It is a new and increasing phenomenon where people learn in areas of their own choosing, not in a structured classroom environment. Asynchronous learning has been proven to be effective for people who can’t make it to school or are working during the day.
What is Asynchronous Learning?
Asynchronous learning, also known as self-paced education, distance-learning or e-learning, is an educational method that allows students to study at times and places independent of each other.
The use of asynchronous communication tools such as email, discussion boards, chats or videoconferencing allows students to interact with instructors and fellow students outside traditional classroom settings.
“Traditional classrooms” typically have one teacher leading lectures face-to-face with groups of up to 30–40 students per class under tight control. Lectures are at set times and places, like Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 10:30 am in room 302.
Asynchronous learning is transforming the way people learn; rather than attending lectures at a certain time, students can learn whenever it is convenient for them, whether that means studying before bed or on their lunch break at work.
This has opened up new doors for learners who would not have had the opportunity to pursue their education otherwise due to having full-time jobs or other responsibilities outside of school.
Perhaps one of the best examples of an asynchronous learning program is MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). These courses allow participants around the world to view lecture materials and participate in discussions with peers without being in the same physical location.
Asynchronous Learning vs Synchronous Learning
In contrast with traditional learning, which is typically done through synchronous means such as attending a face-to-face lecture at a specific time and place, asynchronous learning uses tools such as email, discussion boards, chat rooms, and videoconferencing to allow students to interact with instructors and fellow students outside of a traditional classroom setting.
Instructors in asynchronous programs usually create some sort of online content that allows students with similar goals to connect in a shared forum space where they can exchange ideas in a virtual community.
The use of asynchronous communication tools facilitates interaction between students with similar goals from many different parts of the world who would not otherwise have been able to meet or communicate without these resources. In general, asynchronous learning is often separated into synchronous and asynchronous methods.
Synchronous learning occurs when students interact in real-time through discussion boards, chat rooms, or videoconferencing (i.e., live events). On the other hand, asynchronous communication happens when instructors and students post comments and respond to each others’ questions at their own pace.