Information for Teaching Staff

Status: 28 July 2020

Fact Sheet for Teaching Staff

The Safety, Security and Environment office has published a checklist aimed at teaching staff who hold courses. It can be used to check whether participants are observing the current regulations for preventing the spread of Covid-19. A safety concept must be drawn up and implemented for courses and events with close contacts, events with external guests and events with more than 100 people in allocated rooms and external event locations.
Fact Sheet for Teaching Staff (PDF, 75 KB)
Safety Concept for the University of Zurich during the COVID-19 Pandemic

FAQ on Technological Aspects of Teaching and Exams

The Information Technology Office has developed FAQs regarding technological aspects of teaching and holding exams in the Fall Semester 2020. Please refer to this site to check whether your teaching and exam plans are technologically feasible.
FAQ: Teaching and Exams Fall Semester 2020 (in German)

Planning for Fall Semester 2020

Certain rules and regulations issued by the government and/or canton will continue to apply into the Fall Semester 2020, which is why our courses and exams must be adaptable. The Executive Board of the University has therefore decided on the following seven principles for planning the Fall Semester 2020. These principles are currently being adapted by the individual faculties to take into account each faculty's specific circumstances.

1. Classroom Teaching Generally Possible

Classroom teaching will generally be possible. Classroom sessions or elements thereof (e.g. flipped classroom) can be planned taking into account government/cantonal provisions as well as the available teaching spaces. Activities related to student mobility will also be possible again.

2. Digital Teaching in Principle

All courses require concepts that ensure that it will in principle be possible to follow the teaching through digital means. It must be possible for students as well as members of the teaching staff to take part in teaching activities regardless of their specific risk factors (e.g. travel restrictions for mobility students).

3. Synchronous or Asynchronous Teaching

The concepts must consider whether teaching or parts thereof will be synchronous (happening live, e.g. via online sessions) or asynchronous (not occurring live, e.g. through podcasts). Please note that all synchronous teaching activities must take place during the allotted teaching hours, i.e. it is generally not possible to move a course to a different time slot.

4. Teaching Materials Available Online

All teaching materials – as far as permissible under copyright law – must be stored in a LMS tool (e.g. OLAT) and made available to course participants online. You may also send materials by e-mail or other means.

5. Course Format in Course Catalogue

The format in which the course will be held and assessed must be defined and documented in the course catalogue before module booking becomes available in August 2020. No measures to facilitate studies, in particular no additional failed attempts or windows for canceling modules, are planned for the Fall Semester.

6. On-Site Teaching for Practical Courses

Courses focusing on practical skills (lab courses, clinical courses, etc.) can in principle be held as on-site teaching sessions. If the applicable social distancing rules cannot be observed, special protective measures (e.g. face masks) must be taken and defined in a safety concept.

7. Remote Assessments

It must generally also be possible for students and instructors to take part in and hold assessments – regardless of their specific risk factors or place of residence. With the exception of assessing practical skills, it must thus also be possible to take part in official assessments remotely. Exams may be carried out online.

Some Buildings Reopening from 8 June

Students and participants in continuing education may use certain UZH premises from 8 June for examinations, classes, practical assessments, clinical courses, studying, appointments or using services. Facility management together with event organizers and service providers will ensure that safe distancing can be maintained at all time.

Return to On-Site Operations

UZH resumed on-site operations on 8 June in compliance with the protective measures and applicable restrictions on group gatherings. However, considerable restrictions will continue to apply, and the measures for the gradual return to on-site operations may be reversed at any time should the general situation with regard to the pandemic not improve as expected.

Exams to be held digitally whenever possible

Whenever possible, written or oral exams scheduled in June 2020 will be held remotely at the scheduled date and time. Examinations that cannot be held in digitalized form for technical reasons (e.g. clinical medical exams) will be held as on-site events in June, the first half of July, or between 9 August and 4 September 2020. The currently valid restrictions with regard to the space requirement of at least 4 square meters per person must be complied with. This means that for example, only 56 of the 463 seats in lecture hall B10 can be used. From 9 August onwards, the provisions that will be adopted and announced by the Federal Council on 27 May will apply.

On-Site Events

Since 8 June, on-site events are possible again for classes and written or oral examinations which for practical reasons cannot be held remotely. For these events, rooms will be allocated according to a list of priorities:

  • Priority 1: Written and oral examinations that must be held on UZH premises because they cannot be held remotely for clear practical reasons.
  • Priority 2: Courses that need to be held on UZH premises because they cannot be held remotely (practical training, clinical courses, continuing education events).
  • Priority 3: Events connected with UZH’s teaching and research for which it is unclear whether they will take place in view of the general prevailing uncertainty.

Use of UZH Libraries

The university libraries are again open to UZH members to borrow and return books, for consultation and photocopying services and for the use of study spaces. You can find more details on the Main Library’s website:
Main Library: Services during the corona crisis