Watch this video to see 'Asynchronous & Synchronous Introductions' in action...

First week of class introductions, and to help the people remember things about each other.

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The purpose of 'Asynchronous & Synchronous Introductions'

For students to share multiple dimensions of themselves, synchronously or asynchronously.

Activity description

  • Useful for
  • Preparation
  • How to do it
  • Duration
  • Adaptations
  • Technical requirements

First week of class introductions, and to help the teacher and students remember things about each other beyond the moment of introductions. Teachers and students can go back to this throughout the semester to remember some details about each other.

None.

  1. ALTCV - ask students to create an introduction to themselves that is not like a regular CV, but is an alternative CV, both in terms of what they share about themselves (what they value, not what is expected) and how they present it (they can get creative with video, visuals, etc.). You can reuse or adapt the prompt used here. Students can upload/link their ALTCV on their blogs, or in a discussion forum space on the LMS or a Padlet or such.
  2. Video/picture introductions shared in one space, such as FlipGrid, Padlet, Google doc, or LMS discussion board. Ask students to record a brief video introducing themselves (can be voice over if they don’t like to use their actual face) or use a photo/image (does not need to be a personal photo, can be photo(s) representing something about themselves) and post it to a shared space where all students can see each others’ introductions.
  3. Collaborative introductions. This is a synchronous activity where each person says one or two things about themselves, and if others have the same thing in common, they raise their hand or type in the chat. 
  1. ALTCV - this can be an early low-stakes assignment. Give students a few days to a week to do it.
  2. Video/Picture introductions - this can be an early low-stakes assignment. Give students a few days to a week to do it.
  3. Collaborative introductions: this depends on the size of your class.

Collaborative introductions adaptations:

  • Instead of raising hands or typing in chat, people who share the same thing turn their cameras on for a moment while others keep their cameras off (this adaptation works well if your students are comfortable turning cameras on, and if you use “hide non-video participants” within Zoom so that there is a focus on the people who turn their cameras on).
  • Instead of raising hands, you can use the whiteboard on Zoom and ask people to write one thing about themselves on it, and others can annotate on the Whiteboard or use the highlighter arrows and move it there if they share the same thing.
  • Instead of doing this synchronously, you can do it asynchronously, or text-based synchronously, where students post on a Google doc in a table different things about themselves, and others who share the same thing can type their names into a second column.
  • Instead of whole-class, you can do it in breakout rooms, which would take less time per breakout room.

No specific tech requirements for the asynchronous options. For the collaborative introductions, any video conferencing tool could work.

Additional resources

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How do I use these resources?

We have created a welcome video and some introductory text that explains in detail how to use these resources. You can also find answers to some key questions below. 

Yes you can. We have included descriptive text and slides that you can reuse / adapt for this reason. We have suggested some variations for activities to help you make adaptations.

We show how much time an activity should take and what resources you need to help you make a decision.

As we include more resources over time you will have a greater choice of activities and more information about the different contexts within which they work best. 

Any technique can block some people out, make them feel unwelcomed, or be used in a way that privileges some and makes it harder on others.

All of these techniques should be used in conjunction with pedagogies of care and what we call Intentionally Equitable Hospitality

If you try an adaptation of this activity, or try it as is and have interesting results to share, please contribute your adaptation/reflection in the comments or get in touch through social media / email.

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