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Enhancing Asynchronous Learning with Microsoft Teams' Posts Section: Collaborate, Discuss, Succeed.

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Asynchronous learning has become an essential aspect of modern-day education, especially with the rise of online learning platforms. With the pandemic allowing schools to think differently about online learning, it has become more critical than ever to have effective tools for asynchronous learning. Microsoft Teams is a platform that provides various tools to help teachers and students collaborate, communicate, and learn effectively in both asynchronous and synchronous learning environments. One of the features that can be useful for asynchronous learning is the Posts Section in a Class Team.

The Posts Section in a Class Team is a space where teachers and students can have ongoing conversations, share files, and collaborate in real-time. This feature can be especially useful for asynchronous learning as it allows students to ask questions, get clarification on assignments, and discuss ideas with their classmates and teachers outside of the traditional classroom setting. This can be helpful for students who need extra support or maybe too shy to ask questions during live lessons.

The Posts Section in a Class Team can also be used by teachers to support planning for synchronous online live lessons. By monitoring the Posts Section, teachers can gain insights into students' understanding of the material, identify areas where students may struggle, and adjust their lesson plans accordingly. For example, if a teacher notices that many students struggle with a particular concept, they can review it more during the next life lesson.

Furthermore, teachers can also use the Posts Section to share resources, such as links to articles, videos, or additional readings, that students can review at their own pace. This can be especially useful for students needing more time to understand the material or prefer to learn independently. By sharing resources in the Posts Section, teachers can provide students with additional support and help them succeed in their studies.

The largest challenge will be engaging all students to be active participants; however, encouraging student participation in an asynchronous discussion forum is crucial for fostering collaboration and critical thinking skills.

Here are some steps a teacher could follow to ensure student participation:

Create engaging prompts:

To encourage student participation, create engaging prompts that encourage critical thinking and discussion. These prompts could be related to course content, current events, or real-world issues relevant to the students.

Set a timeline:

Set a timeline for the discussion forum, including participation deadlines, and ensure it is communicated clearly to the students. This will help students plan their participation and ensure the discussion remains active throughout the course.

Facilitate discussion:

As the teacher, it's important to actively facilitate discussion in the forum by asking follow-up questions, providing feedback, and encouraging students to respond to each other's posts. This will help to keep the conversation flowing and encourage deeper engagement with the material.

Provide feedback and recognition:

Provide feedback and recognition to students who participate actively and thoughtfully in the discussion forum. This could be feedback on their contributions or recognition through a grade or other tangible reward.

Encourage peer-to-peer interaction:

Encourage students to interact with each other in the discussion forum by responding to each other's posts and providing feedback. This will help to create a collaborative learning environment and encourage deeper engagement with the material.

You can use many features to ensure engagement and build a sense of community. The @ mentioning functions will draw the attention of the whole class of individuals. When appropriate, ask another student to respond or add to the discussion by @ mentioning them, especially if you noticed they are yet to engage.

Something simple like:

Teacher: Some very interesting points are being made on the topic @Joe I would love to hear what you think.


Teacher: @Anna has made a very interesting point about ....... @Sam would you agree or disagree?

Microsoft Praise, or the wide range of emojis, gifs or stickers, is another simple but effective way to engage in positive feedback or recognition of student work.

Lastly, you could choose to add a poll to the conversation. Apart from providing quick feedback and encouraging participation, this additional element enables data collection, which may prove useful in a future synchronous lesson.

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