Synchronous/Asynchronous - Doesn't have to be dichotomous

By Katherine Beckett
📅 July 6, 2020
🕑 Read time: 3 minute(s)
Synchronous/Asynchronous - Doesn't have to be dichotomous

Whew! You did it! You managed to transition your Spring and/or Summer courses online. Along the way you had to quickly learn what synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning in an online environment looks and sounds like.

Now that you are on the “other side” and planning for fall, you are gearing up to make a choice again: synchronous or asynchronous? Before you do choose, I ask that you consider this question: Can I design my course to have both synchronous and asynchronous elements?

The answer, of course, is that you can and should! At this point you have probably figured out the advantages and disadvantages to both asynchronous and synchronous teaching. However, by designing your course to have both synchronous and asynchronous elements you can combat Zoom Fatigue, maintain flexibility for students, and create authentic moments with your students that have traditionally taken place in a face-to-face environment.

  • Fight Zoom fatigue– There is no rule that states you must spend the whole class period on a face-to-face Zoom call. Consider scheduling group chats or Zoom breakout rooms during your normal meeting time to engage with students.
  • Flipping your Course- Consider partially flipping your class to include some asynchronous elements. Pre-record lectures on difficult topics so that you can meet with students in small groups to discuss their questions and concerns.
  • Increase Engagement- Use tools like Flipgrid, Perusall, and Voicethread in your course to increase student engagement. These tools allow students to collaborate on course content and facilitate discussions. This will all help students to feel connected in an online environment.

You have made it through the mad dash to online learning. Now is the time to refine instruction and think critically about how we can best present information to students to ensure their success.

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Tags: CTEFlipped Learning, Online Teaching, Student Engagement