Asynchronous courses are a cornerstone of online learning. At the same time, asynchronous courses present challenges in terms of self-motivation, community-based learning, and combating feelings of isolation. One approach to addressing some of these challenges is to add synchronous elements to your online course. When used correctly, synchronous elements can add a layer of direct interaction and engagement that doesn’t detract from the benefits of the asynchronous format. However, adding synchronous elements isn’t as easy as just setting up regular meeting times. We need to plan with purpose, diligence, and a bit of creativity.
Oh discussions, the often-dreaded exercise of the online experience. The design of a discussion can turn an exciting topic into a banal exercise where students are drafting large, online speeches and grasping at straws to provide two “meaningful” (hello subjectivity!) responses to other colleagues’ long speeches to meet the requirements in time.