FACULTY INTERESTED IN LEVERAGING SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING SESSIONS WITHIN AN ONLINE COURSE - WHETHER REQUIRED OR AD-HOC - ARE REQUIRED TO EARN A ZOOM LICENSE.
THE INFORMATION BELOW OUTLINES THE STEPS REQUIRED TO EARN THIS LICENSE AS WELL AS INFORMATION ON THE SESSIONS THEMSELVES.
Synchronous sessions in online courses can increase engagement and help foster immediacy between students and instructors, community among students and offer avenues for discussing course-related topics in real time. Below, you will find information on the following topics:
Once you are confident that you can successfully perform all the items on the Zoom Features and Skills Checklist, schedule a Zoom License Check with a member of the Educational Design and Innovation team.
Upon successful completion of the Zoom License Check, you will have continual access to an Adler Zoom account.
Failure to successfully complete a Zoom License Check within two weeks of requesting a license will result in the license being revoked. Faculty are welcome to request a license again at a future date.
Zoom Learning Resources
The Zoom platform comes with many resources. We encourage you to leverage the resources available on their support site as the first point of information and search for the information you need. Additionally, we strongly recommend signing up for a Live Zoom Training session to learn the basics of the platform.
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Types of Synchronous Sessions
Required Synchronous Sessions
Courses that include required synchronous sessions have the meetings built into the course curriculum and design. These sessions need to be scheduled during the first week of class and held during the predetermined weeks within the course. If your course has a required synchronous session, the following note will be included in the instructor information module:
This course includes required synchronous sessions. Session times will be determined, scheduled and announced during the first week of class. Students need to make all feasible attempts to attend the synchronous sessions. In the event that is not possible, they must connect with their faculty member before the session occurs. Alternate activities will be provided, but may ultimately take more time than attending the live session.
Preparing for Required Synchronous Sessions
For required sessions, post an announcement and poll students using Doodle (directions for Creating a Doodle Poll) at the beginning of week 1 of the course. By the end of week 1, a date and time should be selected and posted in the course announcements so students will have ample time to prepare and make any arrangements for the session. Add the session details -date, time, and Zoom session link - to the course calendar as an agenda item.
Review the teaching notes and synchronous session content and prepare any prompts, talking points, and/or activities that will take place during the session.
Most sessions focus on student facilitation; when preparing for the session, consider opportunities to let students lead the session.
Ad-Hoc Synchronous Sessions
Faculty may decide to offer ad-hoc synchronous sessions during a course. These sessions should not be required, need to be recorded for those who cannot attend, and should not directly influence a student’s ability to be successful in a course. Ad-hoc synchronous sessions provide a great opportunity to build community engagement with students, especially when there is confusion around a topic or a relevant current event to discuss. If Ad-Hoc synchronous sessions are included in courses, session times should be determined and announced as soon as possible once the decision is made to hold the session. Students should make all feasible attempts to attend the synchronous sessions, in the event that is not possible, they should connect with their faculty member before the session occurs.
Preparing for Ad-Hoc Synchronous Sessions
If no synchronous session appears in the course and you want to include one, determine the need for the session first. Why do you want to include this session? Will this session operate as office hours, to assist students in understanding particular concepts, will this session allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in the content?
Once you have determined the need for the session, you will need to poll students using Doodle (directions for Creating a Doodle Poll) as soon as possible for the best available date and time and post the date and time in an announcement. You will also need to add the session to the course calendar with all necessary details. You may choose to poll students at the start of the course to determine the best day of the week and time to hold sessions, should the need arise.
Expectations for Synchronous Sessions
Once the session begins, make sure to record the session for you and students to review.
Students who are unable to attend the session can review the recording and complete an alternate activity. Alternate activities are included in all courses that include required sessions.
If you are planning to include an Ad-Hoc session in your course, determine how students who were unable to attend the session can participate. This could be in the form of a written or video reflection based on the recording that students then post to the Course Café, a brief list of questions they may have based on the content covered that are posted to the Questions and Answers discussion board, a one-on-one call with the instructor, or another option (that you find equivalent to the Ad-Hoc session?).
The purpose of a synchronous sessions is to answer any questions students may have, focus on a particular topic(s), or offer insight into course content.
Sessions should be engaging. Engaging sessions focus on open dialogues, conversations, lived experiences, and allow for topical conversations related to diversity and inclusivity.