Shifting to e-teaching: 2 – Putting Principles of Online Session Design into Practice

Dieser Beitrag wurde von Herrn Ezzedeen Shahada von der Fakultät Gesellschaft und Ökonomie verfasst, der kürzlich folgende Tipps zum Aufbau eines Onlinekurses veröffentlicht hat. An dieser Stelle möchten wir uns ganz herzlich für die Möglichkeit bedanken, die Tipps hier abbilden zu dürfen. Wenn auch Sie Tipps zur Online-Lehre oder Best-Practice-Beispiele haben, würden wir uns freuen, diese auch hier abbilden zu können. Bitte schreiben Sie uns eine Mail an

We are aware of how the outbreak of the COVID-19 has obstructed regular processes at our institution, and how roughly it has influenced aspects of life all lover the world. It is a hard time for us all, I understand! However, our mission as educators is to keep the education wheel running despite all difficulties. Isn’t this true? Therefore, I would like to emphasize on the necessity of investing the current time in exchanging instructional insights. This will ease our potential transition to remote teaching. Similarly, testing what we recommend to each other will enable us to have stress-free moments when the transition becomes a matter of fact.

All of you are able to plan, design, and carry out teaching classes online. Regardless of your experience level in e-teaching, you will manage it successfully. You are not expected to be perfect. Be pragmatic! Assess your resources, and start designing your first teaching unit as soon as possible.  

In the previous email (go here if you missed it!), four major principles of online session design were highlighted: Instructions for Use, Content Presentation, Knowledge Testing, and Engagement. Today is the time to put them into practice. That’s why, I made them accessible in the form of SELF-INTERROGATION CHECKLIST. Start using the checklist to maintain an overall good design of your online sessions on Moodle.  Of course, you can always adjust according to your context and needs. Guidelines are made for general orientations. Neither do they limit your freedom of teaching nor do they constrain your sense of creativity. If you find the notion of the checklist is beneficial, make an analogous knowledge checklist for your students. If I were you, I would place it at the end of each learning unit on Moodle. Otherwise, think of different ways to scaffold students’ knowledge.  

Let’s be more practical and plan a remote teaching session on Moodle:

Session (I). Title

0.    Introductory Text: description of the topic/ general goals/ expected time to finish all tasks/ To-Do-List (or the number of the learning tasks)/ other instructions (e.g. deadline for participating in the forum/ when to send emails)/ hypertext important terms

1.    Video: A recording of you and your screen/ a film from other sources (Do not waste your time in redoing things if you can legally reuse them from somewhere!)

2.    Quiz (5 Multiple Choice): testing the content of the video/ giving an automatic feedback (Provide some content. Then test the students to build up knowledge gradually!)

3.    PDF (Reading Task): describe the purpose of the reading/ highlight important lines inside the file before you upload it (do not miss any chance to guide students in learning online).

4.    Quiz (10 Yes/No): testing the content of the reading task/ giving an automatic feedback (Again provide some content then test learners)

5.    Forum (or chat):  interaction between you and the students (idea: after the deadline of participation, structure important questions collected by the forum or email. Make a file of Questions&Answers. Upload the file on Moodle, and notify about the upload- bye email for example. This is engagement!)

6.    Knowledge Checklist: self-questioning

Well, that’s it! I have told you it is doable. Do not be intimidated by Moodle! There are a lot of tutorials on the internet to learn what you need. Google it! Below, some links to Moodle user-manuals and tutorials are listed:

Ø  Learn Moodle (videos on the university Wiki): see here (in German)

Ø  Getting Started-Moodle (user manual): see here (in English)

Ø  Managing a Moodle course (video tutorials and user manuals): see here (switch languages at the bottom of the website)

In order to video-record your laptop’s screen, microphone, and webcam, use Camtasia. It is offered for free for the university employees. Off-campus download is possible by contacting the university IT-Support.

Ø  All Camtasia tutorials for beginners: see Here (in English) 

I hope you have found here some ideas about how to practically adapt to shifting to e-teaching (with only current available resources for us at the university). In addition, how to design online sessions on Moodle in the light of eLearning environment principles. When you are done with creating your first online session, you will begin the second with more confidence and determination.

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