Dealing with Technical Issues with Synchronous Teaching

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.
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