6. April 2020

Dealing with coronavirus

Recommendations for the design of digital teaching concepts


The current suspension of classroom teaching is creating new challenges for teaching staff and students but also for support facilities. Our aim here is to give you some initial advice on how, with the help of digital tools, you can make ‘contactless’ teaching possible.

Before we go into detail, let’s start with a fundamental recommendation. It is a good idea to select straightforward solutions that you can implement using the technologies available at home or with the help of services available through JGU.

Whenever you are uncertain what to use, select asynchronous/non-simultaneous formats because live forms (such as the ‘virtual classrooms’ available through Adobe Connect) are technically challenging and difficult to use. They need to be prepared and require training in their use.


Video – yes or no?

The main aim in the current situation is to facilitate learning in any form possible. You should make use of all the digital options including videos that you can offer your students in lieu of normal classroom teaching.

Videos can be used to impart relevant material to students and there are numerous different options available. You don’t necessarily have to appear in a video; you can also simply prepare a recorded lecture using just audio and slides. How you decide to do it is entirely up to you. You can design a whole lecture or just parts of it in video form. When making your decision, bear in mind that students can find it difficult to process the material presented during lengthy sessions on video. Depending on subject, it can be helpful to break content down into smaller modules and alternate between videos, self-learning tasks and quizzes. As assignments, students can also be asked to produce videos as student-generated content and in this way you can also involve them in creating material.


Support structure

Due to the fact that we are only able to provide limited services at present, the normal opening hours of the Media Center in Wallstraße, equipment rental and the provision of production rooms will be suspended until further notice.

The ZAP will, of course, continue to support you during this extraordinary time with advice and guidance in the areas of e-learning and creating videos. We are expecting to receive a lot of requests for advice, so need to focus our capacities primarily on helping those who want to create digital content themselves.

Please contact us via email (zap@uni-mainz.de) or telephone +49 (0)6131-39 31700.

As central contacts, our Digital Teaching team is available to all teaching staff who have questions and require advice, and recommends use of the following tools for creating your teaching content in digital form:


Further information is available both within and outside of JGU.

The Vice President’s invitation – digital teaching and learning at JGU in the summer semester 2020: Video message on YouTube

Instructions on using the tools described above and many more suggestions can be found at https://lehre.uni-mainz.de/digital/

Further suggestions can be found on the teaching platform Lehrideen vernetzen and you can exchange ideas with other teaching staff using #CORONA – wie funktioniert Lehre im Home-Office?

Technical information (particularly about e-learning tools, software and platforms) can be found on the e-learning pages of the Zentrum für Datenverarbeitung (Center for Data Processing).

The Virtuelle Campus Rheinland-Pfalz virtual campus has set up (in addition to its regular offerings) an information page “Digitale[r] Lehre gegen Corona” on how digital teaching can be used to overcome coronavirus.

The Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (a joint initiative of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), Donors’ Association and the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE)) has created a service page with up-to-date information on digital tools and other options that also provides links to other offerings.