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Cambridge LibGuides

Tools for Teaching

Asynchronous online teaching: introduction

The tips, tricks and case studies below relate to teaching sessions created to be delivered asynchronously, i.e. with learners engaging with the content after it has been created and delivered by the instructor. Common examples of this include video sessions and web-based participatory exercises.

Asynchronous online teaching: tips, tricks and case studies

Tips and tricks

  • Create a transcript and ensure that each slide has the relevant part of the transcript included in the notes. Run through the session first with the transcript to check the timings.
  • Record the session with screen recording software.
  • Ensure the content is accessible by running accessibility checks and ensuring that all non-textual elements have alternative text.
  • Find the most relevant place to your users to host and link to the video content.
  • If you're creating videos, keep them short (under 10 minutes). Don't record a whole hour long lecture and expect people to watch, they won't! 
  • Make sure you provide a transcript for accessibility, and that information is repeated in multiple formats (i.e. video, text, interactive activity) to reinforce learning.
  • Go through any asynchronous resources yourself as a student - time how long it takes to complete and any areas that are difficult.
  • Don't assume every student has access to, or ability to use, all technology. 

Student looking at computer screen with glue and pencil case next to them on table

Case study examples

Using the Flipped Classroom technique to teach referencing: "I delivered an Information Literacy class teaching how to reference using the ‘Flipped Classroom' technique. This is an assignment-based teaching model. Students searched for three references using iDiscover (and/or a disciplinary appropriate bibliographic database) that were needed for their essay. They were sent the referencing tutorial before class, which is part of their subject LibGuide, as a learning aid. The references were submitted on Moodle via the Discussion Board for their course and received productive feedback during the scheduled lecture. Learning outcomes included literature searching, evaluation and learning how to reference using the appropriate system for their subject. Flipping the classroom ensured that the students had to engage actively with independent learning in advance, without this their attendance at the lecture would not be sufficient for them to achieve the learning outcomes."

Translating in-person teaching to video content: "At the start of [the 2020 Covid-19] lockdown, I created several online videos using our Powerpoint session slides that we were using to physically deliver training. The main one that I worked on was a session introducing open research aimed at research and administrative staff. I took the slides, created a transcript, filmed a voice and slides style video, and embedded that into our LibGuide as a YouTube video."

Translating in-person teaching to videos, activities and other web-based content: "At the start of [the 2020 Covid-19] lockdown, the Engineering Library team adapted all our Easter Term teaching to asynchronous online resources, including video content, activities, text and places to go for further information. As a team we created seven new pages on our LibGuide website to host these resources, and we split up who did what so everyone was involved so as to minimise workload on any one person."

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