Teaching and Examinations in Spring 2021


Here, you will find the most important questions and answers to various teaching and examinations scenarios supported by Central IT in Spring 2021. The FAQs are constantly being updated.

Please use this information to clarify whether the scenarios you have planned for Spring 2021 are technically feasible.

Our Teaching Tools will provide you with further information on didactic scenarios.

The information listed on onsite or hybrid teaching refers only to technical aspects. They say nothing about whether classroom or hybrid teaching is permissible.

Please also refer to the task force page with information for teaching staff.


On this page, we will inform you when we make specific changes to the FAQ or information sheets.


Organizing a Course

How can I easily divide the students into groups so that it is clear who is allowed to be on site and when?

You can open a course in OLAT and use the registration module. Students can then self-register for groups of a predefined size. For further details, see the OLAT manual.

How can I check who was on site during my lecture?

This can be caried out using handheld scanners and an Excel list prepared in advanced. For further information, please see Access control.

For exams, you can use the ZAK (access and handover control) service offered by EPIS. Please consult this page for further details.

Podcasts/Teaching Videos

How can I record a classroom event?

All of the lecture halls listed here are equipped for automatic recordings on SWITCHcast. Please apply well in advance of the event via the online form (“Select event recordings”). The camera image, sound and presentations will be recorded.

In addition, ten more rooms (PDF, 26 KB) (PDF, 21 KB) have been equipped for the fall semester 2020, but without cameras.

Recordings of face-to-face events carried out via ZOOM or MS Teams will only work if the speakers are close enough to the computer microphone or use a microphone connected to the computer. Therefore, this type of recording is only recommended for rooms that are not equipped for automatic recording.

For further information on recording in non-equipped rooms, please see our Information Sheet (PDF, 195 KB).

Can podcasts be collectively ordered for each faculty?

Yes, please use this template (XLS, 53 KB) (DE) and send it to avs-support@id.uzh.ch.

Applicants must first obtain the consent for recording from all of the instructors concerned.

Do I have to do something if I no longer want an event recorded that is registered for recording?

Yes, otherwise the camera will record as planned. If a room is empty, someone might be tempted to use it and then be recorded without their knowledge. To prevent this violation of personal rights, please notify AV services on which dates you no longer wish to be recorded. Ideally, please reply to the confirmation e-mail you received when you placed your order or provide us with the corresponding ticket number. If you have deleted the message, we need at least the room, the date and the time as well as the name of the lecture or the lecture number for control purposes.

If the room remains occupied by you and you no longer wish to record, you can simply let the recording run.

Do I have to do anything if my lecture is moved to another room?

Yes, otherwise the camera records as planned in the originally scheduled room. If this room were to be reassigned, this event would be recorded without the knowledge of those involved. To prevent this violation of personal rights, please inform AV services about the adjusted time and room. Ideally, please reply to the confirmation e-mail you received when you placed your order or provide us with the corresponding ticket number. If you have deleted the message, we need at least the room, the date and the time as well as the name of the lecture or the lecture number for control purposes.

Please note that a relocation/postponement confirmation from lecture hall disposition is not sufficient to ensure that the recording is rescheduled as well.

Can I subtitle podcasts or self-made videos?

SWITCHtube allows you to create subtitles that can be shown and hidden directly on the platform itself.

SWITCHcast does not feature this function.

Alternatively, you can use any editing software to provide fixed subtitles for videos you have created yourself. These subtitles, however, cannot be hidden in the player.

How can I make my own videos available to students?

Generally, you should not upload your videos to Magnolia or OLAT, but instead to a video portal that also complies with data protection regulations. YouTube or Vimeo do not meet these requirements. Instead, SWITCHcast or SWITCHtube are available to you. We have compiled the most important advantages and disadvantages of both platforms for you, as well as instructions for uploading videos (DE) (PDF, 263 KB) you have created yourself.

ZOOM and MS Teams can also be used to record and distribute videos, but the respective data protection restrictions must be observed (for ZOOM and for MS Teams).

From the video portals, you can integrate individual videos or even entire channels into an OLAT course. Please do not upload videos directly to OLAT as this would make them inconvenient for students to watch.

Video Conferencing/Live-Streaming

Which video conferencing software can I use for my course?

The tools currently supported by UZH are:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • ZOOM
  • https://meeting.uzh.ch
  • SWITCHmeet (based on Jitsi)

UZH provides licenses for all of these tools. Further information can be found at:

Am I still allowed to use ZOOM?

Yes, the UZH campus licenses are valid indefinitely.

Why do I have to use the UZH campus license for ZOOM?

For data protection reasons, no other ZOOM licenses may be used for university purposes. The UZH campus license is available to all UZH members free of charge.

When do I need a webinar license for ZOOM and when is a conventional license sufficient?

We have compiled the most important differences between conventional licenses (“meeting licenses”) and webinar licenses for you here (PDF, 228 KB).

How can students from outside of the university participate in my classroom event?

Some lecture halls (PDF, 26 KB) have been equipped to enable classroom events to be streamed live with ZOOM or Teams. The faculties provide their own first level support to help you set up and test runs.

Please also note that the images recorded by the room camera will not be integrated, only the screen presentation and the sound will be transmitted. In addition, the transmission will be unidirectional, i.e. external participants must ask any questions they may have via chat.

In small seminar rooms, live-streaming is generally possible. For further information, please see our Live-Streaming Information Sheet (PDF, 171 KB).

We generally advise you to have your lectures recorded in lecture halls equipped for this purpose or to hold purely online events.

Can students participate in online events while on campus?

In principle, yes. However, there are various practical challenges:

  • Electricity: especially video conferences, in which students are asked to share their camera or screen, require an enormous amount of electricity, i.e. batteries may not last long enough.
  • Students need a quiet environment or a room in which they can actively participate in video conferences.
  • Students should definitely bring a headset with microphone.

Can instructors from outside of the university hold a course for students on site?

Yes, this is possible with ZOOM or MS Teams. An assistant must be on site to operate ZOOM or Teams. Both instructors and assistants must use headsets with microphones. Student questions must be repeated by the assistant. We strongly recommend a test run in advance.

How can I prevent students from recording my lecture in MS Teams or ZOOM without my consent?

This cannot be fully and reliably prevented. The tool shows if someone records within MS Teams or ZOOM, but not if they use other methods. We recommend that you make students aware that recording without consent is not allowed.

What is the maximum number of participants in an MS Teams session?

The maximum number of participants is 300. For larger video conferences, please use ZOOM with the appropriate license.

How can I register students in MS Teams?

There are several ways to register students in MS Teams, depending on whether you have created a private or public team.

If you have a public team, you only need to send the link for the team to the students. They will then have access to the course via the link and can enroll themselves. A public team means that theoretically, all UZH members have access to it (with consequences regarding copyright when using third-party material, and data protection). However, it is difficult for outsiders to find public teams if the name and link are not known.

If the team is private, the easiest way is to send the team code to the participants. You can find this code under “Manage team” --> “Settings” --> “Team code”.
The students can then create a new team and enter the appropriate code. This means that you do not need to enter the students manually.

Which video conferencing tool can I use for highly confidential data?

meeting@uzh.ch is available for this purpose. The servers are all located at the UZH Data Center.

Are MS Teams or ZOOM installed on the lecture hall computers?

Yes, both ZOOM and Teams are installed on the lecture hall computers. Please remember to not simply close the tool, but to log out. We recommend that you use your own laptop.

Should I use the lecture hall computer or my own device for ZOOM transmissions from the lecture hall?

Basically, both options are possible. However, we recommend that you use your own device. It turns out that it happens that people do not log out of ZOOM at the end of the session, thus leaving the account exposed to risks of misuse.

Where do I save my lecture that has been live-streamed with ZOOM?

Since the final conversion process for a 90-minute lecture takes about 10–15 minutes, you should not save the file locally on the lecture hall computer (you may interfere with the following lecture). For data protection reasons, storage in the cloud is also not recommended (see question 4 of the ZOOM FAQs). Therefore, please use your own laptop for the recording.

Can I integrate visualizer or smartboard into the ZOOM transmission in the lecture hall?

Yes, this will be possible in the rooms equipped for ZOOM/teams. Please see our quick guide (PDF, 108 KB) for detailed instructions.

Can I also stream my lecture live (broadcast unidirectional, not with ZOOM or teams)?

Central IT is in the process of setting up this service for Fall 21 in collaboration with SWITCH. Due to technical constraints, SWITCH will only offer livestreaming for 7,000 simultaneous users throughout Switzerland. This restriction means that the service can only be provided for lectures with more than 500 participants as of Fall 21. The distribution of the livestream will be possible via OLAT. Central IT will inform as soon as the service is officially available.

Pilot participation in Spring 21:

In Spring 21, you can sign up for a pilot at martin.anklin@uzh.ch. The prerequisite is that your lecture has at least 800 participants.

StoraStorage of Materials

Where can I make files available to students?

OLAT, Teams, OneDrive, and SWITCHdrive are at your disposal for this purpose. SWITCHcast and SWITCHtube are suitable for videos. Please do not upload videos to OLAT.

Further information can be found in the OLAT blog (German only).


Why should I not upload videos to OLAT?

In order to achieve a better performance when playing back videos, they should be stored on a video portal (SWITCHtube, SWITCHcast) and integrated into OLAT. SWITCHtube and SWITCHcast also provide slightly better protection against unauthorized copying.

Teaching Platforms

Should I use OLAT or MS Teams as my teaching platform?

MS Teams only allows teams with a maximum of 300 participants. For larger events, we recommend OLAT.

Unlike MS Teams, OLAT has a connection to SAP-SLCM.


By when do I have to register my remote online examination?

Please register your examination via EPIS at least one month before the examination date.

Is it possible to hold online examinations in lecture halls with UZH equipment?

Due to limited resources, the examinations in Spring 21 cannot be carried out with UZH's own equipment.

Can online exams be conducted in lecture halls with the students' equipment?

The online examinations can be carried out on site with the students' equipment. In this case, the online exam must be registered via EPIS at least one month before the examination date. Please note that EPIS cannot provide on-site support or replacement equipment.

Will the EPIS team offer evaluations of paper examinations?

MELS is in the process of realigning this service. In Spring 21, digital evaluations of paper examinations cannot be offered due to limited resources. Anyone who has already obtained this service in the past and absolutely needs it in Spring 21 please contact the EPIS support.

Will the EPIS team offer access and delivery control?

Due to limited resources and lacking demand in Fall 20, access and delivery control will not be offered in Spring 21.

Which OLAT version will be used for the online examinations in Spring 21?

For Spring 21, the new OLAT version 14 will be used. This is the same OLAT version that has been in use for lms.uzh.ch since the beginning of February.

Will an examination software from the e-assessment project (incl. Tao) be available in Spring 21)

The examination software Tao will be available as a sandbox from February 2021. Central IT are setting up the processes and technical infrastructure for Fall 21. The goal is for you to be able to conduct online exams (remote or BYOD) also with Tao.

Central IT do not provide technical support for the Tao sandbox nor do they guarantee its stability or performance.

The EPIS team will approach sandbox users at a later stage for an exchange of experiences.


Can I use question and voting tools in online events?

Yes, this is possible. You can find more information here.

Can I still use the catch box?

No, for reasons of hygiene this is not possible for the time being. If the students are sitting outside the range of the microphone, you have no choice but to repeat the question yourself into your own microphone.