Planning online teaching

In addition to the technology, the right planning naturally plays a major role in online teaching. Ultimately, a well elaborated concept, e.g. in the form of a script or a didactic plan, will be helpful and will also save you time when implementing your ideas in Moodle.

How do I get started with online teaching?

Dr. Christine Tovar from the CHE Centre for Higher Education Development (Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung) has compiled five great tips for teachers to help them get started with online teaching in an article at the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung entitled "Teaching online for the first time thanks to Corona? Soft Facts and Hacks for a quick but considered introduction".

Tip 1: You are not alone!

Exchange ideas with colleagues (only virtually, of course - #stayathome and #flattenthecurve!) and use the existing consulting possibilities for online teaching. At the University of Ulm these are the Centre for Teaching Development (ZLE) and the kiz.

Tip 2: Approach online teaching realistically.

Especially for those of you who have had little to do with online teaching so far, the current situation is like a leap in the dark. Being unsure on how to approach online teaching is normal here. Do not set any exaggerated expectations for yourself. Complex and well-thought-out online courses take more time to prepare for them than you currently have. Be transparent with your decisions on how to implement your teaching concept and find and use formats that suit you as a teacher and your teaching goals. We will happily help you with this.

Tip 3: Teaching content and goals before methods and tools.

Many of your teaching elements can be transferred to online teaching without great rework, but the guiding question should be what goals you have associated with these teaching elements and how these goals can best be represented and achieved online. Here we have collected questions for you which can lead you to a plan oriented towards your teaching goals. 

Tip 4: Put a lot of emphasis on good communication.

Your students are also in a special situation and, in contrast to their normal everyday study life, tend to be isolated when it comes to learning. Therefore, strengthen cooperation among students; communicate your goals and expectations very clearly and be reliably accessible and approachable for your students.

Tip 5: Use low-threshold tools to begin with.

At Ulm University you have many easy-to-use tools incorporated in the learning platform Moodle (see here). Below you will also find further references to tools that we have selected mainly because they are very easy to learn and widely used.

Further tips and assistance:

Contact the Digitisation advisors or the Centre for Teaching Development. We are happy to assist you.

Teaching online for the first time thanks to Corona? Soft Facts and Hacks for a quick, but thoughtful introduction
(Christine Tovar)

How do I plan my online teaching?

Much like face-to-face teaching, you should keep the following components in mind when planning and designing your online teaching and coordinate them with each other as best as possible:

Teaching/learning goals: 

First of all, think about the (teaching) goals you are pursuing with your online course. Teaching goals describe which knowledge, skills and abilities the students should acquire in the course of this course or unit. In order to identify the appropriate goals for your online teaching, ask yourself the question:

What should the students be able to do after the course/online unit/session? Examples for the formulation of (cognitive) teaching/learning goals can be found here or here. Make your (teaching) goals transparent to the students so that they can make them their own (learning) goals.


Select the contents and materials that are relevant to achieving the teaching/learning goals: What should be taught? Think about the order in which the content is made available to students and structure the material accordingly. Provide suitable sources (scripts, slide sets, e-books, websites, links to videos, self-produced videos, etc.). For time and capacity reasons, we recommend that you check whether suitable materials already exist that you can link to before you create your own materials (especially instructional videos).


Based on the teaching/learning goals and the content, choose the (online) methods or online tools that are suitable for implementation: With which activities and tasks can students achieve the teaching/learning goals? From a teaching/learning theory point of view, it is recommended to combine methods for information acquisition with methods for information processing:

  • knowledge conveying presentations such as videos, scripts, slides and scientific texts can alternate with exercises, research tasks and tests.
  • cooperative methods are also easily implementable online: here, among other things, discussion forums, joint working documents, group work rooms, etc. are available.

We have collected tips and recommendations for you in the "Alternatives to classroom teaching".

Achievement of learning goals

Integrate possibilities for checking learning objectives: How can you and the students determine whether and to what extent the teaching/learning objectives have been achieved? Give students feedback on solutions to exercises and learning activities; allow students to ask questions (discussion forums) and/or create self-tests in Moodle.

Further information can be found in the handbook "Alternatives to classroom teaching" and in this guide by Claudia Bremer.

Further help and information about Moodle

Moodle demo courses

In this course we have compiled typical contents and activities for a lecture:

Demo Course Lecture

Here you will find helpful activities in Moodle to support your seminar:

Demo course Seminar

Typical situations of an internship can also be depicted well in Moodle:

Demo Course Internship

Moodle self-study courses

In this course you will learn the basic settings of Moodle and get tips for creating your Moodle course.

Moodle basics for beginners

In this course we have collected activities, content and tips for using Moodle in typical teaching formats.

Moodle as an alternative to classroom teaching

In this course you will find information about the services offered by the Competence Centre eEducation in Medicine.

Competence Centre eEducation

In this course you will find all the Moodle features listed once so that you can learn about their function before you use them.

Moodle possibilities

Links and resources

On the e-learning portal of the University of Ulm you will find many instructions on Moodle and other topics of online teaching (e.g. legal issues).

E-Learning Portal

On the official Moodle documentation you will find detailed descriptions of all the features and activities of Moodle.

Moodle Docs

Overview of Moodle activities and corresponding educational goals.

Moodle 2 - Tools for trainers

YouTube channel with English videos - German subtitles are also available.#

Learn Moodle 3.7

Help & contact

Help and support in the departments

Contact the digitisation advisors in your department

They are in regular contact with ZLE and kiz and coordinate the online teaching offers.

For technical problems and questions please contact the Help Desk.

For didactic and organisational questions please contact the team of the ZLE.