How does the ZIM support mobile work?

Mobile Work

The UDE is observing the situation and built a “task force”, to be able to react quickly to developments, regarding the pandemic. Updates from the university’s administration is available under

The ZIM is currently checking out different options on how to mitigate difficulties created by the current situation by using local solutions and other alternatives and provides these as soon as possible. Of course we are exchanging options and ideas with other universities, since this is a problem that concerns a lot of other institutions. We will update you on further developments.

E-Learning – Teaching without presence events

The ZIM as well as other actors of the e-leaning-alliance offer many services to keep classes going, without having presence events. By use of digital media, tools and platforms, teachers can provide access to study materials and new communication channels for their students regardless of location and time. E-learning formats can be customized, from providing documents and recordings of lectures to the possibilities of collaborative work.

Further information on the use of e-learning as well as an overview of the different scenarios, tools and services is available here:

The university supports you with the planning of your teaching and created a central hotline, you can contact for questions regarding didactics, technology and organization. This hotline consists of workers from the Center for Information- and Media Services (ZIM), the university’s library (UB), the Center for Teacher Training (ZLB) and the Center for University Quality Development (ZHQE) and is available Mondays to Fridays from 09am to 04pm.

More information for teachers are available here.

From now on you have access to the in-house-solution BigBlueButton, which the ZIM provides as a testing system in collaboration with CVIS.

For smaller (up to 8 people) team-meetings or consultation hour, you can keep using the in-house-solution Jitsi

Both in-house-solutions are compatible to Moodle, so that you can start video conferences via BigBlueButton or Jitsi within Moodle.

Zoom is now available to all employees and students via

The rectorate, as well as administration and the ZIM has decided (with the help of CISO as well as privacy officers) to acquire the commercial video conference tool Zoom for one year. The UDE has made a contract and participation procedures with the staff councils have been initiated.

Video Conference

Tips on privacy-issues when using video-conference-tools and general advice on video conferences are available here.

  • BigBlueButton
    Under the in-house-solution you can create your own conference rooms or enter an already existing conference via a practical short link.
    Further information on BigBlueButton is available here.
  • Video conference via Zoom
    Zoom is a tool that lets you create video conferences and digital meetings with up to 300 participants. You can also share your screen for presentations and more. All members of the University Duisburg-Essen can login with their University-ID (Unikennung) under and participate in a video conference or plan/start their own meeting.
    Further information on Zoom is available here.
  • Video conference via DFNconf (Pexip)
    All members of University Duisburg-Essen can log into the new video-conference-service of the DFN with their University-ID (Unikennung) and create a meeting room themselves. You then can invite other participants (max. 23 people) to this meeting room, without them having to download their own video-conference-tool.
    Information on this is available in this flyer [PDF].
  • Video conference via Adobe Connect (DFNconf)
    For E-Learning-presentations or Webinare up to 400 people, you can use already the webconference-service Adobe Connect. With Adobe Connect you can transmit your lecture or other presentations live and provide it up to 400 participants.
    Information about the capacity in this time you find here

Messenger Services

  • Rocket.Chat (Chat-Servers of UDE)
    With Rocket.Chat the ZIM provides a web-based, persistent messaging service with focus on group communication. All members of university, that have a login-ID (Unikennung), can therefore communicate via an easy, intuitive platform.

    Furthermore there are desktop apps for Windows, MacOS and Linux, as well as apps for iOS and Android. Further information, tips and advice are available here.

  • Jabber (Instant Messaging)
    We installed an instant-messaging-server under the name, which supports the open protocol XMPP/Jabber. Via this, two or more participants can chat via text messages.

    To use Jabber you need to install a client and log onto the Jabber servers. Information on this is available here.

Further Services

  • Virtual Desktops for Students
    Students can use the university’s virtual desktops (which are primarily known from the public PC-pools) with a variety of different software on your private devices. Information on how to use the virtual desktop is available here.
  • VPN
    When accessing the internet via VPN (Virtual Private Network), which allows you to create a tunnel to the university’s network, all you data traffic runs via an encrypted connection to our VPN-servers.

    As an employee of central administration, you use the administration’s VPN-access.

    All other employees have access to this service via the ZIM’s VPN-access. There are enough connections available, but the amount can be expanded if needed.

  • OWA
    Apart from a few exceptions all employee’s e-mail accounts run on the Groupware-System Microsoft Exchange. The easiest way to manage your mails is the webmail interface OWA. Here, you do not have to configure anything, but instead just enter your login-ID (Unikennung) and your password on the OWA homepage. You can access all Groupware functions (e.g. calendars, tasks etc.) directly via your browser, without having to install any software. There you can also configure your mail account. Tutorials on this are available here.
  • Webmailer
    Alternatively, you can manage your e-mails in this web interface. Here you do not need to configure anything. Just enter your login-ID and password on the homepage.
    Tutorials on this are available here.
  • Sciebo
    Use the NRW-based cloud saving service for research, studying and teaching. Sciebo enables you to automatically synchronize data on different devices (“Sync”), as well as work together on documents (“Share”). Via an app, desktop client or web interface, you can access your files on all your devices. You can share single files or folders with other people.

be greener with ZIM

  • Under the name “be greener with ZIM” we launched an overview website of the ZIM, that addresses the topic of sustainability.

    The ZIM already offers several services, that enable overarching collaboration. These services are not just helpful for employees of UDE but also in collaboration with colleagues and members of other universities.

    You can access this portal under:

Information on privacy-issues when using video-conference-tools and general information on video conferences

Check: What are the contents of the video conference and how big is the need for protection
The need for protection depends on the contents of the video conferences and what kind of personal data is communicated.

Data that is accessible to the general public has a “low” need for protection, which means it can be communicated in video conferences without any problems. Should an event be organized with attendance lists and matriculation numbers, the need for protection counts as “normal”.

In special cases the need for protection is “high” or even “very high”. For example, if exam results need to be discussed via a conference service or you need to disclose data of a person with a high need for protection (e.g. employees), then special protection measures are necessary. In particular cases, we advise against transmitting information.

On basis of the transmitted files’ need for protection, certain protective measures have to be taken when transmitting files.
Which measures can be taken to protect files
The higher a files need for protection, the more important it is to take protection measures for the transmitted files. Here are some example measures, that can vary depending on the video-conference-tool you use:
  • Deleting chat histories (if possible)
  • Keep a watch on the list of participants in a meeting
  • Restrict the time, when documents are exchanged online
  • Choosing a secure browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome)
  • Set passwords
  • Encrypted transmission
Which measures can I take at my workspace?
Be careful in the following scenarios.

Sharing your desktop
Before you start sharing your desktop, restrict what the viewer sees. When sharing, most tools give you the options to either share your complete screen or just a specific window or document. Close your e-mails and calendar, since otherwise private information may be revealed involuntarily.

Recording a conference
Should you be planning to record your video conference and then later give people access to the recordings, please first talk to your privacy department about this. Another possibility would be, to mute all participants and prevent people from connecting via video chat. Under these circumstances, teachers can record their own lectures. Please also think about deleting the files afterwards, so they are not available online indefinitely.

Using a webcam
Prevent others from seeing details in the background (e.g. private pictures in the room or other people). Some video-conference-services offer a “blur”-function, to distort the camera’s background.

Recording and spreading documents and footage
Images and texts on the lecture slides as well as any spoken word during video conferences and learning videos are only for your own (or your group’s own) studies.
Any further use is forbidden. For example, sending it to other students, in social networks or the internet in general!

Preferably use a LAN connection
If available, it is recommended you use a LAN cable for accessing the internet! Avoid Wi-Fi, unless absolutely necessary. This way you avoid audio and video disruptions. Also avoid the use of other internet services during a conference. This goes for family members as well.
Use a headset with earphones and a microphone
If available, use a headset with headphones and a microphone (e.g. from online stores or big supermarkets). Alternatively, use headphones. Should you have none of those available, please mute your microphone in the software, when you are not talking. Also avoid making disturbing sounds like typing or phone calls during a conference. In that case, always mute your microphone.
Alternatives for webcams and headsets
Webcams and headsets are currently hard to come by and if so very expensive. You can use an available Android- or Apple-Smartphone as a webcam or microphone. Tutorials on this are available under and There are also simple adapters, with which you can use a phone headset on your PC, should it have suitable microphone and earphone plugs.
For Android the ZIM recommends the app DroidCam, since it also uses the smartphone’s microphone.
For IOS we recommend the app Kinoni, that is compatible with Windows as well as MacOS. The purchased version of Kinoni offers better functions.
Bottleneck internet connection
Your internet connection is always the bottleneck, never the server. Through the massive use of remote work, many internet providers are overwhelmed. Almost all private internet accesses are configured asynchronously, that means the data from your webcam/audio are limited in regards of upstream (so from you to the server). Always choose a low video resolution, if the software has this option. Refrain from transmitting video when having internet problems. Audio uses far less bandwidth than video. Should there be problems during a large conference, only the person who speaks should be sending a video image. If necessary, refrain from using video altogether.