Course preparation

The ‘Roadmap to Flexible Education’ is a convenient and interactive text to consult in preparation for (online) education. The roadmap covers three phases of course design: Preparation, delivery, and final assessment.

The roadmap covers topics such as media, structuring tutorials, assessment, student communities, and hybrid models of education. It guides you through nine essential questions to ask when designing a course. Each question comes with tips, suggestions, and additional resources. Click on the visual below to start your interactive roadmap journey or download the PDF here.

Before you adapt or create your online course, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Consult the Leiden University’s Code of Conduct on Remote Teaching and make sure you are aware of the accessible teaching vision of Leiden University. You can find more information on the Inclusive education page on this website.
  • Identify your educational objectives. You can find more information on this page. the Educational design page on this website.
  • It can be really helpful to start a group with fellow teachers to work on the redesign together, so you can exchange best practices and ideas.
  • Find out if there is existing content available from previous years or if there are other Open Educational Resources (OER) that can be used. This will save you precious time. You can find more information on the Open Educational Resources page on this website.
  • Find out which options you have for digital assessment and look up any related instructions provided by your faculty or institute.

Videos & visuals

Using visual aids in your teaching can help students to clarify the content, encourage data retention for longer periods of time, minimize their cognitive load, focus their attention to the most important parts of the lesson, avoid dullness, and motivate them to participate in the learning process. You can use it to simplify or visualize complex theories or concepts, provide an overview of key concepts, make a comparison between opposing theories or display research findings.

For example, you could create knowledge clips for your students, a podcast or an infographic. You can also choose to let your students create videos or visuals as an assignment, with which they can present their research findings or summarize complex information.

As a starting point, you can improve your PowerPoint slides to keep your students interested. You can watch this video about creating a visual style guide for your slides, which helps you choose the right colours, font and font size, images, and logo. You can use this template from the Centre for Innovation as an example to create your own visual style guide. Be creative!

You can find more information about creating videos for your teaching in the video toolkit of Leiden University.


Not all online available tools can be used for hybrid teaching. If you're looking for specific information about video lecture tools, take a look at this page. If you're looking for specific information about all available educational tools at Leiden University, take a look at this page. Please consult your faculty’s support before using a different tool.

Hybrid teaching is a synchronous approach. One group of students participates in person (on campus) while at the same time the other group of students participates (individually) online.

Blended teaching has synchronous and asynchronous aspects. The more passive activities and/or the ones that can be executed at one’s own pace take place in an individual online setting (asynchronous). The teacher and students all come together at the same time, in class or online, to spent time on more interactive activities, such as discussions, simulations, and feedback (synchronous).

For more information, please read this page.

Students with extra needs can contact student center Plexus for support with hybrid education. For more information, read this page on this website or visit this page from Leiden University.

In the case of synchronous teaching, students are expected to be present at the same time. Usually, it is face-to-face, but it can also be done (partially) online, for example through hybrid teaching. Asynchronous teaching gives students control over the time and place of their learning. These activities are usually online, like (homework) assignments. For more information, please read this page.

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