As school shutdowns continue, the number of people participating in online education, or “distance learning,” continues to climb. This is especially true of synchronous learning/teaching.
Synchronous learning is distance learning in real-time. The teacher and students learn together in the same virtual place, at the same time, using the same platform. In other words, the classroom is simply moved online. With synchronous learning, students can participate in active discussions, have real-time interactions with the students and teacher, and receive immediate feedback.
But as teachers and students adjust to this relatively new mode of education, and as the technology behind it continues to improve, teachers may encounter some challenges.
To prevent or deal with these challenges we have compiled a list of 10 tips that’ll help make your synchronous-teaching classroom a success. In future blog posts, we will delve deeper into each one.
- Consider splitting large classes into two shorter, smaller classes.
- Send a preparation task for students to do before class.
- Ask students to keep their cameras on.
- Do a social check-in at the beginning of class.
- Tell students what to expect during the lesson.
- Make sure your synchronous session offers interesting content, insights, or activities.
- Keep it short and snappy! If you watch a video together make sure it isn’t longer than 1-2 minutes. Texts should only be 1 or 2 paragraphs.
- Ask a question and give students a moment to prepare/write their answer in the chat.
- Mute students when they aren’t talking.
- Don’t forget your synchronous toolbox!
Check back next week as we “unpack” tip number #1!