Asynchronous learning is a student-centered eLearning technique in which online resources are used to take the course anytime and anywhere, at the preferred schedule. Another type of eLearning, which is Synchronous learning, requires both instructor and learner to be online at the same time. Both of these solutions have their own benefits and drawbacks. However, Asynchronous learning is preferred by the learners, as well as the organizations.
Synchronous learning is beneficial for the learners who want to experience real-time class while studying online. But most of the learners prefer Asynchronous learning because it is more effective in the corporate scenario due to following reasons:
1) Discussion Boards, Emails and Blogs: Asynchronous learning through LMS solutions allows more assessments, and unbiased learning. E-mail can be used as a tool for asking questions, sending reminders, information, updates, and assessments. This is one of the most preferred modes of communication between instructors and learners. Discussion boards are also used for sharing documents and links with the learners. A fair judgment can be made on the basis of responses given by learners on assessments, discussions, emails, etc.
2) Instructional material including PPTs/Video’s/ Graphics/Podcasts: LMS solutions with responsive design allows the learners to use mobile devices, and access the virtual repositories like videos, PPTs, etc., to have an instant knowledge. So, Learners do not have to spend more time on screens and can study at their flexible time schedules.
3) Customized Learning is possible: LMScan analyze the audience with regard to their roles and skills, and define learning path for them. Then, a suitable course can be assigned to each learner, based on their roles and skills. This is how customized learning can be imparted to the learners.
4) Interactive: Asynchronous learning allows the learners to interact with their peers and instructor at any time from any location through emails, discussion boards, etc.
5) Social Networking: Social networking is easy and possible because learning management systems can have built-in social networking programs through embedded HTML scripts. Most often used social networking programs are twitter, Facebook, wikis, Flickr, etc.
6) Collaborative documents: Learners can edit each other’s work and collaborate with each other through collaborative documents. Learners enjoy this as they exchange thoughts and ideas with each other.
While choosing eLearning solutions, it is important to analyze the audience and then choose the most effective type of e-Learning. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of both, Synchronous and Asynchronous learning, can help you to determine which is more appropriate for your learning needs, but Asynchronous learning can certainly be more beneficial in developing engaging, memorable, and effective eLearning solution.