The worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has rapidly accelerated the use of online distance learning around the world. Most of today’s distance learning solutions also include synchronous learning. Synchronous learning is defined as teacher-led online lessons for students studying at the same time, using a digital platform. It provides a virtual teacher-led framework for learning which allows students to study together in real-time. To ensure the most successful implementation of Synchronous Teaching, we have compiled a list of tips to help teachers deal with some of the technical issues that can arise in a synchronous online learning environment:
Before a synch class
- Send a list of materials students will need ahead of class so they can get ready ahead of time.
- Send a link to your synch lesson the day before and check that the link works
- Log in 15 minutes before and test the virtual venue from the computer and Web connection you will use in your session.
- Close all unnecessary applications on the computer you are going to use to maximize computer resources and limit distractions.
- Consider providing a password or setting up a waiting room for attendees to ensure the privacy of your session.
- Check your session settings: to ensure your class runs smoothly – you may want to mute attendees when they enter and disable their ability to switch backgrounds, share, or annotate screens.
- Prepare a back-up plan!
During a synch class
- Remain calm and in control. If there is a technical problem, acknowledge it and ask for a brief moment to try to resolve it.
- Do not try to rescue one person at the expense of the entire group.
- If a particular tool isn’t working think of other ways you can still achieve your goal and make good use of everyone’s time.
- Know when to reschedule. If the technical problem is too big, reschedule the session.