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Top Tips for Asynchronous Learning with Google for Education

Delivering live online learning can be a challenge as it requires everyone to be available at the same time and have a device with a reliable internet connection. Planning for some asynchronous activities throughout the week helps add some flexibility, can save you some time and still allows for a level of social interaction. Here are 5 tips for utilising Google for Education tools to support asynchronous online learning:

1. Make use of scheduling in Google Classroom

Set aside some time at the beginning of the week to schedule all of your asynchronous activities in Google Classroom. This means you don’t have to worry about being available to set work at certain times but still gives you some control over the structure and order without overwhelming learners with lots of tasks at once.

Scheduling in Google Classroom

In this example, a different assignment has been scheduled for the start of each day. Assignments can be modified at any time, as drafts or even after their scheduled time.

2. Add audio or video instructions to Google Slides

You can add pre-recorded audio or video from your Google Drive to individual slides in a presentation by going to the ‘Insert’ menu. This is useful if you want to add extra detail or instructions on a slide without them being too text-heavy. The benefits of this are:

  • Learners can navigate through the slides asynchronously, without the need for a live explanation

  • Your students still feel connected to you through hearing your voice or seeing your face

Add audio to Google Slides

3. Utilise collaboration features

There are lots of opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate asynchronously with Google tools:

  • Create rooms in Google Chat for asynchronous text discussions or to communicate during group work

Creating rooms in Google Chat

  • Collaborate on group assignments using comments and Suggesting Mode

Google Docs - suggesting mode

  • Manage projects and to-do lists by creating shared Google Keep lists

Google Keep lists

4. Keep connections with students alive by giving audio or video feedback using extensions

Learning asynchronously can feel isolating for learners so add

How to add audio feedback with Mote

For audio feedback, Mote allows you to easily record and play audio notes directly within Google Docs comments.

Comment of Screencastify link from Google Drive

Record video feedback using the Screencastify extension. These recordings automatically save in your Google Drive so you can copy and paste the shareable link into the comments for the student to view.

5. Self-marking quizzes in Google Forms

Save yourself some time on marking by setting up self-marking Google Forms quizzes. Learners can complete the quizzes at a time that suits them and will get instant feedback on their answers. You can set this up as a Quiz Assignment in Google Classroom or by going to the Quiz Settings within Google Forms.

  1. Give your quiz a title and add your questions using the options on the right. For automatic marking, you will need to use short-answer, multiple-choice, tick-box or drop-down questions.

  2. Select ‘Answer key’ in the bottom left of each question. Select the correct answers, assign points and provide feedback for correct and incorrect answers.

Example of Google Forms quiz

Which asynchronous learning tool will you get started with today?

Mia Pledger, headshot

Mia Pledger is a Google Certified Trainer and Learning Technologist at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College. She has been working in education for almost 10 years and has experience working with children and young people of all ages. Mia's passion for education technology began when she decided to specialise in Computing while training as a primary school teacher where she realised that coding and technology could be a vehicle for creativity. Now she is studying a Masters in Digital Education with a research interest in playful and game-based learning and how this can promote motivation, resilience, and a growth mindset. She is experienced in delivering creative technology training and developing learning resources using a variety of digital tools both of which are often inspired by her playful approach.


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