Asynchronous & Synchronous Technologies

In Discussion 2, we discussed the differences between synchronous and a-synchronous technologies and advantages and disadvantages of both as it relates to the required readings. The definitions vary, but both types of technologies have advantages and disadvantage depending on an individual’s personal learning styles and behaviors.

Synchronous learning takes places through real time interaction. There are several examples of learning that can be classified as synchronous learning. A good example would be an online chat where students are able to receive immediate feedback from other students. This is done by posting a comment to a chat area and receiving a reply immediately, similar to instant messaging. Conference calls and video conferences are also a form of synchronous learning, it consists of real time involvement. A disadvantage of this type of learning is it’s difficult for some student to engage as it doesn’t allow for flexibility but more like availability.

A-synchronous learning does not take place in real time, this is done with a gap in time. There are several examples of learning styles that are associated with a-synchronous learning. This incudes, emails that are sent and responses aren’t received immediately, it can take from minutes to hours to get a response. Another example would be discussion forums, where a student would post a response and other students will come and reply to the response at their leisure. A disadvantage of a-synchronous learning is that it doesn’t include one on one interaction.

Both types of learning styles are beneficial depending on a individuals personal needs.

McGreal, R., & Elliott, M. (2008). Theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.autopress.ca

Stewart, A. R., Harlow, D. B., & DeBacco, K. (2011). Students’ experience of synchronous learning in distributed environments. Distance Education. Retrieved from, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.610289

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