Different kinds of elearning: Synchronous and Asynchronous
These days, elearning has taken over the education sector.
Now, there are two kinds of elearning present for interaction between students and teachers. The elearning is also now getting used by organisations for offering training to employees.
We are going to learn about the various kinds of elearning solutions:
Synchronous elearning means elearning where the learner and the teacher can see each other via video conferencing tools. They can also send messages to each other through chat messengers. The students can record the classes for their use.
Features of synchronous elearning
- Since the student is in front of the teacher via a webcam, he/she gets to know what the former is doing. So, answers can be sought from the student, and he can be corrected if he is wrong.
- The teacher can also deliver the learning solutions as per the needs of each student.
The main problem with synchronous learning is that training has to happen at a fixed time because both the teacher and the learner are present. Schools, today are delivering online learning in this form.
- Another advantage of this kind of elearning is that the participants can also chat with each other and exchange issues.
Asynchronous learning is where the learners and teachers are not present at the same time. So, in this kind of training learners are introduced to web-based training. It contains modules which learners study in their spare time. This also includes computer-based training which is provided on CD Roms. Its main advantages are:
Technology for asynchronous elearning
The tools used for synchronous learning include multicast communication between the recipient and the sender where one sender is connected to many recipients. For this kind of communication to take place, the recipients have to download software on their computers.
Alternatively, the recipients might connect with the sender with software installed on the main server also. In this situation, the recipients just have to connect with the sender at a particular port on the web service.
Sometimes, the software for this kind of communication is installed on the physical location of the sender. In this situation, the meeting ports are installed at the local servers of the sender.
The main advantages of asynchronous elearning are:
- Learners can access the learning material whenever they want.
- A large number of employees can access this kind of data. It’s not limited to the number of meeting ports.
- The content in such training is the same for every employee
Blended learning is also used nowadays. It is a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning. It involves holding one or two virtual classes in the beginning and then handing out CDs to the learners to learn at their own pace.
How to choose which kind of elearning methodology is the best?
- Asynchronous training is useful when a general topic has to be taught to the learners. It does not require any kind of guidance from the trainer.
- Projects that involve simulations where the learner has to learn how to use a certain kind of software are also ideal for asynchronous learning. Its because these projects just require the learner to imbibe the steps of a certain software process.
- When you have to teach the learner about the organisation as such, it can also be taught through asynchronous learning.
On the other hand, synchronous learning is useful in those cases where students need an understanding of concepts and hence teacher understanding is needed. So, these are the various kind of elearning and their uses.