The case for combining synchronous and asynchronous online learning

There has been much debate in recent years on whether educators, trainers or L&D managers should focus on delivering synchronous or asynchronous online learning experiences.

What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning?

In the context of online education, synchronous learning experiences are those delivered live with an educator or trainer facilitating a learning session. There are a variety of tools that can be used in synchronous learning such as live meetings or virtual classrooms where educators and learners meet virtually in real-time (by means of a device over a network) and communicate and collaborate through video, chat, whiteboard and other synchronous tools. In contrast, while also requiring a device, asynchronous learning is a student-centred method usually delivered via a learning management system (LMS) that allows learning to occur in different times and spaces particular to each learner. In asynchronous learning, educators set up a learning program or course that students engage with at their own pace.

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