This winter semester, many courses at our university will still be held online. There will also be a number of hybrid formats. Some courses will be taught in person on campus. This page provides support, practical recommendations, guides as well as legal information on the subject of digital teaching.

Junge Frau mit Laptop und Kopfhörern, Foto: Colourbox
Teaching online can work too! Photo: Colourbox

Online, Hybrid and Face-to-Face Teaching

In addition to online courses, our university will offer the innovative possibility of hybrid courses from the winter semester 2020/21. This involves a limited number of students being present in the seminar room, while other students joint the class online. Hybrid teaching will be carried out using the secure and technically optimised conference tool BigBlueButton (BBB). Provided that the hygiene requirements can be met, purely face-to-face classes are also possible once more.

To prepare for the winter semester we recommend:

  • Decide on online, hybrid or face-to-face teaching.
  • Establish and communicate transparent rules and requirements for the teaching method you have chosen.
  • Offer your students a clear structure. You are welcome to use our information in the Lehre.digital course on Moodle.

Our guide to planning the online semester and the following initial considerations will help get you started:

  • Learning objectives
    What are the three most important things that students should learn in their “guided independent study” – what knowledge, working techniques, or media skills? What is the focus of the course in question?
  • Examinations
    Which examinations are planned? What about other assessed work? How are the different tasks, set reading and learning outcomes related to this?
  • Target group
    How large is your group of students? What prior knowledge can you assume? To what extent are students familiar with digital formats and working independently? Are the digital tools easily accessible to all students? How mixed is the group likely to be – for example, is the course part of a compulsory elective? What information do you need, and which of that information will you need to obtain when first getting to know the students?
    Our tips for getting to know your students and gauging their abilities will help you here.
  • Your own resources
    How can you prepare and conduct the course well without overcomplicating things for yourself? How willing are you to take risks when it comes to digital formats? How much time do you currently have to prepare? How can you and your colleagues support each other? What hours will you be able to work at the beginning of the semester?

Please contact your students by email as soon as possible to inform them about your course. Depending on the module registration system and established practice in the faculties, you can obtain the contact details of the students who have registered for your course through AlmaWeb or TOOL. If neither of these two options is available to you, or if you have any problems exporting participant lists, please contact your Study Office.

Coronavirus website for students

Students can find the latest information about the online semester on the CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION PAGE.

  1. You provide learning material by email or in the “Speicherwolke” file hosting service as early as possible. This might be texts, bibliographies, lists of links, or perhaps PowerPoint presentations with or without an audio track.
    Keep the amount of material to a minimum; limit yourself to what you want to achieve in the first few weeks.
  2. You won’t be able to answer a student’s question in real time. Come up with clear and specific assignments – for example, key questions, problems or similar. Students in lower semesters will probably require more detailed instructions.
  3. In order to get an impression of how your students are coping with the assignments they have been given, decide on a form of response – such as texts, pictures or certificates – and a particular communication channel (email or upload to the “Speicherwolke”). Make sure that this channel is available to all of the students. If necessary, ask them first.
    TIP: Clearly specify the required form (number of characters, file format, etc.) and remember to set a deadline!
  4. Let your students know how and by when they will receive feedback from you about their results.
  5. Inform students when and how they can contact you with questions and problems, either by email or phone.
    TIP: Make it clear when you can be contacted.
  6. Inform your students about how the course will be run, how they will be expected to work, and how they will be examined. Make it absolutely clear how the results of this first phase of independent study will affect how the students are examined overall.
    TIP: The more students understand the reason why they are doing something, the more motivated they will be.
  7. If you want the students in your course to work together in pairs or groups, arrange an introductory phase (e.g. with students submitting a brief description of themselves) and then decide who should work with whom.
    TIP: To get a first impression yourself, get the students to give you some sort of initial response. For example, use a quiz or short questionnaire to find out about the students’’ previous knowledge or interests.
  8. Using email can be quite awkward with large groups of students. In such cases, we recommend that you use a Moodle course to help structure communication with your students.

You can imagine the Moodle learning platform as a virtual classroom. In it you can store teaching material, interact with students, and do virtual group work. Moodle lets you communicate with large groups of students without getting inundated with emails. The Lehre.digital Hilfekurs is an introductory course providing an overview of what you can do on Moodle. All you need is your university login.

If it’s your first time creating a course, take a look at our short guide. The Lehre.digital forum is a space for you to swap notes with other lecturers and people from the University’s e-learning team.

Please note the following when using Moodle:

  1. Use the Moodle course to provide learning material weekly and in blocks. This might be texts, bibliographies, lists of links, or perhaps PowerPoint presentations with or without an audio track. Keep the amount of material to a minimum; limit yourself to what you want to achieve in the first few weeks.
  2. You won’t be able to answer a student’s question in real time. Come up with clear and specific assignments – for example, key questions, problems or similar. Students in lower semesters will probably require more detailed instructions.
  3. In order to get an impression of how your students are coping with the assignments they have been given, decide on a form of response – such as texts, pictures or certificates – and a particular communication channel (e.g. file upload to a directory of forum in Moodle). 
    TIP: Clearly specify the required form (number of characters, file format, etc.) and remember to set a deadline!
  4. Let your students know how and by when they will receive feedback from you about their results. A forum is provided for staggered communication between the lecturer and students but also between students themselves.
  5. Participants of a Moodle course can message each other, offering a means of sharing information.
    TIP: Tell your students the times when you will respond to their requests.
  6. Inform your students about how the course will be run, how they will be expected to work, and how they will be examined. Make it absolutely clear how the results of this first phase of independent study will affect how the students are examined overall.
    TIP: The more students understand the reason why they are doing something, the more motivated they will be.
  7. If the students in your course are supposed to work together in pairs or small groups, it is possible to create forums for the individual groups. There you as the lecturer can accompany students as they get to know each other.

Resources for Digitally Supported Teaching

There are a variety of digital teaching formats available to help you teach online this summer semester. Before deciding on a particular format, please make sure that it is accessible to all your students.

You can find further inspiration in the “Lehre.digital” Moodle course.

Beispielfilm: Eine Präsentation aufzeichnen

The Centre for Media and Communication (ZMK) can produce video recordings and live streams for you

Leipzig University’s Centre for Media and Communication (ZMK) offers video recordings and live streams for teaching staff. If you are interested, please contact Mr Meier.

Video conferencing software

You can find current information about video conferencing software on the University Computing Centre (URZ) website.

Live chats

The University Computing Centre has made the open-source chat software Rocket.Chat available to all University members. To register, all you need is your university login. It is recommended for a variety of uses including:

  •         Offering consultations and virtual office hours
  •         Working in small groups (for students)
  •         Interest-based and low-threshold communication
  •         Publicly collecting questions and answers.

Ensure access for all students

If you use live streams or video conferencing software, make sure that you also enable students who cannot attend the course (due to care obligations, a poor or unstable internet connection, work commitments, lack of technical equipment, disabilities) to access the material being taught. Keep the use of parallel written chats to a minimum, as these may not be equally accessible to everyone and may distract from the topic.

You can facilitate access as follows, for example:

  • Lectures: Record your live stream and then use Opencast to embed the video on Moodle. The E-Learning Service team can assist you. At the beginning of the lecture, point out that it is being recorded. If possible, make presentations available in advance so that students can prepare and follow the content of your lecture more easily.
  • Seminars and practical exercises: At the beginning of the first session, check whether all students are able to participate in live sessions. If not all students can participate, offer alternative ways for them to receive the material being taught.

Tutorials will also start digitally via Moodle this summer semester. Since they are not usually listed in the TOOL or AlmaWeb portals, most tutors will find that they are unable to contact their students. You as a lecturer you can support tutors:

  • Inform students about dedicated Moodle courses for the tutorials (course name, registration key)

    or
  • Set aside an area in your Moodle course for the accompanying tutorial, which tutors can then use themselves. To do this, assign the tutor the role “SHK” in the Moodle course.

As of 22 June, normal opening hours will be reinstated at nearly all branches of Leipzig University Library. Students who wish to study and work at the library are still required to book a place in advance.

Read more about opening hours and booking

Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine offers lecturers information on video production, freely available software and interactive digital tools as well as instructions for the Faculty’s student portal.

Faculty of Medicine Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

As a lecturer, you are free to decide which teaching formats and which of the digital tools provided by the University Computing Centre (URZ) to use for your courses. Please note:

  • Video conferences enable direct communication and exchange between you and your students as well as between the students themselves. As such, they are suitable for sharing feedback or for offering virtual office hours, for example. Using headsets will improve the audio quality.

  • For video conferences to run smoothly, it is important for everyone taking part to have a stable internet connection. The URZ monitors bandwidth utilisation and is doing all it can to increase the University’s technical resources. With this in mind, all staff and students are kindly asked to be sparing in their use of the University’s data connections.

We therefore recommend focusing on teaching formats that do not rely on communicating with students in real time, following a guided private study approach. For example, you may wish to consider using PowerPoint presentations with audio.

The URZ supports the use of a video conference system called BigBlueButton (BBB) for taught courses.

BBB is operated on the University’s servers. We recommend using this service through your course in Moodle. As a trainer in your Moodle course, you can choose the activity as follows:

  1. “Bearbeiten einschalten” (“Enable editing”)
  2. Add activity or material
  3. Select “BigBlueButton”
  4. “Hinzufügen” (“Add”).

If you have any questions, please email videokonferenz[at]uni-leipzig.de. More information is available in the Moodle course: Lehre.digital.

More information is available on the University Computing Centre website.

Legal Information

Do I Need the Consent of the Students If I Want to Work With Them in a Live-Streamed Video Conference? If So, Is Oral Consent Sufficient? What If I Also Want to Record the Course?

  • If your video conference will merely be streamed live, then students are not required to provide a separate declaration of consent.
  • If the event will also be recorded, it must be clear what the recording will be used for. If students will be expected to engage in a discussion, then a declaration of consent is required in advance – regardless of whether they will participate in the course with video and audio or just audio.
  • Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this consent may be granted electronically. It can be requested when accessing the video conference. Please note that consent must be obtained for each individual class. This must be recorded and available for inspection later. For example, students can give their consent for the recording to be viewed by fellow students in Moodle, but not made freely available on the internet.
  • Here, too, the principle of data minimisation and the right of students to their own image and spoken word apply.

What Do I Have to Consider If I Want to Use, Pass On, or Copy Pictures, Texts and Videos in My Teaching or Publish Them on the Internet or in Moodle?

  • You can use links to texts, images, videos, music or sound recordings (audio files) on the internet.
  • You can use video and audio files, texts and images as long as you point out that they are not yours.
  • Remember to indicate the source(s).
  • Furthermore, please note that you are using services that are freely accessible; you are kindly asked to keep the amount of data being processed to a minimum.
  • If you want to use the material outside of the course, you will need relevant written permission from the copyright holder.

How Do I Label Images, Texts and Videos That Are Licensed Under Creative Commons?

  • Even when using so-called Creative Commons (CC) licences for videos, music, texts and images, the source must be clearly indicated.
  • Find out which conditions apply when you use particular third-party material (naming and licensing rules).
  • The Open Educational Resources Moodle course has more detailed information.

On 1 March 2018 the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights (UrhG) was amended to reflect the modern requirements of the knowledge society. Sect. 60a–h of the UrhG cover lawfully permitted uses of copyrighted works for teaching, science and institutions. A collection of information, including in English, can be found in the Moodle course Digitale Semesterapparate.

Course participants should bear the following in mind:

  • Audio and video files containing extensive written works (monographs, textbooks, etc.) exceeding five minutes in length may be made accessible provided they include no more than 15 % of the total text. For example, they may be digitised and offered for download or copied.
  • Smaller works (up to 25 pages), for example magazine or encyclopaedia articles, may be used in full. The same applies to audio and video files up to five minutes long.
  • Out-of-print works that have not been available for two years may be used in their entirety.
  • Works under a CC licence can be used in their entirety. The same applies to open educational resources (OER). Further information is available in the Moodle course: Open educational resources.
  • Legal texts, judgments, publications by authorities and public institutions may be used in full.
  • Electronic journals and books licensed by Leipzig University through the University Library may also be used.

For example, if you have created your own video, image, podcast or text, you can publish it with a Creative Commons (CC) licence:

  • CC licences are a way for you to grant others standardised rights to use your work.
  • You can add the necessary licensing information to your work.
  • Further information, for example on the individual licences available, can be found on the Creative Commons website or in the Open Educational Resources Moodle course.

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