Week 2: Tools and methods for collaborative online groupwork

Learning resources

Article: Bichronous Online Learning: Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Learning  by Florence Martin, Drew Polly and Albert Ritzhaupt

Recorded webinarEnhancing Interaction in Live Online Classes: What works for students? with Dr Julie Byrne, EDTL Academic Lead  and Assistant Professor in Online Education and Development at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Webinar recording


Alastair Creelman’s slides are available here.

Results of the two questions in Mentimeter:

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  1. Bassem Kaissi

    The article on Bichronous Online Learning is interesting and important. More information about the recommended instructional methods and assessment types in bichronous online learning will be helpful as well.

  2. Sanaa Awada

    Thank you for this interesting article of Bichronous Online Learning. It offers a valuable method of online learning if applied. I often use both synchronous and asynchronous methods in a separate way, but never blended the two methods. this method could enrich and improve our learning practice and could have a positive impact on the student’s motivation

  3. Dr. Mohamad Rahal

    Thank you for sharing the material with us, it is interesting to know more about the different tools of online learning/teaching. I use bichronous tool in my course where students receive the material every week, then we meet and discuss the material in live sessions, and then the recording of the live session is sent again to the students. Students’ feedback and satisfaction was in favor of bichronous tools (45%) versus synchronous (21%) or asynchronous (29%) tool. I also noticed a difference in students’ achievements between students who only used asynchronous approach and students who followed the bichronous tool, and that was reflected in students’ grades where the latter mean score in the course was 10 points higher than those who missed the live sessions.

  4. Jihan Safwan

    I really liked the article on Bichronous Online Learning. Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, our school had to emergently switch to online learning. Our teaching practices already include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous online learning. We believe that we should be flexible with the students, but at the same time being engaged in discussions with their instructors and peers is essential. The examples presented provide opportunities and areas to explore in this type of online course delivery. Nevertheless, I would like to learn more about the types of assessment that may be used including formative, as well as, summative ones.

    • There are no miracle solutions for examination but it’s clear that the traditional summative exam hall format does not really assess the students’ ability beyond memory. Transferring this to an online setting with different types of computer and webcam surveillance does not add anything. Many teachers are using video interviews for assessment and even if that seems time-consuming, how many minutes do you spend reading and assessing a 6 page written exam paper?
      Assessing students’ skills in teamwork, information retrieval, critical review and creativity require new methods that are slowly being developed. These are the skills employers are most interested in, not information recall.

  5. Dalal Hammoudi

    What is really attractive in both the shared article and video is that the authors/speaker are pointing out methods/issues/concerns commonly experienced by educators with the shift to remote instruction. In our classes, we use both recorded material to allow students to learn at their own pace, and live conferencing to refine course material, create discussions, answer questions, and make the pedagogical process more engaging. It is nice how the authors have described this blend and created the “bichronous” term. The evidence they show for success of this method are great and perhaps resonates with our experience. In her presentation, Dr. Byrne tackled tips for online interaction, and touch based on student safety, responsiveness, acknowledgement, and group work, from which there is plenty to learn.

    • Indeed! I think the human element is central, regardless of whether you teach online or in the classroom. Learning happens when you feel motivated, encouraged and acknowledged and so we need to find tools and media that enable us to make these personal connections and build a community of trust in our classes.

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