Synchronous vs. Asynchronous

Teaching Remotely using Brightspace by D2L

There are two options for instructors to facilitate class sessions remotely:
  1. Synchronous: instructors and students gather at the same time and interact in “real time” with a very short or “near-real time” exchange between instructors and students. Zoom can be used to facilitate this approach.
  2. Asynchronous: instructors prepare course materials for students in advance of students’ access. Students may access the course materials at a time of their choosing and will interact with each other over a longer period of time. Panopto pre-recorded lectures are a good example of this approach.
Instructors may choose to engage their students synchronously or asynchronously depending on the course content or material that needs to be taught. There are many advantages and disadvantages to asynchronous and synchronous teaching options.


Synchronous Teaching

Advantages

  1. Immediate personal engagement between students and instructors, which may create greater feelings of community and lessen feelings of isolation
  2. More responsive exchanges between students and instructors, which may prevent miscommunication or misunderstanding

Disadvantages

  1. More challenging to schedule shared times for all students and instructors
  2. Some students may face technical challenges or difficulties if they do not have a fast/powerful wired or Wi-Fi network available or accessible
Read more about Synchronous Teaching.


Asynchronous Teaching

Advantages

  1. Higher levels of temporal flexibility, which may simultaneously make the learning experiences more accessible to different students and also make an archive of past materials accessible.
  2. Increased cognitive engagement since students will have more time to engage with and explore the course material.

Disadvantages

  1. Students may feel less personally exchanged and less satisfied without the social interaction between their peers and instructors.
  2. Course material may be misunderstood or have the potential to be misconstrued without the real-time interaction.
Read more about Asynchronous Teaching.
Last Modified: July 07, 2020