ELC Recommendations for teachers on how to design online learning in response to corona virus

In advance: Currently, there is a worldwide discussion about online learning, because suddenly many universities and countries see themselves in the same situation, possibly to offer exclusively online learning for a transitional period. I will keep interested parties informed via my Twitter account https://twitter.com/idethloff

In the current situation, I would like to point out these 5 sources / link collections on this ELC web page:




7 Tips

Which szenarios and which tool?

Tool overview in short

1. Central learning platform Moodle as basis for all online learning
2. heiCAST video management
3. Online seminars / web conferences or live streaming
   3.1 heiConf (Big Blue Button)
   3.2  DFNconf for synchronous collaboration und live streaming
4. heiCHAT Instant Messaging
5. heiBOX Cloud-Storage & file sharing
6. Video creation - Techsmith Camtasia, OBS
7. Audio creation - Audacity, PowerPoint




DethloffFor questions please contact Mrs. Ingrid Dethloff via Mail: ingrid.dethloff@urz.uni-heidelberg.de

Personal online appointments can also be arranged by prior arrangement.





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7 Tips

1. Please organize / procure a (simple) webcam and a (simple) headset for your workplace. Maybe you use a laptop with integrated webcam? If you have a laptop, you already have an integrated microphone and therefore only need a headset to avoid interferences.

2. Be open for new things and: "Keep it simple" & low-threshold. You don't have to become an online learning expert to try out and use meaningful possibilities.

3. Take a closer look at our learning platform Moodle. Surely you already had contact with our learning platform Moodle and know a little bit about it. You will also find that Moodle offers many interesting opportunities that have not yet been used (not only by you).

4. Make economical use of synchronous work with your students - not everything has to be real-time.

5. Use Moodle to complete assignments and store homework as usual.

6. Use standard tools that we recommend here at Heidelberg University. Please keep copyright and data protection in mind even in these times.

7. Ask for feedback more often - What do your students think about the course? In Moodle you have simple internal course tools for this. And be active and get in touch with your students - even a daily or weekly mail can be helpful.


Also helpful for teachers is the graphic composition "Online instructors @ KIS: Do this, Not That " via: https://alisonyang.weebly.com/blog/online-teaching-do-this-not-that



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Which scenarios and which tool?

  • Teachers provide learning materials (scripts, quizzes etc.) for students → Moodle
  • Group work and exercises online → Moodle, heiCHAT, heiBOX, heiCONF
    • Check understanding: Moodle activity quiz and students answer questions in the forum
    • Discussion: discuss tasks as a group asynchronously in the Moodle forum, group formation by Moodle activity voting, arranging by topics
    • Discussion: Synchronous discussion via heiCHAT Instant Messaging or heiCONF web conference system
    • Get/arrange contributions from students: Moodle activities assignment, forum, database
    • Introduction / warm-up: Moodle activity glossary
    • Collaborative Writing / group work: Moodle activities wiki, forum, glossary, database
    • Collaborative Writing / group work: heiBOX Online Office
  • Lecturers make a video recording → This recording is made available on the institute's web server or heiCAST / heiBox via a link in Moodle.
  • Lecturers make an audio recording to accompany the lecture slides (e.g. accompanying MP3 files or as PowerPoint slides with audio) → This recording is made available in Moodle.
  • Course takes place as an online seminar and will be recorded if necessary→ Adobe Connect, heiCONF or alternatives with recording software
  • The lecture / course takes place as live stream with text chat and will be recorded if necessary→ DFNconf/Pexip or alternatives, online question board via frag.jetzt


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Tool overview in short

First of all some media-didactic hints

The UB has licensed the textbook "Mediendidaktik" by Prof. Kerres (5. ed. 2018) for members of Heidelberg University also as an online version: https://katalog.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/titel/68246460
Very helpful is the guide in chapter 15, which gives you a quick overview of the decisions to be made.

This video of FernUni Hagen offers a very nice overview of the target group analysis (necessary for a media-supported learning arrangement): https://ekoo.fernuni-hagen.de/kennen-sie-schon-die-zielgruppenanalyse/

The FernUni Hagen has also implemented the 5-step model of Gilly Salmon as a video: https://ekoo.fernuni-hagen.de/das-5-stufen-modell-von-gilly-salmon-als-video/ 
"The model assumes that learners go through five levels in an online teaching-learning scenario. At each level, the focus of the support provided by the teacher or tutor changes."


1. Central learning platform Moodle as basis for all online learning


Direct link: https://moodle.uni-heidelberg.de/  (since start SoSe 2020)

  • Content presentation
  • Tools for creating assignments and exercises
  • Help with self assessments and evaluation (however, please no e-examinations)
  • Asynchronous tools for communication & cooperation: especially via forum discussions, glossaries, wikis

URZ support web page: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/moodle  and instructions directly in the platform



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2. heiCAST video management


Direct link: via Moodle and https://heicast.uni-heidelberg.de/


heiCAST is a service for the comprehensive management of digital video content and for video streaming at the University of Heidelberg. It is used in particular to provide audiovisual learning content in Moodle and is based on the open source software Opencast.

URZ support web page: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/heicast



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3. Online seminars / web conferences or live streaming


C-WebinareOnline seminars / web conferences enable synchronous online work with a limited number of distributed participants.

ELC web page: "Tipps zur Durchführung von Online-Seminaren/Webkonferenzen" https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/tipps-zur-durchfuehrung-von-webkonferenzen-elc.pdf






3.1  heiConf (Big Blue Button)



Direct link: https://heiconf.uni-heidelberg.de/
Requirements: webcam und headset

heiCONF is a web conferencing system for audio and video conferences. The service is hosted and operated at Heidelberg University. With heiCONF-Audimax there is a second variant of the web conference system heiCONF, which has been optimised especially for lectures and other frontal lecture and teaching formats.


URZ information: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/heiconf

ELC documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/heiconf-bbb-elc.pdf

ELC short manual for students: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/heiconf-studierende.pdf

ELC short introduction in heiCONF 9.6.2020: YouTube I. Dethloff


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3.2 DFNconf for synchronous collaboration und live streaming

DFN service for F&L, employees can create rooms and manage meetings via Uni-ID

Please note that this DFN service is currently in high demand and you should consider using it in off-peak hours: https://www.conf.dfn.de/aktuelles-news/newsansicht/archive/2020/03/11/article/dfnconf-und-covid-19-146/


a) Virtual Classroom Adobe Connect


Direct link: https://webconf.vc.dfn.de/
Requirements: webcam and headset

  • Lecture
  • Discussion and cooperation
    • Interactions per role "participant": listening and watching, text chat, status messages (agree/disagree etc.), audio if necessary, webcam if necessary
    • Interactions per role "moderator": presentations (PPTX and PDF), screen sharing for any own documents and apps on your own computer, whiteboard, creating/managing polls
    • Use of individual room layouts
  • Research group & work group meetings
  • Informal learning groups
  • Online consultation

Max. 200 participants, number depending on the didactic scenario, most suitable for 3-12

ELC web page with documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/studium/imstudium/elearning/adobeconnect.html


b) DFNconf/Pexip


Direct link: https://www.conf.dfn.de/
Requirements: webcam and headset

  • Lecture with live streaming (direct link documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/pexip-elc.pdf)
  • Discussion in small groups: Audio, webcam, presentations (PDF, pictures - no PowerPoint), screen sharing
  • For connecting to video conferences on special hardware video conferencing systems (only few institutes)

Note: Max. 23 participants (with video) in the online room, number of live streaming participants unlimited

ELC web page with documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/studium/imstudium/elearning/DFNconf.html



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4. heiCHAT Instant Messaging



Direct link: https://matrix-im.uni-heidelberg.de/

The new Heidelberg University instant messaging service can be used for chat and (audio or video) calls. Secure, simple and compliant with data protection.

URZ information: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/matrix-im
ELC short manual for students: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/heichat-studierende.pdf
ELC short introduction in heiCHAT 12.5.2020: PPTX with Audio / PDF without Audio / YouTube I. Dethloff



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5. heiBOX cloud storage & file sharing


Direct link: https://heibox.uni-heidelberg.de

heiBOX is a secure, free file storage for employees, doctoral candidates and students of Heidelberg University.
With heiBOX students can share and access files & folders and also write/edit Office files together with members of Heidelberg University via the web interface.

URZ information: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/heibox

ELC documentation for teachers: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/heibox-elc.pdf

ELC short manual for students: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/heibox-studierende.pdf

ELC short introduction in heiBOX 28.5.2020: PPTX mit Audio / PDF ohne Audio / YouTube I. Dethloff



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6. Video creation


a) Techsmith Camtasia


Direct link trial version: https://www.techsmith.de/camtasia.html
Recommended: webcam and headset

There are countless tools (subject to charge or free tools) for creating and editing videos - you can also record videos with your smartphone.
At ELC and some institutes we work with Techsmith Camtasia, which can be purchased from the URZ. Please pay attention to these current notes of the URZ: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/camtasia  You can download a fully functional trial version (30 days) from the company website beforehand.
If you create MP4 files, these (if they are larger than the limit in Moodle) can be placed on your HeiBox space and then made available in Moodle via link sharing. If you create a file package in Camtasia using SmartPlayer (table of contents, quizzes, full-text search, etc.), it can be placed on an institute web server and linked in Moodle.
There are many different types of videos: Educational films, lecture recordings, tutorials, explanatory videos or also videos for analysis, blackboard writing, reports, animations, interviews...
s. Martin Ebner / Sandra Schön (Nov. 2017): https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Ebner2/publication/320921379_Lern-_und_Lehrvideos_Gestaltung_Produktion_Einsatz/links/5a02aa780f7e9b68874d2062/Lern-und-Lehrvideos-Gestaltung-Produktion-Einsatz.pdf

URZ web page: "Camtasia – Videosoftware zur Bildschirmaufzeichnung" https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/camtasia
ELC web page: "Tipps zur Erstellung von Lehr-/Lernvideos" https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/lehrvideos-allg.pdf
Camtasia company web page: "Camtasia-Tutorials" https://www.techsmith.de/tutorial-camtasia.html



b) OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)


Direct link: https://obsproject.com/
Recommended: Headset, possibly webcam

A free tool for recording videos and integrating different sources is OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). Common sources are "display capture", "window capture" (any single application on the computer) and "video capture device" (= webcam). In the configuration settings, please switch from "mkv" to "mp4" and setting up hotkeys makes recording easier. By creating multiple OBS "scenes" you can seamlessly switch between different sources (which you have predefined) during recording.

ELC documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/obs-elc.pdf

s. URZ web page heiCAST: https://www.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/de/heicast



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7. Audio creation - Audacity, PowerPoint


a) Audacity


Direct link: https://www.audacityteam.org/
Recommended: headset

It doesn't always have to be a video. Audio is quickly created and is usually easy to store directly in Moodle, regarding file size. For example, you could add audio to your presentation slides and make both available in Moodle. At ELC we work with the open source tool and audio editor Audacity. Since version 2.3.2 an MP3 export is directly integrated. With Windows OS there is also the possibility to download a Windows Zip package, which is ready to use immediately after unpacking and does not need to be installed.

ELC documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/audacity-elc.pdf


b) PowerPoint with Audio


Recommended: headset

In Microsoft PowerPoint you can add audio comments to your slides and save them as PPTX. If you want your presentation to run automatically, you can use the PowerPoint format "PPSX" or export it as video in MP4.
Further information on these options can be found in this ELC documentation: https://www.uni-heidelberg.de/md/elearning/powerpoint-elc.pdf




Responsible: E-Learning-Center
Latest Revision: 2020-09-18
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