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FAQ REVIEW: What does synchronous and asynchronous instruction mean?

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Effective remote learning blends both synchronous and asynchronous learning to maximize the time together virtually to build community and learn interactively, while also providing autonomy for learners to engage in and apply content, read, and problem solve.

Synchronous instruction is made up of two parts: whole-group and individual/small-group. Whole-group synchronous instruction involves real-time, interactive, teacher-led lessons where content is introduced and reinforced; activities include teacher modeling of content standards, launching projects, and class discussions. In individual and small-group synchronous instruction, students participate in real-time, interactive, teacher-led lessons customized to their learning needs. 

Students also engage in asynchronous learning throughout each day. Asynchronous does not mean “absent.” Asynchronous time is critical as it allows students time to apply and practice what has been taught through independent assignments.  Teachers analyze these assignments and other assessments to determine students’ learning needs in order to form the individual and small groups effectively.

The remote learning environment was designed to deliver the best possible learning experience. This is why it begins with whole-group, shorter, more targeted lessons followed by independent application, followed by small-group clarification, re-teaching, and/or extension throughout the day.