Digital teaching in summer semester 2020

Dear teaching staff,

This summer semester, on-site teaching - communication among those physically present - as established at the University of Tübingen since 1477 looks set to be largely suspended, with small number of exceptions only.

A major challenge

We are not an online university and have no desire to become one; we had hoped to have more time for a phased-in, comprehensive setup of online services to complement and provide further depth to on-site classes. Now, in this exceptional situation, we are forced to use online formats for communication among people no longer physically present.  That is our biggest problem. The challenge now is to come up with useful online teaching concepts which will do the job, and not to let ourselves be hampered by perfectionism.

The University is an academic organism; we are working with care and concentration in many places and at many levels to provide and support online formats.

The following advice is for all teaching staff. We have kept it very general - in a bid to cover all the many different types of teaching methods and material taught at a traditional university:

1. Take courage! In this case, good is better than perfect.

Set your priorities and take your degree program’s education and qualification goals as the starting-point for how your students can achieve the summer semester’s core aims (no frills) in the program.


2. Be flexible and think consistently from the students’ point of view.

You may only get to meet your students in person late in the semester, if at all.  Teaching therefore needs to be designed to support the learning process. How can you support students’ work with the material? How can you support working with texts? How can theories be explained, how can methods be demonstrated?


3. Formulate a comprehensive semester plan (syllabus).

In many cases it can be helpful to draw up a syllabus. It should show the structure of each lesson, with comments. A syllabus can help with lesson structure and creates a clear picture when personal explanations are not possible.


4. Support your students and create opportunities for learning.

Set up a format of small steps in order to get to know each other, and to help you recognize the academic strengths and weaknesses of your students.

5. Talk to one another.

Develop the format together. Use the modular structure to promote mutual understanding.


This page offers a central point for ideas regarding the most important teaching formats. Currently, it is work in progress. Please check this website regularly in the days and weeks to come so that you will be informed of new ideas and additional information.

Here’s to a good 2020 summer semester for us all.

The teaching task force

Organize your teaching in ALMA

Upload suggestions and links on online classes to the ALMA portal

In summer semester 2020, we cannot at this stage offer any on-campus teaching. New students in particular will need support and instructions so that they can find the online classes available to them. Therefore, you as a lecturer need to upload the important information on your courses to the alma portal with easily visible instructions and links to learning platforms such as Moodle and Ilias, announcements on e-learning courses and other important details regarding the online format of your classes.
Here are instructions on how to enter the information and make it easily seen. We are happy to answer your questions via alma-supportspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de.

Which teaching format will you take online?

Practice group/ tutorial

What are the online formats available?

Learning platforms
Screen Casts
Video recordings

Which tools can I use?

How can I organize my online teaching didactically?

e-teaching.org offers academically-based practical information on delivering higher education using electronic methods. This non-commercial site is by Tübingen’s Leibniz-Instituts für Wissensmedien.



For teaching staff

Digitalisierung in der universitären Lehre

Herausforderungen 2020 und die Suche nach pragmatischen Schritten

Video in German by Prof. Dr. Gabi Reinmann

Hamburger Zentrum für universitäres Lehren und Lernen (HUL) - Universität Hamburg

Options for online teaching

Ideas "Ideensammlung" for tools and methods by the Tübingen Economics and Social Sciences Faculty is compact and useful for teaching staff from other faculties as well.