Category Archives: Synchronous Tools

Best Practices for Synchronous Sessions

Carefully Organize Your Synchronous Session

  • Make sure to create an outline for your session.
  • What topics do you want to cover?
  • What materials will you need to share?
  • What questions will you ask?

Connecting to Your Synchronous Session

  • Make sure you are using a high speed Internet connection. Audio and video sharing requires a stable, higher-bandwidth connection that some wireless networks aren’t capable of supplying.
  • Join the live session before the scheduled start time.
  • Conduct an audio check.

Synchronous Session Best Practices

  • Offer Students Options - Consider making the synchronous sessions optional or offering several sessions from which your students may choose.  Requiring synchronous sessions reduces the flexibility that appeals to, and is often necessary for the schedules of, many online students. They will appreciate your extra efforts in schedule accommodations.
  • Inform Your Students - Send an email or post information in Blackboard for your students explaining the technology and how they will use it.
  • Schedule a Trial Run - Test your web conferencing tool first, if possible, with someone who can log in from a different location as a “test audience.”  Then you can run through your materials early, checking that everything loads properly.
  • Use the Moderator Override Functions - Learn how to use moderator override functions, such as turning students’ mics down.
  • Mention Student Names - Use students’ names as frequently as possible. It grabs their attention and makes the online environment feel more personal.
  • Use Emoticons - Learn to use emoticons to substitute for facial expressions, and learn to interpret your students’ virtual facial expressions.
  • Get Comfortable with Instant Messaging - Learn to monitor the instant messaging feature while you, a guest speaker, or other students are using microphones. This ensures participants without microphones can fully participate.
  • Record Sessions - Recording your sessions allows students who could not attend to listen to the recorded session presentation.
  • Solicit Feedback - Ask for feedback from your students to help you improve content and delivery for your next course by using the polling feature

What is Synchronous Learning?

Synchronous learning employs a software that provides a way for a groups to meet online, at the same time, and verbally communicate with each other. It allows for real-time learning and collaboration. Not only can participants communicate with each other, but they can also push content to the rest of the audience, such as a presentation or a web page. Additionally, class meetings should be recorded for students unable to attend the meeting or for future use.

Ideas

  • Group Discussions
  • Debates
  • Instructor Lectures
  • Faculty and Student Presentations
  • Virtual Advising
  • Guest Speakers

Synchronous Learning Tools @ UIS

Microsoft Lync

Google+ Hangouts through the UIS Google Apps for Education