Conference Objects

Synchronous Strategies for Interactive Live Virtual Class Sessions that Engage Students and Build Community

Marquart, Matthea S.

The session began with a brief overview of strategies from the recently published chapter “Instructional Strategies for Synchronous Components of Online Courses,” from the book Creating Teacher Immediacy in Online Learning Environments by IGI Global (, as part of the Advances in Educational Technologies & Instructional Design (AETID) Book Series. This included a handout of strategies, so that participants had a baseline of concrete ideas to take home.

This chapter provides a toolkit of strategies for online faculty, course designers, and administrators interested in implementing a synchronous component of an online course. Synchronous course components provide rich opportunities to engage students, bring distinct instructor personalities and strengths to life, and personalize courses to specific school cultures. Strategies discussed appeal to a range of budgets, so as to be applicable and sustainable at any school. The chapter also includes recommendations for resolving the myriad challenges faced when implementing synchronous components of online courses.

The ideas from the chapter come from Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and School of Social Work. Both schools include live online classes as a key component of their online courses. These live online classes are weekly classes hosted in Adobe Connect for 90-120 minutes for the duration of the semester and led by a course instructor with a teaching assistant facilitator. Every class is supported by a dedicated webinar specialist. During live online classes, students participate in a variety of ways, depending on the course needs and instructor preferences. Participation can happen via chat, in multiple choice and short-answer polls, via mics, via webcams, via status icons, and in small group breakout activities. Every course is unique.

During the session, participants had the opportunity to share their own strategies, ask questions of each other and of the presenter, and add to their toolkits of online institutional strategies.

**Marquart, M., Fleming, M., Rosenthal, S., & Hibbert, M. (2016, April). Instructional Strategies for Synchronous Components of Online Courses. In S. D’Agustino (Ed.), Creating Teacher Immediacy in Online Learning Environments. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
March 1, 2017


Workshop presented at the Online Learning Consortium's Accelerate Conference, Orlando, FL. November 18, 2016.