As with any learning scenario, start with a clear idea of what you want your students to walk away from an exercise knowing or being able to do. For more information on how to construct goals for your students in a way that allows you to monitor their progress, see Writing Learning Outcomes (CTAL).
You have choices when teaching online. Do you ask a faculty member to set up a Zoom meeting with her class or offer to record a lecture? Should you push to be included on Canvas to provide feedback and answer questions on a discussion board? The answer is: It depends! When deployed intentionally, synchronous and asynchronous teaching modes can both support active learning and help establish meaningful connections between students and their library or museum teacher.
As we transition back to campus, hybrid teaching requests are likely to come along. As you plan a hybrid session, keep these tips in mind:
If students need to unpack a difficult concept as a group, collaborate jointly to achieve a goal, or receive immediate critique and feedback on their work from you or the course instructor, synchronous teaching may be the most efficient mode of instruction. However, simply translating a lesson plan that worked well in person to a Zoom session is not always the best use of students' time and attention. Tips from CTAL can help plan for effective synchronous teaching. You can also explore asynchronous options for class activities that don't translate well into Zoom.
Asynchronous discussions can be a great way to focus on learning outcomes that require students to demonstrate reflection or to draw connections between ideas. Asynchronous modes are also effective when students need to grapple with highly technical information. For example, when students are learning new search tools or software, they can benefit by access to transcripts, the ability to rewind or revisit steps, and access to supporting material at their own point-of-need (which may be late at night when not competing with other family members for computer or Wi-Fi access). Asynchronous discussions can also give students who may be more shy in a classroom environment the ability to contribute on equal footing with chattier peers. Asynchronous teaching can also support students who may need more time to process their thoughts. When considering asynchronous instruction for your course, ask yourself the following: