Types of Online Courses
Recently, due to COVID-19, SLCC had to move its face-to-face class to a remote class platform. We know this may have been challenging to some students. We want to help explain the difference in online courses in hopes this will help when you are scheduling your summer and fall classes.
This summer, we will be offering our traditional distance learning courses in place of remote learning or face-to-face courses for our general education (Math, English, History, Biology, Art, etc.) offerings.
These classes are more structured and have prescribed meeting times. We will use Canvas, our learning management system, to teach classes. We will have two types of courses: synchronous and asynchronous classes.
Synchronous Classes (S)
Synchronous classes involve students engaging in class at the same time to achieve a common goal. These are real-time classes as they require an instructor leading the discussion. Classes use Canvas Classes Management System, which includes webinars, video conferences, telephone conferences, application sharing, interactive class, and live chat. Synchronous technologies enable students to connect with ease and attend the training program to acquire skills and knowledge. The online training, lectures, discussion, and presentation of lessons happen at a specific time interval, with the expectation that students come online to attend the training.
Synchronous classes take the style of traditional face-to-face class, as it requires an instructor to facilitate and deliver the training. The instructors will be in charge of delivering class material, as prescribed by the SLCC Master syllabus, and be available to answer questions at the same time. Additionally, they also receive instant feedback from students to help in achieving their success. With synchronous classes, instructors can easily interact with their students to provide assistance that meets their needs. The lectures are delivered using either MyTeam, Cisco WebEx, or BigBlue Button conference features in Canvas.
Asynchronous (web) Classes
Asynchronous classes are a type of online class that is 100% web-based. It is student-centered. The classes focus on the interaction between peers. The instructor is a facilitator. Students use online resources to promote information sharing among peers. The assignments have due dates. Students learn at their own time and pace, interact with their colleagues to give or receive feedback, and achieve the class goals. A few examples of asynchronous class communication are emails, announcements, and discussion boards.
Why should you take a 100% web-based asynchronous class? Asynchronous classes save costs and time compared to traditional face-to-face classes. Below are some other benefits of asynchronous classes:
- Students can learn with ease anytime, at their convenience. Students can complete their asynchronous training activities from anywhere at their most convenient time. But remember, assignments will have deadlines.
- Instructors can reinforce the class activities that have been delivered earlier in the course. The use of discussion forums enables students to interact with their peers to acquire and retain knowledge.
Whichever the case, both synchronous (S) and asynchronous (web) classes have their pros and cons. Please consider all the factors before enrolling. During these times, learning is going to be different. We understand and hope to ease your concerns to allow you to have the best learning experience during a difficult time.
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