SYNCHRONOUS PHASE

7.2

Holding classes in a virtual or hybrid learning environment

Synchronous classes in a virtual classroom

The following video-conferencing tools can be used for holding synchronous in-person classes in virtual classrooms:


  • Zoom is the best option for seminars and lectures, as it allows up to 300 persons to attend. On request at IT Service desk, this number can be increased to 500 participants. Since the fall semester 2020, students are included in the full campus license for Zoom; they can now uns Zoom to schedule their own meetings e.g. for group work or other meetings related to their course of study.
  • SWITCHmeet is an open-source, free-to-use video-conferencing software running on Swiss servers that allows small groups to work together.
  • Webex is a video-conferencing software suite for small groups with end-to-end encryption.
  • Panopto (trial, no support): Panopto is a software suite that allows asynchronous recordings of presentations and synchronous live webcasts. In addition, this application provides an easy way to do basic editing of the recorded videos.

Chapter 7.4 contains links to instructions on use and other information about this video-conferencing tool.


Synchronous classes in a hybrid classroom

The following options are available for conducting the synchronous phase in a hybrid classroom; i.e. combining in-person attendance in a physical classroom with a live webcast for those not present:


  • To facilitate the inclusion of students who cannot be present (hybrid classroom), the university is providing the faculties with technical resources and guides for use as much as possible (recording or streaming software and AV media kits with camera, room microphone and tripod).
  • Two options are available for recording and webcasting software: Zoom (for small classes with high interactivity) and, starting in September, a trial version of Panopto (large classes with minimal interactivity). Lecturers can use Panopto to present content to the class in the classroom via a projector and to simultaneously stream themselves and their presentation slides via a webcast.

Note: It is important to mention that teaching in a hybrid classroom involves a lot of extra work for lecturers from an organizational, didactic and technical perspective.