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TrainingZONE Glossary: Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning


Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Definition: A commonly-used term in online learning, these two refer respectively to learning delivered immediately through the internet, or with a time lapse.

Synchronous Learning, as the name suggests, requires the learner and tutor to be online at the same time and communicating through the use of one of a series of tools - these may include online chat, virtual 'white boards' or any other technology which allows for individuals logged in at different computers to see and share the same materials or conversation. Synchronous Learning gives rise to the term 'virtual classroom'.

Asynchronous Learning involves a time delay in communication between learner, or learners and tutor, or learner and training materials. Tools used for this may include e-mail, news groups or a document library.

Feature articles on Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning:

Asynchronous e-learning - Context and Culture

Horses for Courses - Synchronous vs. Asynchoronous Learning

Expert Guide: How to choose the right online collaborative learning tool

Resource materials:

Tools for Synchronous Learning: TrainingZONE workshop area, WebEx tool for meetings and conferences online.

Tools for Asynchronous Learning: TrainingZONE Toolkit, TrainingZONE Discussion Forum

Providers using asynchronous and synchronous methods in their work:

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