Leaders in the field of designing for online learning remind us that it is important to see asynchronous learning experiences as equally valuable as synchronous ones. According to Global Online Academy, a leader in the field of online learning design, “asynchronicity allows students time to work at their own pace, to take time to compose ideas, and to express themselves in ways that might not be possible in real-time. In addition, asynchronous work allows students to absorb content, prepare assignments, and complete projects offline: it’s a way to avoid hours of staring at screens.
Our schedules have been developed with the following key questions in mind, What types of learning experiences require synchronous connection and which synchronous experiences can be turned into asynchronous experiences? Feedback from both students and families expressed a need to be mindful of the amount of synchronous engagements we are providing due to 1) a desire to minimize screen time and 2) the challenge of scheduling. Sustainability, flexibility and wellness have been key drivers of our decision making regarding the schedule. It turns out, we are not alone. To learn more about schedules and how other independent schools are approaching the challenge of scheduling for online learning you can read this study from Global Online Academy.