Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Learning: What’s Best For Your Employees?

“When you stop learning, you stop growing.”
– Kenneth H. Blanchard

According to the Learning wave, around 74% of employees don’t believe they are using their full potential at work. What’s stopping them? Is there any way to help your employees grow? Yes, employee training is your option to help your employees reach their full potentials and grow in their journey with your company.

The employee training culture has become a necessity, but along with employee training what’s gaining popularity is remote learning. In recent years, we have seen the traditional training methods being replaced with online learning which has yielded remarkable results.

Research shows remote learning helps companies achieve an 18% boost in employee engagement leading to higher productivity at work.

Even though you have the answer to what can help your employees and your business grow, the problem is choosing the right learning path for your employees.

There are two popular online learning processes to use: Synchronous Learning and Asynchronous Learning. There are several debates on Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Learning and trainers often wonder which one to go for. Let’s get into the details of these learning methods to help you decide better.

What is Synchronous Learning?

Synchronous learning is a live interaction between the trainer and the learners that happens in real-time. Synchronous learning can also be done in a specific virtual space using online mediums like video conferencing, live streaming lectures, teleconferencing, live chatting, etc. Learners can ask questions during these training sessions and get instant responses.

Synchronous learning also opens up a space for live discussion, not only between the trainer and the learners but also among the learners. A simple example of synchronous learning would be, a lecture in college where everyone participates in the learning process while the lecturer facilitates the knowledge with the students.

Pros of Synchronous Learning

Convenient & Cost-effective

There are no physical barriers to synchronous learning. Your employees don’t have to be physically present at a specific location to attend the training sessions. The training can be accessed using any device from home.

Instant Feedback

Easy interaction between the trainer and the learners which enables instant feedback/answers to learner’s questions.

Peer-to-peer Learning

Live discussions allow the exchange of knowledge, thoughts between the learners. This encourages participation from everyone who is part of the session and motivates them to learn from each other.

Team building

Synchronous learning promotes teamwork as most of the group activities require interpersonal interaction and continuous collaboration between the learners. As a result, employees learn to come together and work successfully as a team.

Cons of Synchronous Learning

Availability

Employees are only allowed to attend the sessions at the time the training is being conducted. So, everyone is expected to stick to a specific schedule, as the training sessions cannot be attended as per the employees’ convenience. Attending these sessions in real-time becomes difficult for people in different time zones. To avoid this, you can share a recorded video of the training session with your team using a Learning Management System (LMS) like Siminars.

Learning Pace

Remember how as kids in school, we all had different learning styles? Even today, as adults, we learn at different paces. However, synchronous learning does not allow employees to have the liberty to learn and test their knowledge retention at their own pace.

Individual Attention

The real-time synchronous learning with a large group can make some learners feel that they are not being given enough attention. There are also chances that the learners are not focused on the training and are busy with personal activities in an online setting. Unless there’s an explicit Q&A towards the end of the session, the trainer has no way to gauge if people are actually paying attention.

What is Asynchronous learning?

Asynchronous learning, also known as location-independent learning, uses self-guided lessons, videos, and virtual libraries to ensure that learning is possible anywhere at any time.

Pros of Asynchronous learning

Flexibility

Asynchronous learning eliminates place and time barriers. The courses can be accessed or completed at the learner’s convenience.

Accessibility

The learners get more time to study and understand the courses. They also have the option to refer to the reading materials more than once.

Time-Saving

If you have a lot of learners you can save time on face-to-face interaction by sharing the online training program with everyone.

Cons of Asynchronous Learning

Absence of Instant Feedback

Learners may have to wait for the answers to their queries and not get instant responses. To overcome the same you can choose an LMS to make your communication easy and quick between the trainer and the learner.

Isolated Learning

Learners are likely to feel isolated because there is no direct interaction involved. They might feel less engaged, less motivated while completing the course. You must use videos, infographics, and gamification methods to keep them engaged.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous Learning: Which one should you pick?

To resolve the dilemma of Synchronous vs Asynchronous learning, you must consider factors like your business type, learning objectives, how you deliver your employee training (online or traditional method), availability of the learners, resources. Keeping all these factors in mind you should make the right pick.

If you have the time and resources you can have a blend of both synchronous and asynchronous learning, which is called blended learning. This hybrid will give you the best of both worlds and the employees will have more control over their training. A blend of audio, visual, textual content, some gamification will add to your employee’s learning experience.

Blended Learning Example

This is what a blended training program for your sales team will look like.
A webinar with a sales expert including interactive activities, discussions, and Q&A sessions. The webinar can be recorded using LMS and shared with employees who could not attend the session or employees who wish to refer to the webinar again.

A full course on how to close maximum sales which includes study materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and case studies. An evaluation test towards the end of the training to check your employee’s progress.

The benefit of having blended learning is you might not know what suits every employee of your organization but keeping a variety for them will ease out the learning process.

If you are lost where and how you can create your first employee training program? Try Siminars.