Remote Instruction via Asynchronous and Synchronous Technologies
In the absence of traditional face-to-face instruction, instructors can use Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as web conferencing, chat, discussion forums, and learning management systems, to teach remotely. ICT allows for dynamic instruction and collaboration. You may be asked to come to class through ICT at a specific time for a synchronous session or you can use the technologies for asynchronous instruction.
- takes place in real time; learners and instructors being physically separated
- real-time discussion and collaboration in scheduled live classes
- immediate feedback
- facilitator able to quickly determine learning of concepts
- takes place anytime and anywhere; providing more flexibility to attend to course material
- time to research concepts and answers; express self uninterrupted
- delayed feedback
- self-pacing requires self-motivated learners
CITL has created a few quick tip resources relating to remote instruction, things to think about before a synchronous session, and tips for an asynchronous session. You can also find an infographic on teaching remotely.
Choosing Suitable Technology
With so much choice of technologies and applications, it may be somewhat daunting to determine which is most suitable for a given instructional event. Instructional design practice suggests choosing the technology, and specific application, based on the need implied by the learning outcome.
The table below outlines some possible technologies that may be used for dissemination of information knowledge, communication, collaboration, and assessment activities in technology enabled instruction, such as remote instruction. Many of the tools we use in our day-to-day work may be used in remote instruction, such as email, web conferencing, chat applications, and discussion forums, to name a few. More recent technologies would include cloud computing and dropboxes for information knowledge; instant messaging, blogs, and microblogs for communication; wikis, blogs, microblogs, and social networking sites for collaboration; and web conferencing, online quizzes, dropboxes, and web conferencing for assessment. Some technologies may be used for multiple instructional purposes.
|Temporality||Information knowledge tools||Communication tools||Collaboration tools||Assessment tools|
|Synchronous||content pages in LMS; web conferencing; polling (clickers); whiteboard (interactive); web-based word processing||chat (instant messaging); web conferencing; whiteboard (interactive)||chat; web conferencing; whiteboard (interactive); web-based word processing||chat; web conferencing; whiteboard (interactive); web-based word processing|
|Asynchronous||content pages in LMS; email; dropboxes; blogs, microblogs, wikis, social networking||bulletin boards; blogs, microblogs, wikis, social networking; discussion forums; email||web-based word processing; email; blogs, microblogs, wikis, social networking||peer review; online quizzes; video assignment; dropboxes; email; discussion forums; blogs, microblogs, wikis, social networking|