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Deb Peterson

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning - Which do you prefer?

By January 25, 2009

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In the world of online education, or distance learning, classes can be synchronous or asynchronous. What does it mean?

Synchronous learning takes place when two or more people are communicating in real time. Sitting in a classroom, talking on the telephone, chatting via instant messaging are examples of synchronous communication. So is sitting in a classroom a world away from where the teacher is speaking via teleconferencing. Think "live."

Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, is thought to be more flexible. The teaching takes place at one time and is preserved for the learner to participate in whenever the time is most convenient for him or her. Technology such as email, ecourses, online forums, audio and video recordings make this possible. Even snail mail would be considered asynchronous. Fancy word for convenience.

Which do you prefer? Synchronous or asynchronous? I'd love to know why. Pop in the forum and share your ideas.

Comments

January 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm
(1) Ajit Singh Nagpal says:

Although I have a personal preference, i.e. synchronous; I think both methods have to co-exist. It depends on the audience and the availability of teachers. When it comes to children the asynchronous method may not be very suitable. It also depends on the environment, i.e. a remote a location may warrant the asynchoronous method.

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