Fox with glasses looking at a monitor.

Asynchronous online activities

Providing students with a range of asynchronous online activities can encourage effective engagement with content, whilst learning other life skills such as collaboration, problem solving, leadership and critical thinking. Take a look at the tips below for some ideas you could put into practice and guidance.

A woman laughing while sat at her laptop.

1. Engage your students

Having a well-structured module or programme with a range of online activities can help students engage with the content effectively. If you are planning a mainly online module or programme, take a look at the Engaging students online (asynchronous) online course, it offers a structured approach to thinking about design as well as ideas for activities. To engage students productively in their learning hours, encourage Directed Independent Learning, see the Directed Independent Learning online course to see how you might use Directed Independent Learning in practice and guide student learning hours effectively.

2. Create scenario-based exercises

There are a number of tools that allow you to create your own branching scenario-based exercises, which you can then embed into a Moodle course and allow students to work through asynchronously. This kind of exercises offers students an element of autonomy or ownership of their learning process, and provides a safe environment in which they can learn from their mistakes and engage in critical reflection.

A maze with a red pen showing how to escape.

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3. Escape rooms in OneNote

Digital escape rooms can be an effective strategy to engage students in collaborative problem solving (or individual) whilst also placing a prominent emphasis on assessment for learning. Escape rooms can provide students with an immersive experience with active learning at its core. Students are compelled to engage in decision making, problem solving, critical thinking, negotiation, leadership and many more graduate skills. The initial outlay of time and resource creating a digital escape room challenge is offset by the replicability and recyclable nature of the resource.

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4. Online learning objects in Xerte

Xerte is a highly versatile platform for creating interactive online learning objects. You can create a wide variety of static and interactive content, as well as embedding a wide range of media including photos, videos, web pages, pdfs, and more. This is the platform we use to create the online courses for the Digital Skills Certificate, and it is available to all Lancaster University staff and students to create whatever online resources they need. For more information see our Creating interactive learning materials with Xerte online course or watch our recorded Xerte training session.

The Xerte editor.

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