Moving from Synchronous to Asynchronous Online Instruction
When you need to quickly shift from teaching in a physical classroom to teaching online, it may seem natural to stick with your hour-long lectures and deliver them using a synchronous tool like Zoom. But if we keep the needs of our diverse students at the center of our teaching and learning efforts, we must begin to shift our focus to designing asynchronous online courses because equitable learning environments are focused on removing barriers.
Asynchronous online learning provides students with the flexibility to learn at the times and from the locations that work best for them. Community college students comprise our most vulnerable populations who are also more likely to be essential service provider workers. Many of our students are working more hours than ever before and have taken on the financial responsibilities of family members who have become unexpectedly unemployed. Requiring students to be available at certain times on certain days adds a barrier to learning.
But a flexible schedule isn’t the only benefit of asynchronous online learning. It also removes the social anxiety that many students feel in group settings that prevents them from asking questions. That psychological barrier is eliminated and replaced with the opportunity to rewind and review until their questions are answered.
And by using a mix of written materials and asynchronous videos to deliver instructional content to your students, you’ll be supporting learning variability, which is a fancy way of saying, “Each human brain is unique and each person learns differently.”
Warming Up to Microlectures
So if you are looking ahead and planning for your courses to be online, now is the time to consider developing microlectures – brief videos that are 5-minutes or less and focused on specific outcomes. Why should you consider microlectures? And how do you get started? Those are great questions!
We hope you will take some time to peruse the new CVC-OEI PocketPD Guide to Microlectures embedded below. It includes research-backed tips for designing your microlectures, a microlecture gallery with contributions from your CCC faculty peers, and an introduction to accessible workflows using simple video recording tools – including a smartphone!
The PocketPD Guide is created with Google Sites and has a handy button on the first slide that allows you to create your own copy of the slide deck. We’ve shared it with a Creative Commons-Attribution (CC-BY) license so you are free to adapt and re-use it with attribution to CVC-OEI.