Communicate: The Synchronous Session Quest

posted May 20, 2016, 10:01 AM by Emily Kroutil
When teaching a fully online class, it can often seem as though each person involved in the course is an island because you don't have that class time to come together as a group and grow that "family feeling."  Synchronous sessions, however, allow the members of the online class to come together at least once a week and interact with each other.  Hopefully, this can help create that classroom culture for at least one day/week.  Then when interacting online via discussion forums or other methods, the members of the class can "have an idea" of who they are interacting with and the members will become real people to each other and they will get to know the people behind the keyboard.

When students have this "family feeling" in their classes, they are more invested in each other and their own learning.  I've noticed in my own classes that when I take the time to get to know the students, they work and try harder for me because I know them as a person and they know that I truly care about them as people rather than simply one of my many students.  I, in turn, enjoy getting to know my students as people.  They become "my children" and I become invested in their lives in addition to their learning in my class.  I worry about them and care about what happens to them.  

It is important to both the teacher and student that they work to establish a relationship with each other through their interaction in the course.  Synchronous sessions are a great way to help establish this relationship.