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Online Learning: Benefits of Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning (and Combining Both)

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The last few years have seen unexpected challenges for the education sector, but they also brought certain opportunities. Most notably, the shift to remote and hybrid learning has seen the sector embrace digital transformation.

There are two main types of remote learning: synchronous and asynchronous learning. If you’re looking to jump into online study and further your career, it’s important to understand the benefits of each in order to choose the best method for you.

synchronous and asynchronous learning

What are synchronous and asynchronous learning?

Simply put, synchronous learning involves real-time interaction between teachers and students. This can take various forms, such as in-person seminars, live online classes, or real-time messaging. In this type of learning, you need to attend classes and other commitments at set times, whether on-campus or online.

On the other hand, asynchronous learning gives you the convenience to learn at your own pace, at any time, and anywhere. It’s a self-paced learning model where students can access study materials, from recorded lectures to reading materials and assignments, at any time. These courses may set deadlines to complete the course or given assignments, or can be entirely self-paced.


EDHEC online programs combine both elearning type: synchronous activities with weekly live classes and real-time messaging between parricipants, professors and coaches, and high-quality asynchronous content by following an approach founded on user experience and gamification.


Benefits of Synchronous Learning


Real-Time Interaction

Synchronous e-learning is conducted online through virtual tools that enable real-time interaction between students and teachers. This means you can virtually attend classes at some of the world’s best institutions regardless of where you’re located and without the need to travel.

In a style of learning that is very similar to on-campus study, you’ll be able to ask questions live and get quick answers. This can be extremely helpful in allowing you to grasp concepts and meet your learning objectives.

Better Engagement

It’s easier to learn and stay engaged when you study in real-time alongside your peers. Synchronous learning gives you an opportunity to work with other students, compete with them, and meet in groups to explore topics and discuss any doubts you have about the subject matter.

Recent advances in technology mean that there is now a range of powerful virtual tools that support active learning, collaboration, and strong engagement. The synchronous learning format offers you the three main components of successful education — Discussion, Practice, and Teaching Others.

Increased Networking Opportunities

Because synchronous learning involves real-time interaction, it also allows you to build relationships with your peers and teachers. You’ll be able to build rapport with teachers through tutorials and real-time communication.

Unlike asynchronous courses where you may never interact with your fellow students at all, you’ll be able to make valuable connections with the rest of your student cohort. This way, you can build a strong network that will not only support you in your studies, but could help you in your future career.


Benefits of Asynchronous Learning


More Convenience

Asynchronous courses give you the convenience to learn whenever and wherever you want. You don’t have to have to attend virtual classes at specific times, but instead, you can participate from anywhere, at any time, and using any device.

This is highly convenient for students who are enrolled in multiple courses, have part-time or full-time jobs, or have family commitments. This is a learner-centred format that you can fit in around the rest of your life.

No Time-Zone Barriers

One of the big advantages of online education is that you can learn from the world’s best schools and teachers, no matter where you live. However, although technology makes this easy, time zone differences are still an issue – no one wants to attend virtual lectures at 2:00 in the morning, nor is this the best time of the day for most people to focus and retain information.

However, with asynchronous learning, you can access classes and learning materials at any time of day, no matter your time zone.

Learn at Your Own Pace

It’s not uncommon for students to lose concentration and zone out during a lecture, or simply not be able to retain any more information after a certain point. Asynchronous learning can help you overcome this challenge.

Since the lectures are saved on your device, you can listen to them whenever you feel productive, or as many times as you need. You can also choose to break one class into several shorter sessions. You’ll have the freedom to learn at your own pace.


Combining Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

As online education becomes more sophisticated than ever, some institutions are offering courses that combine synchronous and asynchronous learning. Combining the two approaches can deliver excellent learning experiences and improve students’ learning outcomes.

Better Preparation

In a combined format, videos, study materials, forums, and other asynchronous learning tools are often available to help students prepare for real-time lectures. By having these insights in advance, it’s easier to stay focused, understand complicated concepts, and get the most out of live classes.


Using asynchronous learning tools alongside synchronous learning methods gives teachers and students the freedom to interact at any time, from anywhere. You’ll benefit from the engagement and interaction of live classes, and be able to review the recorded lectures whenever you get time.

In addition to the peer interaction in class, you’ll be able to use asynchronous collaboration tools, such as forums, polls, blog posts, and surveys. These tools offer greater flexibility and allow you to get involved in discussions anonymously.

Improved Learning Outcomes

By combining asynchronous and synchronous learning approaches, students can enjoy the benefits of each for the best results. We are all individuals and we learn in different ways, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in education.

A combination of these two approaches allows students to tailor their learning experience to their needs, lifestyle, and preferred learning style, and so produces the best learning outcomes.


Access the Highest Standards of Online Learning at EDHEC

A combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning methods helps students gain in-depth knowledge, build a wide range of skills, build strong relationships, and achieve strong learning outcomes.

EDHEC distance learning centre has reinvented online education with innovative courses and diploma programmes that meet the highest academic standards and maximise learning outcomes.


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