You'll see the option to choose either Sync Mode or Async Mode the first time you set up a course in Peerceptiv. Read on for more information and to decide which option might be a good fit for your course.
Sync Mode vs. Async Mode
In traditional Sync Mode assignments, Peerceptiv will enforce a common deadline for each phase of the assignment. Students will access the Peerceptiv platform on their own time, but they must adhere to the same deadlines for the submission, reviewing, and feedback phases. There is an inherent workflow in which all students must submit before the submission deadline, then all students can review until the reviewing deadline, and when the reviewing deadline passes, then all students are able to begin doing feedback. The Peerceptiv algorithm uses the reviewing information to generate reviewing accuracy and helpfulness grades for each student, which are incorporated into the overall grade. When the assignment is finished, all students receive their grades at the same time, usually when released by the instructor. Sync mode works well at any class size or scale.
Async Mode assignments allow students to move through the assignment at their own pace, and the instructor can choose to set a final deadline, phase deadlines, or have no deadline at all. As soon as students submit they can begin reviewing their peers' work and providing feedback to their reviewers. Once a student has completed all the required assignment tasks, they will get their results. If they aren't satisfied with their results, they can re-submit and repeat the reviewing process. Students get their grades as they finish, and the grades are simply based on their peer reviews, not incorporating their reviewing accuracy and helpfulness. Async mode either works best with courses of 100 students or more so that there is plenty of volume to move students through the assignment tasks, or in other situations where students are moving quickly through the process, such as a short timeframe or as a live in-class activity.
Which Mode is right for you?
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you think about whether to choose sync mode or async mode for your course. In general, sync mode assignments provide more organizational structure for students and instructors, and have a more robust grading process that includes grades for reviewing behavior. Async mode assignments offer greater student flexibility to complete the assignment at their own pace, including getting immediate feedback, and offer competency based grading.
Do you prefer your students complete their work according to a set schedule and deadlines?
Sync mode is preferrable for set schedules and deadlines. Async mode allows students to submit, review, and give feedback at any time, including the option to restart the assignment. If you have many students who need to complete work outside of the normal deadlines or who would require significant extensions, async may be a better fit.
How many students do you have?
Sync mode will work well with any course size. Async mode can only be used for courses of 100+, unless you plan to enforce deadlines that will move the students through at roughly the same time.
How much control do you want to have over student grades?
In async assignments, grades are instantly released to the student when they finish an assignment. You will likely see the grade at the same time the student does. It's possible to make changes to the grades, but these assignments are designed to run themselves with no teacher actions needed before grades are released. In async mode, students receive a submission grade based solely on their peer reviews and performance on the rubric. They do not receive a grade for reviewing behavior.
In Sync mode, you are able to set a grading curve and ensure that your students' grades align with that curve. Students also receive grades for reviewing behavior. If you want to have more control over student grades and incentivize reviewing behavior, sync mode may be a better fit.
Will your students be comfortable in a flexible learning environment?
Our async mode was designed to fit well in courses where students have the freedom and responsibility to manage their own learning activities. Students have the ability to restart their assignment after they finish so that they can learn through an iterative process.
If you have any questions about choosing Sync Mode or Async Mode, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to set up a consultation with one of our instructional support specialists.