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Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is a type of remote education with a flexible schedule. Students can learn the online course materials whenever they want, allowing them to follow the curriculum at a comfortable pace.

Technology is used to streamline an asynchronous class, which includes video lectures, discussion forums, and virtual teaching aids. Asynchronous education involves a high degree of autonomy, encouraging a proactive, inclusive, and comprehensive learning experience.

D2L Learning Management System screenshots in three devices

What is asynchronous learning?

An asynchronous learning system is made up of online classes that students can access at any time and place. Since there are no real-time lectures in asynchronous teaching, students complete their studies based on a highly flexible schedule.

Due to its convenience and ease of access, asynchronous learning has gained popularity among educators and is being used in K-12 schools, universities, and online classrooms around the world.

  • Need a flexible schedule for your online classes?
  • Looking for an easy-to-use remote teaching platform?
  • Want to promote independent learning among students?

D2L’s Brightspace platform includes elegantly designed online tools that can help educators deliver asynchronous learning and enhance the teaching experience. The remote learning platform offers many intuitive features that are easy, efficient, and enjoyable to use.

With the technology available through Brightspace, educators can create a fully asynchronous course with a dynamic structure. Use this online asynchronous learning system to transform the classroom into an innovative and informative experience!

Try the asynchronous online learning tools

Asynchronous learning activities

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Video and audio learning tools

Asynchronous learning uses videos, podcasts, and text instructions to conduct each lesson. The course materials are explained in a series of video and audio clips, which are uploaded online for students to access.

These visual and audio tools for asynchronous learning help to make the classes memorable. Students may have a more comfortable time with the course materials after watching or hearing the instructions.

Online discussion forums

The asynchronous learning system has online forums for students and teachers to communicate openly. Participants can use the forums to exchange innovative ideas or post interesting theories about the course materials.

Since the chats are ongoing, students can join any time they complete an online lecture. Every asynchronous interaction enhances the learning experience, inspiring new ideas, thoughtful questions, and unique perspectives.

Curated course materials

In asynchronous online teaching, additional readings help students understand the course materials better. Instructors can curate a diverse collection of supplementary reading and resources to aid the learning experience.

Using asynchronous technology, all the course materials are organized clearly and coherently into a cloud-based system. Students can easily reference the information at any time, building their knowledge before or after every lesson.

Remote feedback and assessments

Self-guided assessments are important asynchronous learning activities. Once students have finished a tutorial, their knowledge is tested through online quizzes. These evaluations, which may come with time limits, can be completed whenever the students are ready and available.

Teachers can exchange feedback remotely with students based on their progress on assessments and assignments. This feedback allows students to understand how they performed in the course, seeking additional help if necessary.

Synchronous vs. asynchronous learning

Synchronous and asynchronous learning share many similarities. Both terms can be used to describe a type of remote learning that takes place online. The main difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning is when the lessons will be scheduled..

In synchronous learning, the instructions are conducted during real-time, as each class is attended by students at a specified schedule. For asynchronous learning, the classes are prepared in advance, allowing students to learn the course materials at any convenient time.

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What is synchronous learning?

Synchronous learning describes any situation where the teaching and learning occur simultaneously. This type of learning may take place at a scheduled time online, such as video conferencing or a live-stream lecture. Its definition can also include a traditional classroom setting with in-person attendance.

As the instructors and attendees meet up together, there is an element of live activity during the lesson. Students may participate with questions or suggestions, while the teachers can offer answers and assistance immediately.

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Difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning

Since synchronous learning happens in real-time, it creates a dynamic environment with the potential for interactivity. Compared to asynchronous learning, the synchronous format is more receptive to immediate feedback and live discussions.

A student must be in attendance during the set time of synchronous learning, unlike the flexibility of an asynchronous classroom. Asynchronous learning is also more scalable and affordable, allowing many to access the lesson with no travel or venue costs.

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Is synchronous or asynchronous learning better?

Synchronous learning is used across many schools, but it no longer remains the only method of teaching available. Academic institutions have embraced online asynchronous technology, given the appeal of students being able to learn at their own pace.

There are distinct benefits for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The preferred technique depends on each institutions’ online learning style, based on whether they prioritize real-time classes or flexible scheduling.

Learn more about personalized learning

Benefits of
asynchronous learning

Asynchronous learning is unique from other teaching methods which take place in-person or in real-time. An asynchronous course doesn’t need to adhere to a rigid schedule, removing the logistical hurdles that come with more traditional forms of education. Without these restrictions, a remote asynchronous format offers significant benefits in terms of time, efficiency, and productivity.

As remote classrooms gain mainstream popularity, numerous academic institutions are switching to a partially or fully asynchronous format of learning. The benefits of asynchronous learning are being applied to classrooms across all levels, from K-12 schools to university campuses.

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Flexible learning schedule

Asynchronous distance learning accommodates students with busy schedules, allowing them to access the course materials at any convenient time. With the aid of asynchronous technology, real-time classes do not have to be the only teaching option anymore.

Students can focus clearly on their studies with flexible scheduling, as they pick a suitable time to learn without distractions. Whether there’s a preference for early mornings or late evenings, the timing of these lessons is completely within their control.

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Self-paced online learning

With a flexible schedule, students can manage their learning progress in the asynchronous online course. Quick learners will enjoy studying in advance with the most up-to-date lessons. Others may prefer to learn at a more relaxed pace, absorbing the content in a steady and methodical manner.

While all classes must be completed by a deadline, students are able to approach the course at their own speed. Instead of feeling rushed, they can spend extra time reviewing each asynchronous lesson and ensuring they understand everything.

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Independent learning experience

Asynchronous online learning promotes a high degree of autonomy in students. They’re encouraged to learn, study, and troubleshoot questions on their own, although online guidance is available if needed. This learning style can build discipline, independence, and problem-solving skills.

As the students learn each asynchronous instruction independently, they’re more engaged in critical thinking. This helps to increase their familiarity, confidence, and understanding of the course materials.

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