Life @ U of T

Introduction

Managing Synchronous and Asynchronous Lectures

Managing Synchronous and Asynchronous Lectures

Now that I’ve been in class for almost a week, I’m starting to notice a unique challenge of online learning this year… managing synchronous and asynchronous lectures! For those that don’t know, synchronous lectures refer to lectures that take place live at a set time. Asynchronous lectures are generally recorded by the professor in advance and can be viewed any time at the student’s convenience. Though asynchronous lectures sound great, I’ve been finding it quite hard to manage and stay on top of them! With the freedom that comes with not having a set lecture time, it’s easy to put off and procrastinate doing your asynchronous lectures. 

A gif of a woman looking at math equations
Creds: Giphy.com

The best way I’ve found so far to manage asynchronous lectures is to essentially treat them like synchronous lectures. To do this, I started by writing out a list of every lecture I had, taking into account a) when my asynchronous lectures are posted, and b) when I have to watch them by. I also have some synchronous lectures with asynchronous components, so I made sure to take note of this as well. 

Once I listed out everything I had to manage, I started making a schedule of when my synchronous lectures were and when I was going to watch my asynchronous lectures. I started by penning in exactly when my synchronous lectures were—everything I had to attend at that time and had no choice about. 

A picture of a schedule representing synchronous lecture times.

Then, I penned in specific times I was going to watch my asynchronous lectures. I made sure to choose times that would be convenient for me to watch the lectures, as I wanted to stick to these times. For me, I prefer to focus on lectures one day, and then do readings and assignments on another day, instead of doing both within a day. So, for my asynchronous lectures, I chose time slots on days I already had synchronous lectures. 

A picture of a schedule representing synchronous and asynchronous lecture times.

Other things I considered were what time of day I work best in, when I have other commitments, and how I want my entire week to be broken up. Once I finalized my times, I made sure to add them to my Google Calendar and planner so that I would be notified prior to these times, just like a regular lecture! 

A picture of a Google Calendar with asynchronous lecture times being added to it
I made sure to update my Google Calendar!

I’m hoping that this strategy will help me balance my asynchronous and synchronous lectures a little better! Other ways I plan to keep track of everything are: 

  • Making a list of every single task I have to do each week to make sure I don’t miss anything 
  • Writing down all deadlines for the rest of the term in my planner
  • Getting started on harder assignments while my work-load is relatively light in the beginning of the term 

Do you have any tips for managing your online classes? Let me know in the comments below! 

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