This learning design task was for classes and instructors looking to add asynchronous activities and create flexibility of time and space into the learning environments. Taking advantage of asynchronous learning online can help to reduce barriers for student learning. These activities provide opportunities for inclusive, accessible, and equitable learning experiences with alternate ways for students to participate, engage, and demonstrate their learning and thinking. Online courses use a number of asynchronous strategies, ranging from the inclusion of short pre-recorded video lectures, discussion boards, readings and quizzes, to individual and group activities.
Padlet Discussion Board
Padlet is one of the tools available that encourages engagement in asynchronous learning. Padlet can be used for brainstorming, research, sharing ideas, and learning new skills. Students are able to post and share information without signing into the platform or using any identifying information which helps to protect their privacy.
Pedagogical Pros and Cons
Asynchronous strategies allow students to complete course work or participate in discussion at different times and can offer the advantages of time and flexibility for students to work at a pace that works for them. Student learning and thinking becomes more visible, and instructors are able to use the additional time to give directed and thoughtful feedback. The intentional use of asynchronous learning activities in an online learning environment can serve to create a strong community of inquiry that encourages cognitive presence, social presence and instructor presence. Students will have opportunities to engage in course content, while reflecting on what they have learned.
In considering the use of asynchronous learning activities in your course, be mindful that these activities use a different approach to student interaction and feedback than what students are used to in a physical classroom. A mix of both synchronous and asynchronous activities helps to balance flexibility with real-time feedback and connection.