“Synchronous e-learning, commonly supported by media such as videoconferencing and chat, has the potential to support [remote] learners in the development of learning communities. Learners and teachers experience synchronous e-learning as more social and avoid frustration by asking and answering questions in real time. Synchronous sessions help [remote] learners feel like participants rather than isolates.” (Hrastinski, 2008).
When to use Synchronous Teaching
Synchronous instruction is best for students to ask questions, review coursework, and individual or group presentations.
- What kind of home learning environment do students have? Are there family, work, or technology issues that may interfere with meeting in real-time?
- How large is the class? Real-time sessions with larger class sizes are difficult for students to participate in the discussion.
- Record live sessions to post in Canvas for students who cannot participate during the schedule virtual class session.
- Send meeting invites to remind students of scheduled, synchronous sessions.
- Consider inviting guest speakers to your live sessions to give real-world perspectives about course concepts.
- Include a “netiquette” statement that describes your expectations for asynchronous discussion and interaction.
- Add your recurring WebEx meeting link to your Canvas course navigation.
- Plan synchronous meetings with student groups for project updates.
Key Tools & Resources
Hrastinski, S. (2008, November 17). Asynchronous and Synchronous E-Learning. Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2008/11/asynchronous-and-synchronous-elearning