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 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.


In most cases, the decision for using a certain tool to support your courses depends on what you want to achieve. Please know that there’s not always one right answer and going with what you and your students are most familiar with can be valid reasoning as well.

To read more about the different video platforms, consult this article to compare your options. For other decisions, checkout the tool overview or get in touch with support staff who can consult you in finding the right solution.

To request a webcam (with microphone), you can use this form in the ISSC Helpdesk. You pick up the equipment from the service desk before the lecture begins.

For more advice about the use of audiovisual equipment during lectures and presentations, you can contact your faculty's audiovisual service (AV service). If you need advice or support in recording and distributing lectures and videos, please contact your faculty's video coordinator.

Take a look at this interactive overview of teaching activities that you can apply in your teaching.

The most up-to-date information on how to organize digital assessment is currently published on the staff website. You can also watch the webinars 'Online formative assessment' and 'Online assessment for remote teaching' (sign in with your ULCN staff account) or read the Leiden University manuals 'Manual for Digital Assessment' and 'Tips for tests and assessment'.

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