Synchronous, Asynchronous and Blended, OH MY!

The trend towards digital has made elearning a favourable choice for organizations looking to employ effective learning solutions. However, it is important to understand the variations in elearning, and select the right type based on the learning needs of your people and your business. But, understanding how one type of elearning differs from the next can be a difficult task. There are a number of classifications, acronyms, and varieties that fall under the elearning umbrella. It typically covers everything from video resources like Khan Academy, to online tutoring sites, and virtual high schools.

 

The easiest way to understand the different types of elearning is to think of it in terms of the level of instructor involvement. The three main types are synchronous, asynchronous, and blended.

 

Synchronous elearning:

is commonly understood as instructor led training, that is delivered in an electronic or digital format. It involves an instructor being online at the same time as the student. Synchronous elearning can be delivered to just one person at a time, or to multiple people, and includes online tutoring, lectures, or meetings between peers.

 

Asynchronous elearning:

is curated content that is delivered in digital format, allowing students to progress through it at their own pace. It can be as simple as an online video tutorial, or it can be a complex program that combines video tutorials, readings, infographics, and audio overlay, to guide users through branched learning scenarios. High-quality asynchronous learning usually includes feedback, testing, and additional learning prompts.

 

Blended and flipped model elearning:

is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous, and tries to take the best of each to provide a seamless learning experience for students. It allows users to progress at their own pace and dig deeper through asynchronous modules, while providing real-time support from an instructor during synchronous sessions.

 

Depending on your learning goals and objectives, you will want to ensure you incorporate the right style of elearning into your learning strategy. Typically, the type of elearning that works best is based on your personal schedule and time constraints, geographic location, budget, and learning style.

 

We would love to learn more about your organization, and work with you to find the elearning strategy that is right for you. Contact us to start the conversation.

David Frey

David Frey

CEO and Co-Founder at Learnkit
Dave is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Learnkit. His life-long passion to create change through education led him to co-found Teach Away, the world's largest international teaching exchange, and Skooli, an online platform connecting students to tutors.
David Frey

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  • Kathleen Pick

    I design content (using Canvas) that can be accessed and undertaken asynchronously by students. I also meet live (using Adobe Connect) with students synchronously to go over this content and to hear from and work with them. These sessions are recorded so that those who can only connect asynchronously can hear/see what went on. Finally, I also run a course every summer that involves this asynchronous/synchronous blend for three weeks with a face-to-face international trip. There are no limits to how we can use technology to design content which is immediate, engaging, rewarding, and through which enrichment is reciprocal.

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