Distance education over the years has been defined by the ability of students to learn at any time, from anywhere. Thus, it is not surprising that most online courses rely solely on asynchronous text-based online communication, such as email and discussion forums. However, the COVID- 19 pandemic and the rise of emergency remote teaching have sparked an increased interest in using web conferencing software (e.g., Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams) to hold live synchronous meetings, often on a set day and time each week, instead of asynchronous discussions. But as convenient as it can be to move classroom instruction to live synchronous meetings, instructors and students have quickly experienced some drawbacks to using this mode of instruction. Given this problem, we set out to curate a list of strategies to improve the use of live synchronous meetings based on the literature and our combined experience designing and teaching online over the years. In this paper, we describe some affordances and constraints of live synchronous meetings and then describe some strategies that instructors can use to improve their use of these meetings, whether that be in a blended, remote, or online course.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Patrick R. Lowenthal; Mickinzie Johnson