Blended synchronous learning: Patterns and principles for simultaneously engaging co-located and distributed learners

M. Bower, J. Kenney, Barney Dalgarno, Mark Lee, G. Kennedy

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents seven blended synchronous learning designs and articulates principles for implementation as espoused by the teachers who enacted them. Blended synchronous learning approaches use media-rich synchronous technologies to enable remote and face-to-face students to co-participate in the same live classes. A wide range of technologies (video conferencing, web conferencing, virtual worlds), tasks (collaborative evaluation, group questioning, class discussion, problem solving, collaborative design) and levels of student interaction (from lightweight to tightly coupled) were present within the blended synchronous learning designs. The main issues that teachers confronted when teaching blended synchronous lessons were communication issues and issues related to cognitive overload caused by split attention. Key pedagogical principles for enactment as identified by the lead teachers included the need for extensive preparation, clear instructions, composure, flexibility, advance preparation of students and savvy utilisation of support staff. These findings represent initial results from an Office of Learning and Teaching project entitled 'Blended synchronicity: Uniting on-campus and distributed learners using media-rich real-time collaboration tools' (further details available at
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASCILITE 2013
Subtitle of host publicationElectric dreams
EditorsJ Hedberg
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventASCILITE 2013: 30th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 25 Nov 201328 Nov 2013
Conference number: 30th


ConferenceASCILITE 2013
Abbreviated titleElectric dreams
OtherFor Ascilite’s 30th anniversary in 2013, conference hosts Macquarie University hope to cast our minds towards the future through the conference theme, ‘Electric Dreams’. A dream can be a vision, a prediction, an aspiration - but it can also be a reflection, a pastiche of thoughts, or a different form of consciousness. Our aim is to inspire new and creative ways of thinking about the use of computers in education - to dream while we’re awake. The occasion of our 30th anniversary also offers delegates the opportunity to reflect on where we’ve come from, and how that might inform where we’re going.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Blended synchronous learning: Patterns and principles for simultaneously engaging co-located and distributed learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this