As reskilling, upskilling and online certifications grow in popularity, it’s a good idea to take stock of how you can reap the benefits of online education.

Online education is the way forward when it comes to academic or professional training. The classroom of the future isn’t necessarily a brick-and-mortar. It may just be you with your laptop anywhere you want. We’re already halfway there, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, classroom education and professional learning and development have moved online because it’s more accessible and has a wider reach, in terms of location.

Even with online learning, there are two ways in which you can make the most of your experience. These are asynchronous and synchronous learning.

Read on to discover the meaning of synchronous learning and asynchronous learning with examples, benefits and tips.

  1. What Is Asynchronous Learning?

  2. Benefits Of Asynchronous Learning

  3. What Is Synchronous Learning?

  4. Benefits Of Synchronous Learning

  5. The World Of Hybrid Education

What Is Asynchronous Learning?

Asynchronous learning is a type of online learning where material is prerecorded or available on-demand. Classes and sessions don’t happen in real time. The course content or training material is accessible to students whenever they want. Assessments and assignments, however, do have a deadline for submission.

This is a great way for you to create your own schedule around when you want to study, what material you need access to and how you can maximize these resources. This gives you the flexibility to prioritize other tasks and commitments. In asynchronous learning, you can study when you want as long as you meet your deadlines. Some examples of asynchronous learning include prerecorded lectures, forums and self-guided curriculum.

Benefits Of Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning has many benefits, some of which we have discussed. However, if you’re a professional, it’s especially helpful to have a study plan you can bend and mold according to your schedule.

Here are some benefits of asynchronous education:

  1. Self-Paced

Taking your own time to complete your modules, courses and assignments can help you make time for other things in life. For instance, if you’re a student, you can focus on your projects and come back to your online course over the weekend or when you have time. The course content is self-paced so you don’t have to worry about completing the entire deck in one sitting. You can revisit the videos or lecture notes as and when you feel the need to. This affords you greater flexibility to manage your schedule.

  1. Flexible Timings

Being self-paced, asynchronous learning gives flexibility to its students. You have the luxury of studying anywhere, anytime. Say you have to urgently visit a friend or family. You can study on the way to their house. You can even study while you’re stuck in traffic on your way back home from work. It’s more accessible to those who work on a tight schedule with limited time to upskill or focus on personal development.

  1. Access To Course Material

You have complete access to the course material. You can read notes online, discuss your queries with others enrolled in the course or watch videos if you want to clear a doubt. This gives you the chance to get a deeper understanding of the course content or material, allowing you to make the most of it. There’s no element of competition and you don’t have to rush to complete a module by watching videos on loop. You can take your time, learn at your own pace and get the best out of it.

  1. Greater Autonomy

You have the freedom to choose when you want to study, what you want to study and how you want to study. You don’t have to wait for your classmates or team members to complete their end of the work. You can simply start a lecture video today and complete your assessments. Independent learning helps you push yourself to achieve excellence in what you do. You’re self-motivated to learn and, in the process, you develop the ability to manage your time well and do what’s best for you.

  1. Feasibility

Asynchronous learning is affordable and feasible because it’s not like classroom education. The institute or organization uses minimal resources to help you advance in your studies and career. This eases any financial pressure, encouraging you to enroll without qualms. You can learn anything—from playing the piano to a new language—without worrying about enrollment costs and expenses to access the course content.

Asynchronous learning has many advantages that’ll inspire you to enroll in a course of your choice today. There are, however, some drawbacks to this type of learning. These are a lack of community spirit, no human connection in the absence of live classes and inadequate motivation to complete your modules without tracking your progress.

What Is Synchronous Learning?

Synchronous learning is a type of learning where you have proper online classrooms with a lecturer or trainer, live sessions and a cohort. There is a set time and place, a schedule or timetable and class assessments. You may even have to work on group projects, interact with your classmates and participate to get a grade. Some of the examples of synchronous learning are live training, video meetings and conferences and live classroom sessions.

Benefits Of Synchronous Learning

If you’re unable to attend a classroom in person, you may miss out on the company of your classmates, benefitting from questions asked by others, getting an immediate response or even spending free time during break. Synchronous learning helps bridge the gap between online and offline education.

Here are some benefits of synchronous learning:

  1. Classroom Education

For anyone who misses in-person classes, discussions, debates, student-teacher conversations and interactions, synchronous learning is the way to go. Not only do you get all the advantages of traditional classroom education but also the advantages of studying from home. You can engage in healthy and thought-provoking conversations, learn with your cohort and teachers or trainers and ask questions.

  1. Student Community

Having a sense of community and belonging helps us get through a tough situation. Especially if you’re feeling alone or isolated, a synchronous learning method will help you reconnect with your classmates. You can interact and engage, learn together and help one another with questions or doubts. This is a great way to build a student or learner community to extend help and support.

  1. Real-Time Instructor Feedback

Getting immediate feedback on your assignments, responses and ideas helps you improve, learn and grow. You can identify where you’re lacking to develop these particular areas. At the same time, constructive feedback helps you assess what you’re good at, highlighting your strengths. You can even raise concerns and doubts in class, helping you save time so you can start on your assignments without delay.

  1. Greater Insight And Understanding

Synchronous learning is a way to get the most out of your classroom education. If a concept is unclear, you can ask a question and get immediate responses. This helps you clear your doubts and get a better grasp on the course material. You have the flexibility to do your own research while you’re in a session in case you miss something.

  1. Collaboration And Teamwork

Group assignments and team projects help you develop collaborative skills. You can work with your classmates on assignments to complete your assessments. In the process, you’ll learn to get along with others, understand multiple perspectives and learn from one another. Healthy discussions help you grow because they make you self-aware.

Synchronous learning is similar to in-person learning apart from the fact that you’re at home, instead of in the classroom. At the same time, there are certain disadvantages of this type of learning. You may find the fixed schedule a problem if you’re working and don’t have the time. If you prefer working alone and pacing yourself, you may not enjoy the group dynamics of synchronous learning.

The World Of Hybrid Education

If you’ve noticed, both synchronous and asynchronous learning address each other’s drawbacks and disadvantages. Where one affords greater flexibility, the other gives you a sense of community and belonging. Keeping this in mind, many organizations turn to a hybrid learning style to get the best of both types of learning. A hybrid learning style takes elements of asynchronous and synchronous learning to give you an effective, well-rounded and advanced study method. You can create a flexible study plan, access lecture notes when needed and reach out to your classmates for group work and discussions. Not only is this more productive but also helps you appreciate classroom education in a new light.

Asynchronous and synchronous learning push you to refine existing skills and develop new ones. You learn to make changes in your working or study style according to your classmates. At the same time, you build skills like communication, time management and creative thinking. If you want to learn how to push yourself and use these learning styles to your advantage, Harappa’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you how.

Frameworks such as the Eisenhower Matrix and the Pomodoro Technique help you with time management by prioritizing important tasks. You’ll learn about the 1% Rule to make small improvements for excellent performance. Enroll today to stand out in your online classroom!


Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the LEAD habit such as List Of Technical SkillsWhat Is A Habit, What Is The Pomodoro Technique & The Importance Of Time Management to take charge of your personal and professional growth.

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