- About CEE
- Three students talk about academic integrity
- A different perspective on academic integrity
- Painting the bigger picture of academic integrity
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Reflections on Inclusion in the Classroom Week
- Fostering connection and practicing kindness
- Can you teach dance remotely?
- A student’s perspective: How two instructors created connection online
- Welcome to your new Zoom classroom
- Kevin Lam: “Students appreciate every little thing we do that shows that we care”
- Sheri Fabian: “I embraced a flexible approach”
- Sarah Johnson: “The biggest change I made was to switch to asynchronous delivery”
- Nicky Didicher: “I’m finding my job less exhilarating”
- Mark Lechner: “You have to be OK with things going sideways”
- Nienke van Houten: “They really valued my clear and upfront approach”
- How can we support remote instruction at SFU?
- Crowdmark: A more efficient way to grade student assessments
- The unexpected benefits of a shorter syllabus
- Photo gallery: Talking shop at Teaching Matters
- Watch the video: Faculty members discuss SFU's new instructor-led online course model
- Bridges and booster rockets: CEE's new senior director talks about teaching support
- Meet the Centre for Educational Excellence leadership team
- A biology instructor rethought her students’ role—and her own
- Photo gallery: SFU’s 24th Annual Spring TA/TM Day
- Photo gallery: SFU's 9th Annual Winter Warm-up
- If you build it, will they come?
- “My students didn’t look like they were having fun”: Three additions to the TA/TM Stories podcast series
- View the furniture, share your thoughts—online
- An upgraded Canvas Gradebook is coming in January
- Share your thoughts on the furniture in SFU classrooms
- DEMOfest presenter slides
- Photo gallery: 5th Annual DEMOfest
- Teamwork needs to be taught
- TA/TM Stories: Three new podcasts explore the teaching experiences of grad students
- Can it be done? A math instructor attempts to indigenize her course
- Answers to your questions about SFU's new approach to online education
- Photo gallery: The CEE Open House
- Do you know your faculty teaching fellow?
- Instructor-led online courses: How one faculty member prepared for the new model
- Photo gallery: SFU's 34th Annual Fall TA/TM Day draws a crowd
- Connecting people and crossing artificial divides: An interview with Elizabeth Elle
- Sessional instructors can now be included in online course evaluations
- Don't say this to your class—a student shares his experience
- How one lecturer is using podcasts to make course concepts more real in her online course
- Photo gallery: Rain, burgers and smiles at the 2019 President's Employee BBQ
- Five questions and answers about the creation of CEE
- A redesign made this course more engaging for students—and the instructor
- CPUTL: A graduate student describes her experience
- Course and curriculum support
- External professional development opportunities
- Learning and teaching technology
- Multilingual learners
- Remote teaching support
- Teaching and learning inquiry
- CEE Staff Login
What to consider
One of your first significant decisions when designing an online course is whether your course best suits a synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous model.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in making this decision:
- How much time do you have to develop your course?
Synchronous courses more closely mimic your face-to-face courses and so can get “up and running” more quickly.
- Where are your students located?
If you have students spread out over many time zones, holding synchronous class times can be challenging.
- What types of learning media exist?
A fully asynchronous, text-based course is less likely to stimulate interest and learning. However, if high-quality videos or podcasts exist or can be created and embedded in the course, an asynchronous learning environment becomes richer and more engaging.
- What is your preferred teaching style? What forms of pedagogy best match your discipline? What are the particular learning outcomes for your course?
These questions factor into the learning activities that you will choose, which then factor into whether the course fits better with a synchronous or asynchronous model. See the Active Learning section of this website for more information about designing activities that enable and require students to be an active participant in their learning.
It’s important to note that:
- Students have indicated that they prefer a combination of synchronous and asynchronous course components.
The asynchronous components allow students flexibility so that they can engage with course materials on their own schedule. The synchronous components allow for personal interaction with peers and the instructor, which helps with motivation and comprehension and helps to overcome a sense of social isolation.
- Asynchronous does not imply that courses are devoid of interaction.
There are many creative ways to build interaction into the Canvas platform through discussion boards and assignment design.
- Even fully asynchronous courses can provide opportunities for synchronous interaction through peer study and support groups.
What are the options?
For synchronous delivery
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: “A real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard”
- Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Tutorial Session | SFU video (43 min 37 sec)
- Blackboard Collaborate Overview | YouTube video (3 min 39 sec)
- Resources and Support for Canvas and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra | Word doc on lecture recording and web conferencing, SFU Centre for Educational Excellence
Zoom: “An easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars”
- Remote Instruction: How to Teach with Zoom | SFU video (1 hr 11 min 34 sec)
- Using Zoom | Video, SFU IT Services
For asynchronous delivery
Canvas learning management system: SFU’s institutionally supported learning management system; note that Canvas shells are also used for synchronous courses
- Introduction to Canvas | SFU video (41 min 46 sec)
- Facilitating Learning Online | Online course, BCcampus
- Checklist for Teaching Remotely | PDF document, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning
- Online Teaching: Do This Not That | Infographic by Alison Yang
- Asynchronous and Synchronous Teaching Tools | Recorded webcast by Jamie Mulholland and Justin Gray, SFU Department of Mathematics
- Online Teaching Toolkit | Website, Association of College and University Educators
- Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption | Google document, Stanford University
- Designing Your Course | Canvas shell on Effective Remote Instruction, SFU Centre for Educational Excellence