Jemma McGuigan


Coatbridge High

  • Digital Learning: Pupil Engagement

The Impact of Synchronous vs Asynchronous Teaching on Engagement


This collaborative enquiry was conducted by four secondary school teachers of different subjects. (Maths, Modern Studies and Modern Languages). When deciding on where to focus the enquiry, it became apparent that the teachers wanted to conduct research around the ‘live lesson’, due to the current global pandemic and the nature of remote teaching. The rationale for investigating the impact of synchronous and asynchronous teaching, was that it was important to interpret whether pupils were benefitting more from the synchronous lesson – which is described as “online learning in which children and young people can learn from their teacher in real time. For example – a teacher teaching to a group of children or class using digital technologies.” Or the asynchronous lesson where “children and young people undertake learning activities without direct supervision from the teacher. Learners can communicate with their teacher at their own pace or within a set time period.” (Glasgow City Region Education, 2020).


The aim of this enquiry was to determine the most effective way to conduct lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase engagement. It was important to find out what motivates young people and what gave them the best experience, as similar as possible to the “normal classroom” during the global pandemic. This would then inform future practice in ensuring that the remote lesson caters to pupils’ needs and abilities.

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