What is Synchronous Learning?
Synchronous Learning is often referred to as 'live' learning or 'Real-Time' Learning and is used in conjunction with online learning, It refers to a group of people learning the same things at the same time in the same place. It means that the communications occur at the same time between individuals and information is accessed instantly.
People can communicate in 'real time' using their computers to talk to each other as well as text chat with each other. Presentations can be made using electronic whiteboards and electronic slides. This type of interaction is referred to as a 'virtual classroom
'. Presentations, conversations and text can be stored (archived) and made available online as a resource.
Benefits of Synchronous Learning
Synchronous E-Learning is cost effective. This is especially true for larger organizations that require participants and/or instructors to travel to central training locations. But it’s increasingly true for medium and SOHO (Small Office and Home Office) businesses as well, since numerous lower-cost options targeting non-enterprise clients have entered the market in the last few years.
- The usese of network technologies to create, foster, deliver, and facilitate learning, anytime and anywhere.
Productivity and Workflow Benefits:
Synchronous e-Learning improves employee productivity by reducing travel strain, eliminating unnecessary time away from home, and connecting with learners in defined timeline and increasing interactivity in familiar classroom environments.
Recordable and Replayable:
Most synchronous training sessions can be easily recorded and played back. Many offer increasingly sophisticated opportunities for editing and repurposing (into portable and/or offline formats). Make no mistake; the true value of synchronous e-Learning is its live, realtime delivery. But the availability of playbacks (for those who missed the live session, or as an on demand refresher) expands its reach and the long term potential.
Many synchronous tools thrive upon smaller learning groups with a high level of interactivity. But some methods (Webcasts, for example) are typically less interactive and can scale up to large volumes of simultaneous learners and realize significant cost-per-user savings.
- Extending the reach:
Synchronous tools are especially effective for expanding into new markets and generating new learning communities. Organizations can reach new prospects and build an extended client base through Webinars (collecting contact information on attendees that feeds into a Customer Relationship Management database). Internally, synchronous tools can also contribute to improved knowledge sharing across departments and functional units.
Competitive Business Advantages:
Synchronous tools permit rapid training development and delivery, providing competitive business advantages for organizations concerned with shorter production cycles and faster time-to-market rollouts. Organizations experiencing frequent employee turnover and workforce changes (through mergers and acquisitions, etc.) will recognize advantages in bringing new workers up to speed quickly. Synchronous e-Learning can improve Quality of Service benchmarks by ensuring a consistent standard of content and instruction.
Timely Delivery and Reusability:
Synchronous sessions can provide relevant and succinct just-intime training for employees when coordinated with the business calendar (e.g. seasonal training initiatives, end-of-year HR updates, or compliance deadlines).
Automated Learner Recording and Reporting:
Many synchronous e-Learning services track learner attendance and participation. This automated reporting reduces administrative inefficiencies and can typically be integrated with other internal record keeping systems (such as Learning Management Systems, Performance and Talent Management systems, certification assessment programs, etc.)
Extending Training Budgets:
Organizations invested in face-to-face learning typically spend about 70% of total training costs on travel, lodging, and catering. Synchronous e-Learning also eliminates meeting space requirements and numerous fixed and variable costs (which can range from property overheads to catering to projector rentals).