Ideas for online seminars

There are many ways of teaching online. The central question is with which online methods and tools you can best achieve your teaching goals. To help you plan your online course in a good and goal-oriented way, we have compiled some tips for you here.

In this section we provide you with tips and tools on how to implement your seminar online.

ATTENTION: Always keep an eye on the workload of your students and do not give too many materials and tasks to work on.

The goal of seminars is usually to deepen the content and to actively deal with theories and concepts alone or in collaboration. In order to give an introduction to central contents, the lecturer often gives impulse lectures in seminars. In many seminars, students also have the task of dealing with selected content in greater depth and preparing it in such a way that they can pass on the knowledge they have acquired to their fellow students in the form of seminar presentations.

Implement impulse lectures online

Provide links to literature, videos etc. in Moodle (here you will find sources for suitable materials) or upload your own material (scripts, slides, instructional videos) in your course. Your students can then familiarize themselves with the topics.

Upload scripts, slides (e.g. PDF of the notes view with explanations) or similar materials for self-study in Moodle.

Make your own lecture recordings and teaching videos available to students (get tips for Windows, Mac and iPad). Shorter videos focusing on specific topics/aspects and, if necessary, several short videos on individual aspects are more didactically useful than long lecture recordings.

Convert presentations online

The students research independently for suitable links and materials and make them available in the Moodle course.

For example, these methods are recommended for this:

  • The students submit their research results as a task in Moodle, and you as a teacher make the information available to everyone.
  • The links and materials are collected in a forum visible to all - here all seminar participants* can participate equally.
  • Via the forum type Moodle-Overflow students can recommend links. The contributions rated as most helpful can be displayed by all of them via a voting procedure further up.
  • In a Moodle database, link tips can be collected in a very structured and clear way. Therefore, please consider in advance which database fields are useful and important.
Have students compile materials for their fellow students.

For example, these methods are recommended for this:

  • The students hand in a compilation of material as a task. You as the teacher then provide the materials.
  • If the materials are to be made available to the students immediately, they can also be handed in via the following Moodle activities, for example
    • in a student folder
    • via a forum - here, for example, learning and discussion questions can be asked.
    • via a glossary: Give your students the task of compiling a certain number of FAQs (questions and answers) about the learning content and collecting them in the Glossary activity. In order to develop good FAQs, students need to be very familiar with the underlying theories and concepts - the learning effect is very high. In addition, the preparation as FAQs is very accessible for fellow students.
Students create their own short instructional videos

Students create short instructional videos or lecture recordings on specific topics themselves. For this purpose, you should provide basic conditions (e.g. length, presentation type) which students can use as orientation.

Seminars with their generally manageable group sizes offer very good opportunities to develop and deepen knowledge and content in a collaborative and cooperative manner. The cooperation of the participants activates all students to deep learning processes. At the same time, important skills for professional life, such as the ability to work in a team, communication and self- and team management skills are trained.

These methods are available as an alternative for your online seminar, for example:

Discussion forum

In the discussion forum, students can solve and answer concrete knowledge questions and tasks that you as a teacher pose together; on the other hand, students have the opportunity to ask their own questions for discussion.


Let your students work together on a wiki in Moodle. Assign responsibilities for topics or subject areas to individual students or small groups. The requirement that a minimum number of links to further contributions in the wiki must be set helps your students to link the contents with each other and ensures that the contributions of other students are read. In addition, you can regularly discuss the latest contributions to the Wiki in the forum.

Joint processing of tasks

Tasks in Moodle can also be set up as group submissions. Ask your students questions and tasks for which a common solution should be worked out. To provide space for collaboration, you can provide discussion forums, for example. If necessary, set them up so that only group members can follow the discussion. You can also upload files in discussion groups, which can then be discussed and commented on.

As proof of performance in seminars, term papers or seminar papers are often requested. These can also be easily realized via Moodle:

Moodle activity task

With the task Moodle activity you can set a deadline for the submission of your work. Submissions can consist of one or more files and/or comments in a text field. Submitted work can be corrected in Moodle and feedback can be added, and even annotations can be added directly to PDF submissions.

Mutual assessment

The Moodle activity Mutual Assessment allows your students to rate each other's work. It is a good idea to practice the mutual assessment with examples in advance. You should also provide evaluation criteria that students can use as a guide. The advantage of mutual assessment is that it stimulates the in-depth processing of course content, so assessment is also a learning activity. This also ensures that all students receive feedback.

Student folder

In student folders students can upload documents. After you have checked these documents, you can share them with all students. This also creates a learning resource for all students. For example, how about asking all students to write chapters for a common textbook on the seminar topic instead of classical seminar papers? Perhaps you could even agree to publish the jointly written textbook as an OER on ZOERR.

The organisation of learning and especially time and self-management is a challenge for students in online teaching. You can significantly support your students in structuring their learning time sensibly and using the materials in a goal-oriented manner by communicating the general conditions and organizational information very clearly and transparently.

In addition, when planning and implementing your online teaching concepts, you will also benefit from the formulation of your teaching goals, your requirements for self-study, the recommended, sensible sequence of individual materials and activities and your ideas about how long self-study with individual materials or the involvement with various activities should take.

Use the existing structural elements of your Moodle course to organize your content and activities, e.g:

Course structure

Structure your Moodle course according to the main topics you will cover in the seminar (topic format) or according to the time available for a content unit (time segment format).

Descriptions of contents and activities

Descriptions provide the students with instructions on how to handle the materials provided.

Text fields

Text fields help to structure the individual sections in the Moodle course and thus support the students with a focused way of working. Use the text fields e.g. to insert headings or to give additional editing hints or also to communicate your teaching goals, which you have for the individual sections, transparently.


Via the announcement forum which is already pre-set in your Moodle course, you can reach all students in your course by email, your messages will also be logged there.

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.