The concept of traditional education is changing radically within the last couple of years. Being physically present in a classroom isn’t the only learning option anymore — not with the rise of the internet and new technologies, at least. Nowadays, you have access to a quality education whenever and wherever you want, as long as you can get online. We are now entering a new era — the revolution of online education.
Online learning in educational institutes can be divided into a triad of three distinct environments –
- Synchronous learning
- Asynchronous Learning
- A hybrid model
What is Asynchronous Learning?
Asynchronous online learning allows students to continue learning and access the course material at their own pace and time. This type of learning comes in many forms, including recorded video lectures, video demonstrations, discussion boards, research projects, etc. Communication between student and teacher takes place in many ways including email, discussion boards, and chats.
On the other hand, Synchronous learning is based on real-time interaction between student and teacher using video-conferencing, live-streamed videos, live chats more.
A hybrid model follows a mix of both synchronous learning and asynchronous learning based on the learning needs of the students.
In this article, we will take a deeper look at the top benefits of asynchronous online learning in an educational institution:
Top benefits of asynchronous online learning in an educational institution
- Flexibility of Learning
One of the most talked-about benefits of asynchronous online learning in an educational institution is the flexibility it offers learners. It allows students the opportunity to learn at any place of their choice, and at a time that is best suited for them. Since most of the content is available online either through virtual libraries, podcasts or other recorded content, the students can choose to access and engage with the learning material according to their schedule, priorities and convenience.
- Self-Paced Learning
Asynchronous online allows the learners to pace out their learning (within classroom set deadlines) based on their ability and schedule. Unlike a fast-paced classroom in an asynchronous learning environment, slower learners can keep reading and reflecting on the material until they are able to grasp the textbook concepts. They can review the information and keep practicing without the worry of falling behind classmates.
On the other hand, a fast learner can power through learning materials and absorb new knowledge at their speed.
In a live online class, if the student is absent for a day, then they miss the content taught. However, in an asynchronous online learning environment, the students do not have the pressure of attending class. They can pace out their learning based on their schedule.
- Highly Motivated Students
Asynchronous online learning is a student-centered approach that requires students to be actively involved with and take more responsibility for their own learning. It is the student’s responsibility to learn, reflect, and research the content to develop proficiency in the topic. In addition to their normal assignments and duties as learners, the students are also required to become proficient with the technology required for the course and find methods of communication that will strengthen their collaborative interdependence with peers and instructors.
This gives rise to a group of highly motivated learners in charge of their own learning experience.
- Improved Communication Skills
In a live synchronous classroom, the communication is mostly oral and face-to-face. On the other hand, in an asynchronous classroom, the communication is written. This written communication gives the students a better chance to reflect and express ideas more freely. They get ample time to compose their communication to reflect their skills with precision rather than to be put on a spot to answer a question or make a comment on a topic.
- More Beneficial Shy and Timid Students
Very often in a live synchronous classroom, the shyer and more timid students are unable to muster up the courage or share their learning or ask questions to the instructor. On the other hand, in an asynchronous classroom, the communication is mostly written. Here the students can freely voice their options, clear their doubts, and even engage in dialogue with their peers through online discussion boards.
- Deepens Learning
Asynchronous online learning gives students the opportunity to constantly revisit their lessons as needed. Students can revise the lessons at their pace. This constant revision helps to improve comprehension, boosts retention and deepens the learning for the students.
- Development of Superior Thinking Skills
In an asynchronous online learning environment, the students are responsible for their own learning rather than relying on the teacher. This method requires the students to reflect upon the material and complete their research by integrating and synthesizing information from a variety of online resources. The students connect various ideas and this helps them to students to build higher-order thinking skills. It also deepens the learning for the students.
Asynchronous online learning is also often more affordable than a synchronous program. Since the students are required to work through the content themselves, they don’t require daily attention from instructors. This helps to keep down the costs of the course and makes it more affordable for the students.
Asynchronous online learning allows students to transcend the limitations of time and space. It gives them an opportunity to learn at their own pace, own speed and at their convenience. Very often, busy schedules, geographical limitations can put a halt to the learning process. Asynchronous online learning is the best solution that helps with continuous collective learning among the students. It allows for a deeper learning experience that enriches and empowers the students with knowledge.