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Asynchronous vs. Synchronous eLearning Strategies

In our previous talk, we addressed how to engage multiple audiences in your courses. In our upcoming session, we move from the complexities of place and mode of participation to issues related to the timing of content presentation and learning tasks. Deciding what content and activities work best synchronously versus what works better asynchronously can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, there are many useful resources available to help.

To get a sense of the limitations and benefits of synchronous and asynchronous approaches, along with a bit of background on the research around them, see Stefan Hrastinski's article in Educause. Our primer on Flexible Formats also addresses the benefits and challenges of various modalities.

These approaches can be implemented in a variety of ways in an online setting. To get a sense of several scenarios that embody this "blended" approach, see the recent Educause piece on six possibilities. Building on Garrison and Kanuka's work, the article expands on their original point that "blended learning is much more than a convergence of face-to-face and online learning experiences."

For a well-rounded discussion of how to approach the division of your content between synchronous and asynchronous sessions and some practical advice on how to use information you have on how your students learn, be sure to read Dan Levy's The Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Balancing Act.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing you in one of our upcoming sessions.


When/How to Use Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning

Join us for the second installment of our series on Flexible Instruction. In this session, we explore ways to determine the best uses of each approach and the most effective and engaging ways to combine them. Connect with us to learn more (or share your ideas and expertise) on Thursday, October 29, at 3pm.

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