Today, there is a world of opportunities for everyone to learn and do business from anywhere just because of online training and remote learning.
It is believed by 72% of companies that e-learning has put them at a competitive edge. According to a survey, by 2025, the market for online learning is estimated to reach $325 billion.
It does not matter that you are completing your mandatory training or trying to learn a new skill; you have to decide between asynchronous and synchronous learning. Identify which works best according to your learning needs. Learners can benefit from both types of learning methods. This mainly depends on the learning objective, as each offers its pros and cons.
This article will look at synchronous vs asynchronous learning, along with its benefits and drawbacks. We will also learn about a few factors that you should keep in mind while deciding the mode of learning for your trainees.
What is Synchronous Training?
If we talk about the term “Synchronicity,” it means to do something simultaneously. In the context of learning, the meaning is identical. This type of learning refers to a session or event when a group of people sits together to learn something at the same time. The interaction that takes place with other people is real.
For Synchronous training, all the learners should be in the exact physical location. It could be any place, such as a classroom, or even in the same online atmosphere, such as a web conference, where all participants and instructors can interact with each other.
Synchronous Training Examples
Some of the common examples of synchronous learning in a corporate training scenario are as follows:
- Instant messaging
- Live webinars
- Virtual classrooms
- Video conferencing
Advantages of Synchronous Training
- Learners feel a powerful sense of collaboration. It improves cross-team relationships because this type of learning usually occurs with a big group of people, including members from different departments.
- You are allowed to ask questions and clear your confusion in real-time.
- Synchronous training increases engagement, and trainees feel a greater sense of community when they all learn together.
- Pre-determined and structured learning hours
- There are immediate and direct opportunities for guidance and assistance.
Disadvantages of Synchronous Training
- The high instructor-to-learner ratios can create difficulties for learners who need more attention and dedicated support. The trainer’s training session may be too slow for someone and too fast for others.
- In the online synchronous format, learners may disengage by not attending the class or turning off their cameras.
- It becomes challenging to find a training time that suits everyone.
What is Asynchronous Training?
Asynchronous training is entirely different from synchronous training because it does not take place at the same time. This means that all the participants, including learners and the instructor, do not interact during the training session. Real-time interaction is absent.
Asynchronous Training Examples
Some of the common asynchronous learning examples in a corporate training scenario are as follows:
- Online discussion boards and forums
- Pre-recorded webinars and videos
- Blogs, email, online courses
Advantages of Asynchronous Training
- It is easier for learners to learn according to their schedule, time and preferences.
- If learners want to refresh what they learned, they can re-read the lesson or re-watch study materials.
- During online self-study periods, there is a greater cognitive engagement.
- There is no interruption of class schedules due to unexpected closures. This type of learning also eliminates travel stress.
- Asynchronous training promotes automated tasks, which decreases the repetition of tasks, such as grading exams and giving online classes.
Disadvantages of Asynchronous Training
- Asynchronous training requires more proactiveness and self-motivation by the learners. Even though there are automated reminders, trainees still have to find a time to sit and take classes.
- An instructor is absent, so no one is present to clarify topics and answer the learner’s queries immediately.
- Without peers, this type of learning model is unlikely to form relationships or connections between learners compared to a real-time learning atmosphere.
- A lack of real-time interaction with instructors and peers leaves a vacuum in a trainee’s learning experience.
Synchronous vs Asynchronous Training; Which one to choose?
The learning you choose for trainees depends on several factors, such as your target audience, learning objectives, trainee’s availability to learn, training delivery mode, course content, etc. However, using both asynchronous and synchronous training can be a success if you have the resources. Let’s discuss each factor one by one:
Who is your Target Audience?
If your target audience is employees with busy schedules, then asynchronous learning is a great fit. It is for employees who work at home while managing their families at the same time. These people have hectic routines, and fixed class timings are not suitable.
If your target audiences are learners that need to have real-time conversations with their peers and instructors, then synchronous training works well.
What are the Key Objectives of the Training?
The type of learning is also based on the training’s objectives. If your training content is a refresher course or based on technical subjects, choose asynchronous learning. This allows learners time to review online materials until they completely understand key concepts. But, if your objective is to improve problem-solving skills, synchronous training is the best choice.
How will the Course be Crafted?
How you craft your courses also plays a vital role in deciding which training is preferable. The focus of synchronous learning is to support the instructor. This course content should include short videos and presentations so learners can understand the key points.
In the case of asynchronous learning, the Course must be crafted on a framework that is easier to follow for learners and keeps them engaged.
Is there a need for an instructor?
If the training is focused on a group of people, the presence of an instructor is essential and requires synchronous training. But, if the focus is on skills requiring ongoing learning of repetitive content, then asynchronous learning is the best approach.
Whether you choose synchronous or asynchronous learning, variety is the perfect approach. Both types of learning methods are supported by the company’s LMS (Learning Management System). When designing a course, try to keep your trainees engaged as much as possible by mixing both types of training techniques.
With the help of Waybook, companies can provide learners with educational materials and organize real-time training sessions. Undoubtedly, Waybook is the ultimate solution to all your employee training needs!
Want to get more insights on the future of Training & Management? Check out our related resources:
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- Remote Training Tools for Lifelong Learning Organizations
- Employee Cross Training Plan Template