Synchronous vs. Asynchronous and Virtual Learning

Remote Considerations for Asynchronous and Synchronous Lesson Planning

  • Start here for a guide to making deliberate, pedagogically-sound decisions about which elements of a course will be executed synchronously and asynchronously. 

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous class meetings allow for real-time student discussion, problem-solving, clarifications, and emphasizing and summarizing key points. This is a time when students have direct access to the instructor and their peers for help, and can promote a sense of connection to the course. Click here to explore tools, tips, and strategies for holding synchronous meetings in onlne courses, including tools such as Blackboard and Teams, using breakout rooms for small group work, and virtual whiteboard tools.  

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous course elements are particularly useful for helping students prepare for synchronous sessions, practice and reflect on their understanding, and interact with other students. Click here to explore tools, tips, and strategies for creating asynchronous elements for online courses, including quizzes, discussion boards, group work, and other assignments. 


  • Change Powerpoint Slideshow functions to manage multiple screens when teaching 

  • Gather Attendance: ask students to turn on their video cameras and do a "radio check" or ask them to raise their hands (both Teams and BB) 

  • Post a poll or question requiring immediate student feedback using  Blackboard Collaborate. Use Blackboard Collaborate to assess student's understanding using feedback tools. For a comparison of capabilities. 

  • Post a poll or question requiring immediate student feedback using MS Teams . For MS Teams, use the chat function to post a question, post the answers, and ask students to "thumbs up" an answer.  

Contact Us


 LTC Ben Wallen, Chief of FLICR (Faculty Learning, Innovation, Collaboration, and Research)

 Dr. Mark Evans, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

 Dr. Steve Finn, Associate Director, Center for Teaching Excellence

Suggestions for improvements to this website or best practices to capture? Please send them to Mr. Patrick Gill, Instructional Technology Director.