In this project we want to develop a guided self-teaching course in applied soil ecology on the Internet. The course is intended to substitute existing teaching units and to become accredited in place of these in the study plans of the three partner universities. The course is directed to students which have a basic training in soil science including first experiences with soil profiles in the field. The objective of the course is to show and to practice how this knowledge can be used to solve applied problems with respect to the sustainable management and protection of soil as a valuable environmental resource. The course consists of six modules, each covering an important area of the field of applied soil ecology. In each module a problem which is typical for the respective field has to be solved based on a real case using data taken from reality. The modules are structured in such a way that the students are guided step by step through the problem (according to a 'Leitprogramm'). The material, instruction and feed-back required to perform the tasks is completely available on the Internet. Interaction with other users as well as with teachers and tutors is possible through the Internet itself, as well as by direct personal communication according to the needs of the users. To our best knowledge there are no such courses teaching applied problem solving capabilities in soil ecology and we are not aware of other Internet courses using the teaching form of a 'Leitprogramm' for a similar purpose. The Internet opens up completely new possibilities for this type of teaching. Serving as a pilot study to explore these possibilities, our project is innovative as it aims to combine the advantages of the medium Internet with the teaching form 'Leitprogramm' and thus tries to make the best use of both of them.