What is Asynchronous Learning? Less Than 100 Words
Read Time: 3 minutes
Asynchronous Learning is a learning style that is generally self-directed with no instructor or classmate involvement. Asynchronous learning involves just the learner and the content, and is typically thought of as course-based, self-paced learning.
The pros and cons of asynchronous learning include:
- Learners can complete courses on their own time at their own pace.
- Courses can be completed from anywhere.
- Learners can revisit material during moments of need, setting them up for meaningful reinforcement.
- Learners may feel isolated.
- Self-pacing requires self-discipline.
- Technological issues may arise.
Ready to learn more about Asynchronous Learning? Let’s dive into what asynchronous learning is, how it differs from synchronous learning, and its benefits and disadvantages.
What is Asynchronous Learning?
Asynchronous Learning is a learning style that is generally self-directed with no instructor or classmate involvement. Asynchronous learning involves just the learner and the content, and is typically associated with course-based, self-paced learning.
This learning style refers to a group of learners who learn by themselves and work at their own pace on their own time. Popular tools for Asynchronous learning include:
- Self-Paced Modules
- Discussion Groups
- Message Boards/Forums
- Prerecorded Video and Audio
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning
Asynchronous and synchronous are two types of learning styles that come with their own set of tools and practices. A synchronous approach uses real-time learning where learners can complete courses simultaneously.
With a Blended Learning Program, both asynchronous and synchronous learning styles are combined to create a training program that works for all learners. An example includes starting with a synchronous instructor-led training (ILT), where learners participate in an in-person workshop. Then, learners could be assigned an asynchronous self-paced module, where they complete courses at their own pace on their own time.
Read More: Synchronous vs Asynchronous Learning: Which is Right for Your Learners?
Advantages Of Asynchronous Learning
Asynchronous Learning comes with a variety of benefits.
- Flexibility — Learners can complete courses on their own time at their own pace. Asynchronous learners can access learning content whenever it best suits their schedule and complete it as quickly or as slowly as they want.
- Ability to Learn Remotely — Whether you use synchronous or asynchronous learning, courses can be completed from anywhere. As long as learners have the proper equipment to learn, both synchronous and asynchronous learning programs can be completed from anywhere.
- Learning Reinforcement — Learners can revisit material during moments of need, setting them up for meaningful reinforcement. Asynchronous learning programs allow materials to be freely available within a set period of time.
Disadvantages Of Asynchronous Learning
Although asynchronous learning has a variety of benefits, it also comes with a number of drawbacks.
- Isolation — Given that asynchronous learning can happen remotely, learners may feel isolated from their facilitators and fellow learners. Real-time interaction and collaboration are valuable in learning, and remote asynchronous learning takes this away.
- Requires Self-Discipline — When you have self-paced eLearning courses, learners may struggle to stay motivated and grow apathetic. It may be difficult to motivate your learners to log in and finish their program because there is no one there to hold them accountable.
- Troubleshooting Technology — Some learners aren’t as comfortable with technology as others. Whether it’s remembering login information or navigating programs, some learners aren’t well-versed in technology.
Are You In Sync With Asynchronous Learning?
We’ve covered the definition of asynchronous learning, as well as the pros and cons that come with this learning style.
Now that you know the basics of asynchronous learning, it’s time to ask yourself, “Is an asynchronous learning approach right for my organization’s learning program?”