Running classes and courses

Online and blended learning will be the standard method for delivering lecture courses and seminars, and possibly other teaching activities, during summer semester 2020. This section provides further information and guidance on running online classes and courses.

The structure of any digital version of a course that you offer should essentially correspond to the teaching format described in the relevant study regulations or subject-specific regulations (e.g. lecture course, project work, interactive seminar). Where reasonable grounds exist, the Examination Board may permit an alternative teaching format to be used, provided that the learning objectives of that module continue to be met and the type of examination or assessment is compatible with and appropriate for the chosen teaching and learning formats.

In restricted-entry degree programmes, the chosen teaching format must have the same standard class size and the same number of teaching hours per week as provided for in the teaching format originally proposed.

 

Large lecture classes

Lecture courses that would normally be attended in person by large numbers of students have been suspended until further notice. To enable remote access to your lectures, please make use of one of the options set out below. Accompanying course documents can be uploaded to the Moodle platform.

 

Creating a video from PowerPoint slides

Please make the necessary preparations so that you can give your lectures in the form of video presentations. A simple way to do this is to record a PowerPoint slide show with accompanying audio narration (e.g. explanatory comments). This method is known to be educationally effective and is typically well-received by students. However, the usual 90-minute format is not suitable for online digital learning and you should aim to break your lecture down into shorter, conceptually-related units, each lasting no more than 15 minutes.

 

Online course notes

If you have to deliver a remote lecture, the minimum resource that you must provide is a set of well-written and well-structured course notes that students can access online. It is important that you provide students with information on relevant reference materials and that you also give them the opportunity to raise questions. Questions can be addressed using one of the following methods:

  • Submitting questions by email
  • Using an online text chat function, such as that in Moodle
  • Accompanying online problem-solving classes (e.g. with student tutors)
  • Video conferences at specified times

Other options

You can also present your lecture online (e.g. using Microsoft Teams). Lectures that involve substantial amounts of writing on a blackboard or whiteboard, as is often the case in mathematics and physics lectures, can be recorded either by directly filming what you write on the board or by using a note-taking app on a smartboard, Microsoft Surface or tablet.

 

Small lecture classes and seminars

Saarland University management is providing access to the communication and collaboration platform Microsoft Teams to facilitate the live streaming of interactive teaching activities, such as seminars and small lecture classes of up to about thirty participants. Microsoft Teams offers video conferencing capabilities, including a live chat function for students to ask questions and to contribute to the learning activity.

 

In-person teaching activities

From 4 May 2020, Saarland University is permitting restricted access to the university campus so that, in addition to examinations requiring student attendance, those teaching and curricular activities that cannot be provided online or using digital resources can take place.

To safeguard the health and safety of all those involved in these activities, the relevant ordinance published by the Saarland state government requires compliance with the hygiene practices recommended by the Robert Koch Institute and with the provisions of the university’s pandemic response plan. The key criteria that have to be met have been set out in the guidance ‘Teaching activities or examinations requiring on-site student attendance in the summer semester of 2020’ (Version 2.1, 12 May 2020).

Additional information

Information on digital teaching and learning

Guidance issued by the Education and Quality Assurance Unit