Synchronous vs Asynchronous Learning

The eLearning space continues to grow at a rapid pace. It is expected to reach over USD $1 trillion by 2027. This has been driven by increasing demand for technology-enabled solutions. There are two primary forms of eLearning: synchronous and asynchronous. While the difference between the two may be one letter, the meanings are polar opposite.

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning means that you will attend classes together with other learners at the same time. There is an established start and end time and most importantly, an instructor is present. There are three critical distinctions. The first is learners get to ask questions in real-time. Second, they benefit from having the instructor explain something in multiple ways (learning does not always happen on the first try). Third, someone too shy to ask a question will benefit when another asks what was on their mind. This point is extremely relevant because human nature often dictates that we “review” our question mentally before verbalizing it. This ensures it passes the “looking good/sounding smart” test.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning allows you to learn on your own schedule. It means you can access the course materials, often in module form, whenever you choose. The motivation to complete the coursework is entirely self-generated. This form of learning is generally executed by pre-recorded videos that teach key concepts. You can watch them as many times as desired. Learners are directed to complete assignments and/or tests to determine whether they have learned the material. The feedback is usually immediate.

Pros & Cons

There are benefits and challenges to both forms of learning. The convenience of asynchronous learning may be appealing to some learners. In fact, over 90% of eLearning is asynchronous. My Software Tutor has adopted an alternative point-of-view that makes us different. We recognize there is a material subset of adult learners whose educational experiences have primarily been enshrined in real-time communication with a live instructor. There is a strong feeling of comfort knowing they can ask questions in real-time without judgment. In fact, one of the most common comments we receive is our level of patience when a learner is struggling to understand something. MST has established a successful methodology to help people “turn on their learning lightbulb.” We look forward to seeing you in a future course.

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