Activity: Run a synchronous meeting in Zoom
Know and practice using Zoom before bringing a class into a synchronous session
- DLS has created a brief guide with tips for using Zoom for synchronous sessions.
- Zoom offers Tips and Tricks for Educators with basic suggestions and links to resources about features to promote interaction and engagement.
Use synchronous sessions to support community building and individualized feedback
Synchronous sessions are best used to personalize a largely asynchronous learning experience. They are less effective for lecture-style content instruction because of access barriers. Community and connection-building approaches to synchronous sessions include:
- Feedback for small group projects
- 1:1 meetings and office hours
- Q&A sessions around problem sets or specific content
- Review sessions for key assignments and assessments
- Weekly summary session to ‘tie up’ the week—what was learned, what questions remain, sharing strategies and ‘aha’ moments
- Whole class check-in meetings for open discussion
Design synchronous sessions to promote engagement from all students
Before scheduling a synchronous session, think about why it is needed and organize to maximize shared time with your students.
- Take advantage of available tools to make synchronous sessions interactive. This Faculty Focus piece offers nine different ways to run an active synchronous (even fun!) session.
- Ask students to complete problems or write down questions to bring to synchronous sessions; responses can be shared on a group document beforehand.
- If you have a large class, use breakout rooms to provide small group discussion spaces.
- At the beginning of a session, ask a short question—it can be silly or course-focused—and have students vote using polling features. Share your screen and have a short warm-up available as students enter the space.
- Remember to record sessions and upload captioned recordings for students who cannot attend.
- Consider using ‘student request’ synchronous sessions. Rather than scheduling a synchronous session during every available time for your course, create a process for students to request sessions about specific topics or needs.