Making the Most of your Synchronous (Virtual Classroom) Components

Synchronous learning is any activity in a course that happens live in real-time, whether in person or online. Use synchronous activities to facilitate student-student and student-instructor interaction and build course community.

“Synchronous” as defined by McMaster Instruction Mode Definitions

This section will focus on the design and planning of inclusive, meaningful and efficient learning experiences in synchronous lectures, tutorials and labs.

The topics covered are framed within the McMaster University context, however much of this information can be used for synchronous teaching and facilitation outside of McMaster.

Synchronous Teaching at McMaster University

For the Fall 2021-Winter 2022 academic year, each learning component (e.g., your lecture, tutorial, and lab sections) is defined as either a Virtual Classroom (V), Online Classroom, (ON), or In Person (P). These instruction modes are defined by when and where the learning activities take place

If your learning component is defined as a Virtual Classroom (V), you will be expected to use video conferencing tools to provide synchronous learning components on the day and time designated by the Registrar’s Office.

In the interest of providing a flexible learning environment, you may choose to offer core content and activities asynchronously in combination with your synchronous sessions.


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Blended Teaching: A Guide for Applying Flexible Practices during COVID-19 by Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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