Students find ways to adjust to asynchronous learning


Bela Golden

The Student Academic Success Center is looking to recommend strategies and resources that students can utilize to manage their coursework during remote learning. (GVL / Jonathan Eloi Lantiegne)

Autumn Pitchure, Staff Reporter

This winter semester at Grand Valley State University, many classes are still online only. Students are learning in a variety of ways; some in-person, others in synchronous online classrooms and many in asynchronous courses. Asynchronous classes are courses that do not have a designated meeting time, where the bulk of coursework is done by students on their own time.

For those asynchronous students, there is a large amount of freedom. More than ever, the time that students devote to assignments and learning is whatever they choose. Managing time can be difficult when there are no structured class meetings telling them what to do at what point in their week. The Student Academic Success Center (SASC) is offering a “Managing Asynchronous Classes Workshop” in hopes of helping students navigate what for many is a new way of learning.

“We have found that these classes can prove to be difficult because it’s really up to the student to be self-motivated and create time within their schedule to work on these courses,” said Elizabeth Chase, Special Projects Coordinator at the SASC. “Since there is no set meeting day and no instructor to give verbal assignment reminders, it’s important for students to be organized to keep themselves on track.”

Jessica Fillmore, a Graduate Assistant at the SASC, came up with the idea to offer an asynchronous-specific workshop based on many conversations with her students last semester.

“The goal is to provide information that will help students set a schedule, and ensure coursework is finished in a timely and successful manner,” said Fillmore.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 2-3 p.m. Students can join through Zoom. A RSVP is required to obtain the Zoom link, and registration and a full workshop schedule can be found on the Student Academic Success Center website (, or on the university events calendar.

“Any student who is enrolled in online courses this semester could benefit from some time management resources,” said Fillmore.

Throughout the workshop students will get a developed plan on how to understand their personal learning process, so it becomes easier for them to manage. The workshop will also help students to develop a set schedule to stay on track with their classes and workload. It informs students on healthy habits such as getting an adequate amount of sleep each night and fueling themselves with beneficial foods.

“Managing your time looks differently when you are not physically attending classes, and our goal is to help students with that adjustment,” Fillmore said. “It may feel silly to set a specific schedule when coursework can be done at any time, but this helps with motivation and the learning process.”

When it comes to asynchronous classes, Chase suggests having one centralized location (a white board, a planner, Google calendar, etc.) where students can store all class assignment due dates and test dates.

“Additionally, I would recommend mapping out set days and times each week when they will work on homework or study for their asynchronous classes,” Chase said. “Students should create this themselves within their schedule as if they do meet on a certain day and time.”

The Student Academic Success Center has held similar virtual workshops this last semester and has found them to be immensely successful and helpful.

“Because of all the positive feedback, we decided to offer more again this winter,” said Chase.

Having a routine has helped students stay organized and on track with excelling in their studies. The Student Academic Success Center is partnering with a wide variety of offices and organizations such as: Tutoring Center, Disability Support Resources, Recreation and Wellness, the Career Center and the Campus Activities Board. These partners provide beneficial strategies and resources to all students. The SASC is also offering other workshops this semester. Students can find these workshops online by going to their website at