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Planning your online classes

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Learning activities and studying techniques

Online classes can be organised in asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning activities.

Asynchronous online tools, i.e. time-delayed learning activities taking place by using forums, Wikis, e-portfolios, etc., are appropriate when the students are expected to take time to consider and reflect. Suggestions and guidance on managing asynchronous learning activities can be found here (FU Berlin).

Video presentations, expert presentations by guests, team meetings, consulting services, office hours as well as virtual seminar sessions can be performed with synchronous online tools such as Big Blue Button. Small groups are recommended in this case.

You can find recommended course of action for managing synchronous learning activities in this PDF.

It goes without saying that hybrid methods of teaching are also possible. One portion of the students participates in the event on site, whilst the other portion of the students attends online. You can find information about hybrid teaching here.

Communication and organisation

Communication and organisation in the scope of these new methods of teaching are as decisive as ever for the success of your teaching. Please observe the following points during online classes::

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Icon Ziel ©Icons are licensed by user digitalcreed @ Communicate in a clear and explicit way. Word work tasks and written tasks precisely. Plan processing times and deadlines realistically.
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Icon Kalender ©Icons are licensed by user digitalcreed @ Make sure that your students know what they have to have done by when. Where can students direct queries to and how fast can they anticipate a response? Summarise all the important information about your lecture at the beginning of it.
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Icon Lernziel ©Icons are licensed by user digitalcreed @ Provide an overview of the following issues every week or at every session: Educational objective, tasks, time required, deadlines, where to find the necessary material.
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Icon-asynchron ©Icons are licensed by user digitalcreed @ Use asynchronous settings that can be processed via Moodle. Synchronous settings, in particular chats, may be affected by technical difficulties at present due to system overloads. In addition, personal reasons (such as childcare) may limit or hinder the temporal availability of all attendees.
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Icon Plattformen ©Icons are licensed by user digitalcreed @ Use Moodle and Mahara. These platforms are hosted at Viadrina and comply with data protection.
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Materials from the university library

The library is closed to the public. However, not only can you use their online resources but also contact at any time. The library staff will support you in the provision of literature to all students in the scope of current restrictions. Please note the restrictions of copyright (Section 60a German Copyright Act) when providing materials, roughly speaking:

  • Texts: Articles from professional journals; other texts with a maximum of 25 pages; in the event of longer texts and books, a maximum of 15% of the work.
  • Film and audio recordings: Clips of up to 5 minutes in length; a maximum of 15% in the event of longer works.

Writing in online teaching

Even courses involving a lot of writing can be easily conducted online. The Writing Centre provides online teaching material on the following subjects: 

  • Written text feedback 
  • Wording tasks for writing texts 
  • Helpful tasks for text reading 

and much more. Take a look in the ToolPool for lecturers.

Bildschirmfoto 2020-10-16 um 13.36.49 ©digitalcreed The writing advisory service still remains available for your students. It is now available online. In the event of queries about the topic of writing in online teaching, please feel free to contact


Mentoring students in online teaching 

How can learning activities in digital space be supported and how can reserved students be motivated online? Which organisational and technical tasks are associated with online mentoring? Answers to these and other questions can be found here (FU Berlin).

Further links as an inspiration for organising your online teaching