Asynchronous vs Synchronous learning: Which one is better for distance learning?

With the advancement of learning technologies, online learning has become a trend in recent years. While online/distance learning has multiples advantages, its effectiveness really depends on the type of online teaching methods employed.  I would like to focus on the two main types of distance methods discussed in class this week: synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous teaching involves real-time online teaching, where both the teacher and the student are online at the same time. This is done using video call programs such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, etc.  On the other hand, asynchronous teaching does not oblige students to be online at the same as teachers. The instructor just needs to communicate with students via email or other content management systems, about all course-related matters. I believe Synchronous Teaching could be the most effective way to do distance learning, in that it allows instructors to measure students “affects”. In other words, although, there might still be a screen separating the teacher and his/her students, synchronous teaching will allow him/her to still have that personal connection with students since the teaching is occurring in real-time.  However, the flip side is that this type of teaching requires a bit of experience from the teacher and might not be suitable for new teachers.  Asynchronous teaching could be the most effective teaching method for a first-time teacher since he/she doesn’t have to be online at the same with students and could easily manage as in-class questions, which all first-time teachers are petrified about.

As such, for my first teaching experience as a graduate student, I would like that to be asynchronous. At the same time, if I only have the opportunity to teach a synchronous class, be it online or in-person I would take it without hesitation. Although it will be challenging for a first teaching experience, I am pretty sure I can do a pretty good job, as I am having the best preparation with the Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate.


One Reply to “Asynchronous vs Synchronous learning: Which one is better for distance learning?”

  1. I think the most important point you made is that it truly does depend on the teaching methods employed. I agree that synchronous teaching works best for online courses to feel as though you actually know your professor and/or classmates but that it can be harder or more work on the instructor.

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