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Deciding whether to use synchronous or asynchronous methods

The availability of your learners as well as their access to the Internet are important in making a decision on your approach. However, the nature of the content is also central in determining the teaching approach.

If the content you are delivering is conceptually difficult, with terms that require much explaining, you may find asynchronous is not the right choice. If students will benefit from the time to digest material and formulating meaningful responses, then an asynchronous method will be more appropriate. Some types of content are not appropriate for using during any real-time interaction you have with students. For example, getting students to watch video or read a lot of information is not a good use of this time.

Over the next few steps we will look at the benefits and challenges of asynchronous learning, before ending the week with some teaching strategies and tools that you can use to increase engagement.


Have a look at some of the activities you are considering using over the next couple of weeks. Choose ONE which you think would benefit from being delivered in real time, and ONE which is more suited to being carried out asynchronously.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching for Home Learning: Secondary Science

National STEM Learning Centre