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Digital Education – digital teaching and learning at the UoC

At the University of Cologne, there are various technical options for offering online courses. We are working with great commitment to create the framework conditions for successful digital lectures and seminars, and to support you with advice and assistance.
On this page, you will find an overview of the formats and tools currently available at the University of Cologne as well as instructions, tips and links – from low-threshold offers for short-term use to sophisticated digital teaching/learning scenarios with high added educational value.

Jan Eden, Head of Digital Education and Teaching, and I are always available to answer your questions and will be happy to refer you to the other experts and contacts.

 Prof. Dr. Beatrix Busse
Vice-Rector for Teaching and Studies at the University of Cologne

Your comments and suggestions

Your feedback on the start of the digital semester is important to us. As teachers, what challenges and opportunities do you see in the transition to digital teaching? What is already working well, where is there room for improvement? Please let us know. We will compile your questions and topics as quickly as possible in a FAQ list and answer or try to clarify them. If you have any questions about technology and educational methods, please contact the support centres listed below

When using contact forms, please note our privacy policy.

Bitte beachten Sie bei der Verwendung von Kontaktformularen unsere Datenschutzerklärung

Digital Education: Feedback

Concerns about digital teaching

Scenarios for digital teaching

The central learning management system ILIAS provides a comfortable introduction to digital teaching at the University of Cologne: In general, a corresponding ILIAS course is automatically created or all courses created in KLIPS 2.0. Registered students are transferred to the course and have access to the provided materials or ILIAS objects.

Synchronous as well as asynchronous formats can be used as a short-term replacement for classroom courses. At the moment, we recommend recording lectures and (teaching) videos and making them available through the opencast object in ILIAS.
Exchange with students can take place in virtual spaces as well as with other communication tools.

The University of Cologne also wants to make online studies possible for all students. Information on how to make digital teaching barrier-free is available on the web pages of the Servicezentrum Inklusion.

 Recording videos and making them available

 With your own notebook/PC, you can make recordings using the Opencast Studio service, or Power Point 2019:

Recording a Power Point Presentation with an Apple/Mac device:


The Camtasia software also allows you to record and edit or add to your recordings. The software is also suitable for instructional videos, process descriptions, software training, project analysis, etc. Techsmith offers a free 30-day trial of Camtasia. Camtasia video tutorials are available on the Techsmith website.

On campus, lectures can be automatically recorded in designated lecture halls or in the One Button Recording Studio of Netzwerk Medien.

Please note: In the current corona situation, the lecture halls cannot be used to record lectures. The One Button Recording Studio is still accessible, but users should take appropriate protective measures (disinfection of surfaces).

To upload the recording to ILIAS, please use the object ‘Opencast’. The videos are stored on a powerful streaming server and can be accessed via the embedded object in ILIAS:


 Providing materials and tutorials

ILIAS offers various objects to support students’ independent learning phases:

  • tutorials: 
    The ILIAS object ‘tutorial’ can be used to provide students with homework or assignments. Students can also submit their completed tasks, protocols or thesis papers. Tasks can be assessed and peer feedback enabled.
  • file:
    The most common way to provide material to students is to upload files.
  • links:  
    With links, you can set ‘jump points’ to external websites. It is possible to create entire libraries.


 Virtual lectures and seminars (video conferences) – communication scenarios

video conferences

The University of Cologne provides faculty with licenses for the video conference service Zoom. You can get a zoom license by Registration at the Zoom Portal of the University of Cologne with your university account. Further information is available on the pages of the Regional Computing Centre Cologne.

Instructions and video tutorials on how to use Zoom can be found on the provider’s website. If you have any further questions, please contact the UoC’s internal Zoom support.


Other communication tools

  • Forum:
    The ILIAS objekt Forum enables asynchronous communication as well as discussion and exchange of information. It offers students a virtual space for exchange, where open questions can be collected and discussed. Supervision by lecturers is also possible.
  • ILIAS mail:
    ILIAS has an internal messaging system to send messages with attachments and to contact individual persons or all participants of an ILIAS course. You can access ILIAS mail from your personal desk, but also from within the course or group.
  • interactive video:
    Das ILIAS-Objekt Interaktives Video The ILIAS object interactive video supports three question types (single choice, multiple choice, reflection) and a comment function for students.
  • chat room:
    The ILIAS chatroom enables synchronous communication as well as discussion and exchange of information.
  • Etherpad:
    In an EtherPad, several users can write a text at the same time. Thanks to the different text colours and the version display, it is always visible which users have written which text segments.

Training offers

In order to prepare faculty for the technical and educational challenges in the transition from classroom to digital teaching, we offer a wide range of training courses, including low-threshold courses as well as more in-depth courses.


Accessing digital teaching

Webinar: ‘Offering courses in ILIAS digitally: Your way out of classroom teaching’ 
Suitable for all faculty who are looking for an introduction to ILIAS and who would like to digitise their materials and make them available to students. After the course you will be able to record your lecture at home, upload this recording to ILIAS, provide your students with files and structure them in your ILIAS course, request homework from students via ILIAS, and communicate with your students with asynchronous and synchronous tools in ILIAS (forum, chat, etherpad).
Several dates are available in April 2020. These can be found on the CCE homepage. Please register there for the webinar.

Open consultation hours of the CCE 
In the CCE open office hours, faculty can ask questions about digital teaching and discuss individual problems. At present, the open office hour is held digitally. You can dial into the lectures via a ZOOM link.

The open office hours take place in April/May on every Monday and in June/July on every 1st Monday of the month from (10-11:30 am). Please also note the other training courses offered by CCE.

A wide range of training courses is available to UoC faculty on how to use Zoom, also in digital teaching. If you use Zoom as part of your courses, please note the terms of use, data processing information, and privacy policy.

Technical introductions from the provider Zoom (ENG/GER)
Zoom provides a series of short introductory videos on its homepage to help you use the tool. In addition, you can register for Live Training Webinars on the provider’s homepage and thus learn about the most important functions of Zoom online. The live training webinars (are offered once a week (Tuesdays) also in German. For this you have to register on the homepage.

Trainings on using Zoom in teaching
At various locations at the University of Cologne, decentral units offer support on using Zoom in digital teaching. On the website of the Institute of Physics Education, 30-minute training courses are offered on the most important functions of Zoom and on the use of the programme in teaching. 

During the first weeks of the transition to digital teaching, the interactive training sessions take place daily at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. They each have different thematic focuses and are designed to meet the needs of faculty. The courses are taught by staff from all areas of the university who are willing to share their experience. The licensed version of Zoom from the Campus License is required to take part in the training session. In the long term, these tutorials will be offered by the Vice-Rectorate for Teaching and Studies.

The Media Network also offers individual zoom consultations, for which teachers can register online.

Zoom tutorial of the Centre for Teacher Education for teachers


 Participation of students (multipliers)

Students, especially student assistants at chairs, also have the opportunity and are welcome to participate in the training courses on digital teaching. These courses convey important skills that support (digital) teaching, either at the chair itself or in a job supporting digital teaching. We are currently planning offers for students so that they can acquire a certificate of participation for certain training courses, after which they will be able to use their knowledge specifically in the support of digital teaching.


Further links

External links


  • Advice on all questions concerning digital teaching:
    The CCE Team
  • ILIAS-Helpdesk:
    Phone: +49 221-470 4014
    Support hours: Mo - Fr: 10:00 - 14:00 Uhr
  • Consultation on educational topics and concepts for universities::
    Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning
    Dr. Hendrik den Ouden

In the Faculties and the Centre for Teacher Education, the following persons can be contacted:

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities:
    Dr. Tilmann Ochs
  • Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences:
  • Working group Digital Learning at the Centre for Teacher Education
    Dr. Alexandra Habicher

You can also contact to reach all of the contacts listed above. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible.