Elearning seems to be the preferred method for training and educating people in the modern age – even more so because of the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, where many had to leave their offices or lecture halls and remain at home. Aside from the lockdowns, eLearning provides learners with the flexibility and control that is often lacking within classroom-based learning. Most forms of eLearning can be asynchronous, but they can also be synchronous.
Synchronous learning is better known as classroom learning – but this can also be done via eLearning, where teacher and student can engage with one another; giving the lessons and being able to ask questions. With eLearning, this can be done in a virtual classroom – online platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are often used to deliver courses.
Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, allows for learning to take place that is not real-time. Instead, the use of pre-recorded videos, forums, discussion boards etc., essentially tools allowing the learner to study while offline. This is by no means a modern form of learning, the earliest example of asynchronous learning was in the late 19th century through the form of letters, (also, a brilliant early example of distance learning). This was later advanced in the 1920s to pre-recorded audio tapes and then training films during the second world war.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING
Although asynchronous learning is perfect for giving the learner the flexibility and the control as to how and when they learn – there are some methods to ensure that they have the best experience.
- Some people do learn better when they are part of a peer group – provide the opportunity for online discussion, where your learners can share their experiences and discuss the course. Or message boards, allowing them to post questions or comments.
- Flexibility is Consider setting due dates. This can help learners with time management and develop a routine.
- Make sure that any video material is not too long. The longer the video, the more likely that your learner will become distracted or bored – so stick with a bite-sized length.
ASYNCHRONOUS VS SYNCHRONOUS
Asynchronous learning has become both popular and a necessity after the covid-19 pandemic. Aside from lockdowns, asynchronous learning has enabled those with a disability to be able to further their education and continue training and development within their careers. Asynchronous learning is not hindered by distance – with this method, courses can be taught to anyone across the globe without the need for anyone to travel. However, some people learn better when they have more physical interaction with other people; can have a real-time discussion or Q&A session.
Synchronous learning may not have the same appeal as learning from the comfort of your home, but it still has its place. Learning in a classroom allows people to engage with others; ask questions and because it is in real-time, there is less opportunity for misunderstandings to arise. However, it lacks convenience and flexibility, with many having to schedule time for attendance.
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