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FAQ-Virtual teaching

Answers to the most frequently asked questions of the current challenges

Here you will find typical questions that teachers ask regarding the conversion and transfer of current teaching practice to a virtual format for the summer semester 2020.

    I have not yet taken a closer look at e-learning and would now like to convert my teaching to online. How can this be done?

    You will not be able to transfer all teaching/learning activities and learning objectives smoothly to the online world. Put any perfectionism you may have behind you; in the current situation you will have to make many decisions based on pragmatic considerations, be agile and willing to experiment. Work your way forward step by step, starting with the most pressing concerns. You will find basic didactic considerations in our media didactic tips, and in this FAQ collection we provide you with assistance and further information on how to proceed concretely. Our Decision support will help you quickly find the right digital tools, which are described in short profiles and instructions in our rapidly growing collection. In the process, you will discover that much more is possible in e-learning than just online communication and file exchange.

     Most important - prefer asynchronous formats. Do not try to transfer your face-to-face teaching 1:1 to the internet via video conferencing and other synchronous tools! This would most likely overburden you and your students and put many less technically equipped participants at a disadvantage. Ultimately, a good mix of synchronous formats for intensive, personal exchange and asynchronous formats for knowledge transfer, documentation and work on documents, tailored to your needs and resources, is required.

     If you get stuck with the information and help pages provided, use our RocketChat-Kanal channel for sharing experiences or email our Support-address .

    How can I make my teaching and teaching materials accessible to all without barriers?

    In cooperation with KIS (Contact and Information Centre for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses) we have compiled a series of tips on how you can make your courses accessible to all.

    How can I use Stud.IP to convert my teaching into an online format?

    There are many ways to use Stud.IP for digital teaching. All courses are already created there and linked to you as a teacher. The login data of your Uni-Accounts from the ZfN is used for access. In a course, you can, for example, store content, write announcements, manage participants, write to all participants by "message to all (circular)" and much more. Stud.IP is basically a large toolbox from which you select exactly the tools you want to use.  There are tools for organisation, communication, file exchange, cooperation, knowledge transfer, exercise questions and evaluation, among others. Group work can also be easily organised and implemented.
     
     The Stud.IP-Hilfe (still under construction and not quite complete) tells you specifically how to use which tools.

    How can I build in more time flexibility when transforming my teaching?

    A major advantage of online learning is that teachers and learners do not have to be bound to fixed attendance times. Communication and (collaborative) work can take place independently of time instead of in real time (see„The use of asynchronous tools is recommended. What is meant by this?“). You can make use of this potential by relying on methods and tools that are not designed for real-time interaction. In Stud.IP, for example, you can achieve this through asynchronous forum communication instead of, for example, a session in the virtual classroom. You can also integrate time-shifted assessment in the form of learning tasks and tests. Or you can use tools for collaborative text editing such as a wiki or a StudIPad (=Etherpad).

    The use of asynchronous tools is recommended. Why?

    Online learning and communication can be either synchronous in real time or asynchronous with a time offset. Asynchrony in particular is one of the great advantages of online teaching and brings significantly more flexibility for all sides without having to forego communication and interaction.
     
     Some teachers try to transfer their teaching 1:1 to an online concept, e.g. by transmitting the lecture, which serves to impart knowledge, at regular intervals via video conference. On the one hand, this leads to the online advantages being lost; on the other hand, synchronous communication tools such as video conferences are very resource-hungry. Especially in times when a lot of people work in a home office and the internet is already heavily loaded, you should make every effort to take resource-saving paths without video and without synchronous scenarios.
     
     So choose an asynchronous, time-delayed and flexible online format with video recordings, forum discussions, individual quizzes or assignments, which only selectively and very specifically includes synchronous events for counselling (virtual office hours), intensive personal exchange and reflection on the content in small groups.

    How can I make my slides, scripts and documents accessible to my students via Stud.IP?

    It's very simple. After you have logged into Stud.IP with the data of your university account and called up the relevant course under "My events", you should first enter the students from the waiting list into the course under the tab Participants.  Afterwards, you can create folders with different functionalities such as homework folders in the file area and upload your scripts and other materials to them.
     
     Use the announcements or the "message to all" function to greet students and disseminate information about the course. You can find more detailed instructions on this in the Stud.IP-Hilfe.

    How can I transfer my previous teaching into a video-based format?

    There are many ways to transfer your previous lectures and courses into a video format. A very simple way would be to screencast a presentation on a PC, including audio commentary (tools for this). But simple recordings of yourself via webcam or smartphone are also possible. Use the form that best suits your event and is easiest for you to implement.

    Alternatively, you can also use the university's video conferencing system and record simultaneously via the integrated functions (see instructions for Zoom) or via tools such as Opencast Studio. If it is essentially a matter of presenting content without interaction with the students, please note our instructions under „The use of asynchronous tools is recommended. What is meant by this?“).

    Tools for production and delivery in Stud.IP can be found here.

    How can I take exams online?

    For exams that students can take from home, there are a range of other formats besides assignments submitted via the learning platform, such as quiz series, open book exams or even oral exams via web conference.

    Who can I contact with questions?

    For everything to do with virtual teaching and the tools we offer, to the ZMML (Support-Email and RocketChat-Kanal).

    Among other things, the Zentrum für Netze offers chat systems such as RocketChat, an instance of the video conferencing system BigBlueButton that is independent of Stud.IP, and the cloud storage system Seafile. Help and instructions can be found at the ZfN.

    A good idea is to set up a "self-help group" of colleagues in the degree programme and organise yourself for this via a Studiengruppe in Stud.IP.

    For general questions about the impact of the Corona crisis on the university, visit https://www.uni-bremen.de/coronavirus/ .