Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning: Which One is Best for Online Education?

As online education continues to be the safest method of learning during these uncertain times, it can be sectioned off between these two categories: Synchronous Learning and Asynchronous Learning.

Synchronous learning is what you would expect of a traditional classroom setting but in an online format. The teacher and students all meet at the same time to start the learning process, interacting with each other through virtual means of video conferencing, live chatting or live-streaming lessons. In other words, the online teaching and learning happens in real-time with others present.

Asynchronous learning is the opposite of synchronous learning – all the learning happens without real-time interaction online. The learning process is up to the student and parent, as they are given online access to the materials and resources needed to cultivate the child’s education. Such materials involve recorded classes, posted lecture notes, and self-guided lesson modules.

With both learning categories defined, the following advantages and disadvantages of synchronous and asynchronous learning will help you discover which works best for you and your child’s online education:

1. Synchronous Learning

Advantages

Synchronous learning allows the student to experience the dynamic benefits of in-class learning: engagement and instructional depth from real-time interaction. Through synchronous learning, the student can engage in active and face-to-face discussions, allowing them to explore and understand topics in different perspectives. 

This learning also provides instant feedback, as students can ask questions during the lesson and receive guidance from their teacher. With this exchange of knowledge and depth of discussion, synchronous learning provides a human element that helps students feel motivated and engaged when transitioning to online learning.

Disadvantages

Due to the importance of meeting at a certain time, synchronous learning may be unsuitable for students who have unpredictable schedules. They might miss a considerable amount of learning if they cannot attend a class or more. 

Another disadvantage involves technical difficulties like spotty internet or audio/video trouble. They can hinder a student’s learning process, as they waste time in struggling to gain a clear understanding of the lesson being taught.

2. Asynchronous Learning

Advantages

The biggest advantages of asynchronous learning is how it lets students take control of their education through flexible scheduling and pacing. 

How and when the student learns is entirely up to them and their parents, making it easier for the student to grasp a deeper conceptual understanding of lessons and topics. Their learning experience isn’t influenced by the pacing of the classroom and other students, allowing them to focus on the materials based on their own learning style.

Teachers also have more time to troubleshoot and successfully set up the materials and resources needed for their students, giving them the tools they need to learn with less risk of interference from bugs and glitches.

Disadvantages

Without real-time interaction and pressure to meet deadlines, the student could lose their motivation and engagement in their learning, instead leaning towards developing unhealthy attitudes like procrastinating.

To avoid procrastination, students need to be self-disciplined and mindful of their learning. Parents as well need to be engaged with their child’s curriculum, as they most likely have to remind and teach them the resources provided by their school. This puts pressure on parents, as they might struggle with the addition of both household and work responsibilities. 

Lack of real-time interaction also prevents students from gaining immediate feedback or further clarification, as teachers and students will most likely have different schedules that may not constitute a timely response.


The efficiency of synchronous and asynchronous learning depends on the learner themself. However, you don’t have to strictly adhere to one category over the other! In fact, many schools with successful learning strategies implement both synchronous and asynchronous learning to provide a balanced and wholesome learning experience.

At Math Project, we utilize these two models in order to produce an enriching online math education for our students. For a free assessment or further information on our math tutoring services, feel free to call us at 1-844-628-4243!


Citations:
Synchronous Learning vs. Asynchronous Learning in Online Education – thebestschools.org
Synchronous vs. asynchronous learning: what’s the difference – easy-lms.com
Synchronous vs Asynchronous Learning: Which is Right for Your Learners? – learnupon.com
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning: A Quick Overview – brynmawr.edu
The Pros and Cons of Asynchronous Distance Learning – viewsonic.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *