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Faculty Guide for Online Teaching

.Synchronous / Asynchronous.

So, how do you structure your class online? Well, that will depend on lots of different variables. Some recommendations might be providing students with communication and assurances about the educational experience they will be engaging with for the part of the semester.

  • 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 over a longer period of time Instructors may choose to engage their students synchronously or asynchronously depending on the course content or material that needs to be taught.
  • 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. Check out the Fall 2021 Teaching Guide  for more information on this time model.
  Pros Cons



(On Your Own TIme)

  • Higher levels of temporal  which may simultaneously make the learning experiences more accessible to different students and also make an archive of past materials accessible


  • Increased cognitive engagement since students will have more time to engage with and explore the course material 
  • Students may feel less personally exchanged and less satisfied without the social interaction between their peers and instructors


  • Course material may be misunderstood or have the potential to be misconstrued without the real time interaction  


(At the Same Time)

  • Immediate personal engagement between students and instructors, which may create greater feelings of community and lessen feelings of isolation


  • More responsive exchanges between students and instructors, which may prevent miscommunication or misunderstanding

  • More challenging to schedule shared times for all students and instructors


  • Some students may face technical challenges or difficulties if they do not have fast or powerful Wi-Fi networks accessible

Adapted from Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption from Stanford University