Online Teaching Activities

What tools are available for organising online teaching activities?

Online teaching activities (© 85fifteen / unsplash.com Online teaching activities (© 85fifteen / unsplash.com Online teaching activities (© 85fifteen / unsplash.com © 85fifteen / unsplash.com

Digital media are a key resource in teaching activities – not only in light of current situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Leibniz University Hannover offers numerous tools and methods that can be utilised to transfer teaching activities to effective online formats.

This website provides an overview of digital media available for online teaching activities. Please familiarise yourself with these tools, ask questions and make use of our support services. Exchanging creative and innovative ideas will enable us to provide successful teaching and learning formats.

Current information on the coronavirus

Please refer to the following website for up-to-date information and messages of the Presidential Board providing guidance on the coronavirus pandemic at Leibniz University Hannover: www.uni-hannover.de/en/universitaet/aktuelles/corona/


ONLINE INSTEAD OF FACE-TO-FACE – FOUNDATIONS

  • How can I implement digital teaching formats?
  • What tools are available for teaching staff to provide online courses?
  • What requirements must be observed?

This website aims to provide answers to these and other important questions regarding online teaching activities including various information, tips and services for teaching staff, which will be expanded step by step.

Synchronous or asynchronous formats? The following includes information on synchronous and asynchronous tools that facilitate working and communicating online. Some tools can be utilised in both variants.

As a rule, we recommend using asynchronous tools in larger groups in order to facilitate coordination as well as to prevent network or server disruptions.

Important information regarding antivirus software and data protection

Please use the latest version of the antivirus software provided by LUIS (www.luis.uni-hannover.de/sophos_download.html, in German) and make sure that you only use the ZQS/elsa links provided on this website.


Other tools may be used at the risk of the respective facility or institute. Please also consider possible issues that may arise with regard to liability law in the case of complaints or violations, especially violations of data protection regulations.


ONLINE TEACHING ACTIVITIES

1. Asynchronous online courses – presenting content

Formats: lectures, seminars, etc.

Conventional lectures focus on presenting content (presentations, handouts, scientific texts etc.). Depending on requirements, providing asynchronous content in various online formats can be realised quite easily. In addition, asynchronous feedback elements may be incorporated.

The programmes listed below include selected tools for recording content. Information on this will be updated regularly.

  • Text-based documents (presentations, etc.)

    Please use the Stud.IP file storage to share downloadable files in various formats.

    Tools and tutorials

    Stud.IP file storage
  • Adding audio files

    Audio recordings can be used to explain or describe course content acoustically. Students can use audio recordings in addition to content provided in Stud.IP.

    Tools and tutorials

    GarageBand: audio recordings, download macOS version from the app store
    PowerPoint: recording audio synchronous to your presentation (Windows/Mac)
  • Recording videos while working from home

    Recording videos while working from home enables teaching staff to provide students with course content via the LUH distribution platform flowcasts – irrespective of time or location.

    Video content should be presented in a concise manner (approximately 15 minutes per video).

    Sound, lighting, display and export: tips for improving audio and video recordings (PDF)

    Tools and tutorials

    Sharing/publishing videos

    The ZQS/elsa platform “flowcasts” enables teaching staff to provide students with video content in a straightforward manner. Video content can be uploaded, organised or shared with students in the Stud.IP course via the plugin labelled “Aufzeichnungen”.

    flowcasts: publishing videos in Stud.IP in a straightforward and safe manner (browser-based).

    Tools and tutorials

    Creating/recording videos

    OPENCAST Studio: recording/commenting screen content such as presentations or recording lectures (browser-based).
    OBS Studio: recording/commenting screen content or recording lectures (download WIN/macOS/Linux version from the OBS website).
    iPadOS: recording, commenting and publishing content from tablet screens, such as iPad.
    Quicktime: audio recordings and recording screen content (macOS, pre-installed software).
    iMovie: free video editing software (download macOS version from the App Store)
    HitFilm Express: free video editing software with complex features (download WIN/macOS version from the FXhome website)

    Other tools for preparing/recording videos:

    In addition to the tools listed above, other software providers offer tools for recording video, audio and screen content. Some tools are subject to a fee. The following list includes selected tools and will be updated on a regular basis. Please note that these are suggestions for which we cannot offer support.


    Camtasia:
    screen recording and post-editing software, subject to a fee (WIN/macOS).


      Screencast-O-matic:
      screen recording and post-editing software, subject to a fee. Trial version available for recordings with a maximum duration of 15 minutes (WIN/macOS).


      OpenShot:
      free video editing software (WIN/Linux/macOS).


      Kdenlive: free video editing software (WIN/Linux).


      xBox App:
      free software for recording screen content (WIN).

    • Recording videos on campus

      We are currently in the process of developing options for recording video content on the campus of Leibniz University Hannover. Sessions will be organised by ZQS/elsa. Members of teaching staff will be able to present course content in a recording room while being filmed.

      Subsequently, the finished video will be published in the respective Stud.IP course. In light of the current situation and the dynamic nature of the pandemic, this service will be available at a later point.

    • Feedback in asynchronous scenarios via the forum

      The Stud.IP forum is an ideal feedback channel in asynchronous settings. Please convey this to your students and utilise forum features such as thematic threads. Questions regarding organisation or technology can also be discussed via the forum. Online discussions within the scope of the forum should be moderated. In addition, it may be useful to prepare and document a forum etiquette.

      Tools and tutorials

      Stud.IP forum

    2. Synchronous online courses – discussing content

    Formats: lectures, seminars, etc.

    Synchronous online courses are conducted via video conferencing systems. Various functions are available depending on the tool. Online courses can be held in groups ranging in size.

    The available internet bandwidth may present some limitations. High usage rates can be expected for the upcoming semester. It is therefore advised that this format is only used if synchronous communication is especially important.

    • Synchronous online course (teaching from home)

      BigBlueButton in Stud.IP

      BigBlueButton can be used to host online courses or virtual classrooms in Stud.IP. Users can participate and interact live using a headset and webcam. In addition to sharing video and audio, BigBlueButton also has a chat function, whiteboard, a function to share presentations (e.g. PowerPoint) as well as sharing your screen, allowing participants to follow along.

      Please note: online courses are currently limited to 100 participants. Please take special note of our guidelines for large groups (lectures, etc.) as well as the tips and information in our PDF tutorial.

      BigBlueButton: online courses in Stud.IP

      External video conferencing systems

      Additional, externally hosted video conferencing tools are available via LUIS for exchange between staff. However, these are not primarily intended for teaching. Here too, users can connect and interact live via video and audio.

      WebEx Meetings: external video conferencing system, run by Cisco Systems (further information on the LUIS website)  
      DFNconf: external video conferencing system, run by the DFN (further information on the LUIS website)

      Please note: external services such as Zoom, FaceTime, HanGOuts, Whatsapp, Microsoft Teams, etc. are currently not centrally approved. These services do not comply with the data protection measures of Leibniz University Hannover and are thus not recommended.

    • Guidelines for large lecture-style groups

      Online presentations for large lecture-style groups can be held synchronously or asynchronously. In general, we recommend using asynchronous tools in larger groups in order to facilitate coordination as well as to prevent network or server disruptions. This reduces the risk of individual students encountering connection problems and missing content.

      For larger groups it is therefore preferable to use recordings via flowcasts that students can access at different times. Suitable tools for this are explained in more detail in section 1 “Recording videos while working from home”.

      Suitable tools for synchronous online courses, which enable students to participate live and interact are presented in this section under the heading “Synchronous online courses while working from home”.

    • Guidelines for small seminar-style groups

      Synchronous online courses are a good option for small seminar-style groups. Audio and/or video can be shared with individuals or all participants. Depending on the tool, it is possible to share your screen, mutually edit texts or work as a group.

      Possible limitations:

      • Participants require sufficient internet bandwidth
      • Participants require functioning audio and/or video capabilities
      • Good presentation necessary

    3. Asynchronous work: course content, assignments and tests

    Formats: lectures, seminars, practical sessions, etc.

    Understanding the content is essential for learning. Online, this can be achieved, for example, through assignments or tests during the semester.

    The possibilities of use range vastly, including providing solutions to tasks in various different file formats or in text-form via a forum (e.g. exchange of comments by peers), as well as compiling comments on content (i.e. link lists) in a wiki or forum and tests during the semester.

    • Folder for submitting assignments

      In order to enable work to be submitted in different formats, the folder for independent assignments can be used in Stud.IP. The folder is like a postbox where files can be submitted.

      Tools

      Stud.IP assignment folder
    • Wiki and forums as an alternative tool for setting assignments

      A wiki consists of HTML pages that can be linked to each other and freely edited. This makes it suitable for a variety of uses, such as compiling information or cooperative work on texts. All course participants can create, edit and delete texts. Further features include version control, attribution of changes to the respective author, quick link lists for navigation, insertion of images.

      The forum can be used to discuss questions, opinions and experiences. Contributions can be followed, exported, added to your favourites and edited.

      Tools

      Stud.IP wiki
      Stud.IP forum
    • Tests during the semester

      In Stud.IP, tests can be created via an interface in ILIAS and provided directly in Stud.IP courses via the ILIAS tab. The ILIAS test tool features a wide range of question formats that can be automatically evaluated as well as numerous options regarding settings (access, evaluating and revealing solutions, individual feedback, etc.). It is also possible to use question pools. Conducting tests during the semester can provide both teaching staff and students with regular feedback on learning progress and encourage further exploration of the material.

      Tools and tutorials

      Stud.IP/ILIAS: tests during the semester

    4. Facilitating synchronous and/or asynchronous group work

    Formats: seminars, practical sessions, meetings, individual queries

    Working and communicating in small groups can be realised in many forms. Communication is a vital part of learning processes as well as in organisational procedures or supervision of students. In some cases, it may be useful to combine different tools, such as communicating via a video conferencing tool while editing texts in OnlyOffice.

    Many free tools that may be useful but cannot be described within the scope of this website have been compiled by the student initiative “MELT-Community” (in German).

    • Providing virtual consultations or advisory services

      Consultations can be organised and booked via your Stud.IP profile. We recommend using the video conferencing systems Jitsi Meet and WebEx Meetings for the virtual talks.

      Tools and tutorials

      Stud.IP: virtual consultations
      Jitsi Meet: video conferencing system, run on servern at the LUIS (further information on the LUIS website)
      WebEx Meetings: external video conferencing system, run by Cisco Systems (further information on the LUIS website)  
    • Organising group work

      Group work can be organised via the Stud.IP group feature. Key functionalities include adding participants manually or automatically, creating group files, or limiting the number of participants.

      Tools

      Stud.IP group feature
    • Creating and editing texts in groups

      Texts can be created and edited in groups irrespective of location. We recommend using both the Stud.IP wiki and the forum. The main text can be edited via the wiki feature, discussions and organisational tasks may take place in the forum. The authors may communicate and provide feedback via a video conferencing tool.

      Via OnlyOffice authors can edit texts simultaneously allowing participants to follow along live. In addition, the tool includes a chat and comment feature.

      Tools and tutorials

      Stud.IP wiki
      Stud.IP forum
      OnlyOffice: editing cloud-based texts in teams, chat and comment features.
      BigBlueButton: video conferences via Stud.IP
    • Discussing texts

      Texts can be discussed both synchronously and asynchronously. For asynchronous work, we recommend uploading texts to Stud.IP. Discussions may be held via the forum or wiki of the respective Stud.IP course.

      If participants share their screen, allowing other participants to follow along, synchronous discussions may be held via video conferencing tools. Further information can be found in section 2 (synchronous online courses) on this website. In addition, texts can be uploaded to Stud.IP, discussions may be held via video/audio conferences.

      Tools and tutorials

      Stud.IP wiki
      Stud.IP forum
      BigBlueButton: video conferences via Stud.IP
    • Facilitating independent study groups

      Study groups in Stud.IP can be established by all Stud.IP users, including students. Stud.IP provides many tools that are utilised in conventional courses.

      Tools

      Stud.IP study groups

    ADVISORY SERVICES AND QUALIFICATION

    Digital media in teaching

    Consultation and support regarding digital media in teaching, such as implementing online teaching activities or choosing suitable concepts and tools.

    Human Resources Development and Academic Teaching

    Orientation and guidance regarding teaching activities; HR development and qualification opportunities for teaching staff, including digital skills

    CONTACT INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

    E-Learning support at LUH E-Learning support at LUH
    E-learning support
    Mon-Fri: 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00
    E-Learning support at LUH E-Learning support at LUH
    E-learning support
    Mon-Fri: 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00