Educational innovation, development and discussion at ETH

A new and improved Moodle – Coming to ETH Zurich this summer

In June of 2023, ETH Zurich Moodle will receive a significant update. Moodle has been the central learning management system (LMS) at ETH Zurich since 2010. With more than 10’000 courses it has become crucial to teaching for ETH Zurich lecturers. As an open-source LMS it enables significant customisation. With the new release, Moodle will be more user-friendly, intuitive to navigate and visually appealing, offering a range of improvements for both educators and students. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key benefits of the new Moodle version coming to our screens this summer. A full list of new features is provided on the Moodle website.

Benefits for students

  1. Improved user experience
  2. Improved accessibility
  3. Self-tracking of tasks

Improved user experience.

The LMS has undergone a complete redesign, with a fresh and modern look and feel. Learners can more easily navigate the platform and find the information they need. 

Improved accessibility

Moodle was officially certified as WCAG 2.1 AA compliant in December 2020. The new design includes support for screen readers, improved keyboard navigation, and better contrast, making it easier for learners with visual impairments to access content. The new accessibility features ensure that all learners can access and engage with the learning content, regardless of their ability.

Self-tracking of task

If enabled by course teachers, students will be able to see which tasks still need to be completed in the course navigation index.

Benefits for educators

  1. Improved Course Design
  2. Enhanced Learning Analytics
  3. Significant improvements to handling quiz questions
  4. (Optional) notifications on changes in course
  5. New and improved video handling

Improved course design

The course design as been improved making it easier for educators to create and deliver engaging and effective online courses. The new course format includes an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, allowing educators to build courses quickly and easily.

Enhanced Learning Analytics

Moodle has also improved its learning analytics capabilities, making it easier for educators to track learners’ progress and identify areas where they need additional support. Teachers can build customised reports in order to gain an overview of student progress.  

Significant improvements to handling quiz questions

Teachers will be able to work collaboratively with other teachers to manage different versions of questions and add comments.

(Optional) notifications on changes in the course

Teachers can choose to send a push-notification to let students know when something has been changed on the course page. 

New and improved video handling. 

Kaltura will replace OpenCast as video management tool for Moodle. All previously uploaded videos will be automatically migrated to Kaltura. Teachers will be able to upload and manage their course videos directly over the text editor.


A link to the preview version has been sent to all current teachers of the ETH Zurich Moodle system. It includes all content from the live system as of 3 April 2023. This is a valuable opportunity to see what existing courses look like in the new version, explore the new look and to identify important changes that may be necessary once the live system is active.

There will be no notifications on this preview system, so educators can experiment without triggering notifications for students. It will be valid until 6 June 2023 at which point the entire preview system will be deleted. This system may not be used for any actual teaching or learning activities as there may be unannounced updates and downtime.

If you already want to start preparing your HS 2023 course before 7 June, you have 2 options:

  1. Create your course via eDoz and start working on the course on the current live 3.11 course Moodle system. Any content you prepare on the current course Moodle system before 7 June will automatically be upgraded to the new Moodle version and its new design.
  2. If you already want to prepare content in the new Moodle 4.1 version, please use one of your already existing pre HS2023 courses on the preview server, create a mzb-backup (“course backup”) before 6 June. After 7 June, create a course via eDoz on the (updated) live course Moodle and then import the backup file into your live course.

On 7 June 2023 the live system will be updated to the new Moodle version. Detailed information regarding the changes will be available at this point. Educators can then set up their HS23 courses via eDoz and make necessary adjustments to their courses prior to the semester start on 18 September 2023.

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New Innovedum Focal Point Project Topic: Transferable Competencies

For the next round of submissions on 1 March 2023, the new topic transferable competencies” will be launched within the category of focal point projects. This supports innovative methods and technologies to build up method-specific, social or personal competences in the classroom and to test these in corresponding performance assessments. The aim is for students to acquire competences in the concrete context of subject-specific expertise and to be able to transfer and apply these to other subjects. Students are thus enabled to continuously develop and apply their knowledge in the further course or after completion of their studies.

Examples of projects:

  • Implementation of programming projects in student groups and a performance assessment that includes a group performance.
  • Development of peer feedback learning opportunities for students and associated peer grading.
  • Use of performance assessments that assess whether an individual has engaged critically and creatively with a problem.
  • Collaboration of students with external students or stakeholders. Inclusion of the external perspective in performance assessment

ETH Talent also focuses on the holistic teaching of competencies. The ETH Competence Framework provides a good overview of which interdisciplinary competences (i.e. method-specific, social and personal competences) are developed at ETH. Depending on the subject area and didactic design, a course typically focuses on a selection of these.

Innovedum not only promotes interdisciplinary competences within the framework of the focal point projects. There are other project topics and types to choose from – click here for an overview.

Are you a lecturer at ETH? ETH members who have at least a 50% post and a teaching assignment are entitled to submit an application to Innovedum. Innovative ideas for the fostering of teaching at ETH are supported by Innovedum from the first step onwards. You and your project team will receive support when it comes to fleshing out ideas in the project proposal or to initiate cooperation with the Emerging Educational Media Hub (E2MH).
This was also the case in 2022 – a total of 35 project applications were submitted, which has only been

achieved once since the Innovedum Fund was established. A record number of 24 focal point projects were submitted and a total of 20 projects worth around CHF 1.5 million were approved, including the D-ARCH study programme initiative.

Design your teaching with Innovedum’s support! 
Contact us and submit your project by 1.3.23

We look forward to many exciting project proposals!

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Neues Innovedum Fokusthema: Überfachliche Kompetenzen

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

Zur nächsten Eingaberunde vom 1. März 2023 wird innerhalb der Kategorie Fokusprojektedas neue Thema: «Überfachliche Kompetenzen» lanciert. Damit werden innovative Methoden und Technologien unterstützt, um methodenspezifische, soziale oder persönliche Kompetenzen im Unterricht aufzubauen und diese in entsprechenden Leistungskontrollen zu überprüfen. Ziel ist es, dass Studierende Kompetenzen im konkreten Kontext der fachspezifischen Expertise erwerben und diese auf andere Fächer übertragen und anwenden können. Die Studierenden werden dadurch befähigt, ihr Wissen im weiteren Verlauf oder nach Abschluss des Studiums kontinuierlich weiterzuentwickeln und anzuwenden. 

Hier einige Beispiele für mögliche Projekte:

  • Durchführung von Programmierprojekten in Studierendengruppen und einer Leistungskontrolle, die eine Gruppenleistung beinhaltet.
  • Entwicklung von Peer Feedback Lerngelegenheiten für Studierende und dazugehörigem Peer Grading.
  • Einsatz von Leistungskontrollen, die erheben, ob eine Person sich kritisch und kreativ mit einer Problemstellung beschäftigt hat.
  • Zusammenarbeit von Studierenden mit externen Studierenden oder Anspruchsgruppen. Einbezug der externen Perspektive in die Leistungskontrolle.

    Auch bei ETH Talent steht die ganzheitlich ausgerichtete Kompetenzvermittlung im Mittelpunkt.
    Der ETH Kompetenzraster bietet eine gute Übersicht, welche überfachlichen Kompetenzen (also methodenspezifische, soziale und persönliche Kompetenzen) an der ETH entwickelt werden. Je nach Fachgebiet und didaktischer Gestaltung steht in einer Lehrveranstaltung typischerweise eine Auswahl davon im Mittelpunkt.

    Innovedum fördert aber nicht nur überfachliche Kompetenzen im Rahmen der Fokusprojekte. Es stehen weitere Projektthemen und –typen zur Auswahl – hier geht’s zur Übersicht.

    Sind Sie Dozent oder Dozentin an der ETH? Mit einer Anstellung von mindestens 50 Stellenprozenten und einem Lehrauftrag sind Sie berechtigt bei Innovedum einen Antrag zu stellen. Innovative Ideen zur Förderung der Lehre an der ETH werden seitens Innovedum ab dem ersten Schritt begleitet. Sie und Ihr Projektteam erhalten Unterstützung, wenn es darum geht, Ideen im Projektantrag zu konkretisieren oder um eine Zusammenarbeit mit dem Emerging Educational Media Hub (E2MH) aufzugleisen. So auch im 2022 – insgesamt wurden 35 Projektanträge eingereicht, das wurde seit Bestehen des Innovedum Fonds nur einmal zuvor erreicht. Dabei konnte ein Rekord von 24 eingereichten Fokusprojekten verzeichnet werden. Insgesamt wurden 20 Projekte im Umfang von rund 1.5 Millionen CHF bewilligt, darunter auch eine Studiengangsinitiative des D-ARCH.  

    Innovedum fördert aber nicht nur überfachliche Kompetenzen im Rahmen der Fokusprojekte. Es stehen weitere Projektthemen und –typen zur Auswahl – hier geht’s zur Übersicht.

    Gestalten Sie die Lehre an der ETH mit Unterstützung von Innovedum!
    Nehmen Sie mit uns Kontakt auf und reichen Sie Ihr Projekt bis zum 1.3.23 ein.

    Wir freuen uns auf viele spannende Projektanträge!

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    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.* 

    Why it’s a good idea

    The pedagogical principle behind this function is called “retrieval practice”. The essence of this idea is that the more you practice recalling specific memories, the stronger the memory becomes. The very act of bringing information to mind strengthens the students’ ability to do so. However, test anxiety can really get in the way of fluid and competent performance. Therefore it is a good idea to provide frequent opportunities where students can quiz themselves without worrying that their performance will impact on their grade. Viewed this way, quizzing can be understood as a learning strategy, not an assessment strategy. Best practices include having frequent opportunities, spacing them out and using different kinds of questions. (Read more about retrieval practice at

    How to do it

    First, your Moodle course must already contain the questions you want to embed. You may want to create a category just for this purpose. If you haven’t already, make sure both your category and your questions have an ID number. This is essential. Also wherever possible, make sure your questions provide students with useful and specific feedback for both correct and incorrect answer options. 

    Then, decide where to embed the questions. You can select any area where you can enter HTML text. Turn editing on. Use the “Show more buttons” button to expand the toolbar (shown in blue). Select the “Embed questions” button (shown in green). Select the category and then the question you would like to embed.

    Moodle editor. The "show more buttons" and "embed questions" buttons are highlighted.

    Finally, save and admire your work! Always remember to test your work and check it in the mobile view before you release the course to students. 

    Additionally, you can see an overview of how students have progressed in the reports section of the course. Via the gearwheel, go to “more” and in the “reports” section you can see wether students have answered the questions and where they may have struggled. 

    Contact LET support via phone (044 632-0665) or email if you need additional support.

    *Not available in Polybook.

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    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):

    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:

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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):

    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: 

    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 . 

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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 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”,

    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”.

    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?”,

    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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