Synchronous Courses - 5-12
This page provides information around Synchronous courses that are offered from grades 5-12
Synchronous courses offer the same program of study as an online course, with the added benefit of weekly meetings with a teacher and working alongside a cohort of your peers on the same topics. Synchronous courses provide overall structure for students, with the expectation that they will work to keep up with the schedule set by the teacher for assignments and tests. The accountability of the weekly meeting is designed to help elaborate on challenging topics or concepts, encourage student interaction, and provide a natural place for students to ask questions and develop deeper understanding. This option is the one that is most similar to a face-to-face classroom experience in an online environment.
Synchronous Courses provide regular, required touchpoints where students would meet with their teacher(s) and fellow students. Regularly scheduled times set by the instructor early in September allow students to connect with teachers to receive instruction, clarify assignments, and ask questions on a weekly basis. Synchronous course options allow students the opportunity to connect with their teachers and other students in a more typical classroom style. Synchronous Cohorts provide the chance for students to be known and also increase the level of accountability. Teachers may use the weekly meetings to pre-teach lessons, answer common questions, clarify assignments, or discuss complex topics or issues.
How Synchronous Courses Function
- Students work through the standard online course together with the teacher, according to a weekly schedule set by the teacher.
- The teacher and students meet via Zoom at a regularly scheduled time every week.
- Weekly meetings create a rhythm and maintain a high level of contact.
- Zoom classes are typically 30-60 minutes in length, and begin about the 3rd week of September.
Student Responsibilities and Expectations
- Students commit to attend weekly meeting with teacher and other students in their synchronous cohort
- Students commit to working independently on weekly lessons and assignments, according to the schedule set by the teacher
- Students commit to staying on pace with the cohort, completing lesson activities and submitting assignments in a timely manner (to the best of their ability)
- Students have access to the teacher outside of the weekly meetings, during scheduled office hours, or via email to ask questions, clarify assignments, etc.
- Students commit to respectful and appropriate behaviour during weekly meetings (this includes both appropriate language and appropriate attire).
- Students are encouraged to have their video cameras on during class, to use the chat function to interact, and use their microphone to respond to others, to help with student engagement and interaction
- Exceptions can be made for students who find this challenging, with arrangements discussed with the course teacher and LS/SE support teacher.
- Students who fall significantly behind schedule may be reassigned to an asynchronous course, or zeros may be recorded until assignments are submitted.
Teacher Responsibilities and Expectations
- The teacher will decide on a set class meeting day and time in the spring each year to allow students to view synchronous course schedules as they enrol
- this should be done in consideration of other, similar grade level courses to prevent overlap of meeting times
- online meetings will begin in the third week of September and finish early to mid-June
- The teacher will create a year schedule that outlines the pace for lesson completion, assignment submissions and test dates where appropriate.
- The teacher will prepare for and host weekly 30-60 minute meetings with content and activities that are relevant to the course and/or lesson being addressed.
- The teacher will host with both audio and video functions on, so students can see their teacher.
- The teacher will mark assignments and tests in a timely manner, providing relevant formative and summative assessment for students.
- The teacher will initiate contact with any students who have fallen behind or become inactive, to determine the best course of action going forward.
- Teacher may record weekly meetings. This allows students to review information or watch the class if they were absent for some reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it cost any more to enrol in a synchronous course compared to an asynchronous course?
- No, the cost to the student is the same for a synchronous course as it is for any other online course enrollment.
What if I have to miss a meeting for a dentist appointment or other unforeseen conflict?
- This should be communicated to your teacher, and the student will then be able to watch the recorded meeting at a later date. Students should arrange activities such as regular piano lessons or sports practices at a time that does not conflict with scheduled class meetings.
Can my student take just one synchronized cohort for an online course or do they have to take all across their grade level?
- Absolutely they can take just one, or multiple synchronous options! Figure out what works best for your child’s learning style, level of independence and degree of desired flexibility?
How does the course schedule work?
- The meeting times for each synchronous cohort will be posted in SOPHIE. You can see the schedule live here! Your K-9 support teacher or Grad Advisor can also let you know when specific classes are meeting. In addition, there will not be overlap between class time for the different subjects across the same grade level, this allows students to take all synchronous offerings if they so choose.
How long are the synchronous courses?
- Grades 10-12: 1 hour blocks, once a week.
- Note: Depending on the topics and assignments some meetings may be longer or shorter than scheduled.
What happens if my student falls behind?
- Just like in any classroom environment, things happen. Students are encouraged to keep attending the class and to work with their teacher to catch up. Teachers are prepared to support students when things don’t go as planned.
Are teachers available outside of the posted class times?
- Absolutely. Teachers will have availability times posted in their course.
Are students required to have cameras and audio on?
- Teacher cameras will be on to facilitate relationship building with students. While we encourage students to turn their cameras on we recognize not all students or families may be comfortable on camera and as such do not require it for students.
Are the courses semester or linear pacing?
- Courses are held over the school year in a linear fashion. Classes start in the 3rd or 4th week of September and are held until the end of May (or earlier if material is completed sooner).
Do I have to attend the live meetings?
- Yes! This is the main part of a synchronous class. Of course, there are absences that you can’t avoid, like sickness or appointments - but your teacher will miss you!