Strategies for Facilitating Asynchronous Learning

Strategies to help facilitate asynchronous learning so students feel more engaged in their learning experience include:

  • Weekly Structure: Create a consistent, clear structure in Brightspace for each week.
    View an example of a weekly structure
    Example of a Consistent, Clear Weekly Structure

    Week 3 Overview

    This week we will review how students learn and look at how the different learning theories can influence how you teach and the instructional resources and technology you use. A learning-centered approach to instruction will be discussed.

    Learning Outcomes

    After completing the readings and learning activities for this week, you will be able to:

    1. discuss how different learning theories can influence the design of instruction;
    2. identify examples of appropriate assessments, instructional strategies, and resources for each of the four major learning perspectives; and
    3. make decisions on the best media and technology to use for specific instructional situations.

    Tasks

    Table 1: Sample Tasks for Flexible Instruction
    On-Campus In-Person Students Synchronous Online Students Asynchronous Online Students
    Before Synchronous Class:
    • Read Chapter 3 in text.
    • Read Kelly (2020) article available online via Course Reserve Library system.
    • Review Class Session 4 Agenda.
    During Class:
    • Participate in Class Session.
    After Class:
    • Complete ‘Check Your Understanding’ activity in Brightspace.
    • Complete Assignment 1.
    Before Synchronous Class:
    • Read Chapter 3 in text.
    • Read Kelly (2020) article available online via Course Reserve Library system.
    • Review Class Session 4 Agenda.
    During Class:
    • Participate in Class Session online via Webex.
    After Class:
    • Complete ‘Check Your Understanding’ activity in Brightspace.
    • Complete Assignment 1.
    • Read Chapter 3 in text.
    • Read Kelly (2020) article available online via Course Reserve Library system.
    • Watch class session recording.
    • Reflect on questions posed in session.
    • Complete online ‘Check Your Understanding’ activity.
    • Complete online discussion.
    • Complete Assignment 1.
    Adapted from Phillips P. (2018). ED3801: Educational Media. Course Notes.
  • Adding Context: Explain purpose of resources uploaded to Brightspace and provide detailed directions for assignments and activities. For further information and examples, review Adding Context section in A Guide for Designing Online Learning & Increasing Instructional Use of Brightspace.
  • Screencasts: Use screencasts to demonstrate procedures and solutions to problems (Bronkey, 2015). Check out Screencast-O-Matic.
  • Automatic Feedback: Use Brightspace Quizzes tool or H5P Memorial Resources Environment to create activities that provide instance feedback.
  • Exams: Consider using an exam wrapper for students to reflect on their performance on an exam (Carnegie Mellon University, n.d.).
  • Discussions: Use Brightspace discussion tool to engage students asynchronously. Students can share documents and record audio and video postings. Review these 10 tips to help you design effective online discussions (Simon, 2018).
  • Group Assignments: Have students work together on small, low-stake group assignments that may lead to producing an authentic project due at end of course (Lewis & Hesson, 2021). For suggestions on how to effectively facilitate group work, view the University at Buffalo Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) Group Work website.
  • Peer Assessments: Have students do peer reviews/assessments within a group discussion forum or consider using the video assignment tool or peerScholar.
  • Sense of Community: Establish social interaction and build a sense of community. For ideas, view CITL’s resource on Creating a Community in Your Remote Course.
  • Updates & Reminders: Use the Brightspace announcement tool to post updates and reminders of tutorials, office hours, and assignment due dates.
  • Office Hours: Hold office hours and tutorials online using Webex or Online Rooms.

Other Brightspace Tools/Features to Consider

  • Use Manage Files tool to upload or copy a number of files at once from your computer to your course site.
  • Use Assignments tool to retrieve and track assignment submissions. Assignments are date stamped when submitted.
  • Save time grading using the Assignments tool feedback options. You can annotate the submission file, record feedback in a text box, attach additional files, or record audio or video feedback. Also, save drafts as you mark and publish when all are graded.
  • Use the rubrics tool to create a rubric and link it to a graded assignment, including a discussion topic. Rubrics can be copied and used in multiple course sites.
  • Use the Grades tool to create a gradebook for all items you are evaluating students on. Associate a grade item with any quiz, discussion activity, or assignments folder, so grades are automatically entered and a final grade calculated.
  • Use the Class Progress tool to see the overall progress of a student. This includes seeing if students have logged in to course, viewed a topic page, participated in discussions, submitted assignments, or completed quizzes.
  • Turn on completion tracking so students can monitor their own progress. Depending on the completion method selected, content pages students view will be automatically marked as completed or students can manually mark the page as completed when viewed.
  • Use Video Note tool to create recordings with your webcam and insert them directly on a content page.
  • Use the Brightspace Editor’s ‘Insert stuff’ option to embed or link to a video note or a resource created within the H5P Memorial Resources Environment.
  • Organize and manage week-specific course items using the Checklist tool.
  • Use notifications to keep up-to-date on with course activities.
  • Use the Calendar tool to post due dates and link to descriptions of activities and assessment content pages.

References