Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication

4.2 Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication

World Wide Learn describes Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication in the following direct quote: “The word synchronous means working together at the same time, and in the online learning world, chat rooms and online conferences are good examples of synchronous communication. In a chat room, people’s comments to each other are relayed immediately, enabling a real-time discourse. Similarly, online conferencing with the benefit of voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) tools enable real-time conversations to take place online. Learning from synchronous communication is enhanced because real-time conversations allow people to explore, through writing or talking, the class concepts. The act of verbalizing helps students build bridges between different ideas and concepts, thus helping them retain information more effectively.

Asynchronous communication is the relay of information with a time lag. Discussion forums and email are two examples of how asynchronous communication is employed in online learning. It is very helpful to communicate in this way, because students have plenty of time to formulate thoughts. By communicating via email, students are able to respond in detail to a question or topic that they might have answered incompletely in a real-time conversation. This time lag in communication helps students internalize information by giving them time to research certain ideas or merely extra time for contemplation. The main disadvantage to asynchronous communication is time lost waiting for a response.”(World Wide Learn)

Reflect upon the questions below:

  • What are the merits of the two basic types of tools?

Asynchronous is “easier” as it allows both parties the time freedom to communicate.

Synchronous involves more time commitment from both parties.

  • When would you use one and not the other?

Synchronous  – When dealing with a student F2F, perhaps during orientation or if a student is having difficulty in the course.

Asynchronous Communication – the majority of communication in my elearning experience is asynchronous. A student has to have a good work ethic and willingness to wait sometimes to get an answer that they are stuck on or do their own research.

  • Are there particular types of learning that can only be supported by one type?

Groupwork sometimes benefits from periodic synchronous communication. For example, a shared project (doc or presentation) could be done asynchronously in google docs, but then students could meet in google hangouts for some synchronous F2F group time to “speed up” the time lag that slows down asynchronous communication.

  • Are synchronous tools really necessary in an eLearning course?

Yes, some use of synchronous tools is what separates an elearning course from distance learning or correspondence.

 

Q: For each scenario describe how the issue could best be addressed by using an asynchronous (scenario #1) and a synchronous tool (scenario #2).

A:

Scenario 1 – A student has a question about an assignment or course material. A student might be overwhelmed with her first elearning course and be on the verge of dropping the course.  Think about a how we feel when we call for customer service and get an automated phone menu. A student might enjoy using synchronous tech (google hangouts) to talk F2F with a teacher to resolve larger issues. An elearning teacher might have office hours where they could be reached easily or a scheduled appointment could be made.

Scenario 2 – An elearning teacher might make a last minute change to an activity based on student feedback and broadcast out a message through the LMS’s internal email system to notify students. In this case, email (an asynchronous tool) works great and people get the message when they are best suited to read the message.

Here are some great resources posted by some of my classmates:

Resource 1:

Resource 2:

https://elearningindustry.com/synchronous-vs-asynchronous-learning-can-you-tell-the-difference

 

Sources:

World Wide Learn, “What Do Synchronous And Asynchronous Mean?”, ND, WEB, Aug 30, 2016, http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-advisor/questions/synchronous-asynchronous-learning.php

Growth Mindset

Growth mindset is an approach to learning where you make an effort not to give up when faced with challenges. For example, instead of saying “I don’t understand trigonometry” you would say: “I don’t understand trigonometry *yet*”. You have the mindset that being challenged is a good thing. Criticism? Bring it on! Someone is succeeding? Let me learn from them. Watch the following videos and infographics for more information. Why not do your own research on this topic?

 

 

fixedvsgrowth-670x821.jpg

Image Source: http://c dn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/fixedvsgrowth-670×821.jpg

SAMR & Educational Tech Tools

Module 4.1 of our Elearning AQ course has us look at the SAMR model and the top 100 educational tech tools!

Fullscreen capture 2016-08-30 21741 PM

The SAMR Model [link] [link] was discussed and here is a quick video summary of the SAMR model:

 

Some of the tech tools that I took note of are:

Twitter (Using)
Youtube (Using)
Google (Using)
Google Docs/Maps (Using)
PowerPoint (does each MS Office Tool need its own entry?)(Using)
Dropbox (Using)
Facebook (Using)
Wordpress/Blogger (Using)
Evernote (Using)
Prezi (Using)
Wikipedia (Using)
Audacity (Using)
Screencast-o-matic (Using)
Quizzlet (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Kahoot (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Padlet/Lino (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Trello.com (organizing lists)(Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Mindomo (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Canva (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)
Flickr/Instagram (see my Flickr account here)(Using)
Movie Maker (Using)
Tellegami (Not using yet — will  try to incorporate)

animoto.com   –  https://animoto.com/photography

Khan Academy/Youtube/Crash course/ Ted Talks

Wordle (Using)(yes I made it to the end of the list – Use this link if your java plugin is out of date: http://www.abcya.com/word_clouds.htm ). I made a word-cloud of this tech list and included it below! 🙂

MyCloud

Our instructor asks us the following questions:

Q: To begin, select 3 tools and describe each one, explaining possible ways each tool could be used in an online classroom. Your descriptions can be specific to your teachable subject area or more general in terms using a Learning Management System.Then identify what level would each activity would be, in reference to the SAMR model.

A: 

1 Google Docs – An online office suite of tools, in particular – Docs, Slides and Sheets. They are clearly a Substitution tool for MS Office but as soon as students start to  “Share” their documents  – they can start to comment and collaborate as well as co-edit documents. This pushes the value of the tech tool to the modification and redefinition stage of the SAMR model. I’ve embedded a video on how to collaborate with students or perhaps have students co-edit or do peer revision. Another transformative redifinition level task would be to create a shared google slide show, invite students to edit a particular slide on a topic that is being researched by the class etc.

2 Mindomo – This is a tool that I’ve seen before, but  haven’t used. I would really like to formally incorporate into my class this year. Its a tool to help students brainstorm or create mind-maps to connect ideas. One can only imagine the possibilities in education for this tool. One example that comes to mind might be to summarize a unit of study in a mind-map. This creates redefinition level learning opportunities as students may go out online and look for related videos, links to supplement their own understanding. Also, if students shared their mind-maps with other students, they could learn from each other’s work. This is a great tool for visual learners and tactile learners.

Just one last exiting comment on mind maps is that a book I once read called “How to Think like Leonardo Davinci” really emphasized how much mind-mapping Davinci did.  Here is a summary of the 7 Davincian principles.

And my third example: Canva, Lino,

3  Wordpress / Blogger / Google Sites-

As our online Elearning AQ class has demonstrated – Content is good in a text forum but blogging gives you a larger world-wide audience. A few of us have leaped out into the blogosphere! Imagine a student who is used to writing content for his/her teacher- an audience of one.  But blogging lets a student share his/her insights with the world. Some idea that was blogged may touch someones life years after he or she wrote it. Referencing back to the SMAR model, blogging is clearly a redefining technology because of the audience, the media inclusion, the self reflection, the networking and the extended time horizon that paper documents just can’t compete with. I will leave you with this video that was actually shared earlier in this course. These two well published gentlemen can’t say enough about blogging. Just a quick mention that Google Sites isn’t a blogging platform, but you can create a static website with an “announcements” page which acts as a blog – with a listing of recent “posts”.

Keep Learning and Growing,

Dwayne Murphy