Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning—learning outside classrooms

We know how technology has created a revolution in education. it has not only simplified the process of learning but has also given way for students to get hold of different kinds of learning. The online or digital experience has grown in popularity and accessibility; it can broadly be divided into two groups: Synchronous Learning or Asynchronous Learning.

The Synchronous Learning encompasses real time learning that happens in a specified time with the instructor and the student available at the same time.This means that both the parties could interact at the same time by sitting at different places. It is possible through video-conferencing, teleconferencing, chatting or live streaming lectures

On the other hand, there is another method called Asynchronous Learning that only happens when you schedule it conveniently. When the teachers provide students with online learning materials for reading, assignments etc, students have the provision to have access to it within a flexible time period. Some of the resources for asynchronous learning are virtual libraries, lecture notes, video tutorials etc. In this method the guide and the student are not available at the same time and they engage in the learning process according to their convenience.

Advantages of Synchronous and Asynchronous learning

Synchronous Learning:

  1. Increase in classroom interaction: This paves way for real time interaction between the teacher and students which is followed by instant feedback.The personalised resources make it easier to have a classroom type of environment in a digital setup.
  2. Dynamic learning: It provides a dynamic exploration of ideas and concepts which will put things in a different perspective for the scholar and pupil. For instance, the videoconferencing allows to have one-on-one discussions and debates where the students can ask each other questions and the teachers can monitor them live.
  3. Regular interaction: the synchronous method enables the students to have regular communication with their professors which apparently makes it possible to monitor how much a student has understood. A face-to-face discussion and individual guidance also make it equally viable to engage in learning process.

Asynchronous Learning

  1. Flexible Timings: if anyone is having busy schedules, they can switch into asynchronous method. The materials which includes notes, pre-recorded lectures or podcasts could be accessed according to their comfort.
  2. Ease of learning: one of the biggest advantages of this method is that it is self- guided where they can study at their own pace. They have the option to invest time on a subject as per their need.
  3. Affordable: The online education makes it affordable which also contain free materials and resources. The learning can be administered on a daily basis just by sitting at home.

Disadvantages of Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Synchronous Learning

  1. Hectic schedule: The timings would be so rigid by having unpredictable schedules. If you choose synchronous learning, you will have to devote all your time on this without engaging on any other work or activity.
  2. Technical problems: The online education sometimes pose challenges like network issues or some complaint in electronic devices. This can hinder the flow of learning. 

Asynchronous Learning

  1. Isolation: the self -learning method can at times make you feel lonely. If there is no one to guide you or answer to your queries, it can become difficult for you to understand the concept thoroughly.
  2. Lack of confidence: the self-directed learning sounds really good but be honest with yourself. If you are ready to engage in this type of learning or are you passionate enough to study without being under the guidance of any person.

The digital advancement has proven that technology has structured the education system in such a way that people can engage in the learning process anywhere and at any time.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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