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Frequently asked questions about hybrid teaching in Fall 2020 (For Faculty).

Welcome to the 2020-21 Academic Year!

Teaching in Fall 2020 semester will start on September 16 in an online-only format. We will then switch to a hybrid mode of teaching starting October 1.

Please find detailed information about the teaching modes and course schedules at https://www.bilkent.edu/bilkent/2020-2021-fall-semester-teaching-at-bilkent-university/.


(Updated 1 October 2020)

The following frequently asked questions are listed and answered to help Bilkent faculty in their transition to hybrid teaching in Fall 2020.

This list will be updated regularly. If you have questions that are not addressed at the moment or suggestions that you think will make this transition as smooth as possible for all those involved, please send an email to keepteaching@bilkent.edu.tr.


1. How does hybrid teaching work?
– Hybrid courses, where a group of students are attending a face-to-face lecture in the classroom while the remaining students simultaneously attend the same lecture online via Zoom, the groups alternating between in-class and online modalities every day. Please note that those students, who wish not to attend the in-class lectures are allowed to follow the lecture from Zoom at all times.

– Face-to-face laboratories and studios, where either all or a subgroup of students attend the activity in person, possibly at alternating weeks.

– Online courses, where all of the students attend online via Zoom.

– Scheduled face-to-face midterm exams and other evaluation activities that will take place on campus and in person, adopting proper social distancing measures (i.e. extra classrooms, extra space left between students, extra proctors….).

2. How shall I update my syllabus?
Fall 2020 is not going to be like Spring 2020 when we rushed to transition to remote teaching. This time around, we know going in that some remote teaching will be involved for all courses. It is important that our syllabi reflect our preparedness in this regard. A few things that you may consider including in your syllabus are:
– a section to explain to students how to proceed when your class/es go remote only (for a day, week or longer).
– a section on accessing course materials (please get in touch with your Faculty librarian/s to make sure resources that your student need are accessible remotely)
– a statement on the use of technology in the class-room (both for those who are at home/dorm rooms and those who are in the class-room), including expectations regarding camera use, use of Zoom features to contact you in class, basic courtesy toward you and fellow students in class…
– a statement on academic integrity as relevant for remote assessments
– If you are concerned with students having a particularly hard time avoiding cheating or plagiarising under remote teaching conditions, you may want to be more explicit in your syllabus in defining cheating and plagiarism. It is even more advisable to do exercises with students to make sure that they understand intentional and unintentional cheating and plagiarism in the digital age. If you’d like to include your students to sign a pledge of honor, here is a standard sentence that is relatively widely used: “I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination/assignment.” Here are the links to Bilkent University’s guidelines:

– https://www.bilkent.edu/bilkent/guidelines-and-best-practices-for-teaching/
– http://ascu.bilkent.edu.tr/Academic_Honesty.pdf
– http://www.provost.bilkent.edu.tr/Encouraging Academic Honesty adopted from CU.doc.
Here are some other useful links:
– https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2020/07/22/technology-best-way-stop-online-cheating-no-experts-say-better
– https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/educational-assessment/fourteen-simple-strategies-to-reduce-cheating-on-online-examinations/

3. How do I adapt my course for hybrid delivery?
One somewhat counter intuitive piece of advice regarding preparing for hybrid teaching is to design the class as if it is going to be taught online and then make use of the face-to-face dimension to enhance the learning experience for those who are in the class-room. On the use of Zoom for enhancing ‘active learning’ as such, see the short book by Harvard professor Dan Levy, who offers tips on Zoom tools as well as strategies for combining ‘active learning’ strategies with Zoom. There is a book and website to go with it: https://www.teachingeffectivelywithzoom.com

4. How does hybrid teaching in the classroom work? (new)
All Bilkent classrooms are ready for hybrid teaching. All PCs in the classrooms have a setup that includes a webcam with inbuilt microphone, projector connection and loudspeakers. Please see below this page a video of hybrid teaching in the classroom.

All PCs also have the following installed: Zoom software, Wacom tablet driver, Xournal sketching/note taking software to use with Wacom tablets.

Please make a note of your classrooms and visit them to familiarize yourself with the setup, to test the devices you will be using and maybe rehearse for a few minutes. If the projector does not show the PC screen, please check to see whether both buttons in the black box inside the desk are green lit.

In case of any difficulties, please write to hotline@bilkent.edu.tr with a note that describes the nature of the problem including your classroom info. The physical classroom “building-room” code is the same as the Zoom account that you use to login to an “online only” class.

5. I would like to use the Wacom tablet in the classroom (new)
If you are planning to use Wacom tablet, please bring yours to the classroom, hook it up before the class starts and disconnect at the end of the class. If you want to use a Wacom tablet but don’t have one, please contact the Rector’s Office. Please also note that Wacom tablet is a mouse substitute (without its own screen) that allows you to use its pen to write on the computer screen.

Please note that the Wacom tablet’s USB cable must be connected to the rightmost USB port on the computer’s case. In case the Wacom tablet’s USB cable length is not comfortable for you, there are various length USB extension cables in Room B-310 at your disposal. If you plan to use software other than Xournal, please check to see that it is available on the classroom PC.

6. I would like to share the screen of an iPad or Android tablet connected to the PC in the classroom (new)
If you are planning to share the screen of an iPad or an Android tablet during your Zoom session on the classroom PC, the easiest way to do so is by logging in to the course on the tablet as an additional user, either through the student link or the meeting ID/meeting password. You can then assign the tablet’s user as a co-host. Please note that there may be a time delay when using this method of connection. When connecting your tablet to Zoom, please make sure that the audio connection is off (to avoid echo). Please also note that not all classrooms have wifi to make such a connection possible. Make sure you visit the classroom in advance to test the setup. Please be reminded that immediate onsite help may not be available in case of difficulty.

7. I would like to use my own laptop for hybrid teaching in the classroom (new)
Please note that not all classrooms have extra ethernet and extra projector connections. You may want to visit your classroom to see whether such a setup is available. If not, please do not disconnect cables in the existing setup, for the class after you would need to use them. If your classroom does have extra ethernet and projector connections, you would need to bring your own adapters to connect to the projector and to the ethernet cable. If the projector does not show the laptop screen, please check to see whether you have one unlit (left) and one red lit button (right) on the black box inside the desk.  You may also have to allow for screen mirroring in your own laptop settings.

8. I would like to use my own iPad or Android tablet for hybrid teaching (new)
Please note that connecting to Zoom on an iPad or Android tablet requires a wifi connection. If your classroom does not have wifi, please use the classroom PC. Even when wifi is available, a hardwire connection is more stable and therefore use of PC is recommended.

9. In hybrid-teaching, how do I communicate with students who are not in the classroom?
The chat function of Zoom allows those in the class-room to see the questions asked by students following the class remotely. The Professor may choose to repeat the questions asked in the class-room out loud, in case the microphone does not pick up what is said elsewhere in the room. For more tips about hybrid-teaching, please see the links below this page.

10. I am approved for teaching via Zoom alone, how does that work?
The Professor will be in his/her office/home, teaching via Zoom. The students will follow from their home/dorm room.

11. How will the exams be organised?
In accordance with the Senate decision on 16 September 2020, midterm examinations will take place only during a 9-day midterm  examination week in the middle of the semester, November 7-15, 2020, and the final examinations will be held during December 29, 2020 – January 10, 2021. Both of these exams will be held on campus and in-person, adopting proper social distancing measures (i.e. extra classrooms, extra space between students, extra proctors….). Midterm and final examinations will be scheduled centrally. Professors will be asked to submit their plans (whether to hold an exam or not) well in advance. Please note that there cannot be more than one face to face midterm exam per course. Please also note that students cannot be asked to come to campus for face-to-face quizzes or any other assessment in addition to the midterm and final weeks. Professors are advised to amend their syllabi before the drop deadline. Please consider assigning a significant portion of the final grade to the assessments in which you have high confidence that the work is that of the student alone, in other words, face-to-face assessments should have the determining role in assigning final grades.

All previously announced assessment methods should be revisited to make sure that quizzes are given via Moodle and/or using forms of assessment other than those during the midterm week take one of the following forms:

• Take-home examinations:  Take home exams are typically open-book exams. To minimize concerns regarding authorship, you may consider offering a timed exam (at least 24h), asking a ‘why question’, and/or accepting only handwritten submissions (to be scanned (using a phone app) and submitted via Moodle or e-mailed), ask the students to refrain from communicating with each other and/or sign an honor code statement before taking the examination. If the exams are typed, Moodle’s Turnitin integration could be used. Alternatively, and depending on class size, some or all of the students may be invited for an oral exam as well (see below).

• Research projects: For writing intensive courses, preparing a rubric may not only help with evaluating students’ performances but also offer them guidance as they write, especially when they have limited access to their professors. To ensure authorship, and depending on the size of your class, all or some of the students can be offered oral exams as well.

• Oral examinations: Coupling the research project with an oral examination is a mode of assessment that is regularly used in some academic cultures. Students prepare and upload a research project ahead of time. Afterwards they take a short oral examination (conducted and recorded via Zoom) to give them the opportunity to expand upon their written work (as well as giving us an opportunity to assess their authorship).

A stand-alone oral examination may be offered as a replacement to midterm or final examination (provided that they are recorded). In the latter case, students may be sent the oral exam questions in advance or quizzed on the spot, depending on your preference.

• Written online midterms: Moodle allows exams to be timed and offered online. This may not work for all classes, however it may be an option for many. Alternatives involve generating a pool of questions to be randomly assigned to students; offering timed questions; use blocker software to prevent students from opening other windows when taking the exam. Please note that maintaining academic honesty when offering an online examination has proven to be a challenge (as highlighted by some of our students who are concerned about cheating). Please see below some guidelines for conducting proctored online exams.

12. How can I conduct a proctored online exam using Zoom?
Please find here a step by step guide prepared by our Rector Prof. Abdullah Atalar and a student instructions document by Prof. Erdal Arıkan. If you are planning to organize an examination for a bigger group of students, you may also find also Prof. Uğur Doğrusöz’s guidelines useful.

13. What happens if/when students cannot upload their take-home or other written exams on time?
As above, when giving students deadlines, please keep in mind that our students may have limited access to the kind of hardware, internet bandwidth needed to submit work online.  One idea may be to advise them to e-mail their work to the instructor immediately after they find out that they cannot upload their work before the deadline. Whatever policy you adopt, please make sure that it is clear and known to the students before the examination.

14. How shall I hold office hours/tutorials?
You are advised to continue holding office hours via Zoom by using your spare/lab hour/s, which already have a Zoom room allocated. In this case, you let your students know which hour/s you plan to use for ‘office hour’ purposes and admit them one by one into your virtual office. If you prefer not to use your spare/lab hour/s, you can ask the Departmental administrative assistant to book a (Zoom) room dedicated to this purpose. Finally, you may consider organizing online tutorials.

15. How can the students review their examinations/home-works and receive feedback?
If you have electronic versions of the students’ work, you may make use of the screen share feature of Zoom to go over students’ work. Above-listed ‘office hour/tutorial’ options are also relevant here.

16. I am new to Zoom.
Please find here (https://web4.bilkent.edu.tr/zoom/) the relevant resources, including tutorials for faculty and students. To complement your lectures, you are encouraged to make use of Moodle by considering what (else) can be offered online: your Zoom recording; Powerpoint presentations (with narration, if available, see https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Record-a-slide-show-with-narration-and-slidetimings-0B9502C6-5F6C-40AE-B1E7-E47D8741161C ), course readings, videos, recommended readings…BETS tutorials on Moodle can be found here: http://bets.bilkent.edu.tr


A video of hybrid teaching in the classroom: 


For more tips redesigning hybrid teaching, here are a few sites: