General recommendations

The Teaching Path (in German) of the Hamburg Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HUL) provides an overview of the key didactic decisions that need to be made when designing courses.

Constructive alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2011) is a competency-based approach to didactic planning. For a course to be successful, it is essential that it is designed with outcomes in mind, i.e. that teaching content and learning activities, as well as forms of assessment, are aligned with learning objectives.
Accordingly, designing a course means first asking what students should learn or acquire in a constructivist sense. The next steps are to develop the appropriate assessment situation and the appropriate teaching and learning content. This 'constructive coordination' of the trinity of learning objective - learning activity - examination is finally reflected in the course description (planning document).

The AVIVA model is a five-phase model for an effective course, based on the findings of learning psychology and best practice in good teaching. The five stages of the model are

  1. Arrival and Attunement: Learners are welcomed and attuned to the subject matter of the course.
  2. Activation of prior knowledge: Learners activate their prior knowledge, guided and structured by the teacher's methods.
  3. Inform: The teacher introduces the new topic and provides the learners with the necessary knowledge.
  4. Processing: Learners work independently or in groups and apply what they have learned.
  5. Evaluation: The results of the processing phase are discussed and reflected upon in order to consolidate and deepen what has been learnt.

Below you will find some suggested reading and didactic-methodological recommendations:

On the following websites you will find other interesting suggestions, including for particularly challenging and demanding teaching-learning scenarios:

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is particularly valuable from a learning psychology point of view, as it encourages interaction between learners and thus promotes intensive, reflective engagement with the subject matter. We provide information on possible applications on the website.

Large event activation

The methods presented on the website are intended to stimulate participation and interaction in large events and to contribute to a successful dialogue between teachers and students.

Diversity-orientated teaching

Teaching should be designed in such a way that as many students as possible can actively participate. The website provides information on how to make teaching more diversity-orientated.

Course description/Syllabus

On the website you will find specific suggestions for the design of course descriptions at Leuphana.