Synchronous Meetings

Program courses affiliated with UofM Global are to be developed and offered in the University’s official learning management system (LMS) - eCourseware. We encourage such courses to be completely asynchronously online. 

UofM Global courses are marketed as courses that can be completed on students’ time regardless of where they live or the work and family responsibilities. However, in certain situations synchronous meetings can be a beneficial element of online learning and can be included in M50 courses. Providing a space for students to come together and ask questions, talk through concepts, and dive deeper into course material with the instructor is something that can certainly extend the learning outside the synchronous components of a course. When offering synchronous class meetings via BlueJeans, Zoom, or Virtual Classroom, please consider the following:

  • Record the meeting and upload it to eCourseware for students who may not have been able to attend the live meeting. This allows all students access to the content, questions, and discussion that took place during the synchronous meeting regardless of their availability to attend. Instructors can use the User Progress tool within eCourseware to get analytics on when students accessed the recording.
  • Be mindful of the various time zones students may be joining from when setting up a synchronous meeting. Be clear about the time zone of the meeting invitation and let students know the meeting will be recorded and available if they are not able to attend. Many UofM Global students live outside of UofM’s central time zone. In fact, some live outside the United States altogether. UofM Global is truly global.
  • Let students know what will be covered in the synchronous meeting and how they can be prepared to participate. Will the meeting be a lecture or will it focus on clarifying requirements of an upcoming assignment? Will it be used to answer questions covered in the synchronous elements of the course or to facilitate a discussion about a certain course topic? Students are more likely to rearrange their schedule to attend a meeting if the objectives of the meeting are clear and communicated in advance.
  • Assess the material covered in a synchronous meeting (and recording) rather than students’ attendance of the live meeting. For example, a synchronous meeting could be used for a virtual lecture on a certain topic. Students could be provided a short quiz or reflection paper to complete after the lecture. The recording can be added to the course for students who were not able to attend the meeting.

Contact UM3D at um3d@memphis.edu to schedule a virtual one-on-one consultation on best practices.



Check out these resources to learn more information about using tools within the LMS for hosting synchronous meetings and viewing student progress: 

  • Strategies for Virtual Class Meetings - This resource provides recommendations to consider when facilitating sychronous, virtual class meetings.
  • Getting Started with Virtual Classroom - This guide is provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning and provides documentation for scheduling, hosting and recording a Virtual Classroom session in eCourseware. 
  • Attendance Log in Virtual Classroom - This documentation provided by Bongo (software provider for Virtual Classroom) provides information on how faculty can view the attendance log for a recorded Virtual Classroom meeting. 
  • Track course progress in eCourseware - This documentation provided by D2L (software vendor for eCourseware) provides information on how faculty can view class progress within their course.