Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning in an Online Class

Learning is a lifelong pursuit; there is no end to it. Sure we learn something new each day of our life, but along with that, it has also become necessary in the present scenarios to keep upskilling yourself. The advances and developments, and the growing competition demand one to keep up by continuously improving their skills and acquiring new ones. 

In such a case where you try to keep learning while you work or have other commitments, it’s e-learning that one opts for, that is, learning through network technologies. 

However, there are different learning techniques and methods, hence it’s vital that one does their research and finds out what is the best and most effective style for them. Most broadly divided two styles of learning are Synchronous and Asynchronous learning. Let’s dive into finding out more about it.   

What are Synchronous and Asynchronous learning?

These learning styles are like chalk and cheese, for they differ from one another in the basic-most criteria. While one happens at the same time, another doesn’t. Confused? Well, let’s make it easy.

Synchronous learning: 

As the name describes, it is the learning that occurs or exists at the same time. This is a type of learning wherein the learner and instructor are in the same place, at the same time in order to engage and learn. In the case of online learning, this would be live online meetings with the whole class, smaller groups, or even one-on-one (this also depends on the features that your online teaching app can offer). In synchronous learning, you go through the learning path with your peers, also accompanied by your instructor who provides immediate feedback and the needed support. 

Asynchronous learning:     

The basic premise of this kind of learning is that learning can occur at different times and spaces for each learner. It all depends on the learners. This method is widely used in online learning and is mostly student-centered as the learner chooses everything from the space and time to the place they want to learn in.

All that is required is a good online learning app with a variety of courses to choose from.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous 

Every style has its list of differences, pros and cons. Let’s understand the different why, how and when these learning styles can be utilized in online learning.

Synchronous e-learning: 

How: Live classes through videoconferencing or via messaging and chats.

When: Can be utilized when planning tasks, getting acquainted or discussing less complex issues. 

Why: Since quick responses and feedback are expected, students become more committed and motivated and learn better.

Pro: Doubts can be resolved immediately. 

Con: Time inflexibility.  

Asynchronous e-learning:

How: Through recorded courses, blogs, and emails. 

When: If and when there is a more complex issue to reflect on. And in case of other commitments.

Why: There is more time to reflect over it as an immediate response isn’t required.

Pro: It’s easier to pause, rewind and revise multiple times in this case. 

Con: Lack of connection and instant feedback.


Both these learning styles are effective in their own ways and have certain learners that would choose either. And while some researchers express concern about online teaching, reviews have revealed no significant difference in online or offline outcomes.  

Furthermore, by blending synchronous and asynchronous, one can ensure that students are prepared for lessons ahead of time, hence, making sure that there is an increased level of engagement and discussion during the live class.
And all you would need to carry out these teaching styles with ease is a good online teaching software, that supports both live sessions and allows you to add online courses.

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