Educational innovation, development and discussion at ETH

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.

Drone captures volcano activity

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.

What triggered this experiment?

During the corona pandemic, when lectures were held online, it became evident that high-quality online material, in particular podcasts, would greatly enrich a lecture. Online lectures via Zoom do work but they should be augmented by other teaching methods. For this reason, this project was launched.


Which specific actions were taken?

We first thought about the content for the videos. Which elements should be part of the videos and what should be kept in class at ETH? We made this decision by identifying pure information that we wanted to convey in contrast to sections of the course that required interaction, activity and discussion. After that, we wrote scripts for the videos and created the necessary illustrations. We filmed both at ETH and on different locations the field using both a camera and a drone. The last step was editing the videos and making them available for the students.

Léon Frey explains ions.

What were the results or outcomes of the project?

The result of this project is flipped learning scenario which includes a series of videos on mineralogy, magmatic processes, metamorphic processes and the rock cycles. The videos are available here (videos are in German): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-Zw-otyiP39U2zvzgCq0cQ/

Can you describe the impact on students?

Students will be able to watch the videos starting in the fall semester 2022, which lies in the near future at the time of writing. Therefore, we don’t know the impact yet. However, we did some test videos last autumn. In a survey, students rated these videos very positively. We look forward to seeing what the student feedback is after the autumn semester 2022!

What lessons did you learn? What would you do differently next time?

Video production takes a lot of time. More than you might think at first. And there is always the temptation to do more and to do it better – to do another take, trying to do better than in the last take. Therefore, it is important to know when it’s enough – or when time does not allow for more attempts. Next time we would proceed the same way – in the end everything worked out well and as planned.

What first steps do you advise for others who are interested in doing the same?

Don’t underestimate the time video production needs. Our team came into this project with existing experience and skill in creating such videos and also invested a fair amount of time in learning how to do it well. And don’t underestimate the skill required to stand in front of the camera and speak confidently. If you have no experience in neither of those, plan for enough time to practise and get used to it.

Screenshot from the introduction Video for Dynamische Erde I

This project was funded by Innovedum, the Rector’s fund for advancing innovative education at ETH Zürich. You can keep up with development of this project in the public Innovedum database. If you are interested in applying for a project yourself, you can find information and the login to the application process here: www.innovedum.ethz.ch.

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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.

Overflow advantages

  • Better overview. When entering an Overflow forum, both teachers and students can see which threads are new (unread) and which have not yet had an answer marked as «correct» and «helpful». The overview also shows votes and the number of replies.
  • Anonymity. Overflow enables teachers to choose between two types of anonymity, questioners only or questioners and answerers. These settings are irreversable.
  • Rating. All course participants can «rate» a thread in the Overflow forums. Highly rated posts move towards the top. Teachers can use this feature to ask students to “vote” for best answers. This is a fast way to strengthen the visibility of a particular response and means students don’t have to post answers in order agree with an existing answer, they can just upvote.
  • Reputation. If teachers enable it, Overflow can track the reputation of participants either in a single overflow forum or across all Overflow forums in the course. Answers by students or Teaching Assistants with higher reputations will be more credible.
  • Mark as correct/helpful. Answers can be marked das «correct» by teachers or as «helpful» by the questioner. It does not have to be the same answer. This means that a teacher can overrule any discussions by labelling a specific answer as the correct answer and prevents students from accepting incorrect answers.
  • Moderation. Posts by students will only be published once a teacher has approved it.

Is it perfect? No. One complaint is that the question is no longer displayed when participants begin writing their own comment or answer. In addition only answers (not answers to answers) can be marked as helpful or correct.

Things to consider when creating an Overflow Forum:

  • Should students be automatically subscribed to this overflow?
  • Which answer should be displayed first, helpful or solved?
  • Should the reputation (rating) be aggregated over several MoodleOverflows?
  • Should negative ratings be allowed?

If you need further information, we recommend this help (in German only): https://www.uni-leipzig.de/fileadmin/ul/Dokumente/2020_Lehre-digital_Moodle_Overflow.pdf

Moodle Forum advantages

The default Moodle forum has many additional features, even experienced Moodle users might find something new in this list. 

  1. Different types: There are four types of forums to choose from. The standard forum is the one most people are familiar with. The single discussion only allows one discussion to be posted by the lecturer and students can only post replies. The Q&A forum requires students to post an answer before they can see the replies of others. The final type is much like the standard forum but it displays the content more like a blog. 
  2. Time settings: Teachers can post in advance and delay the publication of their entry. They can also choose to have their post only visible for a particular time frame or create a due date by when students have to have responded. 
  3. RSS: An alternative to subscribing, when enabled this feature means new forum discussions (or posts) will be sent via RSS feed.  
  4. Locking Discussion: Teachers can lock the discussion at any point preventing further posts by students. 
  5. Post threshold: In order to restrict individuals from flooding a forum, teachers can set a maximum post threshold which automatically blocks users once they reach it. Teachers can also choose to have the word count displayed (but not set a limit). 
  6. Better completion setting options: The Moodle forum has more completion setting options in cases where lecturers want to track completion. 
  7. App compatible: The Moodle forum is fully compatible with the ETH Moodle App. The Overflow forum will redirect you to a browser. 

For more information about the Moodle forum please visit: https://docs.moodle.org/311/en/Forum_activity 

How about you?

Which forum are you planning on using? Please share your scenarios in the comments so we can collect examples in action. If you are interested in chatting with other lecturers at ETH Zurich who are using Overflow you are welcome to join the (ETH only) Moodle course https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=15312 . 

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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.

The main feature of this new plug-in is, that ETH students enrolled in eDoz are synced automatically in MS Teams. Because the link works over Moodle, one is required to have a Moodle course. The Moodle course offers easy options for course layout, advanced content structuring possibilities, activity completion tracking, a grade book, quizzes and many more features to foster student learning. Read more about Moodle. However, the Moodle course can be set to be hidden and MS Teams can be accessed directly and used on its own while the automatic synchronisation works in the background.

Advantages of using this plug-in are that students will have access to the entire MS Teams portfolio, which can be used to work collaboratively on different types of files and to chat.

Benefits of MS Teams

  • Create “channels” for group work
  • Work collaboratively with Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Extensive chat function: direct message and groups
  • Easy file sharing
  • Task lists, team notebooks 
  • File storage can be mounted as an external drive to the personal computer
  • Integrated video conference

How does it compare to existing tools?

ETH Zurich already offers file sharing (Polybox) and collaborative writing (Collabora), however MS Teams offers advanced functions and is better suited for large numbers of people.

How to create a Microsoft Teams?

  1. Write an email to the LET support, they will create and activate the team
  2. Manually add a link in Moodle to directly access MS Teams

With this, you are already set up and ready to go! Contact us at support@let.ethz.ch for more information and to activate MS Teams for your course.

How can you use Microsoft Teams for your course?

As an example you can create an assignment in Moodle requiring students to submit a document (e.g. Excel, Word or PowerPoint). With just a link, you can send your Students to MS Teams, there you can create private channels for each group. Students can then work together in MS Teams to share files, edit the same file and chat together while completing this assignment. And all these files are only visible to members of their group. (The channels are also hidden from teachers if they are not a member of this private channel). This way students can solve the assignment and then upload the final document in Moodle where it is graded.

Would you like a preview?

You can check out the integration by logging in to this Moodle course so that you can get some insights how Teams and Moodle work together.

We are always interested in finding out more about how people are using MS Teams in their teaching. Please consider sharing your ideas (and question in the course forum in Moodle). We are looking forward to connecting with new lecturers across all departments who want to use MS Teams in addition to their Moodle course.

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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.

Course overview of online course “Didactic Basics for Student Teaching Assistant”

The teaching assignments of Student Teaching Assistants (“Hilfsassistierende” as Student TAs) are of great importance in the daily teaching routine at ETH Zurich. Student TAs are distinguished from each other not only by their knowledge of the subjects they teach, but also by the different roles they can take on in teaching: From being the contact person for correcting exercises to the role of exercise leader, or tutor and group coach. Different forms of teaching also require different competences, which is why it is a priority for us in the Faculty Development Team to cover these different specialisations in our didactic courses as well. By offering three very different courses Student TAs with different roles can select a course that best prepares them for their role.

Didactic Basics for Student TAs
In this course, Student TAs learn to plan their workshops and exercises effectively, practice activating methods and are also guided to transfer these into their real lessons. The focus is on imparting knowledge of learning psychology and didactics as well as on topics to develop the skills and self-confidence to effectively plan and teach one’s own workshops and classes. In the microteaching workshop, in which participants practice their teaching skills with one another and receive direct feedback (peer learning), participants build confidence in what works for them. In addition, the course aims to support Student TAs to think critically and reflectively about their students’ learning and to develop engaging learning activities. The course encourages Student TAs to network with peers from different disciplines, which can support them in developing their teaching skills by building a long-term network.

Banner in “Coaching Students” online course

Coaching Students
This course enables Student TAs in their role as student coaches to develop basic knowledge in coaching techniques and guiding of learning processes. The participants acquire coaching skills and methods to effectively guide and accompany individual students and especially teams of students in working and learning processes. This includes knowledge about team development phases, cooperative forms of learning, facilitation of decision-making within a team, reflection on critical phases and solving conflict situations in a team. This course also enables Student TAs to network with peers from different disciplines.

Ready, Set, Go!
This course has been developed for online self-study and has no transfer phase. Participants can work through the course at their own pace and complete it individually. The aim of this course is to offer the Student TAs a first low-threshold opportunity to familiarise themselves with didactic basics and thus to gain an overview of essential teaching concepts. In the online course, two “personas” (invented tutors with realistic characteristics and depicted in realistic situations) demonstrate concrete examples of teaching. First, the course participants are shown theory about teaching and learning, which is then applied to a fictional situation through the personas in a second step. After seeing the theory in “action”, the participants are shown how to transfer the concepts into their own teaching context.

We expect a strong increase in the number of participants in the didactic courses for Student TAs. The blended learning format (with emphasis on online-learning) will continue to ensure that the course is able to meet the increased numbers. Furthermore, increasingly Student TAs are confronted with new, more complex didactic concepts in their teaching (such as blended learning, flipped classroom, to name a few), which is why it is necessary for us to continuously develop the courses in order to prepare Student TAs adequately for their teaching tasks. Hence, an extension of the specialisation modules in the courses is planned.

If you are interested in finding out more, please visit the professional development page of our website.

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

By Judith Rehmann, Dr. Jeanine Reutemann

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.

Image 1 and 2: Videostills from LET ETH Zurich YouTube channel (July 2021). “Wissenschaftsvideos – Kritik und Potenzial”, https://youtu.be/WuuXkLRLxIE.

By acknowledging the audiovisual power of film and its productive intertwining with science, Thomas Edison – a founding father of cinema – even proclaimed film as the future of education in 1922. While this claim remains to be proven, we can safely say that now, over 100 years later, in the digital age and following the boom of Massive Open Online Courses, scientific and educational videos are at the forefront of research and education. 

When the ETH Zurich LET media team set out to produce eleven new scientific videos for the first chapter of the swissuniversity MOOC Digital Skills for Videos in Higher Education, we drew from a rich body of knowledge on the history and theory of videos in science and education. On this foundation, we used modern aesthetic technology and media design in our production. The co-design and co-creation between inter- and transdisciplinary experts from various sciences, education, and professional media design were crucial in our process. In doing so, we challenge traditional hierarchal structures and instead put forward a collaborative approach to filmmaking.

Image 3: Videostill from LET ETH Zurich youtube channel (August 2021). “Lehr- und Lernkulturen in einer globalisierten, digitalen Welt”. https://youtu.be/9HK59pGYPDs.

What is meant with this? How does co-designing work in practice and how does it incorporate a collaborative approach? What can be said about its potential for producing videos for higher education – videos, that both engage the viewer and are scientifically valid? It necessary to work in an open dialogue between us, the creative video-team, the scientists and the educators, so the scientific content is accurately depicted in the video while still utilising the medium to its full potential. Our team consisted of experts in video and media design, animation, film and media studies, psychology, educational studies and didactics. We engaged in creative as well as academic discussions with the respective experts on the scientific content of the video. These conversations have proved to be very fruitful. The united, collaborative thought process allowed for new connections to be made between the academic and the creative realm: for example, during an expert interview for the video “Social Video Learning”, new metaphors were found which not only shed new light on the topic discussed but also inspired the audiovisual production and design of the video significantly. 

Image 3: Videostill from LET ETH Zurich youtube channel (Januar 2022):  “Was ist Social Video Learning?”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L07CiagsYs&t=38s&ab_channel=LETETHZurich

While such a collaborative approach was challenging, it allowed us to incorporate the combined expertise of everyone involved in the video production process. It has also led to new insights for both the filmmakers as well as for the educational scientists, for example by developing a powerful audiovisual language that is capable of sorting through complex scientific issues. 

This method requires the team to jointly commit to the same goal: the production of an engaging, scientifically valid video for higher education purposes. It means not only working together as co-workers but also recognizing each other as individuals who bring a specific knowledge to the project. This reminds of Lévys humanitarian approach in his concept of collective intelligence. Indeed, such comparisons aren’t far off: During the production of the video, each member of the group is acknowledged for what they know and contribute to the academic and creative production of the video. 

So ultimately, it is not the ‘handwriting’ of a single author which defines the video, but the collaborative method of co-designing which allows for the video to become much more than a filmic text, but a language of its own in which the scientific content can be communicated in an effective, engaging and enjoyable way. 

The interdisciplinary collaboration between science, education, and film also has hurdles. For example, scientists are sometimes reluctant to venture into a different field of expertise. This can only be overcome by maintaining an open, positive communication between scientists and filmmakers. The willingness to tread on new ground in foreign disciplines is necessary on both sides. By working together and finding solutions across disciplinary borders, more sustainable solutions can be found. Ultimately, they will enrich the depiction of the scientific content and the audiovisual quality of the video produced. Thus, the potential of co-designing videos with scientists, educators, and filmmakers lies in enabling an interconnectedness between science- and film practices. 

You can find all the final “Digital Skills” videos (in German, with English subtitles) on our LET ETH Zurich youtube channel.

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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.

The participants were so engaged in their exchanges, that they had to be reminded of the start of the KITE Award ceremony, at 5.00 p.m. in AudiMax. The event ceremony with speeches by Rector Günter Dissertori, KdL President Ulrike Lohmann and introductions of the finalists by Manu Kapur was very festive. While all three finalist were supreme projects, the worthy winner was Physics Lab Courses in Corona times project which enables students to conduct experimental physics at home.

The KITE Award ceremony was followed by an aperitif which gave participants, jury and winners another opportunity to connect and discuss their experiences.

Feel free to browse through the projects at the  virtual exhibition of the Innovation in Learning & Teaching Fair and maybe you can find some inspiration for your own teaching.

We would be happy to welcome you to the next Innovation in Learning & Teaching Fair, maybe you could showcase your teaching there.

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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.

The DRRS MOOC series hybridizes sustainability science, systemic design and transformative action. It provides worldviews, tools, illustrations and transformative networks to build capacities and engage in systemic innovation of complex systems. The MOOC series is featuring a virtual-real didactic concept, where local physical social outdoor action in the region the participant lives, is stimulated and incubated by virtual means. 

The learning content is focused on stimulating new cultures beyond the current often disciplinary and compartmentalized approach to science: for hybridizing the analytical tools of science with the iterative doing of design, and the urge for transformative action. And this across spatial and governance scales, from green chemistry, materials, products, buildings, cities, landscapes, regions and transnational cooperation.

The MOOCs’ didactics are designed to combine time and place independent virtual learning through pre-recorded conversations and presentations, both accessible as movies and audio files, readings, and practical engagement outside in nature. Virtual content is meant to stimulate physical and social interaction in the bio-region where the participant lives. Systemic Cycles takes the participants on a conscious exploration of place and regional supply chain actors on their bicycle, to playfully learn systemic design methods, to weave together local and regional networks and to explore the inner self through physical activity. An accompanying visual mapping process called Gigamapping acts as a designerly way to co-create your own learning journey and connect across the MOOC series to your final transformative design project. Your personal QUEST guides you through your learning journey. Weekly live tutorials in an online forum offer opportunities to discuss and brainstorm with teachers. Participants learn together with diverse experts in their field – sustainability scientists, systemic designers, consultants, local and European politicians, book authors, builders, mountain guides, self-compassion trainers, and together co-create and connect communities of practice for learning and engagement opportunities Starting May 9th 2022 on EdX – free participation w/o costs possible.

Exciting real-world illustrations will take participants to Hemsedal Norway, Annecy France, Ostana Italy, and Mallorca Spain – from material supply chains, to products, buildings, communities and their services, to landscapes, bio-regions, and transnational cooperation. This offers a comparative understanding of communities and regions undergoing sustainability transitions across different contexts, cultures, climates and geographies.  

The prominent methods participants will learn are systemic design and systems-oriented design, social network analysis, resilience assessment, life cycle and footprint analysis, circularity mapping, visual dialogue, cross-scale design, “view from above” perspectives, biomimicry, transdisciplinary research, real-world elaboration – and how this “cocktail” of methods becomes part of new cultures to deal with complexity and uncertainty. 

For more information on this MOOC visit:  https://systemicdesignlabs.ethz.ch/drrs-mooc/

We would be happy to talk with you about our experiences in making this MOOC!

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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.

So, what’s up with hybrid teaching at ETH Zurich?

We use the term ‘hybrid’ to refer to the simultaneous delivery of face-to-face and online teaching, i.e., some students are on-site while other simultaneously are online. In conversations with the educational developers at the different ETH departments, it became clearer that this approach can pose many challenges. Handling the technical infrastructure is complex, and the cognitive load for instructors to manage both student bodies simultaneously is high. Some students participating online report that they feel like “second class citizens” in a hybrid teaching scenario. Interaction is generally challenging, and there might be substantial additional investment required to cater to both learning experiences equally and simultaneously – not just in terms of technology, but also in terms of development of didactic strategies. This is not to say that there have not already been successful experiences with hybrid teaching in small groups or special instructional scenarios – however, hybrid teaching was pretty quickly discarded as a general option for post-pandemic teaching at ETH.

New work asks for more flexible learning

The pandemic has accelerated implementations of new work concepts, such as working remotely in home office and collaborating in hybrid teams. Working environments have changed fundamentally and will continue to evolve. These concepts will also change the demands on learning and teaching environments in higher education; greater flexibility will be expected.

In an internal survey at ETH during the remote teaching phase, students stated that they would like to have on average two days per week of remote learning; hybrid teaching is not the only option to make this happen, there are asynchronous strategies we can follow to blend on-site and online learning. In addition, ETH is expecting increased student growth in the next few years without an increase in physical teaching space, and in particular laboratory space might be our most precious commodity. A range of innovative teaching and learning concepts will be needed, which scale under these circumstances and enable all members of our academic community to cope and thrive with more flexibility – without compromising on the quality of student learning.

Hybrid teaching is part of a strategic effort

In a recent workshop on “Hybrid Teaching and Learning in higher education,” organised by the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, colleagues discussed whether hybrid teaching will remain a responsive solution or become an innovative alternative to current practice. Of course, the answer is not binary and the discussion around tips and tricks, technical implementation strategies, and pedagogical aspects was very comprehensive and diverse (recordings available here). An interesting observation is that the idea of hybrid teaching in a classroom is often just one element of a strategic initiative on program-level that focusses on pedagogic change. An example is the Connected Learning at Scale (CLaS) at the business school of the University of Sydney, which builds on three principles

  1. Information engagement: students both individually and collectively engage with discipline knowledge as opposed to having it broadcast at them in a lecture.
  2. Connected participation and active learning: face-to-face teaching time, student learning activities and technology are leveraged to build connections and networks to address, debate and solve critical global and local challenges though innovative teaching approaches
  3. Relevant and authentic assessment and feed-forward: learning is applied and tested through relevant assessments supported by opportunities to receive and share feedback from academics and peers.

“Hybrid learning isn’t simply the experience in the classroom as it happens”, says Peter Bryant, Associate Dean of Education of the business school in his keynote in the workshop, “it is about the way the curriculum is designed.” It includes the design of assessments, physical and virtual spaces, student experience and the community that is formed.

It seems that the journey of hybrid teaching and its variants at ETH might not be over yet, especially if it is discussed ongoingly with all stakeholders in the context of pedagogic change.

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Did you know there is a JupyterHub at ETH?

In the framework of the computational competencies initiative at ETH, a JupyterHub has been established at LET. This brand-new JupyterHub serves JupyterNotebooks to everyone involved in teaching and learning at ETH.

JupyterNotebooks are interactive documents, which combine code, text and animations. Different programming languages, like Python, R, Julia, Octave or Open Modelica are supported. Sign in through a plug-in from your course in Moodle and enjoy using JupyterNotebooks without additional authenticaton or the need to install anything on your computer. This holds for everyone involved in a course. No matter if your role is student or teacher, you can reach your personal JupyterLab environment on the JupyterHub with one click and it runs in your browser.

This is what the plug-in in Moodle looks like, which takes you straight to your JupyterHub hosted by LET

Example of a simple JupyterNotebook in Python on the LET JupyterHub

In your course you can use JupyterNotebooks as

  • interactive textbooks which support lectures or exercises
  • assignment sheets, where students answer questions and write code in a pre-defined (coding) environment
  • or just as an environment to combine text, code, and visualizations, either for students to work on assignments or for teachers for demo purposes
  • learning journal for documenting learning progress

Choose JupyterNotebook as type of assignment in Moodle

First, start your JupyterHub through the plug-in in Moodle. Either create a new JupyterNotebook right in your JupyterHub or upload your work. Also include additional files, which you might want to distribute together with your Notebook, like data files, etc, in the same folder on your JupyterHub. Once your assignment in the form of a JupyterNotebook and optinal accompanying files are ready on your space on the Hub, you can include it directly in the assignment activity in Moodle: When you choose Jupyter notebooks as submission type, it shows you the folder tree in your Jupyter workspace on the Hub. Select a folder to distribute all files inside this folder to your students in the form of an assignment.

The students will be able to select a folder on their Jupyter workspace once they download the assignment. And when the assignment is finished and ready to be submitted, again the students will be able to select a folder from their JupyterHub workspace to submit, which might of course contain more files than just the JupyterNotebook itself.

Additionally, students can not only use the JupyterHub through distributed assignments, but they also get the same plug-in in Moodle to reach their space on the JupyterHub to do their own coursework.

First users

During fall term 2021 first pilot users have been using the JupyterHub for in-class exercises, for documentation and evaluation of lab experiments, for entire homework assignments and also as a tool to complete a part of an assignment. There are of course many more use cases, and we can even offer you to use JupyterNotebooks on the Hub in your exams.

Interested? Just contact us at jupyterhub@let.ethz.ch for more information and to activate the JupyterHub for your course in Moodle. As of now, the Hub won’t be available by default for your course.

We are looking forward to welcome new users across all departments!

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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.

Mit dem neuen Fokusthema sollen interaktive Visualisierungen und Simulationen für den Unterricht entwickelt und erprobt werden. Diese Medien sollen praktische oder persönliche Unterrichtsszenarien nicht ersetzen, sondern ergänzen. Es wird erwartet, dass die Projekte in Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Lehrkräften, dem Emerging Educational Media Hub am LET und den Studierenden entwickelt werden. Ein wichtiges Ziel solcher Projekte ist es, nachhaltige Bedingungen für die Projektleitenden zu schaffen, so dass sie die Medien in Zukunft unabhängig entwickeln und weiterentwickeln können.

Bevorzugte Entwicklungsplattformen sind Unity (https://unity.com) oder Jupyter (https://jupyter.org) in Verbindung mit IPython (https://ipython.org/notebook.html). 

Beispiel einer Simulation mit Python. Hier die Lorenzkraft. Links eine Visualisierung. Rechts der Python Code.
Visualisierung der Lorenzkraft mit einer Simulation in Python.

Das Thema «Hindernisfreie Lehre» fokussiert auf die Zugänglichkeit der Lehre (Materialien, Online/blended/flipped Kurse, Methoden und Technologien) für alle Lernenden.  (à Anton als Ansprechpartner verlinken).

Das dritte Fokusthema «Online-Lernmodule ausserhalb der Präsenzzeit» werden gezielt Projekte gesucht, welche die Studierenden durch den gezielten Einsatz von Methoden und Technologien (Online-Module) auf die Präsenzzeit vor- oder nachbereiten.

Zu guter Letzt werden mit «Lernen und Prüfen in Gruppen» Fokusprojekte gefördert, die kollaborative Aktivitäten für Studierende in der Lehre (physisch und online) integrieren, insbesondere auch solche, die diese Aktivitäten prüfungsrelevant machen.

Ein Fokusprojekt bei Innovedum hat eine Obergrenze von 60 kFr und die Begutachtung dauert rund 4 Wochen.

Um die ganze Breite an innovativen Lehrideen an der ETH abdecken zu können, fördert der Innovedum Fonds auch Blended Learning und MOOC Projekte, ebenso wie themenunabhängige umfangreichere Lehrprojekte.

Der nächste Eingabetermin ist der 1. März 2022. Antragsberechtigt sind ETH-​Angehörige mit einer Anstellung von mindestens 50 Stellenprozenten und einem Lehrauftrag. Mehr Informationen finden Sie unter: www.innovedum.ethz.ch

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