July 2018 Workshop: Questions and Answers

Post your questions regarding the July 2018 session of theenhancing students’ engagement and learning by integrating synchronous communication into asynchronous courses workshop to this discussion forum. 

Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 16, 2018 11:25 am MST

This is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with how to incorporate live sessions into our asynchronous facilitations. Thank you for the chance to to work with my colleagues in this forum!

David Proudfoot's picture David Proudfoot | July 16, 2018 12:44 pm MST

Hi Mary! Thank you for the comment and kicking off our discussion forum. We are looking forward to facilitating the workshop this week and learning about its effectiveness on enhancing the student learning experience. 

Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 16, 2018 5:25 pm MST

Aloha David,

I am very happy to be joining you and colleagues on this journey! I have been reading the materials which are generating some questions, which I will share.

Have a wonderful evening!



Jonathan Lewis's picture Jonathan Lewis | July 17, 2018 2:20 pm MST

I am so grateful for this workshop! Excited about tomorrow's live session as well. Thank you all for providing your time to this project!

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 7:49 am MST

Greetings Jon and all colleagues at College of Education,

Welcome to our Workshop. We are very excited to work with you to further integrate synchronous approaches in online asychronous courses. So glad to see all postings/interactions in this forum and looking forward to our synchronous meeting today :-) 

Shannon Gilbert-Keenan's picture Shannon Gilbert-Keenan | July 16, 2018 6:56 pm MST

Hi Team!

I'm glad to be a part of this learning group and I look forward to the week ahead!

Thank you, David, for streamling all of the information for us!

David Proudfoot's picture David Proudfoot | July 18, 2018 7:53 am MST

Thank you Shannon. We are excited to be working with you all. 

Jacqueline Mangieri's picture Jacqueline Mangieri | July 17, 2018 6:11 am MST

Hi Everyone, 

Glad to be here. I would like to clarify a couple of things.

  1. We don't have a class on ecampus for this workshop like we do for most other professional development workshops. All our materials and interactions occur through this site. Is that correct?
  2. There are no deliverables until Day 3. Today we are reading articles and reviewing materials, tomorrow we participate in the synchronous session, and Day 3 we submit the Implementation Plan using the provided template. Is that correct?

Thank you~

Jackie [Mangieri] Brown

PS. I couldn't figure out how to change my last name to my current and correct last name of Brown in this research hub. :-)

Christina Godard's picture Christina Godard | July 17, 2018 9:16 am MST

That is what I understood Jackie!!  Hopefully someone else can guide us if we are missing something!

Lori Schieffer's picture Lori Schieffer | July 17, 2018 9:55 am MST

Hello Christie! Great to see you here. Nice to see a familiar face. 

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 7:11 am MST

Hi Christina, 

Good to see you and welcome to our workshop. Yes, the 3 Days activities are correct, and everything is available here at SIG site. 

Jonathan Lewis's picture Jonathan Lewis | July 17, 2018 2:15 pm MST

We'll just think of you as Brown until you're able to make it so, Jackie! ; )

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 7:08 am MST

Hello Jacqueline, 

Yes, you are correct regarding the sequence of the activities; Day 1 reading and viewing the videos; Day 2: attending the synchronous webinar; Day 3: completing Implementation Plan and Survey. All materials are available in this SIG site nothing in ecampus.  Looking forward to our meeting today. 

J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 9:43 am MST

I believe your other questions have been answered already, so I'll address the comment about changing your name. The only way to get that done is to send an email to researchhub@phoenix.eduThe administrators of the research hub will take care of that for you.

Donald Clark's picture Donald Clark | July 17, 2018 6:17 am MST

Good morning David.  My work is primarily with school administrators and future school administrators.  Their world is primarily associated Google tools.  Is there a way to use Google Hangouts instead of Skype for Business?  Can that decision be determined by the needs and resources of the group with which the synchronous discussion is to take place?

Regardless Google or Microsoft....I am looking forward to the next three days.  There have been many times during my work with admin interns when during our seminars I wished I could have that open, synchronis discussion to clarify a topic or assignment with the group.


David Proudfoot's picture David Proudfoot | July 18, 2018 8:00 am MST

Hi Donald-I appreciate you wanting to align your online collaborative tools with what your learners are familiar with and regularly use in their profession. In this workshop we present various tools that can provide synchronous video chat events. We selected Skype for Business because it was sponsored by the University and technical support is provided by our IT team. We encourage use of platforms that are approved by UoP for this reason and to prevent any issues with the firewall/security. However, we understand that other tools such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect, etc. may be a better fit for your needs and may be more appropriate. If this is the case, we encourage you to talk with your Dean and other departments to gain support and approval if the platform is to be integrated into your courses as a recommended activity. 

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 8:04 am MST

Hello Donald,

In this workshop we introduce various tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype for Business, and Teams. You may select and use a tool depending on your learners' needs and course structure/institution.

The workshop synchronous meeting is via Skype for Business as this platform is supported by UOP. Teams is also another platform supported by UOP however, it does not have dial up option yet. 

Hope this clarifies and we will further discuss these in our today meeting.




Chandra Shepherd's picture Chandra Shepherd | July 18, 2018 3:44 pm MST


Is there any concern with utilzing other platforms in light of the fact that Skype for Business is the platform supported by the university?

Thank you,


Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 18, 2018 3:49 pm MST

Thank you, Mansureh, 

Your clarification is helpful, as is David's, about the supported vs unsupported tools that can be used with UOP courses. Webex has been a very user-friendly tool, but I am sure the other modes of synchonizing courses, are equally, if not more advanced and easy to use. The Teams is one that I will definitely want to learn to use.



Donald Clark's picture Donald Clark | July 18, 2018 2:27 pm MST

Thanks David.  I kind of thought it had to do with UoPX compatibility.  I am looking forward to tonight's seminar and sharing ideas with everyone.  The opportunity for synchronous interaction is the perfect compliment to the online classroom.   In a live facilitation we read much from tone of voice, body language, facial expression, etc.  In our asynchronous online format, those forms of communication are not accessible.  Using synchronous strategies, even if only voice with no video, there is much more communication taking place and much more information being gathered.

Christina Godard's picture Christina Godard | July 17, 2018 9:17 am MST
I was completing the day 1 activities - reading the articles, blogs, etc.  It appears from the directions that the following is a key component.  Be sure to review the blog for the conceptual framework for the workshop which is included on the materials page. 

However, the direct link leads to an error and this specific blog is unable to be accessed.  Below is the error code received when clicking the direct link....

Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 17, 2018 11:06 am MST


I had the same message about the blog. Hopefully, the link can be activated. 


Jacqueline Mangieri's picture Jacqueline Mangieri | July 18, 2018 6:09 am MST

Hi Christi,

I had the same thing happen when I clicked that link you noted, but when I tried to access the blog directly from the materials page, it worked. 


Hope this helps! :-)

David Proudfoot's picture David Proudfoot | July 18, 2018 8:02 am MST

Hello- Christina brought this to my attention yesterday via email and it was fixed yesterday. Thank you for the feedback and making us aware. 

Lori Schieffer's picture Lori Schieffer | July 17, 2018 9:56 am MST

Hello Team,

I am checking in. Thank you for the invite and chance to learn something new.

Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 18, 2018 1:26 am MST

Hi Christina,Jackie, Shannon, Don, and Lori!

Nice to see you here!

Jackie, my understanding of the assignment/format is how you describe it also. Day 3 is the deliverable and tomorrow, during our synchronous discussion, we can clarify, I am sure. 



Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 17, 2018 12:42 pm MST

Aloha, Matt, and Colleagues,

Thank you for the information on how you would like to include a live session in your course discussions and interactions. In reading the provided materials on the pros and cons of synchronous and asynchronous participation, some of the pros of adding in a synchronous element is an increase in cognitive demand (International Journal for the Scholarship of Technology Enhanced Learning). I teach AP Literature and Composition and Expository Writing for the Hawaii Virtual Learning Network(E-school) which is an advanced learning opportunity for high schoool juniors and seniors in an online modality. For the past 14 years, we have used a Webinar link that is integrated in  our Blackboard Classroom. Now that E-School is transitioning, as is UOP, to Blackboard Ultra, we will be using the Collaborate function for live sessions. I have found that high schoool students are not easily convinced to participate actively, in these Webinar sessions. A few of them are willing and have the confidence to speak and share information but it has been a struggle, overall, to create productive discussions, without a great deal of teacher influence and coaxing. With that in mind, I have not seen an advantage in improvement in rigor, but once the live session is over, the students are willing to share in an asynchrounous discussion forum, with positive energy. I realize that in a perfect World, this would be the ideal venue to develop critical thinking, but I have not experienced that with the high school demographic. 

For college level students, this is far more productive, in my experience. I was fortunate enough to work with UOP on 2 pilot courses for intorducing Blackboard Ultra. In those courses, we used the Collaborate function, which has the option of a live skype, video, or just audio. This can be synchrnous and asnychronous. The students did give feedback that if they are taking an online modality, they do not plan or even have time to schedule synchronous meetings. This was something that there was not good answer for. Students who take online courses are primarily working adults who have limited time and varied schedules. Scheduling is an issue. 

My thoughts are that on day one of a course, and in the syallbus, scheduling for a synchronous meeting is a priority and possibly a survey for possible time and day choices is implemented at the outset. 

I look forward to your thoughts on this element!







Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 8:22 am MST

Hi Mary,

Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. Integrating synchronous communications in asynchronous courses would enhance the quality of teaching and learning and communication skills of the learners, however, it does have some implications and issues. Scheduling is one of main issues that should be considered when offering synchronous communications. Often learners are more comfortable going with asynchronous communications only. But as the studies indicate synchronous communications can better prepare our leaners’ interaction skills. Just like any other instructional approaches, specific strategies should be used to make synchronous approaches effective in asynchronous courses. 

We will discuss the strategies in our today meeting. 

Matt Moody's picture Matt Moody | July 17, 2018 11:54 am MST

Hi everyone and thank you Dr. Proudfoot for your leadership in this area.

I'm really excited about this project. I look forward to our Skype for Business meeting tomorrow.

Having reviewed all of the tutorials for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams and having installed those products to OS X and iOS and soon Windows 8.1, I'm very excited to use Microsoft Teams, especially. I also reviewed the articles supporting a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning, which I think is a brilliant idea.

I teach preservice teachers in California in our College of Education's elementary and secondary graduate programs in teacher education. My course involves instructional methods for English language learners (ELLs).

Is it possible that all of us in this project could collaborate together on a Microsoft Team? I would be very interested in joining a team in which we could practice collaborating using that tool and using it as we share ideas about how to implement the tool itself in our own classes.

I could see Microsoft Teams successfully being integrated into Week 6 of my 6-week graduate course. During Week 6, students are encouraged to share their Individual Lesson Plan assignments with each other in order to create a team Instructional Unit. This would be so much easier than our current thread-based sharing system in eCampus.

It would be especially informative and helpful for me if I could drop in and witness the collaboration taking place within each team, and within the class. I think this would be a very exciting and informative example of how to integrate Microsoft Teams into the University of Phoenix classroom.

Thank you, and I look forward to moving forward with this workshop and eventually implementing it in the classroom.


Matt Moody, M.Ed. 

Lead Faculty Area Chair

College of Education - Online & San Diego Campus 

University of Phoenix mrmoody@email.phoenix.edu



J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 11:59 am MST

Hello, Matt!

I agree with you, Teams is an extremely robust platform. It incorporates several features of collaboration, project management, and communication that are uniquely suited to integration with the Microsoft platform. I like your suggestion of practicing in Teams; if we have learned anything in working with virtual presence tools, it is that the more practice you have with the tool, the better you will be with it.

I also love your use case. That would be a wonderful application, allowing students to share and question in real time. You'll want to be sure to enforce strict time limits depending on your class size, but you already knew that. If you do decide to implement Teams or any other tool that way, let me know; I'd love to sit in!

Teams is still very new to many of us in the University. I just got access to mine just over a week ago. I would be happy to set up a couple of sessions for us to play with it once the workshop concludes. Let me know if you are still interested when it ends.

Matt Moody's picture Matt Moody | July 18, 2018 4:12 pm MST

Thanks Dr. Roberts. I'm definitely interested in playing with Teams in advance of deploying it, and you're more than welcome to sit in when I implement it in the classroom.


Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 17, 2018 2:29 pm MST

Hello Everyone!  


I am excited to be joining this project and looking forward to our meeting Wednesday!  


I am interested in this project because I have been teaching a course for the Online College of Education that includes a weekly Skype sessions and they have been a very good experience.. both for me as a facilitator and for the students.  I would like to incorporate Skype's into my other classes, first as an instructor chat and then as a way for students to interact and work collaboartively.  


As for me.. I am an online Lead Faculty Area Chair for the College of Education.  I have been working for University of Phoenix for 9 years, mainly teaching Coaching, Leadership and Teacher Education courses.  


I also work for a school district as a Teacher on Special Assignment, in the Curriculum and Instruction and Technology departments (LOVE TECH)  


Looking forward to our meeting ! 




J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 11:29 am MST

Welcome, Lisa! We are looking forward to collaborating and sharing with you!

Corlie Weber's picture Corlie Weber | July 17, 2018 2:45 pm MST

Hi Team,

It's great to 'see' everyone gathered here!  Fantastic group!!

I am looking forward to learning more about collaboration tools that we can bring to our courses to facilitate synchronous meeting opportunities and perhaps comparing the pros/cons of the different tools.  In teaching the student teaching seminar series of courses, I see great value in providing students with 'office hours' opportunities in which students may meet to discuss the weekly Teacher Work Sample (or edTPA, in the other seminar) tasks.  While I have rudimentary knowledge of Skype, I am eager to capitalize upon some of its more 'robust' capabilities. :-)



J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 12:08 pm MST

Hello Corlie!

With regard to your student teaching seminar, here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking about enhancing those classes. My school district is implementing a couple of tools to help observe teachers virtually. One is allowing teachers to record a ten to fifteen minute snippet of a class and submit it for review. Some researchers find that when a teacher submits their best lesson in their opinion, it is usually a good representation of what that teacher is really about. It is even more powerful if you use Sibme, Swivl, Edivate, or other similar products to record, organize, and enable feedback. That isn't synchronous, though.

The synchronous part is having the teacher to broadcast a lesson in real time using Zoom, Google Hangouts, or any of myriad products to a live audience of coaches and mentors. I don't think we have permissions to do that with Skype for Business or Teams. However, the teacher and the mentor/coach can debrief virtually in real time using any virtual presence technology, whether it is any of those I mentioned above or Skype for Business/ Teams.

The most robust feature of any of these products is the human mind. :)

Corlie Weber's picture Corlie Weber | July 18, 2018 3:54 pm MST

These are great ideas, Medgar!  Thank you!

Lisa Brizendine's picture Lisa Brizendine | July 17, 2018 2:46 pm MST


Sharepoint seems to be much like Google Drive- which many of my students currently use.  Is it recommended that students start using sharepoint?  


Also... where do I download the Microsoft teams function?  I would like to try to use that with my counterpart in Southern California.  

Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | July 18, 2018 11:53 am MST

Hi Lisa,

Sharepoint is similar to Google Drive except that it is supported by UOP and students may contact Tech support if needed.

For downloading Teams, please log into eCampus, click on Inbox, click on the small panel of squares on the right top corner, and search/download Teams.  

J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 12:12 pm MST

Thanks for that answer, Mansureh! I will add that if Lisa's counterpart is with the University, all she has to do is login to Office 365 with her University of Phoenix credentials and click on Teams. There is a Web app that doesn't require a download. That said, the experience isn't as streamlined or robust, but it will get the job done for collaboration. 

Shannon Gilbert-Keenan's picture Shannon Gilbert-Keenan | July 18, 2018 4:31 am MST

Hi Everyone,

Synchronous learning is a wonderful way to not only build a rapport with the students, but to also communicate important information that students should kow about the course, assignments, and (perhaps) their focus upon the major area of study. I have had the opportunity to utilize synchronous communication via another online university and it was quite successful. Students were asked to bring their questions prior to the discussion, and to also address any other assignment//classroom issues they had. In all. synchronous learning occurred two times during the course - once about two weeks after the course began and the other time right before the final assignments were due.

Question: I'm not able to find any information about the Implementation Plan due on week 3. More information about this would be appreciated.

Thank you!



Jacqueline Mangieri's picture Jacqueline Mangieri | July 17, 2018 7:10 pm MST

Hi Shannon,

All I have found is the template near the end of the Materials page, before the References list. If anyone else found more information, please let me know! :-)

Mary Christopher's picture Mary Christopher | July 18, 2018 1:31 am MST

Hi Shannon,

The template for the day 3 deliverable is, as Jackie said, in the materials section. It is very easy to just use the headings provided and create your implementation plan.

I hope this helps!



J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 11:33 am MST

Hello, everyone!

We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with all of you. We will do a little more talking about the Implementation Plan tonight. We want to make sure there has been an opportunity to digest some of the content and allow you all to ask questions before we share too much about that element. 

I will see you all in the session later today!

Patricia Ballard's picture Patricia Ballard | July 17, 2018 6:56 pm MST

Hi Everyone! I am very excited about this collaboration. I am a frequent user of both Skype and MS Teams, so I look forward to learning more about the plan to offer synchronous learning opportunities to our students. 

J. Medgar Roberts's picture J. Medgar Roberts | July 18, 2018 12:14 pm MST

Hello, Patricia! Since you are already a power user of Skype and Teams, the real challenge for you will be thinking about your instructional design and how to use these tools to enrich your classroom. There are a few tools with ideas/suggestions in the materials section of this workshop.

Donna Bullock's picture Donna Bullock | July 17, 2018 7:39 pm MST

Hi Everyone,

It is great to see all the conversations going on within this workshop.  I have been using "Live Chat" for awhile now in courses that I teach.  I found at first it was difficult to get students to join.  However, Jon Lewis shared some things he did to get students to join and now we have a pretty good engagement of our students.  Some of the strategies Jon shared with me is included in the materials for this workshop and I am certain we will go over them. 


I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas, would love to get a team up and running in Microsoft Teams to play with that tool a little bit.  I was able to download it to my phone as well so I think I am ready to go!




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