There are many ways to learn these days, but remote learning has gained popularity over traditional classroom settings as industries have changed and learner demographics have shifted. As companies have shifted rapidly to e-learning training for their employees, it is instinctual to wonder how learning online can be accomplished. Especially in the realm of learning “live” in front of an instructor or listening to pre-recorded lectures at one’s own pace, it is important to take a look at how a class’s structure may lend itself to better learning outcomes. Using e-learning training, classes can be conducted synchronously or asynchronously. You can read more below about the advantages of each.
What is Learning Synchronously and Asynchronously?
Since the internet is always connected, online learning can be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous means that both the teacher and the student are present at one point in time, using the internet to communicate with each other. Asynchronous means that students learn on their own schedule while teachers provide guidance through email or discussion boards. Both asynchronous and synchronous learning have their advantages. The learning environment should match the informational needs of the learner, while also providing leisure time to allow them to develop socially. Learning in synchronous or asynchronous environments may be more effective depending on what is being learned.
Advantages to Synchronous Learning
You Can Attend Class Anywhere
The internet makes it possible for students and teachers to meet at any time, no matter where either party is located. Some research studies suggest that attending a lecture online may be as effective as attending an in-person lecture.
It Preserves Live Interaction
Synchronous learning and teaching helps people who learn more effectively when they can communicate with someone face to face. With synchronous learning, it is possible for students to attend lectures in other countries and students who can join in the classes at convenient times such as mornings or early evenings when it is difficult to attend in-person classes.
The Instructor is Live
Another advantage of synchronous instruction is that students have access to a teacher right away if they do not understand something online. For example, synchronous online instruction allows students to communicate in real time with teachers and other students about class content between classes or during free periods.
Synchronous learning is also associated with more teacher-student interaction, which potentially allows teachers to better understand students' needs and tailor their teaching methods to match.
It Keeps You on Track
Students who learn in a synchronous setting will usually have tasks and due dates every week, as well as even live quizzes or tests that are proctored online in real time. This structure allows for students to be held accountable each week and stay on track. This is helpful for those who procrastinate, as they won’t fall behind.
Everyone is Learning the Same Thing at the Same Time
In a synchronous class, every student is typically going to be on the same page each week. This allows for students to collaborate with one another and help eachother study if needed. Rather than in an asynchronous setting where some students might skip ahead, the entire class is able to work together.
Advantages to Asynchronous Learning
You Can Attend Class Any Time
Asynchronous education allows people across different time zones and of different ages to learn together since one person doesn't have to be present at the same time as another. This can have advantages if students and teachers are from different parts of the world or come from very diverse cultures. Students can attend at any time since the classroom is always accessible.
You Can Still Learn From Home
Asynchronous education may allow students to learn in the most comfortable environment for them, such as their own home or at a library if they have access to computers with internet connections.
You Can Curate Your Learning Experience
Students who need something clarified or repeated for better retention of knowledge have the ability to pause, shift, or even rewind a lesson that is pre-recorded in an asynchronous class.
You Can Choose Your Learning Schedule
Asynchronous education may allow for more creativity and exploring various topics, since a strict time table is not required.
It Brings People Together
The internet also provides access to experts who may not be able to physically teach in every location where they are needed. For example, a professor may be able to teach students across the world due to being located at a university near the internet or by using software like Skype that allows people from different countries to speak with each other via webcams.
It is Accessible
Another advantage of asynchronous learning is that it could provide more opportunities for disabled learners since time is not a factor in the classroom or online.
Both are Effective in Their Own Way
Overall, it can be argued that both synchronous and asynchronous learning provide opportunities for students to become knowledgeable about a variety of subjects. In fact, both types of learning may be necessary in the classroom to ensure that students can learn at all times throughout the day. While synchronous and asynchronous educational opportunities do have their advantages, many educators believe that they are equally effective. Although this argument has yet to be settled, educators hope that improvements in future technology will increase these advantages and allow students to learn more effectively.
It is clear that remote, instructor-led training is the new frontier of teaching and learning, as the need to keep up with the growing remote learning industry is stronger than ever.
ReadyTech provides companies and employees with a hosted training solution that offers hands-on, virtual training software to aid employees in practicing job skills. Companies that invest in employee training benefit from reduced attrition rates and hiring costs, better productivity, more knowledgeable employees, and a competitive hiring environment.
ReadyTech provides you with all the software you need for your virtual classroom, and we offer a full-service setup process as well as 24/7 live support. Contact us today.