Synchronous and Asynchronous Approaches to Teaching
Higher Education Lessons in Post-Pandemic times
Editors: Payal Kumar and Jacob Eisenberg
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in severe restrictions on mobility and physical engagement, which affected all areas of life, including education. In the pre-pandemic world, lecturers were able to systematically prepare for teaching online modules and to gradually and systematically build-up expertise through practice and training. However, the sudden nature of the pandemic with its rapid spread, forced lecturers to teach online classes almost overnight from the confines of their homes, often without systematic training and with little technical support.
While distant teaching has been practiced and researched for a while now (Arbaugh & Benbunan-Finch, 2006), this recent drastic and massive move to online education is not only quantitatively but also qualitatively different, given that in pre-pandemic days online teaching was often treated as supplementary to brick-and-mortar classes. Presently, online teaching – in both synchronous and asynchronous modes – has become pivotal and fundamental to the classroom experience the world over. The virtualizing of education extended beyond teaching and there have been instances where even Ph.D vivas were conducted online, while graduation ceremonies have been held using digital avatars of students and faculty.
Given the speed at which this forced transition has taken place, there are many questions that are perplexing both individual faculty and management teams of higher educational institutes, including: What are the implications of this transition for teaching and learning practices? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different platforms? What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of synchronous versus asynchronous approaches and when should each be used to optimize students' learning experience? What implications are there for lecturers' teaching training, given that most academics had little exposure to systematic training in online education? How should we best adapt our assessment practices? And what are the implications for faculty renumeration and evaluation?
These questions relate to both research and practice gaps. We aim to address these gaps in this edited book, which will have a distinct approach that blends theory and practice. As one of the first books in this area, this edited volume is likely to impact the field and become a primer for both faculty and also colleges and universities that have transitioned to distant teaching. Not only will this edited volume capture recent empirical studies conducted in this area, but chapters will also provide practical implications and suggestions to academics and senior management about best teaching and student engagement practices.
Our book project is not focused simply on the educational and technological aspects of distant and online teaching, but also on the role of psycho-social factors impacting learning processes as a result from the transition to distance learning. Thus, we aim to investigate the impact of sudden environmental changes on the psychological, interpersonal and educational aspects at three levels of analyses: students, faculty and higher education institutions. Additionally, our scope is not limited to specific areas such as information science or education but aims to appeal to a broad array of business, management and social science disciplines. Furthermore, our book is aimed at the academic market and teaching environment and is explicitly global in its orientation.
This edited volume will be divided into three sections. While the editors invite both conceptually and empirically-focused chapters on the indicative themes below, they are open to other thematic suggestions as well:
Nuances of learning centricity
· Pedagogic practices for student engagement, such as gamification, hybrid learning with asynchronous and synchronous online classes, and also group-centered approach with discussions in chatrooms.
· The impact of spending long hours on screen time on the quality of learning processes and outcomes.
· Different learning styles in the new normal e.g the visual learner or the auditory learner.
· Integrating Kobl's experiential learning styles into online teaching (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).
Post-pandemic impact on students and faculty
· Isolation, anxiety and depression amongst students
· Online teaching effect on peer learning and peer bonding
· The impact of moving to distant teaching on lecturers' teaching practices
· Academic staff balancing a work-life interface
· Universities managing educational best practices with legal and privacy practicalities.
· Best assessment and online proctoring practices.
· Revised teacher training practices.
· Senior management leadership during Covid times.
Timelines for authors
500-word abstract submissions (detailing, when relevant, research method and projected results). Send these to Jacob.Eisenberg@ucd.ie
5th October, 2021
Feedback of the abstract by the editors
By 14th November, 2021
Full chapter submission (6000 words, APA style)
31st March, 2022
April 2023 (tentative)
Prof. Payal Kumar
Dean Research & Management Studies,
Indian School of Hospitality, India