Below is a collated list of independent asynchronous activity ideas which have been used in practice here at the University of Lincoln. These activities enable students to work independently through tasks by gaining, investigating and applying new knowledge in different contexts. All of these activities work well independently but can be made more powerful when findings from the individual tasks are discussed or further acted upon during further synchronous sessions/activities.
Micro lectures or short form video content can be a useful way for students to gain new knowledge when paired with other activities to test and apply this knowledge in new situations. One example of this would be to use a micro lecture which will then be tested by a quiz to ensure understanding.
Micro lectures or short form videos should be:
- Short (less than 20 minutes)
- Tackle one key concept or objective
- Be able to be used in wider activities to support development and application of knowledge.
We have several tools at the University which can support you with developing micro lectures/short form video content. This toolkit shows you how to plan, record, publish and monitor your engagement with your micro lecture but similar principles can be applied to other types of video.
At the University of Lincoln we have several video services which offer free online courses or access to a wide range of tv/film/documentaries to be used to enhance learning. Having pre-prepared videos or tutorials can help support students with:
- research opportunities
- learning new skills independently
- enabling deeper learning opportunities during the live sessions as basic material has been already taught
We have placed some information about these services below.
Box of Broadcasts
Box of broadcasts is an on demand tv and radio service designed specifically for education. This will enable you to access, share and rewatch shows that have been broadcast. This can be useful to share broadcasts with your students, you can also make a clip of a certain section of a show to ensure video content is limited down to the information your students need.
Linkedin Learning is a free service that we have here at the University for all staff and students. This gives you unrestricted access to over 14,000+ courses run by industry expert. This is used across the University to teach core digital skills, especially in preparation for assessments or as a flipped learning approach to encourage independent skill development. The tool also enables students to gain certification before leaving University in core tools and skills, which can be used to enhance/reinforce graduate outcomes.
Quizzes can be useful in both formative and summative situations, however, they can also be useful as a ‘pulse-checking (web)’ activity to check your students understanding. This will enable you as a lecturer to:
- check understanding.
- redirect learning and address misconceptions.
- deepen understanding through further tasks and questioning.
Several of our tools enable this to be done independently and can provide basic feedback to students to help correct their understanding. This can also help you keep track of your student’s development and enables you to support and enhance your offering based off the results.
There are two simple tools which can support you with doing quick quizzes/surveys. The first is built inside of your VLE’s and allows you to prepare multiple choice questions (MCQ) quizzes. The second is Microsoft forms which will help you design quick surveys or quizzes. Either option will give you and your students feedback to support development. However, it is recommended to use VLE’s for any summative assessment quizzes due to us being able to lock tests and stop students submitting after the deadline.
Simulations can be a great way to help students:
- see cause and effect independently.
- investigate and hypothesise outcomes.
- Using analytical skills to develop reasoning.
These simulations can range anywhere from scientific and maths-based models to online simulations of role plays and can offer a wide range of opportunities.This type of activity, whilst stand alone, is made more powerful when discussed in more depth during synchronous sessions.
Dr Ishak Demir, who used educational simulations about macro economics to help his students get immersed in their understanding application of knowledge. A case study video has been recorded to talk in more depth about his experiences and benefits for the students. (see right).
We have also highlighted a showcase (below) by David Rugara (LIBS) who used Panopto to record live role plays for analysis. This could be changed into an asynchronous activity to allow students to watch and learn, adapt, and change their responses based on the feedback given.