We have taken asynchronous remote classes to the next level with new features replicating the functionality and flow of IRL teaching…
Virtual attendance and Video Q&A
Our free “Office Hours” platform now allows taking virtual attendance by revealing privately to teachers which of their students have viewed each video lesson. The technology also enables students to pose anonymous questions that teachers can reply to with a recorded video response distributed to the entire class. This level of consistent accountability and engagement from students is not possible from synchronous live remote classes.
Virtual Live classes have a problem.
Lectures given live on video conference platforms such as Zoom are simply not conducive to participation and consistent attendance. Requiring students at home to attend scheduled live classes consistently is unrealistic. Every student’s home situation is different. A strict schedule for remote classes can not possibly work for everyone — teacher included.
Family distractions, technological capabilities, and motivation vary throughout the day, especially during school closures.
As anyone involved in remote live classes will tell you, they are not the two-way conversation many hope them to be. In the majority of cases, video-conferencing platforms make it difficult and awkward for students to speak up while on a call with dozens of their peers. There is also a subconscious shift in student’s attitudes and behavior when interacting live online — a medium until now that has mostly been reserved for playing video games. Many teachers are reporting increased disruptive behavior from students who feel shielded by the virtual screen and may forget at times that they are not in a Fortnite chat. There is also the acute issue of Zoombombings, a threat that is exposing students to racist and mature content at an increasing rate.
For asynchronous classes, these issues are near non-existent. So long as a student can carve out time within their unpredictable home schedule, they can “attend” a class. Without the live component, students can reflect on lessons and pose considered questions without the pressure of interrupting a live-lesson or threat of peer judgment. There is also no concern about inappropriate outbursts or worse, as the teacher decides which questions to answer and live-virtual attacks on class are not a risk factor.