Student-designed classes

Have students design their ideal online class with the teaching material you provide. Challenge them to be creative and design interactive classes for their fellow students. 

The EUR lecturer that added this teaching activity experienced that students' attendance and participation increases when taught by their fellows. Moreover, this way of working will generate new teaching activities that can be used in future educational designs. 

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge | Exchange knowledge | Practice skills
In class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 60 minutes| > 60 minutes
Group size

MS Teams, Zoom

Step 1

Decide whether you use this teaching method once or for a series of classes. Our colleague who used it alternated her own classes with those designed by students. 

Step 2

Divide the group in smaller groups or open an enrollment for the groups in your learning management system. The smaller groups will be responsible for the content and organization of one lecture.

Step 3

Prepare instructions to the group and share your way of working with the students in your first lecture:

  • Select literature/articles/teaching material that you consider suited for students to explain to others.
  • Prepare a schedule for you series of classes; include the themes and literature.
  • Prepare an explanation of your expectations of the groups, e.g. that their goal is to develop a better understanding of the literature, using interactive ways of working, being creative in their design, et cetera. Examples of this type of instructions are included in the download section below.
  • All participating students need to read the prescribed literature; only the appointed students need to prepare a class about it.
  • Alle deelnemende studenten moeten de voorgeschreven literatuur lezen en alleen het groepje dat aan de beurt is om onderwijs te geven, bereidt dat voor.  
  • Indicate how the students will receive feedback on their teachings.

Step 4

Prepare a back-up for each class that students teach. In case you notice that the explanation on a subject is incomplete or incorrect, make sure you have your back-up ready. The professor that experimented with this teaching activity built in time for a short wrap-up of the subject matter at the end of class to make sure everything was covered. 

Step 5

Students give their class; you participate. 

Step 6

Give feedback on the classes designed by students. 

Step 7

Please share the newly developed teaching sessions and experiences on teachEUR so more colleagues and students can benefit from them. 


This teaching activity has been added to teachEUR by the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (ESSB). Here are some tips and experiences from the department:

  • Students were given a lot of freedom in their approach and that resulted in inviting guest speakers, development of new types of quizzes and other interactive teaching activities.
  • The bachelor group needed more guidance for setting up their own class than the master group. The first group of master students that prepared a class started making a schedule, and the following groups did the same. You could consider giving bachelor students a dummy schedule to get started.
  • Make students responsible for content as well as the organisation of their class. From setting up a Zoom meeting to arranging a present for a speaker; they are in charge. 
  • For the evaluation of the classes given, you could consider students evaluating each other's classes based on a set of pre-defined criteria.

In case you would like more information about her experiences, please contact the Learning & Innovation team of ESSB.

Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 

Depending on the needs of students, they can use a wide range of online tools to support their teaching. 

  • Check the Teaching in Zoom document in the download section.
  • Students can prepare a Zoom meeting for their class. To prevent having to share all e-mail addresses of the students, the teacher publishes the Zoom link on Canvas.
  • Find inspiration in other teaching activities on teachEUR; they include tools and how to use them.
  • Refer to the pages of the Community for Learning and Innovation about online education.
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam has many licenses for online tools. Consult the L&I team of your faculty for advise.

Compare @count study programme

  • @title

    • Duration: @duration
Compare study programmes