Activity: Run a synchronous meeting in Zoom 

Know and practice using Zoom before bringing a class into a synchronous session 

 

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.