Information and Overview for Digital Teaching
This page provides you with general information and recommendations for using various digital teaching services at the University of Greifswald.
Please also consider the information regarding the digitisation of teaching in tertiary education [de] on the interStudies pages.
Use Moodle as the Foundation
In order to provide students with a central point of reference for your digital teaching, you should create a Moodle course for every lecture or class. Students can enrol for this course and are able to exchange directly with you inside the course.
Once you have created a Moodle course you will be able to use the various Moodle tools, provide materials/files or link to conference and streaming services.
Further information and links for using Moodle
Recording Videos, Web Conferences and Streaming
The University of Greifswald and German National Research and Education Network (DFN) provide you with access to various services for recording video and audio and communicating with your students. You can prepare the recording of your lectures as on-screen presentations or video with or without your own camera image and grant your students access via the video service GrypsTube, or you can hold classes directly with your students as web conferences or livestreams.
Find an overview of all services that can be used for conferences and presentations on this page.
Please take the students’ situation into account!
Please consider the personal and technical prerequisites of your students when choosing the kind of tool and the way you would like to teach online.
At this current moment in time (during the coronavirus pandemic), you cannot expect every person to have access to their own web-enabled device or currently be able to take part in web conferences or livestreams (care work).
Therefore, please select tools and formats for your courses that are in line with the overall situation and the needs of your students and provide them with a certain degree of flexibility.
Please consider the following...
- Digital teaching is about knowledge and people.
- The concentration span in front of a monitor is shorter than in face-to-face teaching: organise short blocks of information (10 - 20 minutes) rather than 90-minute conferences and videos.
- Less is more. The fundamental transfer of knowledge can make use of simple tools and contents.
- Students can have their hands full with care work outside of their studies.
- Not all households have access to a fast and stable internet connection (Germany).
- Not every person has their own device (working from home together with partner and/or children attending school).
- There is little acceptance for filming oneself in one’s own private surroundings or presenting oneself in a conference.
- There are only a few people who have experience and the the necessary skills to create and edit their own multimedia contents (videos).
- Everyone is able to learn new things.
Prerequisites and Requirements
In order to successfully record videos or use web conferences and streaming, you and your workstation must generally fulfil the following requirements:
- modern PC/laptop or mobile device (smartphone or tablet)
- internet connection (with a good-quality connection)
- webcam (if you want to send video)
- microphone/headset (if you want to say/hear anything)
- room that is free from interference (no other sounds, no other persons) for audio and video
- room without/with only little echoing
- deactivate/remove disturbing signal sources: computer sounds, telephone, mobile phone, ...
- position that is suitably illuminated, with no backlight
- suitable video image that has been well framed (no worm’s-eye or bird’s eye views)
- additional screen for web conferences and livestreams (enables the use of a feedback channel: text chat)
- check the settings of your screen saver
Borrowing or using technology
Unfortunately, the University Computer Centre is unable to provide you with either real rooms or technology.
Please contact the members of staff responsible for lecture hall and media technology directly with any requests to use the University’s rooms that are equipped with suitable technology, by writing to: medientechnikuni-greifswaldde.
You can present the recording of your lecture in various formats:
- Just audio: Similar to a podcast you can simply record your lecture as an audio track.
- Presentation and audio: You record your presentation (presentation slides or computer screen) together with the audio track.
- Camera and audio: In addition to the audio track, the video shows a camera image of you and/or your surroundings (e.g. whiteboard notes).
- Presentation, camera and audio: The synchronous recording and post editing of several video files with audio requires more detailed technical knowledge. This usually requires time-consuming post editing of the recorded materials.
You can then upload the finalised recordings to the video platform GrypsTube [de] and use them in your Moodle courses.
Further information and links can be added to the individual video descriptions.
Various conference services are available for exchanging directly with your students. The number of possible participants varies between the different services due to varying technical limitations.
Select the service that suits your needs according to the expected number of participants.
You will usually need a BigBlueButton room for your Moodle course if you consider direct contact with your students to be important.
Guidelines for Web Conferences
In order to hold web conferences successfully, we recommend all of the participants observe certain rules (incomplete list):
- Only one person should speak at a time!
- Participants enter the conference room with a muted microphone (to be defined in the room settings).
- Participants should avoid background noise and audio feedback (by using a headset).
- If possible, the conference room should be hosted (activation of the microphone after signalling wish to contribute)
- Participants must signal their desire to make a spoken contribution (e.g. in the text chat using ‘Q’ for questions, ‘A’ for answer, ...; be creative).
- As conference host, notify the participants when you are about to make global changes (start presentation, mute all of the participants, ...)
- If you are sharing your video, make sure you have selected a suitable screen image without backlight
Further information and links to web conference software
By broadcasting a livestream you can present your audio and video (camera and/or presentation) to a large number of students at the same time. Under certain circumstances, interaction with the participants might be delayed as your transmitted signal has to be sufficiently buffered on the streaming server to provide a good-quality video stream to your viewers. Depending on the service being used, this can take between 10 and 30 seconds. The time delay it takes for the viewers to receive your stream can be twice as long.
As a livestream is only an outgoing channel, you require an additional feedback channel to be able to communicate with your students. For this, you can use the chat service that comes with the livestream, or you can organise your own (e.g.the chat in the Moodle course[de]).