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Distance Learning FAQ

On this FAQ page you will find an overview of answers to practical questions regarding distance learning that we regularly receive in our mailbox. General information about distance learning at the UU can be found on Distance teaching.  

Is your question not answered yet with the information provided or would you like personalized educational advice? Please contact Teaching Support at: teachingsupport@uu.nl

General information 

You can make a request via fsc.av@uu.nl. The equipment can be picked up at the campus, or after consultation the equipment could be delivered at your home address.

By using recordings in your distance learning, you prevent students from being dependent on the internet connection at a specific time. Possible software overload can sometimes disrupt live connections. 

Does a student have structural problems following online education? Please contact your own exam committee to discuss the possibilities.

If you have developed your own educational resources, you can easily manage and share them through our online educational repository Figshare. With Figshare you decide what you share and how you want to do it. You can integrate the material into your learning environment with a single click, such as Blackboard, or easily share it via social media with a direct link to Figshare. By sharing the material with a creative common license you keep the rights over the material, but you can also easily share the material with colleagues.

For more information, please visit: https://educate-it.uu.nl/en/repository/


More detailed information about this can be found under the heading 'Replacement lectures' at Distant teaching.

There are many options to record your lecture or knowledge clip. We make extensive use of the following three options: My Mediasite, Powerpoint and Microsoft Teams. A detailed explanation on how to record using this tool can be found in the manuals below:

The UU has decided to primarily use Microsoft Teams for distance learning. There is sufficient capacity for the use of Teams and it is safe to use. A second possibility is the use of Starleaf. ZOOM is not supported by the UU, using ZOOM is not recommended.

Via an Ipad you can easily make a recording via the recording option of the ipad itself. This information ideo shows you how:https://support.apple.com/nl-nl/HT207935.  

With other tablets Screencast-o-matic is a good option. This app is free to download, https://screencast-o-matic.com/screen-recorder 

There are several possibilities to share your written notes live or afterwards with your students.


Place your pre-defined/extracted formulas or images in the presentation and, if necessary, gradually build them up. As done here:

Whiteboard Microsoft Teams

Within Microsoft Teams you can choose which screen you share. You can also switch between different screens and share drawings you have on your laptop. In addition, you have the option 'Microsoft whiteboard', in which you can draw something during the lecture. This is most easy in use if you have a computer with touchscreen and a stylus to write with.

The advantage of this option is that you share the Whiteboard with your students and they can easily write on it as well. You can use this whiteboard by choosing to share the screen during a meeting in the control bar and choosing the option 'Microsoft whiteboard'.

The extensive manual of Microsoft Teams can be found here: https://manuals.uu.nl/en/handleiding/teams-for-education/


Do you have an Ipad or Tablet (with writing pen)? Then you can use a drawing app on your Ipad and easily share your screen via MS Teams. How to do this, you can read here.

Film your notes with your phone

Do you prefer to write with pen and paper? Then you can place the camera of your phone or iPad above your paper and share this camera image with your students. You can share your camera in the same way as described above in the manual, except that you do not choose 'Share screen' but 'Share camera' whilst sharing in MS Teams.

The tricky part is that you have to make sure the camera is in the right position, for example by placing it on a pile of books. In addition, you have to prevent blocking the text with your hand whilst writing. A disadvantage of the camera on your phone is that it is automatically shared with 'portrait' instead of 'landscape' images. If you want to rotate your camera image, you will need a separate app, e.g. the Landscape video camera app.  

Smart pen

Are you looking for a more advanced option? Then take a look at a Smartpen, for example Livescribe or Neosmartpen. Often these pens work via an application that you can download on your phone / Ipad / tablet / desktop. You then connect the pen via Bluetooth to the application and share the application via MS Teams, as described in the manual above. From that moment on, students can just watch what you write live. You also have the possibility to record everything you write and share it in the form of an MP4 file or a pdf file.

Within teams you can click on your name in the top right corner and then click on settings. For devices you can make a 'Test call'. Here you can test your microphone and see what is visible through your camera. Of course you can also call a colleague to test. 

The extensive manual of Microsoft Teams can be found here: https://manuals.uu.nl/en/handleiding/teams-for-education/ 

You can do this in three ways:

  1. Blackboard 
  2. E-mail 
  3. Microsoft Teams: If you have made a recording in Microsoft Teams, it will automatically appear in the chat of the channel in which you recorded it. This may take a while, so please wait after recording your lecture. Then click on the '3 dots' (...) next to the recording and then on: 'Make this a tab' (check the box). This makes the recording a tab in your teams and doesn’t it disappear between the other chat messages, making it easy for the student to find and watch it.

It is useful to agree with students that they to turn off their camera and mute their microphone. By clicking the persons-icon (see below in the red square) you can mute everyone in the top right corner (mute all). With the question icon (see below in the blue square) a chat window is opened. Students can ask questions there or indicate that they want to ask a question via the microphone.

Through the following link an online appointment can be scheduled with a MS staff member. In a video-call this staff member can help with different questions on how to deploy Teams in your distance education. (Please report in the comment that you prefer an English session).

See this manual how to record an online lecture in PowerPoint.


At the UU we work with Remindo as digital assessment software. Information about this tool can be found on the website: https://remindo-support.sites.uu.nl/?lang=en

Here you will find information about, for example, taking online open book exams, making a time estimate for essay questions, technical support for students taking a test at home, converting your written test into a digital one, and more.

It is important to keep in mind that your whole course, including examination meets constructive alignment: are the learning goals aligned with the learning activities and the difficulty level of the course? Another type of examination is not always an option, because the learning activities were focused on a prefixed examination type. This would mean that students aren’t prepared for the examination. Are you thinking about changing the type of examination of your course? Make sure to check the assessment framework.

If you want to use a diverging way of examination, make sure that the difficulty level of the exam is aligned with the learning goals and the learning activities of the course. Prepare the students well for the new type of examination, so that they know what to expect.  

Need help? If you want educational advice about changing your examination, you can email Mirne van der Cammen; m.l.vandercammen@uu.nl. Your question will be sent to “Onderwijsadvies en Training”

  • Students have access to certain resources, which you cannot control.  
  • Students can work together, face to face but also online, for example with a computer or smartphone. 
  • The questions of your exam at home are open access, you cannot use them again.

There is no system to control for plagiarism within Remindo. If you want to know how you can still use open questions in your exam, and control for plagiarism, contact your key-user Remindo.

In ‘Take-Home Exams in Higher Education: A Systematic Review’, written by Lars Bengsston (2019) you can find a theoretical basis for take-home exams.

There are several tools available for UU teachers for online assessment, see the overview below for more information.

Click on the name of the tool to read more information on the application of the tool and how to request the tool

Type of online assessment Suitable tool Summative assessment possible Formative assessment possible Can you download submitted work?
Closed questions
(multiple types)
Remindo x x Yes
Open questions Remindo x x Yes
Open book assessment Remindo x x Yes
Essay FeedbackFruits 2.0:  Assignment review x x Yes *
Paper FeedbackFruits 2.0:  Assignment review   x x Yes *
Book or literature review FeedbackFruits 2.0:  Assignment review   x   x   Yes *  
Poster presentation Pitch2Peer x x Yes
(2 – 6 minutes)
Pitch2Peer x x Yes
Blog Pitch2Peer x x Yes
  FeedbackFruits 2.0:  Assignment review   x x Yes *
Knowledge clipt by students Pitch2Peer

x x Yes
Podcast Pitch2Peer x x Yes
Powerpoint or Prezi by students Pitch2Peer x x Yes
Communicative skills Traintool x x We are looking into it.
  Pitch2Peer x x Yes
Statistic questions Grasple x x Yes **
Peer feedback Pitch2Peer x x Yes
  Peergrade x x Yes
  FeedbackFruits 2.0: Peer review x x Yes

* All documents can be downloaded in bulk, unfortunately without the feedback. Grade reports can also be downloaded. ** Exporting test results is possible by sending a request to fb.innovatietools@uu.nl.

For a better insight on shortening your tests, please use the documents below (in Dutch, source: support site Remindo)