Monday, February 19, 2018

Async-Sync Learning System

A project proposal prepared for students, which may be of interest:

Async-Sync Learning System

Modify existing free open source educational software to combine the features of Asynchronous and Synchronous learning delivery.

Current learning management software provides delivery in one of two modes: Asynchronous, where the student can use the materials in their own time (example: Moodle), or Synchronous, where the students and instructor are online at the same time (example: Big Blue Button).

An approach has been proposed combining the features of both Asynchronous and Synchronous in the one package: "... synchronization of the asynchronous learning process ..." (Worthington, p. 619, 2013). This has been investigated with a small proof-of-concept (Worthington & Wu, 2015). An attempt was made in a previous ANU group project to expand this, but difficulties were experienced integrating Moodle and Big Blue Button.
Tools have matured since 2015 and it is proposed to make another attempt to build an Async-Sync Learning System (ASLS), beginning with a simple use case:
"A teacher in the new ANU Collaborative Learning (CLE) Building gives their class a set time to complete a quiz and then discuss it. Students participating remotely via the ASLS complete the quiz at the same time and take part in the discussion with the students in the room (synchronous mode). After the class, the teacher presses "Publish" and the lesson recording is made available to students who could not take part live. A student watching the recording later (asynchronous mode) has the same amount of time to complete the quiz as one in the live class. They can't fast forward past the quiz to the discussion, until they completed the quiz (due to the synchronization feature of the software). After they complete the quiz, the student can contribute to the discussion, and access what the other students who were in the room and participating remotely live, or later, said."
Any materials produced by the project will be under an open source license available for free use. Students will have the option to enter the project in the Innovation ACT competition and set up a company to support the product.


  • Worthington, T. (2013, April). Synchronizing asynchronous learning-Combining synchronous and asynchronous techniques. In Computer Science & Education (ICCSE), 2013 8th International Conference on (pp. 618-621). IEEE. URL
  • Worthington, T., & Wu, H. (2015, July). Time-shifted learning: Merging synchronous and asynchronous techniques for e-learning. In Computer Science & Education (ICCSE), 2015 10th International Conference on (pp. 434-437). IEEE. URL


  1. Investigate forms of learning delivery
  2. Modify existing open source software to provide Asynchronous and Synchronous functions in the one package


Experience with, or interest in, education would be an advantage.


Worthington, T. (2017). Digital Teaching in Higher Education: Designing E-learning for International Students of Technology, Innovation and the Environment. Lulu. com. URL

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