Lecture recording & Live streaming

Several of the lecture halls at the University of Bern are equipped with podcast infrastructure. This infrastructure and the SWITCHcast software make it easy to record, process and publish lectures, conference talks and other events. The words spoken and the presentation are recorded as standard, but not the person speaking. The recording is automatically converted into various formats for streaming (Flash), desktop and mobile (mp4). These files can be uploaded to a website or provided to students via an ILIAS course.

More and more students of the University of Bern are expressing the wish to have their lectures recorded. In its position paper on Good Teaching, the SUB (Student Representation) also advocates increased availability of podcast recordings. So, what are the advantages of creating and offering podcasts in university teaching? Below, you find a list with eight sound arguments.

1. Podcasts enable effective follow-up and self-directed learning

The learners can listen selectively to those parts of an event that they did not understand for the first time. In this way, podcasts enable self-directed learning at students' own pace. Owing to the rewind and pause functions, students have time to reflect, research, and take notes. Thus, they are able to process the content much more thoroughly than in the classroom lecture. This particularly applies to all students whose native language is not German.

2. Podcasts improve learning success if they are used in a sensible way and as supplements to lecture attendance

Many students value the opportunity to prepare for their exams with the help of podcasts. However, as the first surveys show, this method alone does not lead to improved learning success: only if the podcasts are used as supplements—and not as substitutes—to lecture attendance, an improvement of the examination performance appears to be taking place (see Spaeth-Hilbert, Seufert & Wesner, 2013; study at the University of Manchester, available here from minute 5:30). Therefore, it seems that only the combination of lecture attendance and the use of podcasts for post-session and exam preparation can lead to higher learning success. This fact should be pointed out to the students at the beginning of their lectures.

3. Podcasts fill the gap when either the lecturers or the students are absent

If the lecturer is absent, no lectures are cancelled, as the content of podcasts from previous semesters can still be accessed. Alternatively, these podcasts can also be pre-produced. In this way, the planned content is being processed despite the “missed lecture”, and the learning objectives are achieved. By linking these podcasts to tasks, self-tests, or exercises (e.g. on ILIAS), students are encouraged to become involved in effective learning activities.

Podcasts enable students to take part in lectures even when they cannot attend them due to family or professional obligations, illness, military service, or lack of space in the lecture halls.

4. Owing to the integration in ILIAS, podcasts hardly require any additional effort and can be edited before publication

If you would like to record your event, you need to apply for an equipped lecture hall before the beginning of the semester via the room reservation tool on KSL and create a podcast channel on ILIAS—a so-called SWITCHcast Channel. In the lecture hall, you then select your SWITCHcast channel at the podcast station and start recording with a push of a button. After the lecture, you can edit the recording (e.g. cut out breaks) and publish it in your ILIAS course. The final product is therefore always under your control.

5. Podcasts enable interactive event formats in the following semester

Podcasts that have been recorded once and are still up-to-date in terms of content can be used effectively in later semesters. This can be done, for example, by instructing students to use these podcasts to prepare for the attendance phase of the course. As the knowledge transfer now takes place in self-study, theory may be deepened and put into practice in the classroom course. Further questions can be discussed in plenary sessions. Exercises with immediate feedback or cases may be dealt with in smaller groups. What used to happen at home (and often) in isolated individual work is now taking place through social exchange with fellow students and in contact with the lecturers. Detailed information about the teaching scenario "Inverted Classroom" can be found here.

6. Podcasts enable lecturers to enrich and supplement face-to-face events

Contents that cannot be discussed in depth in the classroom may be made available in the form of podcasts. These podcasts can be used, for instance, to ensure that all students have the same level of knowledge before the event begins.

7. Podcasts facilitate the didactic and content-related development of one's teaching activities

Podcasts display and reflect a teaching situation and the lecturer's teaching methods. Consequently, self-evaluation and feedback measures can take place, possibly accompanied by didactic counselling. The team of the Didactics & Teaching Development Department will be pleased to support you.

8. Podcasts allow more flexible study models and the integration of people studying at a distance

Owing to the podcasts, knowledge transfer can take place regardless of time and place. As a result, students can decide for themselves when and where they want to listen to a lecture. In addition, it is now possible to involve students living far away in events.

Way to your own podcast

In order to record a lecture, the room must be equipped with the necessary infrastructure (see "Equipped Rooms"). You should therefore already be thinking about the podcasts when making your room reservation. Alternatively, two sets of mobile podcast equipment can be borrowed for the purpose of recording one-off podcasts.

1. Reservation

You can reserve a podcast-capable room either directly in CTS/KSL when registering your lecture or at one of the decentralized reservation offices.

2. Order a recording

Two options are provided here. If your event is registered in CTS and you would also like to have an ILIAS course, then activate the checkbox «Podcast» in CTS when registering your lecture. You will then find a «SWITCHcast Series» in your ILIAS course shortly afterwards. In all other cases, please fill out the order form at an early stage. The processing time is 2 working days for a single recording, 5 working days for multiple or repeated recordings.

3. Recording

The recording takes place automatically. When presenting please use the microphone and, if possible, the HDMI port of your notebook for your presentation. Alternatively, we recommend that you take your own adapter to HDMI with you.

4. Editing

After the recording the videos need to be edited and published. You can do this in ILIAS or SWITCHcast a few hours after the end of the lecture. You can cut the recording, remove breaks and add information. The effective publication takes place only after this step and again can take up to one hour.

5. Location of publication

The recordings are published either in your ILIAS course or in SWITCHtube. You specify the location of publication either when ordering the recording or at a later time in ILIAS or SWITCHcast.


Detailed instructions for the most important steps can be found below.

There are two ways to order a recording. These depend on whether your lecture is registered in CTS/KSL and whether you would also like an ILIAS course.

Option 1: "Lecture is registered in CTS/KSL, an ILIAS course is desired"

When registering the lecture in CTS, activate the checkbox "Podcast". Before the semester, you will find a SWITCHcast series in your ILIAS course in which the recordings get uploaded.

If your course has already been registered in CTS, you can also have the podcast checkbox set later. The best way to do this is to send an email to: podcast@id.unibe.ch

Option 2: "Lecture NOT registered in CTS/KSL or an ILIAS course not desired"

Fill out the appropriate order form for the lecture series or single lectures. The processing time is 2 working days for a single recording, 5 working days for multiple or repeated recordings.

Online form: Lecture series (only in German)

Online form: Single recording (incl. conferences) (only in German)


Report date adjustments

If the date, time or room of your lecture has changed, please let us know by sending an email to podcast@id.unibe.ch. In order to process your request correctly, we need the full title of your SWITCHcast series.

To cancel already scheduled automated recordings, please proceed as follows:

  • Faculty of Medicine: Lectures of the study programme Human Medicine which do not get recorded are already marked with (oP) in the title ("ohne Podcast"). If other lectures are not to be recorded, please report them to studium@meddek.unibe.ch, at the latest five days before the lecture. By default, all lectures in the academic years 3-6 are recorded.
  • All other faculties:
    • Cancellation of recording series: By deactivating the podcast checkbox in the CTS/KSL course settings (under "Room Requests") you cancel all recording dates of a course. After receiving the confirmation e-mail, the scheduled recordings can also be deleted in the SWITCHcast series in ILIAS.
    • Cancellation of individual recordings: No active measures are necessary. Just delete the recording after your lecture.

You can find proper equipped rooms with already installed podcast infrastructure at following locations. All rooms are missing a camera (exception: Room 001, VonRoll building). A video camera for taping the lecturer can be reserved via the equipment hire.

Rooms with permanently installed podcast infrastructure
Main building (Hochschulstr. 4) 101110 (Audimax), 120, 201, 210 (Aula)220
Von Roll area (Fabrikstr. 6 / 8) 001, 003, 004, 102, B101 (F8)
UniS (Schanzeneckstr. 1) A003, A-122
Unitobler (Lerchenweg 36) F 021
ExWi (Sidlerstr. 5) With blackboard recording: A006, 099, A006, 099, B005, B006, B007, 119
Chemistry (Freiestr. 3) U113
Geography & WTI (Hallerstr. 6 / 12) 001 (Hallerstr. 12), 020 (Hallerstr. 6)
Bühlplatz & Muesmatt area (Baltzerstr. 1 / Gertrut Woker Str. 5) 248 (Haller-Auditorium), 018 Aula, GeWo5), 220 (Gemeinschaftshörsaal, GeWo5)
Engehalde area (Engehaldenstr. 8) 001
Plant Sciences (Botanical Garden - Altenbergrain 21)
61 (Auditorium)
Vetsuisse Faculty (Länggassstr. 122 / Bremgartenstr. 109) 303 (Lg 122), NLG 001 (Lg 124c), 115 (Lg 120), 116 (Lg 120), 215 (Lg 124), 020 (Bg 109)


Expansion of equipped rooms

If there isn‘t a room well equipped near you, please inform the didactical support (podcast@id.unibe.ch, +41 31 684 30 23). The infrastructure is broadened continuously. 

Other rooms on the Insel-Areal are equipped with podcast infrastructure:

Overview of rooms with podcast infrastructure on the Insel-Areal

Mobile equipment for a single podcast

Do you need mobile equipment for a single podcast? The support "Technology and infrastructure" (podcast@id.unibe.ch, +41 31 684 31 91) provides you with two mobile equipments. This includes all hardware and software required to record podcasts with the SWITCHcast software in a room already fitted with a microphone. If the room does not have a microphone, you can borrow microphones from us.

You can also borrow various audio and video equipment (e.g. cameras, tripods, USB and wireless microphones, various cables etc.). These can be borrowed free of charge for a limited period of time. Please see the following list for the available material: Verfügbares Ausleihmaterial (pdf only in German)

Records of the University of Bern

Collegium generale: "Roboter in der Chirurgie"

Remark: Only slides and sound are recorded (default at the University of Bern)


Day of Teaching 2018: "Umstellung der Vorlesung Statistik II auf Flipped Classroom"

Remark: Additional effort due to video recording of the lecturer (possible in all podcast rooms, for camera and tripod see "Borrowing material").