GUIDE TO DIGITAL TEACHING

The following tips and advice from the Team of Experts Digital Teaching / Kompetenzteam Digitale Lehre are intended to help JGU lecturers with little experience in digital teaching methods plan a digital course in the summer term 2020.
In addition, this guide can be used as a checklist when designing a digital course.

  • Inform the participants of your course about its new form and the software platform you will be using as soon as you know how you will offer your courses from April 20, 2020 onwards.
  • Of course you can use email for communication if you know all your participants email addresses. Yet, it is more convenient to use system messages via Jogustine or JGU Reader, which can be sent automatically to all students registered for your course.
  • A large number of digital tools are available for digital courses. However, please remember that not only you but also the students must have suitable technical equipment to use them (at least an internet-enabled device and stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth).
  • If you are already experienced with using digital tools that are not mentioned in the following tips and hints, you can of course continue to use them. But please keep in mind that in the summer term 2020 students are likely to attend various digital classes by various teachers and will therefore certainly appreciate not having to use too many different tools.
  • University teaching is of course highly dependent on the respective subject-specific culture. Not all of our tips and hints fit each of the many and varied courses at JGU. We therefore recommend that you also discuss ideas with your colleagues and look for solutions. Initiatives for the subject-specific implementation of a digital summer term 2020 already exist in various departments, and we are trying to pool these efforts via our webpage.

The following list of learning scenarios is not exclusive and will be expanded as time goes on.

With Panopto, a convenient programme is available to record your lecture as well as your PowerPoint presentation or a blackboard at the same time and then make it available online. You can even use it on your private computer.
The University Data Center (ZDV) has sufficient server capacities to offer a large number of lecture recordings – however, your students will need stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth to download your videos. Also, a 90-minute recording is be more difficult to follow than a live lecture. Therefore, providing shorter sequences and written supplements by email or via JGU Reader or Moodle instead might be useful.

Teacher’s equipment: internet-enabled computer, a microphone, if necessary a touch screen device for using a whiteboard feature, and stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: internet-enabled computer or mobile device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

With Panopto you cannot only record your presentation but also simultaneously display your PowerPoint presentation in a second window.

Teacher’s equipment: internet-enabled computer, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: internet-enabled computer or mobile device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

If you are recording your lecture in your home office or office, a computer with a touch screen is helpful. You can use suitable software programs (e.g. OneNote, Microsoft Whiteboard) to write on the touch screen with a touch screen pen and record it at the same time.

Teacher’s equipment: internet-enabled computer, a microphone, if necessary a touch screen device for using a whiteboard feature, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: internet-enabled computer or mobile device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

Even if it would be technically feasible, it is not advisable to hold a large lecture as a web conference via Skype-for-Business with all participants asking questions in real time. As an alternative, you can set up a discussion forum via JGU Reader or Moodle, in which students, after viewing the recording of your lecture, can ask written questions. This way, questions are available for all students in your course and you can answer them at any time - also visible for all. In case you prefer real-time communication, Moodle allows you to invite all participants to a chat at a set time and answer participants' written questions immediately.

Teacher’s equipment: internet-enabled computer, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: internet-enabled computer or mobile device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

Implementing this form of university teaching in a digital format is a challenge. We advise against scheduling weekly 90-minute web conferences according to the previously scheduled times and dates. While technically feasable web conference with more than 5 participants is challenging and can become confusing. Furthermore, the necessary resources for the transmission are provided by JGU, but might not be sufficient. Students will need stable internet connection and appropriate bandwidth and might need advanced technical equipment (microphone and loudspeaker/headset in addition to an internet-enabled device). If you have a small learning group and do not want to do without oral communication completely, you could invite the participants to a limited number of web conferences via Skype-for-Business only and possibly move them to off-peak times to avoid overloading the network.

Teacher’s equipment: internet-enabled computer, microphone and loudspeaker or headset, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: internet-enabled computer or mobile device, microphone and loudspeaker or headset, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

You may also want to check whether it is possible to stimulate self-organised study of your participants by providing them with materials or written assignments (via e-mail, JGU Reader or Moodle). Set up a discussion forum for the exchange, in which your students and you yourself can post written questions, answers and comments for all to see (JGU Reader or Moodle). If you prefer real-time communication, you can invite all participants to a chat at a set time in Moodle, where everyone can participate via written short messages. Students can submit completed assignments by email or upload them for your viewing only in JGU Reader or Moodle.

Teacher’s equipment: Internet-enabled computer, stable Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: Internet-capable end device, stable Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth

Apart from a web conference with Skype-for-Business, which is only recommended for small learning groups, you can provide general instructions for the participants in writing (via e-mail, as an uploaded document in JGU Reader or Moodle) or you can record a short presentation with Panopto and make it available to your participants (send a link to the course in Panopto or integrate it in Moodle). Set up a discussion forum for participants' questions, in which students and you can post written questions, answers and comments for all to see (JGU Reader or Moodle). If you prefer real-time communication, you can invite all participants to a chat at a set time in Moodle, where you can answer written questions in a way that is visible to all.

Teacher’s equipment: Internet-enabled computer, microphone and speakers or headset for recordings with Panopto, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants’ equipment: Internet-enabled end device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

In principle, it is possible to have students give talks on a web conference in Skype-for-Business and to hold a subsequent discussion round with all participants. Skype-for-Business offers the feature to share your own screen, and thus a PowerPoint presentation, with all participants. However, a web conference with more than 5 participants is challenging and can become confusing. Furthermore, the necessary resources for the transmission are provided by JGU, but might not be sufficient. Students will need stable internet connection and appropriate bandwidth and might need advanced technical equipment (microphone and loudspeaker/headset in addition to an internet-enabled device).

Teacher’s equipment: Internet-enabled computer, microphone and speakers or headset for recordings with Panopto, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants’ equipment: Internet-enabled end device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

A possible solution is to set written assignments (check whether your examination regulations allow thi;, students can then upload their texts on the JGU-Reader or Moodle), or to postpone giving presentations until attendance is possible again. In addition to providing written assignments, the Moodle learning platform offers a wide range of options for guided self-organised study, e.g. you can create a quiz to help your students check their learning progress.

Teacher’s equipment: Internet-enabled computer, stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth
Participants’ equipment: Internet-enabled device, stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth

Mainz University Library is closed to the public until further notice (as of 22 March, 2020). Please inform yourself about the situation at the beginning of the lecture period on April 20, 2020 and pass it on to your participants. If it is still not possible to visit the libraries at that time, please adjust your requirements accordingly. Under the given circumstances, the university library puts a lot of effort into expanding the range of e-publications. You can find information about this continuously on their webpage. It is still possible to provide students with digitized versions of copyrighted texts, pictures etc. via our online platforms (JGU Reader, Moodle). They will be accessible only to participants of your course. Please note the following legal conditions for digitizing copyrighted material:

• Excerpts from copyrighted works may be digitized and made available to students, but excerpts may not exceed 15% of the copyrighted work. This also applies to film works and to textbooks if they are provided for the sole purpose of teacher training (but not in school lessons themselves),
• Works of limited size may be used completely,including:

o Printed works with a maximum of 25 pages
o Sheet music with a maximum of 6 pages
o Films with a maximum of 5 minutes
o Music with a maximum of 5 minutes
o Complete illustrations or individual articles from professional or scientific journals
o Complete works out of print in bookshops
o Complete works for which the copyright has already expired (e.g. digital copies of historical sources)

• Works under free licenses (e.g. Creative Commons) may be made available as permitted by the respective license (usually provision on learning platforms is permitted).
Of course, you may also make materials available by e-mail under the same conditions.

Teacher's equipment: Internet-enabled computer, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants’ equipment: Internet-enabled device, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

If necessary, you can record short input phases with Panopto and make them available to your participants (you can send a link to the event in Panopto or integrate it into Moodle). You can send exercises by e-mail or upload them into JGU Reader or Moodle for your participants. Finished exercises can be submitted by participants via the above-mentioned channels as well. Set up a discussion forum for the participants' questions, in which students can post written questions for all to view (JGU Reader or Moodle) and which you can answer at any time - also for all to see. If you prefer real-time communication, you can invite all participants to a chat in Moodle at a set time, where you can answer written questions in a way that is accessible to all.

Teacher's equipment: Internet-enabled computer, microphone and speakers or headset for recordings using Panopto, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: Internet-enabled device, microphone and loudspeaker or headset, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

Transferring a language course, which usually takes place as a face-to-face course, into a digital format is a major challenge. Unfortunately, only general recommendations can be given at this point:
• Short input phases can be recorded with Panopto and made available to the participants (send a link to the course in Panopto or integrate it into Moodle).
• If you have a small learning group and do not want to do without real-time oral communication completely, you could invite participants to a limited number of web conferences via Skype-for-Business and possibly move them to off-peak times to avoid overloading the network.
• You can send exercises by e-mail or via JGU Reader or Moodle to your participants.
• Set up a discussion forum for the participants' questions in which students can post written questions (in JGU Reader or Moodle) which are accessible to all participants and which you can answer at any time - also accessible to all. If you prefer real-time communication, you can invite all participants to a chat in Moodle at a set time, where you answer written questions accessible to all participants.
• In addition to providing written exercises, the Moodle learning platform offers a wide range of options for guided self-organised study, e.g. you can create a quiz to help your students check their learning progress.

Teacher’s equipment: Internet-enabled computer, if necessary microphone and loudspeaker or headset for recordings with Panopto and web conferences with Skype-for-Business, stable internet connection and sufficient bandwidth
Participants' equipment: Internet-enabled terminal, if necessary microphone and loudspeaker or headset for web conferences with Skype for Business, stable Internet connection and sufficient bandwidth

All oral and written university examinations are cancelled from Monday, March 16, 2020, until further notice. Exceptions to this rule are study and examination credits that do not require mandatory personal attendance at JGU. Please inform yourself about the situation at the beginning of the lecture period on April 20, 2020 and pass it on to your participants. Please visit the webpage of the Department of Studies and Teaching regularly. Unfortunately, no further statements can be made at the present time (as of March 22, 2020). We will try to provide information in the coming weeks on how to deal with the above-mentioned study assessments and final examinations.

 

Please find information and tutorials about  Panopto, Skype-for-Business, JGU-Reader, Moodle and Seafile on our webpage https://www.blogs.uni-mainz.de/teaching/. We have chosen this selection for two reasons:

  • Data processing for all applications mentioned above is handled on servers of JGU's Center for Data Processing to guarantee data security and sufficient computing capacity.
  • We think it makes sense for students who usually attend several courses with different teachers possibly in two or more subjects not to have to use too many different software products for participation in their digital courses.

If you have already had good experiences with other software applications in your teaching, you are of course free to use these, too. Therefore, we will also be happy to answer your questions regarding OpenOlat, Ilias, Microsoft Teams or Adobe Connect via DFN.

If you also want to use other software products for communication with the participants of your courses, we would ask you to carefully consider whether they are not only user-friendly and intuitive, but also in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you need help deciding on products, please contact digitale-Lehre@uni-mainz.de.

 

Special times require special measures. We are aware that it is a great challenge for many of you to plan your courses in such a way that they can be offered digitally. We hope for your commitment and will support you in the best possible way (digitale-lehre@uni-mainz.de).
Perhaps some of you will also recognise the usefulness of digital tools and would like to use them after the summer term 2020. Of course, there is nothing to prevent this. However, in its self-reflection report as part of the peer-to-peer consultation by the German Forum for Higher Education in the Digital Age (HFD), which was postponed to summer 2020 due to the current situation, JGU has clearly committed itself to the university of attendance. Virtual teaching formats should be used when they offer an opportunity to improve the quality of face-to-face courses. In this way, pure knowledge transfer can be outsourced, leaving more time for exchange and discussion during the presence phases. In addition, digital teaching formats can promote the removal of barriers as well as integration and location independent collaboration. It is therefore certainly not planned to convert the JGU to digital teaching permanently and completely.

On the contrary, we are all looking forward to seeing our students face to face in different teaching and learning contexts as soon as possible!