Educational innovation, development and discussion at ETH

…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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Your mission: Build an intelligent boat

In a project-based course, students learned to apply materials knowledge and skills to the construction of a boat that could navigate an unknown terrain using artificial intelligence. We talked with the two lecturers Rafael Libanori and Henning Galinski, and the department’s Educational Developer Lorenzo De Pietro to find out more about this innovative course in the Department of Material Sciences.

Lukas Wooley and Sebastian Gassenmeier get their boat ready.

What triggered this experiment? 

Originally, we were inspired by AP50, a project and team-based introductory physics course taught at Harvard. We wanted to do more with problem-based learning at ETH Zurich and achieve a different kind of learning environment. Students tend to expect that lectures just “give the knowledge”, but there is so much more to teaching. We realised it’s important to teach students how to learn more efficiently and take more responsibility for their own learning. In this course, we give students scientific questions to answer themselves. We wanted them to start taking risks and to have the freedom to fail, which is what science is all about. It’s not just theoretical input. Interpersonal and technical skills are just as important as academic skills.

A hand is shown holding a small home-made boat. There are lots of electronic elements visible.

What exactly did you do? We applied for Innovedum funding and when we were successful recipients we created a course that gives the students a project that has a connection to material sciences, as well as other areas such as controlling and artificial intelligence. We receive support from Antonio Loquercio in the controlling and computer vision part. He is currently a Post-Doc at the University of Berkley, California. Without him, it would have been very difficult to achieve the computational goals of the project. Students attended 4 weeks of theoretical classes and then started working in teams. The goal is to construct a model boat which can intelligently navigate a course using the Materials Design Lab at D-MATL. We also employed PhD students as coaches to support the students. 

What were the results?  We had 16 students who completed the course in the spring of 2021. The challenges were big and so we were thrilled by the final outcomes. The students took it seriously and at the end of the course there were four final boats. The students displayed great creativity, such as building small experimental set-ups along the way. They were able to solve problems on their own, in groups and learn from each other. 

What is the student perspective? Students were frustrated initially because we took a passive approach to communicating knowledge, but they saw the benefit of this approach at the end. We believe that learning should strain their abilities and that it is iterative. But it is wonderful that it ended on a celebratory note with the functional boats that successfully navigated the terrain. 

What lessons did you learn? We realised that in the future we need to spend more time explaining our approach to teaching and clarifying expectations right from the start. We also plan to pay close attention to the gender-balance among our students as we want to maintain a good mix as the course grows.

What are your plans for the future regarding this project? Due to the current curriculum revision projects in our department, there will likely be an increase in hands-on courses like this one. So, this course represents a new way of teaching, like a prototype for the new curriculum. The results will be looked at closely and are quite important for future decision-making in the department. Teaching this way is also a development opportunity for the lecturers. 

What first steps do you advise for others who are interested in doing the same? We think it is important that teaching is viewed as a design science, in other words that it benefits from careful planning and time. We recommend visiting other courses that already use this kind of approach and speaking with the course leaders to gain inspiration and practical ideas for implementing project and problem-based learning in your own course. We would be happy to share our experiences with others.

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

Sandra Hundseder & Samuel Witzig

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.

Overview of new features

  • Floating timer: the time remaining is now always visible for students, making it easier for students to know how much time they have left for the exam.
  • ETH’s own question type “Freehand Drawing” is now available by default. It introduces very powerful features for exams on our convertible laptops used in mobile On-Campus Online Examinations (more details below).
  • In the essay question type, a maximum size for file uploads can now be set. This feature may be helpful if you use third party applications in your On-Campus Online Examination. Besides setting a maximum file size, you can also define which file types your students can upload in addition to the number of attachments allowed (already introduced with an earlier feature update).
  • “External” question type (for exams using Code Expert): Moodle now sends students’ Legi-number to Code Expert. There are also several improvements that reduce errors when creating/editing external questions (more details below).

Freehand Drawing

You may already know Freehand Drawing from its use in formative quizzes on the ETH Course-Moodle. You now have the option to use it in your On-Campus Online Examinations as well. To ensure adequate usability, On-Campus Online Examinations with Freehand Drawings are conducted exclusively on mobile devices where students have access to a touch screen and digitizer pen for their digital drawings and sketches.

The question type Freehand Drawing enables the simple and intuitive creation of digital freehand sketches. Please find more information on the functionality of this question type and how to use it here.

Using Freehand Drawing in an On-Campus Online Examination

The Freehand Drawing question type offers a variety of benefits and opportunities to you as an examiner. The main argument for choosing Freehand Drawing over other question types, such as Drag & Drop or Multiple Choice questions, is that students have to actively create their responses, rather than just recognising predefined answers as correct or incorrect. This facilitates assessing deeper levels of knowledge and understanding. Furthermore, the students do not have the possibility to simply guess the correct answer. Freehand Drawing provides the opportunity to use new kinds of questions in your exam. Drawings, annotations and markings of pictures facilitate the contextualized assessment of student knowledge. Finally, using the Freehand Drawing question type instead of sketches on paper can facilitate clear assessments of students’ answers. Instead of erasing sketches made on paper, students can simply undo and erase any drawings, annotations or markings.

What to consider when using Freehand Drawing

Although Freehand Drawing is a handy tool for assessing your students, some aspects demand attention in order to make your exam a success:

  1. Advise your students to use the Text tool available in Freehand Drawing when making annotations, instead of writing with the pen. This way they have more space for writing and can more easily edit the text, and their answers are easier to read. 
  2. In the problem statement, clearly define what you expect from the students in order to achieve full points.
  3. Calculate enough time for answering the question. Freehand Drawing questions need more time to answer than classical K-Prime or Single-Choice questions. As a tip: solve the question yourself and see how long it takes you. Based on this time, you can better estimate how long it will take the students. We recommend at least doubling the time it took you for students.
  4. Familiarise students with the question type in good time. Use the question type already during the semester in formative tests. Point out the important functions (e.g. undo, redo, full screen, zoom, delete) to the students so that they know how to use them in the exam.
  5. Freehand Drawing questions must be marked manually. It is important to prepare a sample solution or an assessment scheme to ensure uniform assessment and to facilitate the work of the assessors.

If you would like to try out a short quiz with Freehand Drawing questions yourself, you can have a look at our Demo Quiz Freehand Drawing. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the ETH Online Examinations service (online-pruefungen@let.ethz.ch)

External Question Type (Code Expert questions)

If you use the external question type in your exams, there are four new useful features:

  1. Moodle now sends students’ Legi-number to Code Expert, making it easier to cross check exam results.
  2. LTI-link verification is now improved – Moodle now checks more reliably if the entered LTI-link is valid.
  3. Changing LTI-links after you have created external questions has led to technical issues in past On-Campus Online Examinations and should therefore be avoided. Once you have created and saved the external question, the Tool URL-field is now locked. To unlock (e.g. for testing), choose “Show more…”
  4. Using the same LTI-link in two or more questions can lead to technical issues in On-Campus Online Examinations and should therefore be avoided. Moodle now warns you if you already used an LTI-link in another question

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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”. Read more about the course.

What are your essential tips for making Moodle course more visually appealing and effective for learning? We would love to read your comments on this topic.

Be welcoming. Introduce yourself. Use friendly, gender-neutral and approachable language.
Add visual elements. Insert banners to create a course identity. Icons and pictures make your course page easier to digest. Add course images in the settings for easy dashboard navigation.
Choose the right course format. "Topics format" ist he default and creates a list of content. "Collapsed topics" voids endless scrolling. "Tiles" provides a great visual overview.
Establish hierarchy and consistency. Use different heading sizes to signal hierarchy. Align things vertically to imply similar properties. Use consistent layout to create familiarity fast.
Provide assistance. Add a forum for asking questions of peers or teaching staff. Be responsive and friendly when students ask questions. Make sure your contact details are available.
Create an overview. Use visuals to provide an overview of your course structure. Create an advance organiser that shows your course content. This helps build up a mental framework for organising information.
Make it accessible. Add image descriptions for screenreader. Add closed captions in videos. Use descriptive link text like "chapter three" and not "read more".
Manage text volume. Display a paragraph or less on the main course page. Place multiple paragraphs in an HTML page. Put multiple pages in a Moodle book or Polybook.
Check quality across platforms. Always check your course appearance in the App. Blocks disappear in the mobile view. Course formats are simplified.

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Neuer Fragetyp STACK – Computeralgebra in Moodle

STACK steht für “System for Teaching and Assessment using Computer algebra Kernel”. Konkret handelt es sich hier um ein in Moodle integriertes Assessment-System für die Mathematik und verwandte Disziplinen, das auf dem Computer Algebra System Maxima basiert.

Mit dem neuen Fragetyp STACK können in Moodle mathematische Fragestellung einfach in Quizzes integriert und automatisch ausgewertet werden.

Nehmen wir das Beispiel einer Integration:

Die Eingabe der Studierenden wird interpretiert und angezeigt. Dadurch können zunächst syntaktische Fehler eliminiert werden.
Doch wieder einmal wird die Integrationskonstante vergessen.

Teillösung

Mit Hilfe eines Antwortbaumes können Dozierende nun individuelles Feedback generieren. Dadurch sind mehrteilige mathematische Fragen möglich, und es kann eine Teilpunktzahl vergeben werden.

Feedback mit Hinweisen

Die Studierenden können so schrittweise zu einer Lösung geführt werden.

Vollständige Lösung mit Feedback

Grafik

Darüber hinaus können grafische Darstellungen und Diagramme dynamisch generiert und in eine Frage eingebunden werden.

Grafikplot einer Funktion

Informationen sowie Anleitungen finden Sie in der hervorragenden Dokumentation unter https://docs.moodle.org/310/de/Fragetyp_STACK.

Bitte beachten Sie, dass dieser Fragetyp sowohl von den Dozierenden auch als den Studierenden eine gewisse Einarbeitung benötigt.

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