What is Asynchronous Learning?
Learning that is not synchronized, not occurring at predetermined or regular intervals. The term asynchronous is usually used to describe communications in which data can be transmitted intermittently rather than in a steady stream. The sender and receiver do not need to synchronise before each transmission. A sender can wait arbitrarily long between transmissions and the receiver must be ready to receive data when it arrives. It is also sometimes referred as "offline Learning".
Importance of Asynchronous Learning
Asynchronous e-learning, commonly facilitated by media such as e-mail and discussion boards, supports work relations among learners and with teachers, even when participants cannot be online at the same time. It is thus a key component of flexible e-learning. In fact, many people take online courses because of their asynchronous nature, combining education with work, family, and other commitments. Asynchronous E-Learning makes it possible for learners to log on to an E-Learning environment
at any time and download documents or send messages to teachers or peers. Students may spend more time refining their contributions, which are generally considered more thoughtful compared to synchronous communication.
Benefits of Asynchronous Learning
- It is the most commonly used e-Learning, where in the content is available 24/7, and the employees, students, end users can access it through an intranet or internet.
- Most online e-Learning courses allow bookmarking. If the learner is interrupted, he can bookmark his current location in the course. When he eventually returns to the learning module, he may be given the option to pick up where he left off, or return to the beginning to start over.
- One application that is extremely well-suited is company orientation training. Using a learning management system, the training can be tracked and detailed records maintained. It removes the potential for human error.
- For a company with a multitude of employees in geographically distant locations, it can be very cost beneficial. An asynchronous on-boarding employee training module is consistent and easily updated and maintained. That means it can have a long shelf-life, which can result in a low cost per employee. Similarly, this type of learning is useful to the students pursuing a course from all over the world.
- Asynchronous e-Learning usually requires only about 25- 50% of the time required for training in a classroom setting. If the system is used to deliver training on a task or process for a worker in a machine shop, every minute the worker is off the line for training means the product he makes is not being made. If the time needed for the training is shortened, and highly focused, he returns to the line more quickly and has information to improve the job he does.
Therefore, asynchronous learning is very beneficial for training purposes as it gives an individual the liberty to read and study at ones own speed and pace.