Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous and Synchronous Distance Learning Activities

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The objective of this work is to research the categories of ‘Synchronous’ and ‘Asynchronous’ e-learning activities and to relate experiential information gained from both aspects.

Activities in education may be conducted in two manner related to time intervals. These are referred to as “Synchronous” and “Asynchronous.” (Carnet Website, 2005) Activities that are conducted synchronously are those which are simultaneously performed at the same precise time or within a shorter time interval.” (Carnet Website, 2005) Those that are conducted asynchronously are conducted “at different times, i.e. without having defined short target time intervals.” (Carnet Website, 2005) Synchronous activities specifically are those activities which are conducted at the same time but synchronous is used in expressed activities that are synchronized or that “need to be conducted at a certain hour, on a certain day or week during the process of distance education.” (Carnet Website, 2005) Asynchronous activities provide the capability for the participants to conduct the activities at their convenience. Examples are unlimited email use, forums, online documents, quizzes and tests with automated grading systems are also examples of activities that are categorized as asynchronous. Synchronous activities are video conferences, chat, instant messaging, electronic whiteboards and screen sharing. All participants are participating simultaneously.

I. Differential Elements in Teaching Methods

A. The Individual Approach

Teaching methods may be in the (1) Individual Approach; or (2) the Group Approach. Activities resulting from method application in the individual approach are diverse inclusive of the activities of: “listening to a lecture, speech, sketch, play; reading books, articles, reports; watching presentations, simulations, demonstrations, experiments; visiting virtual museums, historical and cultural monuments; imitating and modeling the behavior of professionals, experts, scientists; using learning games, simulators, virtual laboratories; case studies, critical analyses, reviews, essays; role play, screenplay writing, writing dramatic dialogues; problem solving, doing assignments fostering creativity, projects, research; answering the questions, quizzes, tests; review and drill during the memorizing process or during the process of mastering skills; real-environment experience gathering and writing a report; step-by-step analysis of phenomena, processes, models, theories; finding and analyzing information of different sources independently.” (Carnet Website, 2005) The individual method is an approach that utilizes simple processes and is user friendly. This method contains “detailed and easy-to-understand instructions.” Considerations in the individual educational method are financial resources available, the time required of the instructor, and the provision of support, helpdesk services and counseling to students.

B. The Group Approach

Mutual effort combined with support and encouragement the exchange of opinions and cooperative discussion make the social processes that participants experience in e-learning more satisfying. Some of the pedagogical methods in the Group Approach are: ” team tasks and group problem solving; creative group activities (e.g. brainstorming); group case studies; group critical analyses; group role play; collective games; dialogues and debates; forum discussions and chat; joint projects and research; multipoint videoconferences. The appropriate technology and a moderator with appropriate skills and knowledge combined with enough time make the efforts of e-learning successful.

II. Teaching Methods

There must be more than a simple provision of learning materials made available in e-learning. The design of an education course or subject in distance education requires definitive goals and objectives be stated in advance. Considered as well in this learning initiative is the participant’s previous knowledge and skills, as well as expectations and motivations of participants must be considered as well as the knowledge and skills which the participants seek to acquire. Further addressed should be the measures that will be used for the participant’s knowledge and the criteria for success. Finally, the question of curriculum development is vital in the answering.

Summary & Conclusion

Blended learning is an approach that uses a combination of instruction that is partially traditional and partially online. Blended learning is considered the choice that is most “appropriate” (Carnet Website, 2005) in situations where individuals participating are not highly motivated or independent in the use of the technology related to online educational achievement. There are difficulties and barriers to overcome in distance e-learning and statistics show that 25% of the individuals participating in this type of educational learning do not see it through to completion. With all of this in mind distance e-learning has much to offer educationally and may well provide educational opportunities that would have been missed by the participants of e-learning.

Works Cited

Teaching Methods and Communication in E-education (2005) Carnet Website

The Individual Method (2005) Carnet Website kod/indiv_app?CARNetweb=9ac41897ea506cdb0e558fa028cabc02

Seltzer, Richard (2005) Evaluating synchronous/real-time platforms for distance education Online available at

Corsi, Sandro (1997)Improved Access to Digital Arts Instruction: Asynchronous Education (1997) Worth Pursuing Now (Distance Education is a Remote Possibility) Online Available at 1997-2000 Posted 1997-05-19. Last revised 2000-03-14

Talley, Sue (May 1997), “EdTech Does It Online at Pepperdine University,” THE Journal, Vol. 24, N. 10, pp. 69-71. Online available at

Asynchronous and Synchronous Distance Learning Activities

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