Sync Studios: A Learning Space for Remote Teaching

Concurrent Session 3

Brief Abstract

Join this session to explore an example of how building a physical learning space for synchronous online teaching can foster student and faculty engagement. Discover ideas and resources for designing an effective studio that supports the online instructor with tools, screens, and space.


Celia Coochwytewa has a vast background and experience in instructional design, consulting, developing, and delivering innovative and proficient technology-enhanced products and experiences in an education environment. At Arizona State University's Enterprise Technology, she is the Manager of Collaborative Learning, where she works closely with faculty and other stakeholders to design and develop engaging, interactive, and effective learning experiences accessible to students in all learning spaces. Additionally, Celia has led the development and coordination of faculty consulting needs around instructional technology and course design in collaboration with program and team stakeholders. She contributes to multiple University-wide workgroups to discuss and provide guidance on instructional design and technology matters. She also provides insight both as a participant and facilitator on the podcast, Instruction by Design. produced by ASU's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. A former K12 teacher providing general education, language arts, media literacy, and gifted outreach programming instruction, her focus has remained on curriculum and instruction, specifically with technology integration. She believes that technology is a tool for learning, prepares students for their future, and should not be used for 'technology sake' but in a conscious manner.

Extended Abstract

This session will explore an example of how building a physical learning space for synchronous online teaching can foster student and faculty engagement. Discover ideas and resources for designing an effective studio that supports the online instructor with tools, screens, and space. 

With the swift movement of courses and learning processes to online modalities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, educators have used the opportunity to reimagine the space in which students are being taught. For Arizona State University, this quick shift resulted in a new modality called ASU Sync. ASU Sync provides students with synchronous, technology-enhanced, fully interactive remote learning and offers the benefits of face-to-face instruction in an interactive group learning environment.

To support the new modality and use the experiences from the pandemic, Sync Studios were created by the Learning Spaces team in collaboration with the Learning Experience team at ASU. Sync Studios were built with the intent to increase both student engagement and the quality of synchronous online instruction. These studios address the need for designated teaching spaces where faculty can actively engage with students using classroom tools like document cameras and whiteboards, move through the physical space as they lecture, and view their students on multiple screens. They afford the faculty and students a classroom-like experience. 

To ensure smooth implementation, the ASU Learning Experience team provides support to ensure faculty are comfortable in the room by including an orientation service to the space and technology tools. Consultation on effective teaching strategies and other learning tools are also offered to those who seek instructional support. 

Audience Interaction:

This session will use conversation, faculty experience response, and media to engage the audience in considering how designing learning spaces to support synchronous online teaching can enhance the faculty and student experience. 

Key Takeaways:

Participants can expect to discuss the support provided for faculty who teach in the Sync Studio spaces. Explore the hardware supplied in Sync Studios to enhance the teaching experience and converse on the necessity of designated spaces to support synchronous online teaching.