Summary of 1.6
In the report, different terms related to teaching and learning are used:
- Online teaching refers to teaching that takes place over the internet, while offline teaching refers to traditional in-person teaching.
- Synchronous teaching or learning happens when the teacher and students are online at the same time and interact directly, while asynchronous teaching or learning occurs when there is no real-time interaction between the teacher and students.
- Blended teaching or learning can mean a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online instruction, or a mix of offline and online classes.
- Hybrid teaching or learning can refer to a mixture of online and offline instruction or a combination of students attending classes both in-person and online.
The focus of the SignTeach Online project and the report was primarily on teaching signed languages online. However, due to the return to offline teaching after the lockdowns, hybrid teaching was also considered.
There are many words used for teaching students and learners in a physical class: in-person teaching, in-class teaching, face-to-face teaching. There are also many words used for online learning: virtual learning, e-learning, online learning. In this report, we will use online teaching and offline teaching. Some other terms that we use, and their meanings in this report:
Synchronous teaching or learning:
The teacher and the student(s) are online at the same time and interact directly.
Asynchronous teaching or learning:
This means that the teacher and the student(s) are not online at the same time and do not interact directly. Teachers may post learning activities and materials online that students use independently at some other time. Students watch webinars or recorded classes independently. Or they complete an online course independently, without any supervision.
Blended teaching or learning can mean three things:
We use blended learning for a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online instruction. For instance: students interact directly with a teacher during some online classes. But at other times, the students work independently on online activities, for instance for online homework assignments or assessments.
However, blended learning can also mean a combination of offline classes and online classes.
Some authors use blended learning for offline classes in which the teacher or the students use computers and the internet for some activities, e.g in a language lab.
Hybrid teaching or learning can mean two things:
A mixture of online and offline instruction. The teacher teaches some classes offline in-person and some classes online. This is how we will use the term in this report.
It can also mean that the teacher teaches some students offline, in class. But at the same time, some students watch this class online. In this case, hybrid doesn’t mean a combination of two different ways to deliver instruction (offline instruction versus online instruction), but a combination of two kinds of students (offline versus online students).
The main focus of the SignTeach Online project and of this report was on the teaching of signed languages online. Because teachers switched back to offline teaching during the project when the lock-down ended, we will also look at hybrid teaching.