Center for Teaching and Learning

asynchronous course design


August 25, 2020

Why choose asynchronous?

person working on laptop

By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, and Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

Since February 2020, most classes around the globe have moved online. Higher education is preparing for continued online and hybrid models of instruction and learning going forward. With this move, a number of resources to help instructors convert their classes to the digital environment have emerged.

We want to advocate for examining course design more critically. What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous? Why should instructors choose one or the other?


Strategies for successful asynchronous courses

person working on laptop

By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

A well-developed asynchronous learning experience usually requires significant work before the quarter begins. It is critical to align the overall course objectives, the individual lesson objectives, and associated course materials and assignments to create a coherent structure.

Establishing a “pattern” or a predictable flow of content, assignments, and associated due dates is another crucial component. Without transparent course objectives and a predictable flow of materials students can struggle identifying what they need to be doing and when, and as a result, may miss assignments or find it difficult to make sense of the course content.


Take-away strategies for asynchronous online learning

By Aimee Kelly, Reed Garber-Pearson, Sara Vannini, UW Integrated Social Sciences

Take-away strategies for asynchronous online learning from the Integrated Social Sciences Program. Including: thinking about your lessons in terms of a flipped classroom environment, designing a space to foster social learning and community building, and working on your instructor presence.