Examining the experiences and considerations of five educational sites in different states across the United States (AR, IN, NC, PA, and WI), this study delves into the implementation of synchronous online learning. These sites encompass a range of grade levels (K-12) and differ in size, with enrollments ranging from 20 to over 14,000 students. Through in-depth conversations, commonalities were identified in design choices aimed at maximizing the benefits of synchronous learning while minimizing associated costs. The study identifies five interconnected areas—relationships, time, supports, infrastructure, and data—that significantly influence decision-making and design implementation in synchronous learning. Relationships emerged as a central consideration, emphasizing the value of intentional and planned relationship development facilitated by synchronous learning. The study also delves into the implications of synchronous learning on scheduling, support systems, technology infrastructure, and data-driven decision-making, shedding light on the multifaceted dynamics involved in synchronous virtual courses. Understanding these considerations is essential for informed decision-making and effective implementation of synchronous learning in virtual educational settings.
Findings from the study are shared through the presentation below, please make sure to open speaker notes for explanations of each slide.