools der Hochschuldidaktik zu mündlichen Remote-Prüfungen

3. Creating MC-exam questions

For online exams with a large number of participants it is useful to apply multiple choice questions, because the answers can be evaluated automatically. However, creating good MC-questions that do not simply ask for factual knowledge but also require understanding, analysis skills or even application skills is a challenge. Therefore, there are many aspects to consider when creating a good MC exam. For the introduction and as preparation, we recommend that you consult the content in the links below. We also offer a „Coaching“, where you can discuss your exam questions discreetly with an expert from the Psychological Institute.

Contact for the coaching:


4. Plagiarism check

To detect plagiarism more easily, the plagiarism software Turnitin is available at UZH. The software compares the submitted texts with sources from the Internet as well as licensed technical literature. In addition, students‘ work can be compared with each other in order to uncover unauthorized collaboration.
Members of the UZH can use Turnitin with their UZH login:

Further Information

5. Legal aspects

Conducting exams involve many legal questions, especially in context with remote open book exams. We recommend the following links as well as participation in our community „Open Channel Distance Learning“ on Teams, where you can view previously answered questions and ask new ones directly in the „Legal Questions“ channel.

Last updated on Septmeber 20, 2021 (aho)
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Variants for live streaming

Events that are held simultaneously in presence and online, i.e. hybrid, present certain technical and didactic challenges that lecturers must prepare for in advance.
The most obvious scenario for a hybrid setting is livestreaming, which means that certain excerpts from the face-to-face event, such as PPT slides and the lecturer’s voice, are transmitted online simultaneously.
At UZH, there are several options for livestreaming:

Livestreaming with MS Teams or ZOOM

For smaller courses, both ZOOM and MS Teams are suitable for livestreaming. Use the tool you have worked with so far and are most familiar with. For livestreaming with ZOOM and Teams, additional rooms have been technically equipped so that the room infrastructure such as microphone and beamer can be used for livestreaming. An overview of the equipped rooms can be found in this PDF file under the heading Live Streaming with ZOOM/Teams.
The computers in the UZH rooms are equipped with ZOOM and Teams, but it is recommended to bring your own laptop. You will then need to wire it up so that sound and images can be streamed.

Instructions on the topic
Quick guide live streaming
Live streaming with Teams
Live streaming with ZOOM

Livestreaming with SWITCHcast from lecture halls

For courses with more than 300 people, a number of lecture halls have been equipped with a built-in livestreaming infrastructure as of the fall semester 21. This infrastructure is based on the same technology as the creation of podcasts (SWITCHcast). The livestream is used to transmit the beamer image, the audible sound and, in most cases, camera recordings of the lecturer. The lecture is then streamed over the Internet with a delay of about 30 seconds and can be followed online by a large number of people. At the moment, this type of live streaming lacks a chat function. Interaction is therefore not yet possible via the livestream. This is not planned until the fall senester 22.
Handling livestreaming with SWITCHcast is very simple, as no hardware or software settings need to be adjusted on site; the only requirement is to reserve an appropriately equipped room in advance and to register for the recording. More information on the topic can be found on the website of Central IT Services:

Rooms for livestreaming

Additional rooms have been technically equipped for live streaming. An overview of the rooms can be found on the website of the Central IT Services .
Although the computers on the UZH premises are equipped with ZOOM and Teams, it is recommended to bring your own laptop.

Own equipment for livestreaming

Smaller seminar rooms can also be equipped with their own technical equipment. The Central IT Service has compiled some helpful tips for this:

Help and training

The institutes have been asked to set up a first level support to assist the lecturers in technical issues and problems. Some institutes have already appointed a person to take over this task. Please find out if there is such a person at your institute. If not, ask for help with the team DLF:
Lecturers who teach in a room equipped for live streaming are recommended to familiarise themselves with the situation on site early enough. In every room equipped for live streaming you will find a user manual.

Organizing students attendance

As the seats in the rooms are limited, the lecturer must organize the presence of the students in advance. There are several ways to do this:
– The easiest way is with OLAT: You can use the enrolment module in a OLAT course. Students can then register themselves in groups of predetermined size. For more information, see the OLAT manual.
– With Doodle: Create a new Doodle survey with the number of face-to-face events as options. The number of participants per option (face-to-face event) can now be limited to the available seats. Send the link to the student to fill in. The disadvantage of this method is that the fastest can choose the desired dates, while the slower have to settle for the appointments that are left. To make it fairer, you can also conduct multiple Doodle surveys and design the survey so that only one appointment can be clicked on per participant.


If you have any problems with live streaming, contact AVS support at
If the audio-video system or the presentation of the slides are causing problems, please contact the lecture hall team: Contact List.
If no one is available, you can also call the DLF team: | 044 634 50 80

Last updet on August, 22 2023 (aho)