Synchronous Teaching

Synchronous (live) teaching uses tools and strategies to allow students and instructors to meet simultaneously.

Benefits

  • Social interaction: Real-time interactions can help instructors and students feel more connected
  • Immediacy: Ability to answer questions in real-time, provide feedback and guidance
  • Increased accountability

Limitations

  • Depending on the technologies used, it can be less accessible (student technology cost is higher for online participation, students with disabilities may need accommodations)
  • Live interaction can be interrupted by network problems or other technical issues

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Asynchronous Teaching

Students engage with the course material at any time they choose and from any location, as long as they have an Internet connection.

Benefits

  • Flexibility
  • Improves students’ ability to process information.
  • Students can take time to read and re-read course material, watch videos, think and reflect before completing course activities and discussions
  • Minimal technology disruption

Limitations

  • Students may feel disconnected.
  • Because there are no scheduled meeting times, it requires students to have self-discipline and advanced time management skills.
  • It may increase grading and feedback workload for the faculty.
  • Course design and development must be complete at the start.

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Blending Sync and Async

The courses rely on both synchronous and asynchronous technologies.

 

Benefits

  • Integrating the strengths of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Synchronous when students need support from faculty or peers, or live interaction is beneficial to the learning process.
  • Asynchronous for topics that require more time to digest or when students can benefit from involving with the material at their own pace.

Limitations

  • Integrating two modalities adds a layer of complexity to the course design.

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