ASU Sync Only

ASU Sync Only

Note, that this instruction mode requires prior approval, except when the cap for a class is over 100 students.  In this case, the class will automatically be made ASU Sync Only.  For this mode all students in the course, including the instructor, will participate only via Zoom.

If you will be teaching only through Zoom, you will need to be more thoughtful in making all of your assignments and expectations explicit through Canvas.  You will also want to consider a variety of Zoom strategies. Whatever approach you take, the learning outcomes should be the same.  Courses where communication and collaboration are key, will need to continue to exhibit this in the online environment through break-out rooms, video messaging/discussion boards and the use of third party software.  Consider reaching out to the SILC Instructional Support team ( to set up a discussion to support your course needs.

Our first recommendation is to have a conversation with your colleagues who taught similar courses last spring and review the challenges that they experienced at that time.  

Positive Aspects

  • Students will not have to worry about masks or social distancing.

  • Instructors will not have to monitor and engage with two instructional spaces.

  • Small group discussions through breakout rooms are easy to activate.

  • Most instructors used this model in Spring 2020, so it is familiar and they may have already devised solutions for certain challenges. 

Challenging Aspects

  • Students will not be as able to talk to each other before or after class, which limits class bonding and community building.

  • Body language is more difficult to interpret.

  • There may be technology challenges (e.g. You’re mic is muted).

  • Students are more likely to be distracted (TV, other people, pets, music, internet).

  • Students like to find ways to sabotage Zoom.

  • Instructors can’t monitor discussions in breakout rooms unless they are in a specific breakout room.

  • Breakout room discussions can’t be recorded.

  • It is difficult to monitor student engagement in larger classes, without a helper.

Basic Model Assumptions and Strategies

All of your activities will be developed with the idea that you need to be thoughtful in your planning. You have to have planned out, set up, tested, and created back up plans for technical failure for every lesson and activity well before each class begins. 

Determine Your Schedule of Teaching

Consider developing a plan for what types of activities will be held on which days of your course. Though each day will be taught through Zoom, you still may want to think about which day of the week students will participate in certain activities compared to other activities. The more consistent the expectations, the more likely students will be to accomplish the tasks.

Contact Students

Before classes begin, email your students. Make it clear to them that the whole course will be taught via Zoom. Consider attaching a Google Form.  What kind of information from your students might better help you prepare for courses and help students feel more comfortable about taking your course? 

Take Regular Attendance

There is a way to run a report from within Zoom to determine which students participated in your course (see the UTO Zoom Attendance Report video).

An alternate method would be to include a Google Attendance form in your Canvas course. Consider including an open-ended question that asks students to share any attendance concerns they may have, or a message to email you directly if they have any attendance concerns. Then on your Canvas Homepage include a section providing information on ASU Sync and a link to your attendance form.  Each day at the beginning of your Zoom class have an introduction slide up asking students to access the Canvas Homepage and submit their attendance. Students can try to sign in for another student, but if the form is set to grab their email address, you will be able to see that the email and student name do not match.

Sample Attendance Form (To make a copy:  Go into the document, then find the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner, click on Make a Copy, and now you can make changes as needed).


Canvas also has an attendance tool called Canvas Roll Call Attendance; Link1 and Link2.  Note, that you will need to enable the tool, in Settings, before using it.


Set Clear Classroom Procedures

Ensure that you have added language to your syllabus that discusses classroom behavior in a virtual meeting space. See the UTO Best Practices for Zoom Classroom Management document for a list of suggested ways to provide effective management when working with Zoom.

ASU Instruction Mode Strategies