Asynchronous eLearning

Asynchronous Vs Synchronous E-Learning – Know its Strength and Weakness

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

— Anthony J. D’Angelo

Learning is a lifelong process by which we continuously improve our skills and keep ourselves upgraded. Now when everything is digital, learning has adopted the same, and hence, e-learning is the vogue of the era.

There are two ways in which e-learning works: synchronous and asynchronous. While one enables learners to learn in real time, the other one lets them learn any time. Many organizations, companies, and institutions nowadays make use of these two e-learning approaches. 

However it is natural if tutors feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the one approach that works the best for them.

For this reason, we bring you the clarification of both of these concepts to make you understand them in detail and conclude which one would suit you the best.

Synchronous E-Learning

Asynchronous E-Learning

Works perfectly when immediate feedback is needed.

Works best when learners want to access content at their own pace.

Needs learners to attend the session when it is conducted.

Learners can choose any time as per their availability.

Live webinars and virtual classrooms are some examples.

Online courses, pre-recorded videos, and webinars are some examples.

Understanding Synchronous And Asynchronous E-Learning

Synchronous learning also means the live learning sessions where the learners are needed to attend the class as it happens. Learners can attend the class from anywhere in the world; however, they all need to attend it at the same time.

In these classes, the instructor is present and gives answers to queries immediately since it takes place in real time.


  • Live webinars

  • Video conferencing

  • Virtual classrooms

Asynchronous learning includes lessons that are pre-recorded and hence do not happen in real time. This allows students or learners to take these lessons at any time as per their availability.


  • Online courses

  • Blogs

  • Pre-recorded video lessons

  • Webinars

Advantages Of Synchronous Learning

  • Synchronous learning allows for real-time discussions, meaning learners can clear their queries while attending the class.

  • Feedbacks are instant when it comes to synchronous learning. The tutor or instructor can provide immediate feedback to the learners and give opinions about their progress.

  • Among the benefits of synchronous learning for students, it provides faster clarification of doubts since learners can ask and get replies immediately. This means, learners can get their doubts clarified and move on to the next class.

Disadvantages Of Synchronous Learning

  • This kind of learning allows everyone to attend simultaneously, which means it’s not flexible enough and doesn’t allow learners to join as per their schedule.

  • Since the learning happens in real time, the learners might struggle for the tutor’s attention. It may also lead to favoritism which may demotivate some learners.

Advantages Of Asynchronous Learning

  • Though asynchronous learning doesn’t allow real-time interaction, it lets learners leave feedback and comments, which the tutor can answer later.

  • The biggest advantage of this kind of learning approach is that learners can choose to engage in the courses or lessons whenever they want. This works best when learners and tutors have other priorities related to work, life, or anything else.

  • Geographical boundaries do not obstruct learning, so learners can engage and stream videos from wherever they are.

Disadvantages Of Asynchronous Learning

  • Asynchronous learning might feel less personal as the sessions are not real time. Learners do not feel the availability of other learners or the tutor.

  • Since there are no people attending the sessions, the learners might lack motivation. They also do not get to ask questions instantly, which might be a challenge to many.

  • Such kind of learning requires the learners to be disciplined enough, or they may not follow the classes regularly.

How To Make Synchronous Learning Sessions More Engaging?

1) Welcome Students Before Beginning

Teachers should focus on welcoming students before starting the sessions. They can ask the name of every student and introduce them. To keep students more engaged in the sessions, it is important to recognize them and let them know about it.

2) Be Clear About The Objective Of The Lesson

Let the students know what they will get to learn by the end of the session. This is even more important in online learning since students are deprived of the body language of their tutor and the support of fellow students.

Doing this every time will give the students an idea of where they are heading and how much they have learned so far.

3) Keep The Sessions Short

Since every student or learner will be connected virtually, there would be a lot of distractions such as related to the household.

In this case, students’ attention might be divided, and they might not be able to grasp so many concepts at once.

Hence it is best to break down your tutorial into several mini-sessions. This will help learners understand the subject quickly and remember it for a long time.

4) Let The Learners Participate

Tutors can ask for learners’ participation by letting them ask questions. You can motivate them to ask anything they are dubious about, questions that always trouble them. Try to allow everyone to ask questions and see how the class comes up with different insights. 

5) Make It Downloadable

Many learners miss the chance to attend live classes due to many other compulsions of life. For the same reason, tutors may consider preparing the overall tutorial as a podcast or making it available to download.

How To Make Students Interested In Asynchronous Learning Sessions?

      • Keep It Activities-Oriented

Asynchronous classes miss the element of live streaming; hence, infusing them with more interactive elements is important. Tutors may gamify the sessions, or they can make the videos more appealing instead of keeping everything text-based.

      • Present With Real Life Stories

It is common for a learner to feel isolated during asynchronous classes as the learner streams only the pre-recorded session.

The way in which tutors can help learners feel connected is by providing them with real life stories and examples. Keep it entertaining wherever possible, so the learners feel casual and light while learning the subject. 

      • Provide Them An Anchor To Connect

Every learner, at some point, needs the tutor’s contact information. This is because they might face a technical glitch in the tutorials or need help related to the course.

For all such cases, a tutor should always provide the contact information, whether an email, a contact form, or a phone number. Giving contact information is even more important when learners are using asynchronous classes.

      • Break It Into Bite-Sized 

Regardless of whether the learning approach is live or pre-recorded, the sessions should always be bite-sized. The schedules of people are already hectic, and no one wants to stream a session that is an hour long. This is too much information that learners do not want to digest all at once.

Hence it is always wise to break down the sessions and keep them from 15 to 20 minutes long. A 10-minute session also works best!

      • Conduct Exams And Assess The Learners

In asynchronous learning, where live discussion is not possible, it is absolutely necessary to assess your learners’ knowledge from time to time. 

The same will also help the learners identify if they are following you well. Tutors should conduct assessments or exams periodically and inform the learners about them prior. Doing so would show the learners their progress and help them improve for future evaluations.

The Epilogue: Choosing Between Synchronous And Asynchronous Learning

By now, we have talked about all the major differences between these two approaches; however, the one you should go with depends on various factors.

Those who want to provide live classes and are interested in real time conversations should choose synchronous learning.

Tutors who do not find time to manage live classes due to various reasons and priorities should choose asynchronous learning.

However, tutors can always experiment with a blend of both of these e-learning approaches.

To make it simpler, always analyze your audience and create content accordingly. Get to know whether these people are working individuals, students, homemakers, or fall into some other category. This would help you determine if synchronous learning works well or if asynchronous wins.

As a general idea, asynchronous learning always comes much more helpful than live sessions. This is because your audience can access the content anytime and anywhere without worrying about missing any sessions.

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