Teaching & Learning Blog

The purpose of the Edu Blog is to provide greater insight into the good teaching practices at ETH. We hope to generate increased interest, awareness and discussion about effective teaching and, especially learning.

Übersicht der Beiträge

Sie finden am Schluss dieser Seite einen Button, der beim Betätigen jeweils 9 (sofern vorhanden) weitere – und ältere – Beiträge anzeigt. Wir wünschen viel Spass!

Moodle 4.3 has landed at ETH Zürich

The Moodle Service of ETH Zürich (with staff of ID EduIT and UTL) announce the launch of Moodle 4.3 on our Course Moodle (moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch). This summer’s release focuses on a large number of practical improvements for lecturers and students.

Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis – Learn & Talk 2024

In Barcamps diskutierten die Teilnehmenden an der diesjährigen «Learn & Talk» die Relevanz von Integrität und guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis sowie den Einfluss von KI-Tools auf Forschung und Lehre im Zusammenhang mit Informationskompetenz. Autorinnen: Christine Bärtsch, Beatrice Krause (ETH-Bibliothek/LER),  Karin Brown (UTL), Katrin Wolf (Lehrspezialistin D-HEST) - (Edublog)

A lecturer huddles with a group of students. They are all bending over the same piece of paper.

Current picture of AI in teaching and learning at ETH Zurich

In February the Rector asked teaching staff at ETH Zurich to complete a survey capturing their use of and needs relating to artificial intelligence in teaching and learning. We report a few of the most interesting or significant results and share how the newly named Unit for Teaching and Learning* can support teaching staff navigating these new waters. Written by Karin Brown, Dr. Nora Dittmann, Daniel Flück, Dr. Claudia Merki.

Geo-Focus:Spotlights on the geology of Switzerland 

In 2022 Léon Frey and Prof. Dr. Olivier Bachmann created and published videos for the lecture “Dynamische Erde I”. This year, together with Dr. Iwan Stössel, Léon published a new series of videos for the lecture “Geologie der Schweiz”. We caught up with Léon to find out more about how these videos enhance student learning

Focus on Exploring AI in Academic Writing: Two innovative Innovedum projects

//Important note: This blog post was created with the help of Open AI’s Chat GPT and the project descriptions published on www.innovedumprojects.ethz.ch It is also an attempt to find out to what extent this tool adds value when composing blog posts.// In the realm of academia, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new avenues for enhancing the process of scholarly writing. Two recently accepted, pioneering Innovedum projects at ETH Zurich, led by Prof. Dr. Lucio Isa and Dr. Melanie Paschke, delve into the integration of AI in the world of academic writing. Despite differing focuses, these projects share a common drive to elevate the quality and effectiveness of scholarly communication through innovative approaches.

New Innovedum Focal Point Theme: “AI in Teaching and Learning”

As technology and education intersect more than ever, the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly apparent. Just as earlier pioneers revolutionized classrooms through the advent of the internet, we now find ourselves on the cusp of another educational evolution, this time driven by AI. The latest focal point theme for the Innovedum project, “AI in Teaching and Learning,” paves the way for a pathbreaking new era of education by offering a unique opportunity to integrate AI into teaching methods.

Behind the scenes: The making of a new blended learning course

When designing a blended learning course, it is crucial to take multiple factors into account, especially for the online modules. These factors include selecting appropriate course materials, planning engaging activities, finding ways to keep students interested, and creating effective assessments. A good teacher-student relationship is also essential for online learning and requires special attention.

Neues Innovedum Fokusthema: Überfachliche Kompetenzen

Ab dem ersten Schritt durch Innovedum begleitet, auch zum neuen Fokusthema: Überfachliche Kompetenzen

Retrieval practice – Newest option in Moodle

Testing students’ recall of recent learning is often done by creating Moodle quizzes with a range of different complex questions. Now teachers can embed previously created questions in any HTML text area without packaging them in a quiz. This includes on the main course page, inside a Moodle book, even in a block on the side.*

Teaching “Dynamic earth” using flipped learning

We spoke with the project team that converted the lecture “Dynamische Erde I” to a flipped learning context. Dr. Oliver Bachmann and Léon Frey shared their experiences. The aim of this project was to produce a series of videos which replaced a portion of the lecture “Dynamische Erde I” at the Department of Earth Sciences. Part of the lecture will still be held on campus. The videos will be watched by the students individually as a preparation for the lectures held in class. The videos cover a considerable part of the content in an easy-to-understand way. This is a “flipped learning” teaching approach which plans the necessary knowledge acquisition as an individual activity for students to complete (in this case watching videos) in their own time. The face-to-face time is then used to further engage in deeper discussion.

Moodle forums – Now with anonymous posting

Next to the course catalogue, Moodle is the most used system at ETH Zurich when it comes to supporting active online teaching and learning. However a common complaint from both students and teachers was the lack of anonymity when it comes to forum discussions. As of September 2022, this has changed. The Moodle update in September brought in a new plug-in called «Moodle Overflow» (inspired by Stack Overflow) which enables additional functionality not available in the regular Moodle forum. The Overflow forum is particularly suitable for courses which have a high number of forums and a high amount of activity in the forums due to the improved overview. The regular Moodle forum provides a different set of settings.

Link your Moodle with MS Teams

Microsoft Teams and eDoz can now be linked and synchronized via Moodle. Until now, to create a team in MS Teams for a course, ETH lecturers had to manually assign and manage the participants. If a student were to enroll late, he would need to be added to the team at a later point. The same is true, if a student unenrolls from the course, she would need to be removed from MS Teams manually. This is manageable for small classes, however for lectures with several hundred students, this is not an acceptable solution. With the new integration between Moodle and MS Teams this process is automated.

Meeting the diverse needs of Student Teaching Assistants

Serena Pedrocchi (Faculty Developer at the Unit for Educational Development and Technology) describes how courses at ETH Zurich designed for Student Teaching Assistants will continue to grow to meet the needs of an increasingly large and diverse group.

…just another video? Exploring new methods of video-production in academia

What do science, education and video have to do with each other? Ever since the very beginning of film in the early 20thcentury, science, film and education have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Each contributed in its own way to the production of knowledge and to progress in the endeavors of the other. However, production methods have a significant effect on the outcome. In this brief article, we take a step back to reflect on our way of working with ‘co-design’ methods for the production of scientific educational videos and we aim to think about both its challenges and potential.

A look back on the first Innovation in Learning & Teaching Fair

The Innovation in Learning & Teaching Fair with the KITE Award Ceremony took place on May 4th, 2022. By building on the previous successes of the Innovedum and KITE events, a wide community of around 200 engaged individuals were able to come together for discussion, feedback and inspiration on the topic of student learning. The focus for this year’s event was on online teaching and learning during the Covid pandemic. There were 44 innovative teaching projects showcased in the main hall of the ETH Main Building. The exhibition opened at 3.00 p.m. and was very well attended. As you can see in the pictures, lively discussions took place during the exhibition. You could see and feel that the teaching community at ETH was excited to come together again in person, to discuss their projects, exchange ideas and maybe just chat a bit with each other.

Showcase MOOC: Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems

Supported by Innovedum, a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is happy to introduce itself: The new ETHZ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) series entitled “Designing Resilient Regenerative Systems” (DRRS) directly addresses sustainability transitions in complex systems as for dealing with nested crises. Professor Tobias Luthe tells us about his new MOOC and why it’s so exciting.

Hybrid teaching at ETH – the journey so far

The new semester has just begun. The pandemic situation allows to start the semester in attendance and most students and teaching staff are looking forward to it. And spring is coming! It also seems to be a good moment to reflect further on teaching concepts faculty might have adopted or developed based on experiences in the remote teaching phase and from the autumn semester 2021.

Neues Fokusthema Innovedum Fonds

Zum 1. März 2022 gibt es ein neues Fokusthema «Bildungsmedien für Visualisierung und Simulation» für Projektförderung im Innovedum Fonds. Zusammen mit diesem Fokusthema und den drei bestehenden setzt der Rektor und die Lehrkommission der ETH neue Schwerpunkte im Fonds Innovedum.

Case study – Peer Review (GIS)

Supporting problem solving skills in GIS and spatial optimisation through peer assessment and application-oriented, software-based tests As part of a series of case studies, staff at LET sat down to have a conversation with Monika Niederhuber & Andreas Gabriel, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Department of Environmental Systems Science and Technology to discuss their geographic information systems (GIS) project.

Classroom visits – why they are a good idea and how to make them effective

Often the first step to improving your teaching is reflection. Self-reflection can take you a long way. Sometimes it is better still to get feedback from somebody else. A fresh perspective can help you see things you do not notice yourself. When reflecting on your own teaching, there are various ways to get that fresh perspective. One of them is to take a didactics course, another is to invite a colleague for a classroom visit. Classroom visits are explicitly encouraged by LET and are part of the didactical training. They can be a beneficial experience for you and your colleagues.

Mit Polybook gemeinsam interaktive Skripte erstellen

Seit Beginn des Frühjahrssemesters 2019 bietet das LET die Aktivität Polybook in Moodle an. Der über Moodle verfügbare Webblogdienst ermöglicht Studierenden und Dozierenden eine visuell ansprechende Darstellung ihrer selbst oder gemeinsam verfassten Texte, Bücher oder Skripte.

Exam-Moodle update released: Introducing the Freehand Drawing question type

On Oct 12, 2021 ETH’s Exam-Moodle received its biannual feature update. This update introduces useful new features and a large number of small bugfixes and improvements for On-Campus Online Examinations. After a short overview of the most important new features, we provide a more detailed overview of the possibilities of the Freehand Drawing question type and improvements to the External Question type.

Tips for Moodle courses

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make your Moodle course both more effective and visually appealing. The following tips are a quick and fun way to introduce ideas for improving your Moodle course using principles of good website design. Lecturers at ETH Zürich can learn more using Moodle in the self-paced online course “Building an effective Moodle course”.

10 things to consider when applying for an Innovedum project

If you teach at ETH and think about innovating your teaching, Innovedum is just around the corner. Dr. Erik Jentges, educational developer at the department of management, technolgy, and economics, has been involved in several reviews and writings for Innovedum projects. You might want to check out his 10 tips when applying for an Innovedum project: -Identify the correct grant scheme -State your idea clearly -Give us your context -Feature the voice of learners -Demonstrate that you talked to educators and didactic experts -Present a realistic project plan -Assume supportive reviewers -Put your didactic innovations front and center -Think beyond your project -Share your learnings

Rückblick auf meine Lehre in der Abteilung LET

Im Sommer 2017 habe ich meine Lehre als Informatiker EFZ mit der Fachrichtung Systemtechnik an der ETH Zürich begonnen. Das erste Lehrjahr verbrachte ich im IT Lehrlabor mit sieben weiteren Informatik-Lernenden der ETH Zürich. In diesem ersten Lehrjahr haben wir die Grundlagen der Informatik kennengelernt und konnten durch kleinere Projekte auch praktische Erfahrungen sammeln. Schon bald ging es dann darum, seinen Arbeitsplatz für die folgenden drei Lehrjahre zu bestimmen. Hierfür ging ich bei einigen potenziellen Ausbildungsplätzen für ein Gespräch oder für ein kleines «Schnuppern» vorbei. Hier stellte sich das LET von Anfang an als mein Favorit heraus, da mich das breite IT-Spektrum, welches am LET abgedeckt wird, sehr angesprochen hat. Vom First Level Support für die Mitarbeitenden des LET über die Betreuung der computerbasierten Prüfungen bis hin zur Backend-Administration von Servern ist alles dabei.

Vereinfachtes Reporting in der Unterrichtsbeurteilung der ETH Zürich

An vielen Hochschulen sind die Prozesse der Unterrichtsbeurteilung eindeutig geregelt. Dies aber meist nur bis zum Ende der Datenerhebung. In den letzten Jahren rückte der Schlussteil des Evaluationsprozesses, also die Analyse der Resultate und die Festlegung von Massnahmen aufgrund dieser Resultate, vermehrt in den Fokus. Bisher mussten die 16 Departemente pro Semester je einen Bericht an die Rektorin senden, in dem die kritisch evaluierten Veranstaltungen eruiert und Ursachen und Massnahmen zu deren Verbesserung beschrieben wurden. Die Rektorin hat dann wieder in Briefform eine Rückmeldung an jedes Departement zum Bericht geschrieben.

Going paperless: The revised portal page in Online Examinations at ETH Zurich introduced in Spring Semester 2020

In online examinations at ETH Zurich, the portal page is the website students see first when they face the exam computer and is thus the entry point for every online examination with Moodle. A revised portal page was introduced in September 2020, focusing on improvements in several key areas: 1) going paperless, 2) exam administration, 3) visual redesign and 4) technical infrastructure.

New ideas for Innovedum, the ETH innovative teaching fund

With the Innovedum Fund, ETH has an extremely successful instrument for promoting innovative teaching, especially with regard to community building (cf. Reinhardt, Korner, Walter, 2019). Topics such as student engagement (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014) and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Martensson & Roxa, 2015) are increasingly being considered globally as an important part of educational development activities. With this in mind, the Innovedum application process became the focus of a rethink and revision in 2020. The application process was updated to a webform and new criteria were included in the application process. These were; inclusion of the student perspective, dissemination of Innovedum projects results and communication.

The benefits of classroom visits (and how to make them effective)

It requires effort, time and theoretical preparation to be truly able to deliver a good lecture, to properly plan a class, or to assess the performance of your students. As I am writing this document, I am still in this process of learning. Nevertheless, the more I am involved in teaching, the more I can experiment with new techniques or approaches, keeping the structures that worked, adjusting those that didn’t. One technique I plan to keep is classroom visits with peers.

How meaningful are clicker data?

Contributors: Meike Akveld (D-MATH), Menny Aka (D-MATH), Alexander Caspar (D-MATH), Marinka Valkering-Sijsling (LET), Gerd Kortemeyer (LET)

Virtual labs with Labster – Practical experience in food chemistry

Interview with Dr. Melanie Erzinger, responsible for the food chemistry practical course at D-HEST. The food chemistry practical course at D-HEST uses the virtual laboratory simulations of Labster. Virtual labs allow students to complete laboratory experiments online and explore concepts and theories without stepping into a physical science lab. Especially now in times of Corona, this is a valuable alternative. There are many kinds of virtual lab simulations, from simple video animations to immersive 3D interactive learning environments. Other courses and departments might benefit from these options as well, mainly biology and chemistry.

ETH Moodle App

We are proud to announce the brand new ETH Moodle App for Android and iOS available today! This app has been developed by the core developers of Moodle and is a specially branded version of the official Moodle App.

Drawing by hand made easy in Moodle

Do you already use Moodle and have you ever wanted better options for capturing simple digital drawings as part of a quiz? An improved freehand drawing question type is now available for ETH lecturers. This question type is called “Freehand Drawing (ETH)” and works on any computer device. Generally, touch-devices with hardware pens (styluses) work best although drawing with a mouse or a touchpad works as well.

Learning Autonomy with Self-Driving Cars: Duckietown goes MOOC.

Jacopo Tani and Andrea Censi are senior assistants in the research group headed by Emilio Frazzoli (D-MAVT), an internationally renowned specialist in autonomous systems. Together with Prof. Liam Paull of the University of Montreal, they lead the Duckietown project, which was conceived at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015. The goal was to build a platform that was small-scale and cute yet still preserved the real scientific challenges inherent in a full-scale real autonomous robot platform. Duckietown is now a worldwide initiative to realize a new vision for AI/robotics education. It teaches participants to programme autonomous vehicles to navigate a structured environment using rubber ducks as the passengers of the vehicles, and has now been used by over 80 universities in 23 countries worldwide. Their next endeavor is to create a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs) focused on the science and technology of autonomy through the lens of self-driving cars. In this multi-institution project, ETH will take leadership and develop the first course of the MOOC-series.

Safe Exam Browser 3.0 freigegeben

Prüfungen am Computer (Online-Prüfungen) bieten viele Vorteile gegenüber herkömmlichen schriftlichen Prüfungen. Sie können oftmals authentischer gestaltet werden, indem Studierende in der Prüfung mit Programmen und Ressourcen arbeiten können, die sie auch in den Übungen oder später im Arbeitsalltag verwenden (z.B. durch eine eingebettete Programmierumgebung). Je nach Aufbau der Prüfung ist auch eine (teil-)automatisierte Bewertung möglich, die bei grossen Kursen eine massive Arbeitserleichterung für die Examinatoren bringt, bzw. ein Assessment überhaupt erst möglich macht (z.B. bei MOOCs).

Engaging students through technology enhanced Feedback

Teachers’ written commentary on student assignments is a fundamental element of instruction in almost any discipline. However, it is unclear what impact the feedback has on students. Consequently, teachers face fundamental questions for which no ready answers are available: Which components of commentary are most helpful, and how are they most effectively delivered? How can students’ uptake of commentary be optimised, and how can teachers be most efficient when providing commentary?

Online-Prüfungen reloaded

SEB Server Version 1.0 veröffentlicht

Deeper integration. Moodle and Safe Exam Browser take their relationship to the next level

For many years, ETH has been using two open-source software projects: Safe Exam Browser (SEB) and Moodle are the foundation of online assessment at ETH Zürich. They work together seamlessly but the management of SEB configurations is somewhat complicated. With the brand-new release of Moodle 3.9 in early June 2020, the integration was improved significantly to support a number of different online exam scenarios. For example, in a bring your own device (BYOD) scenario admins now have the possibility of enabling teachers to configure SEB settings directly in a quiz. Admins can manage templates of SEB settings that are provided to teachers via the quiz settings in Moodle.

Tue Gutes und sprich darüber

Die Evidenz für die Überlegenheit von kognitiv aktivierenden Lehr/Lernformen («active learning») für konzeptionelles Verständnis verdichtet sich (Stern, 2018), die Akzeptanz bei Dozierenden wie auch Studierenden hingegen steigt nicht mit. Woran liegt das? Der Beantwortung dieser Frage haben sich Louis Deslauriers und Kolleg/innen der Harvard University angenähert.

Programmieraufgaben online leicht gemacht

Enthält Ihre Veranstaltung Programmieraufgaben? Würden Sie gerne die Studierenden in ein und derselben Umgebung während des Semesters Programmieraufgaben lösen lassen und diese Umgebung dann auch in der Prüfung verwenden? Möchten Sie ausserdem Ihre Programmieraufgaben in der Prüfung mit anderen Aufgabenformaten wie Freitext- oder Multiple-Choice Aufgaben kombinieren?

First principles of teaching online

… and just like that, ETH Zurich has moved its teaching online. The buildings are empty, much like the streets outside. But teaching and learning continues, just in a very different way.

Schlechte Unterrichtsbeurteilungen für innovativen Unterricht?

“Mit viel Engagement habe ich meine Lehrveranstaltung nach neuesten didaktischen Erkenntnissen umgestaltet. Sei es im Flipped Classroom oder mit erhöhtem Einsatz von Clicker-Fragen, die Studierenden waren während der Präsenz aktiv gefordert und haben auch gerne mitgemacht. Doch mit der Unterrichtsbeurteilung kam die grosse Enttäuschung. Die Studierenden bewerten mich und meinen Unterricht deutlich schlechter als vorher. Sie bevorzugen sogar Frontalunterricht, denn damit würden sie besser lernen. Habe ich etwas falsch gemacht? Soll ich wieder zurück zu meiner altbewährten Vorlesung?”

Studierende setzen Initiative für die Lehre an der ETH um.

Im Oktober 2019 hat die Lehrkommission zum ersten Mal eine studentische Studiengangsinitiative positiv beurteilt und die Rektorin hat die Initiative in der Folge bewilligt. Diese Initiative heisst ROSE* und wurde von Studierenden über ein Jahr lang bearbeitet und setzt ihre Vision für mehr Integration und Interdisziplinarität in der Lehre um. Dieser Erfolg soll gefeiert werden! Wir haben uns mit den verantwortlichen Studierenden Medea Fux, Patrick Althaus und Adrian Süess unterhalten. *ROSE bedeutet Revolution Of STEM Education

Competence View – Teaching cross-disciplinary competencies at ETH

On 15 January 2020, we launched Competence View, an exciting new platform that features good practice examples of fostering cross-disciplinary competencies at ETH Zurich. It highlights examples from across most departments and covers all the cross-disciplinary competencies (social- and personal competencies) detailed in the ETH competence framework (link).

How to Multiple Choice with Moodle

Multiple Choice (MC) questions are a popular but challenging to master item format for formative assessments and examinations. They facilitate probing students’ knowledge of facts and understanding of simple concepts and their relationships, particularly in large student cohorts. MC items consist of a stem followed by a number of options. The stem always ends with a short and concise question. It should be possible to answer this question meaningfully without looking at the options (e.g. ‘which of the following options is true’ cannot be answered meaningfully, whereas ‘which animal species are mammals’ can be answered meaningfully). The question may be preceded by a case-study, central idea, or more elaborate problem statement. The options are short and concise and avoid negations. MC items can be split into two families: The one-best-answer family and the true-false family. In the one-best-answer family, students have to select a single best answer from a set of options. Options that are not the single best answer we call distractors. In the ETH Moodle, this functionality is available through the SC(ETH) question type. In the true-false family, students have to evaluate each option whether it is true or false. In the ETH Moodle, this functionality is available through the MTF(ETH) and the Kprime(ETH) question type. We discourage using the standard Moodle Multiple Choice and the True/False question types, which are no longer needed.

Pilot am D-INFK: Blended Learning Kurs “Didactic Basics for Student Teaching Assistants”

Als wichtiger Bestandteil von innovativer Lehre an der ETH Zürich, haben sich Online-Lernangebote in den letzten Jahren stetig weiterentwickelt. Vor allem der Ansatz des Blended Learning sowie das Konzept des Flipped Classroom, mit der Verknüpfung von Online-Selbstlernphasen und kooperativem Präsenzlernen gewinnen immer mehr an Bedeutung. Die didaktische Ausbildung für studentische Lehrassistierende an der ETH Zürich nimmt diesen Trend auf und setzt ihn zielgruppenorientiert um: Daher befindet sich das Kursangebot derzeit im Wandel – aus einer klassischen Präsenzveranstaltung soll zukünftig ein Blended Learning Kursangebot für alle Hilfsassistierenden mit Lehraufgaben entstehen. Zur didaktischen Ausbildung von Hilfsassistierenden bietet das LET seit vielen Jahren entsprechende Kurse an, bei denen das Lernen zu ca. 80% in Präsenz und ca. 20% des Lernens online stattfindet. Da die didaktischen Kurse für Lehrassistierenden immer besser besucht werden und die Skalierung der Präsenzkurse eine natürliche Grenze hat, wurde vor einiger Zeit mit der Konzeptplanung eines Blended Formats begonnen. Nach eigenen Videoproduktionen und mehrmaligen Feedbackschleifen mit ehemaligen Lehrassistierenden konnte ein erster Pilot im Sommer 2019 fertiggestellt und im HS 2019 für die Hilfsassistierenden am D-INFK angeboten werden. Für die erste Durchführung entschieden wir uns, Präsenzkurs und Onlinekurs parallel anzubieten und die Studierenden selbst aussuchen zu lassen, welches Format sie bevorzugen: Für den neuen Blended Learning Kurs am D-INFK registrierten sich 88 Teilnehmende, während am “klassischen” Präsenzkurs lediglich 16 Studierende teilnahmen. Bereits an dieser Verteilung beim Pilotkurs wird deutlich, dass die Lehrassistierenden ein flexibles Format bevorzugen, wie wir dies mit dem neuen Blended Learning Kurs “Didactic Basics for Student Teaching Assistants” anbieten. Bei dem neuen Kurskonzept ist das Verhältnis zwischen Online- und Präsenzlernen genau umgekehrt zum bisherigen Konzept: ca. 80% des Lernens findet nun online anhand von Lernvideos und anderen Online-Lernmaterialien statt, während der Transfer des Gelernten in einem Präsenztermin umgesetzt wird und weiterhin Peer Hospitationen (gegenseitige Unterrichtsbesuche) stattfinden, die zusammen ca. 20% des Gesamtaufwands für die Teilnehmenden ausmachen.

“Less content might result in more learning.” Recent didactic course graduates reflect.

Twice a year the programme “Teaching at ETH: Committed and skilled” helps Assistant Professors to implement evidence-based teaching ideas in their classroom teaching. We asked the most recent group to reflect on the most important thing they learned. Newly appointed Assistant Professors are quickly faced with a range of new tasks they are expected to master. Often without significant introduction, they are expected to develop budgets, plan and teach courses, manage financial acquisitions and hire and train staff in various skills – all the while conducting research and writing publications. The pressure is high as they keep their eye on the prize, namely tenure. “Teaching at ETH: Committed and skilled” gives Assistant Professors the opportunity to invest some rare time in developing their teaching skills, which for many is a new area of expertise. During the programme’s classroom phase they are introduced to key pedagogical concepts and encouraged to put these into practice in their own teaching environments. They then meet in small groups to discuss their teaching goals and challenges, where they have a chance to give and receive feedback on their ideas and teaching practice. Over time, not only do their teaching skills develop; many of their previously held beliefs about teaching and learning also change. This was reflected in the latest group’s answers when we asked: “What words of wisdom would you like to pass on to the next course participants?”

Does anything ever happen after those teaching evaluation surveys?

Maybe you know the problem. You want feedback on your teaching from your students. You want to know what they think went well, and what didn’t. Maybe you need their evaluations for future job applications. In whatever case, in your evaluation a more or less representative amount of feedback and number of ratings would come in handy. But your students are sick of evaluations! They wonder why they have to fill something out which will be of no use to them, and nothing ever comes of evaluations anyway… . So the muttering of students. However, something actually does happen with student evaluations – even if most students aren’t aware of it. It is rare that someone attends a course twice, and there is little opportunity to find out whether lecturers have implemented their students’ wishes. Therefore, to let students and others know what happens after a questionnaire is submitted and why evaluations are important to teaching quality, we have created a 3-minute video with the help of Youknow (specialists in explainer videos). Please show this video to your students and motivate them to take part in the survey! This is especially useful if you have the opportunity to conduct the evaluation in class. The challenge for us was to explain the entire comprehensive, stringent evaluation process from survey via publication of findings to deduction of appropriate measures briefly and appealingly. A bigger challenge was to be responsive to students and take their criticisms seriously, while also dignifying the engagement of most lecturers. Whether and how well we have achieved this in three minutes of moving images is yours to decide!

ICED 2020 @ ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is to host a global conversation about how higher education will look in the future, and how universities should prepare.

OP (Online-Prüfungen) im Hörsaal: Praxisbericht aus dem Projekt mobiles Prüfen

Im Herbst 2017 begann für den an der ETH neu initiierten Studiengang BSc Medizin das erste Semester. Nicht nur für die Mediziner, sondern auch für uns war dies Startschuss für die Bewältigung von neuen Herausforderungen, schwierigen Operationen und heilen von Kinderkrankheiten, denn mit eben diesem Studiengang sollten im Rahmen des Projektes «mobiles Prüfen» Online-Prüfungen zusätzlich in Hörsälen stattfinden können. Schon vor einiger Zeit tauchte das erste Symptom auf, das schlussendlich zur Entstehung des Projektes Prüfen mit mobilen Geräten führen würde: Die Warteliste für neue Online-Prüfungen, die immer länger und länger wurde. Die Ursache dafür war schnell gefunden: Es standen zu wenige Computerräume zur Verfügung, in denen operiert werden konnte. Da sich neue Räume nicht so schnell erzeugen lassen, musste eine andere, unterstützende Lösung her: Anstatt in den voll ausgestatteten OP-Raum zu gehen, wird auf mobiles Inventar gesetzt, in unserem Fall auf mobile Convertibles, um die Ursache zu bekämpfen und dadurch neue Online-Prüfungen zu ermöglichen. Es folgten eine umfangreiche Anamnese, viele Untersuchungen und Tests in Zusammenarbeit mit weiteren Abteilungen. So fanden wir zusammen mit den Informatikdiensten (ID-SDL), Studierenden, Lehrspezialisten und weiteren Mitarbeitern des LET ein geeignetes Arbeitsgerät.

Learning from 18 years of fostering Teaching and Learning innovation

For more than 18 years, ETH has consistently been fostering Teaching and Learning (T&L) innovation through funding provided by Innovedum*. The funded projects have helped to transform teaching practices sustainably both in individual courses and curricula. But what else have we learned from it? To find answers the Innovation management group at LET has reflected on how this innovation process has evolved. We evaluated 15 years of data and arrived at two key findings. The first is that community building activities (such as our lunchtime seminars and the Learning and Teaching Fair) have become the basis for fostering T&L innovation at ETH. These activities bring together project leaders, faculty members, educational developers and policymakers and provide a platform for teaching staff to share information and insights gleaned from their projects. These events are driven by the concept of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) which aims for systematic reflections on how individual teaching interventions and innovation projects improve student learning. We will continue on this path.

Dashboard-Bilder in Moodle anpassen

(English below) Lehrende können die Dashboard-Bilder ihrer eigenen Kurse selber ändern. Dies lässt sich einfach umsetzen und hilft Studierenden und Lehrenden, ihre Kurse schneller zu finden. Darüber hinaus wird das Dashboard durch individuelle Bilder visuell ansprechender.

Student Innovedum inspires deeper student engagement

It was some years ago, that the Teaching Commission asked LET (the unit for Educational Development and Technology at ETH) to consider ways to involve student in teaching and learning innovation.

Case Study – Peer Review Mastering Digital Business Models

As part of a series of case studies, staff at LET sat down to have a conversation with Prof. Elgar Fleisch, Johannes Hübner and Dominik Bilgeri from the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC) to discuss their Mastering Digital Business Model (MDBM) course.

Case Study – Peer Review Corporate Sustainability

As part of a series of case studies, staff at LET sat down to have a conversation with Prof. Volker Hoffmann (SusTec, the Group for Sustainability and Technology) and Erik Jentges (Educational Developer) from the Department of Management, Technology and Economics (D-MTEC) to discuss their corporate sustainability project.

Flash apocalypse

Flash Flash in all its forms will no longer be supported by Adobe or any internet browsers by the end of 2020. This has prompted a clean-up of any Flash files on our own Moodle system. For years Adobe Flash was considered state-of-the-art for interactive web content. As time goes by new standards like html5 and webGL have been established and the Flash technology was shown to be vulnerable to attacks. Therefore it was not surprising that about two years ago Adobe announced the end of Flash by 2020.

100 Days at ETH. An interview with Dr. Gerd Kortemeyer

The new Director of LET, the unit for Educational Development and Technology at ETH, has been at his post for 100 days. We sat down with Dr. Gerd Kortemeyer to find out more about him as a person and his first impressions of Switzerland, ETH and his new role.

Weshalb Moodle?

Auf den Beitrag zum neuen Moodle-Design in diesem Blog im Januar diesen Jahres haben wir viel Feedback erhalten. Dafür möchten wir uns herzlich bedanken. Gerne möchten wir Ihnen im Nachgang mit diesem Blogbeitrag aufzeichnen, was eigentlich hinter Moodle steckt und weshalb sich die ETH Zürich für Moodle als strategische Lernplattform entschieden hat.

Using Polybook to create interactive lecture notes together

As a depository of digital lecture notes the Polybook has been popular among ETH teaching staff for some time. In Polybook instructors can enrich conventional lecture material with interactive elements such as quizzes and videos, and question students on particularly important material. This increases student engagement with the material and improves knowledge uptake.

Case study – Peer Review Food Chemistry Laboratory – Writing reports

As part of a series of case studies, staff at LET sat down to have a conversation with Prof. Laura Nyström and Dr. Melanie Erzinger from the Department of Health Sciences and Technology to discuss their food chemistry laboratory project.

New topics for Refresh Teaching 2019 announced

Since 2015, the Educational Development and Technology unit (LET) at ETH has been running lunch-time seminars designed to provide short insights into innovative teaching at ETH. These events feature ETH teaching staff speaking and sharing their own ideas and experiences with didactic initiatives. Each event includes an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and discuss ideas among themselves. After the discussion, an optional lunch is provided which creates more time for networking and exchange.

Conference: What works in teaching and why

ETH will host this year’s Swiss Faculty Development Network’s (SFDN) annual conference on 22 February 2019. SFDN is the professional association of faculty developers in Switzerland. Its main objective is to “build up the teaching and learning capacity in higher education institutions in Switzerland.” LET, the ETH unit for Educational Development and Technology, has been a member for many years.

Impartial group assessment. Using peer review and economic theory to grade groups fairly.

In a clear case of practicing what he preaches, Dr. Heinrich Nax has applied game theory to his teaching practice. After lecturing on game theory for several years, he realised that his methods for teaching, more specifically, for assessing did not follow the very theories he was espousing and so he set out to correct this incongruence. In his course «Controversies in Game Theory» students work in groups and are assessed based on a group project. Social tensions can develop between individual and collective interests in group interactions. One such tension, free-riding, when one person rides the coat-tails of other hard-working group members is well known. There are however additional potential problems when assessing group work such as collusion on grades in cases of peer review. To eliminate these tensions, Dr. Nax decided to implement a mechanism from economic theory to his assessments.

New design for Moodle in January 2019

On January 8, 2019, the ETH Moodle system will be updated to a newer version as well as receive a fresh new look. It aligns more strongly with the ETH corporate design and offers a modernized framework that better supports current browsers and devices. Moodle is the Learning Management System (LMS) of ETH. The open source online learning platform supports the development, distribution and administration of webbased learning environments thereby promoting interactive The most important improvements in a nutshell Once the Moodle webpage is opened, all users will find themselves on the newly designed login page.

Neues Moodle-Design ab Januar 2019

Am 8. Januar 2019 erhält die ETH Moodle Plattform ein frisches und modernisiertes Design. Es orientiert sich am Corporate Design der ETH Zürich und bietet einen modernen «Unterbau», der die Darstellung in allen aktuellen Browsern, Tablets und Smartphones unterstützt. Moodle ist das Learning Management System der ETH. Die Open Source Lernplattform dient der Komposition, Distribution und Administration von webbasierten Unterrichtsumgebungen und fördert interaktive Lehr-/Lernszenarien. Die wichtigsten Neuerungen des Designs Beim Aufruf von Moodle werden alle NutzerInnen auf die neugestaltete Login-Seite geleitet.

Learning and Teaching Fair 2018

This year the first Learning and Teaching Fair took place at ETH Zurich on Wednesday, 14 November 2018. The Learning and Teaching Fair 2018 was the most comprehensive internal event on learning and teaching at ETH so far and the hard work and creative teaching of lecturers was placed firmly in the spotlight. By building on the previous successes of the annual Innovedum events, a wide community of around 180 engaged individuals were able to come together for discussion, feedback and inspiration on the topic of student learning.

Case study: Molegram Explorer – A mixed-reality framework for teaching drug design

As part of a series of case studies, staff at LET sat down to have a conversation with Prof. Gisbert Schneider and Dr. Jan Hiss from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences to discuss their mixed-reality project.

Online-Prüfungen direkt nach Semesterende: Raum mit 240 Plätzen steht neu zur Verfügung

Seit der Prüfungssession im Februar 2018 betreiben die Informatikdienste zusammen mit der Abteilung LET in der sogenannten Fokushalle im ONA-Gebäude an der Neunbrunnenstrasse in Oerlikon einen Prüfungsraum mit 240 Plätzen für Studierende. Die verfügbare Raumkapazität für Online-Prüfungen in den Prüfungssessionen konnte damit verdoppelt werden. Die Fokushalle ONA E7, in der während des Semesters Vorlesungen des D-ARCH stattfinden, wird jeweils für die Prüfungen um- und nach der Prüfungssession wieder rückgebaut.

Neue Funktionen für die EduApp

Die EduApp ist eine der wichtigsten Lehrapplikationen der ETH. Ziel der EduApp ist es einerseits, die Interaktion zwischen Studierenden und Dozierenden im Hörsaal zu verbessern. Anderseits möchte diese Lehre-App Studierenden der ETH Zürich einen Mehrwert im Studienalltag bieten. Im letzten Frühlingssemester haben 100 Dozierende Clickerfragen in ihrem Unterricht eingesetzt und damit 8’694 Studierende erreicht. Auch aus Sicht der Dozenten ist die EduApp eine wertvolle Ergänzung. Dr. Ghislain Fourny (D-INFK): «Ich benutze seit 2016 die EduApp in allen meinen Vorlesungen und bin davon sehr begeistert. Es ermöglicht eine reiche Interaktion mit den Studierenden und gibt mir ein konstantes Feedback» Prof. Dr. Christoph Heinrich (D-ERDW): «Ich habe im HS2017 zum ersten Mal regelmässig Clicker-Fragen in meiner grossen Geologievorlesung für die Erstsemestrigen am D-BAUG eingesetzt. Es war ein grosser Erfolg, nicht zuletzt wegen der Auflockerung, und ich bekam spontan viele positive Feedbacks». Dr. Markus Kalisch (D-MATH): «Mit der EduApp bekomme ich sofortiges Feedback von den Studenten, selbst wenn die Vorlesung mehrere hundert Teilnehmer hat». Dr. Meike Akveld (D-MATH): «Die EduApp gibt mir direktes Feedback darüber, ob verstanden wurde, was ich unterrichtet habe. Ich bitte immer einen der Studierenden die richtige Antwort zu erklären, was oft hilfreich ist. Ausserdem ist es für sie eine angenehme Abwechslung»

Flipped learning helps evaluation of health delivery systems

When it comes to medical device and health services development, it is essential to conduct a rigorous analysis and propose fitting solutions. These should cover the specific situations that impact the user and the country’s system within which they are delivered. This not only requires knowledge in medical device evaluation and regulation, but also “soft” skills such as empathy. In order to maximise opportunities for his students to develop these competences, Prof. Dr. Walter Karlen flipped his class so that his students could practice the skills he intends for them to learn. The course in question is called Appropriate Health System Design, an elective course open to all master students of ETH.

#moodleDACH18 – a success story

A month ago ETH hosted the Moodle DACHunconference and Devcamp (https://www.moodle-dach.eu/) which has a specific focus on using Moodle in the higher education context. About 140 Moodle administrators, power users and developers from all over the world, met in the Earth sciences building. During the entire event the hashtag #moodleDACH18 was used. View the twitter wall with impressions and thoughts at https://walls.io/moodledach18.

ETHZ & WSL announce first MOOC on Landscape Ecology

In this MOOC participants learn theory, methods and tools to understand the landscapes we live in and to solve landscape-related environmental problems. Leading landscape ecologists present case studies from around the world, where research in landscape ecology is needed, both to improve our understanding of land-use systems and to guide land managers in their decisions. Join us at https://www.edx.org/course/landscape-ecology. Course start Sep 10, 2018, by Prof. Felix Kienast and Dr. Gregor Martius

Ausbau der Raumkapazitäten für Online-Prüfungen: Rückblick und Ausblick

Die ETH Zürich lancierte 2007 das Projekt «Online-Prüfungen an der ETH Zürich», welches 2010 in eine hochschulweite Dienstleistung für die Durchführung von Online-Prüfungen mündete. Zunächst konnten Online-Prüfungen allein in den Computerräumen des ETH Hauptgebäudes mit maximal gut 130 Studierenden gleichzeitig durchgeführt werden. 2012 wurde mit dem HG G 1 ein erster grosser Raum für Online-Prüfungen in Betrieb genommen, welcher Platz für weitere 160 Studierende bietet. Das HG G 1 wird während der Semester vom D-MAVT für Lehrveranstaltungen, Innovationsprojekte sowie als Lernraum genutzt und für die Sessionen dem Rektorat zur Nutzung übergeben. Zweimal jährlich wird das HG G 1 für die Nutzung als Online-Prüfungsraum während der Sessionen umgebaut. Mit dem HG G 1 konnten die Kapazitäten für Online-Prüfungen mehr als verdoppelt werden, sodass schon bald um die 100 Online-Prüfungen mit rund 10’000 Kandidaten jährlich durchgeführt werden konnten.

Virtual field trips enhance Production Management classes

Using factory-visit apps and affordable cardboard viewers, Professor Torbjørn Netland and his team innovate how production management can be taught. By integrating Virtual Reality (VR) technology in the spring term course Global Operations Strategy at ETH Zurich, the teaching team provided students rare access to multiple factory sites and their inner workings. The students used VR apps in order to help them complete graded course assignments. What triggered this experiment?

Responsive Cities or Webcartography?

In May two new ETH-MOOCs will start. Please feel free to join these courses!

eCollaboration @ ETH

Das eCollaboration Projekt soll das kollaborative Lernen und Zusammenarbeiten im Lehrkontext an der ETH für Studierende und Dozierende einfacher gestalten. Dazu wurden zwei digitale Werkzeuge evaluiert (Pressbooks und PolyboxEdu) und in die bestehende Servicelandschaft der ETH eingefügt. Das Projekt gründet auf dem Konzept des Lernens als sozialen Prozess. Dabei geht man davon aus, dass die Beteiligten gemeinsam einen von allen getragenen Konsens zu einem bestimmten Thema entwickeln oder ein Produkt erarbeiten. Daraus resultiert ein höheres Niveau an Denkprozessen und die Informationen werden von den einzelnen im Vergleich zum individuellen Lernen länger abgespeichert. Soziale Impulsen wie z.B. Dialoge, Diskussionen, verschiedene Sichtweisen oder Meinungsverschiedenheiten wirken sich generell positiv auf den Lernprozess aus. Bei Studierenden und Dozierenden wurde als grosser Bedarf das gemeinsame Erstellen und gleichzeitige Bearbeiten von Texten und Dokumenten sowie eine Diskussions- und Kommentarfunktion identifiziert. Diese Bedürfnisse werden durch eine Kombination der folgenden Tools abgedeckt. Pressbooks bietet die Möglichkeit digitale Bücher zu erstellen. Dies erfolgt direkt im Learning Management System Moodle der ETH. Die Studierenden können darin gemeinsam an umfangreichen Dokumenten arbeiten, welche am Ende ein digitales Buch ergeben. Längere Dokumente können attraktiv dargestellt und doch flexibel bearbeitet werden. Mögliche Einsatzszenarien sind: -gemeinsames Erstellen und Überarbeiten von Skripten/Zusammenfassungen -Reviewen von Dokumenten