What is Asynchronous Learning?
Asynchronous learning is an education method where learning is not delivered to students in real time or at a specific location. Asynchronous learning is most often found in online or digital education, where students can receive instructions remotely and asynchronously. This approach helps students by letting them design their own schedule so they can balance education with the rest of their lives. Prominent examples of asynchronous learning include pre-recorded videos, online discussions, email exchanges, virtual libraries, and social media platforms.
Asynchronous Learning in Education
Many educational institutions have begun to implement asynchronous learning methods in their curricula. There are a few of the strengths and weaknesses of asynchronous learning:
Strengths of Asynchronous Learning
- Affordability: Asynchronous learning programs such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are highly affordable because they do not need daily attention. Students engage with the educational program at their own pace , only interacting with teachers occasionally.
- Flexibility: Students choose the time and place they access educational material. They can study anywhere, and can integrate learning seamlessly with their schedule. Students set their own pace: Students can study and produce work according to their own educational needs. They can also repeat and review content as much as they want.
Weaknesses of Asynchronous Learning
- Lack of personal contact: Self guided learning experiences can be very enriching but some students who need more personal educational attention may struggle with asynchronous learning. Some students have problems managing their own learning schedules, and need a sense of companionship with their teachers to excel.
- Risk of isolation: Some students learn best through live debate and class discussion, which is more difficult to perform asynchronously. Educational experts maintain that interaction with educators and classmates can create a richer educational environment, and asynchronous education is lacking this human element.