Mini-Conference Recap: The Power of Asynchronous to Improve Learning
According to Dr. Borr, several approaches that make an asynchronous class successful involve organization, engagement and collaboration.
Organization begins with the creation of your course on Blackboard (or whatever platform you utilize). Dr. Borr stresses the importance of getting off to a good start with your students by being very clear on exactly how to navigate the layout and content of your course; being mindful that each instructor organizes their materials differently, which can be overwhelming for students. Additionally, Dr. Borr suggests organizing content into modules, having clear and attainable goals/objectives, and standardizing methods of submitting assignments.
Engagement is crucial for asynchronous learning. Dr. Borr’s suggestions for increasing engagement is to introduce some low-stakes assignments early in the semester to form habits of checking into the learning platform regularly and completing assignments on time. For clarification, low-stakes means assignments with few points and not a lot of work. Additionally, instructors might consider ways to break larger assignments into smaller chunks, making the assignment more manageable and allowing for feedback to occur prior to the final submission. Lastly, instructors might incorporate problem solving activities, active explorations, and even games into their course. One site that Dr. Borr uses regularly is called PeerWise and can be found at PeerWise (auckland.ac.nz).
Collaboration is the final approach highlighted in this presentation. Instructors can encourage collaboration in their asynchronous environment by assigning group assignments, small group discussions, and peer review opportunities. For a detailed discussion about what collaboration might look like go to minute marker 15:06 of the presentation.
For a more in-depth description of how to implement these three concepts into your asynchronous course, check out Dr. Borr’s 30-minute conference session located on the OTL YouTube page.
Mark your calendar for the 2022 Teaching and Learning Mini-Conference to be held May 24, 2022. We will see you there!
About the Author:
Holly DeVries is a graduate assistant in the Office of Teaching and Learning and is pursuing her M.Ed. in clinical mental health counseling at NDSU. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and has worked in the music industry on both East and West Coasts before returning to the Midwest. Holly is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is specifically interested in LGBTQ+ advocacy.