Asynchronous Learning Advantages And Disadvantages In Corporate Training

Top 10 Asynchronous Learning Advantages And Disadvantages
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Summary: Online training in an asynchronous online environment means that the full responsibility of learning falls on the shoulders of employees; they are the ones who have maximum control over how, when, and where learning happens. But is learning at one’s own pace the ideal online training experience? In this article, I'll share 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of asynchronous learning so that you will be able to determine whether your audience would benefit from this learning method or not.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Asynchronous Learning In Corporate Training

Offering the employees control over their online training experience is often a priority for eLearning professionals when designing and developing online training courses. This is exactly what asynchronous learning does; it allows employees to learn at their own pace by giving them full responsibility of learning and the power to attend only when it is convenient for them. It really sounds fantastic. Synchronous learning techniques, on the other hand, may simulate the traditional classroom experience more successfully, but the truth is that the average modern learner leads a busy life; more often than not, aligning a busy schedule with the synchronous learning requirements is quite challenging. Asynchronous learning respects factors affecting regular attendance to online training courses and ensures that they are accessed and completed at different times for each employee, improving learning outcomes. But are there any drawbacks of the asynchronous learning method? In this article, I'll share 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of asynchronous learning in order to help you determine when you should use it for your online training deliverable and when you should not.

5 Asynchronous Learning Advantages

  1. Offers employees complete control over their learning.
    As a learner-centered method, asynchronous learning gives employees full responsibility of their online training experience. This means that everyone is allowed to decide how, when, and where to learn. Furthermore, not only distance but also time barriers are eliminated, and thus, as employee-trainer interaction takes place according to personal schedules, there is more potential for personalized guidance and attention from online facilitators or trainers.
  2. Respectful to one’s own learning pace.
    Asynchronous learning gives employees time to reflect on what they are learning before answering questions or joining online discussions. As not all employees absorb the online training material in the same way, an asynchronous learning solution can benefit even employees with poor learning skills by offering them the ability to take their time to complete responses and develop their critical thinking skills.
  3. Convenient.
    Asynchronous learning is the ideal learning solution for adults with busy schedules, as it doesn’t require employees to be online at a specific day or time. Employees can communicate with their online facilitator or virtual classmates at their own convenience and instantly have access to information, online training assignments, and other online resources.
  4. Less social obstacles.
    While online interaction and collaboration are proven to enhance the online training experience, the truth is that there are many employees out there who don’t enjoy socializing and feel uncomfortable about the idea of participating in online discussions, where their more dominating peers have the greatest impact upon the virtual classroom. An asynchronous learning approach helps introverted learners eliminate social anxiety, as learning in isolation makes them feel safer and more comfortable.
  5. Interactive regardless of location and time barriers.
    Asynchronous learning methods allow employees not only to learn at their own pace, but also to interact with their peers and online facilitator no matter which the time zone they live in is. Discussion boards, blogs, and emails are always available to ensure that online interaction is effective, online collaboration for group projects is possible, and conversation takes place over distance and place.
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5 Asynchronous Learning Disadvantages 

  1. Lacks instant feedback.
    Feedback in eLearning
     is essential, as it helps both employees and trainers address issues and misunderstandings related to the online training course material. And, of course, the quicker the feedback is received, the sooner can the employees get back on the right learning track. In an asynchronous learning environment instant feedback is impossible, as the online training course is not live and employees may waste valuable time waiting for their questions to be answered by their trainers or even their peers.
  2. Lacks personal interaction.
    Personal interaction among participants is eliminated in the asynchronous learning context, and the lack of a more “human” atmosphere disconnects employees not only from their peers, but, interestingly enough, from the online training material itself; not feeling part of a learning environment can make employees see the online training course as a burden. Learning in isolation may work for some, but it certainly does not work for most people who need personal interaction in order to maintain or even increase their motivation levels. All in all, not being able to personally interact with other people can lead to failure to achieve the learning goals and outcomes of the online training course.
  3. No live collaboration and real time activities.
    Learning at one’s own pace also means waiting for others to respond, often for long periods of time. Asynchronous learning doesn’t offer the ability for real time discussions and live collaboration, both of which are proven to increase motivation and engagement. Furthermore, overall communication between collaborators can be difficult due to the general sense of being isolated and “disconnected”.
  4. Can cause lack of motivation.
    Lack of live interaction can disengage and demotivate employees, who may need encouragement and stimulation in order to log in, read the material, and complete the online training course. In fact, procrastination is more likely to occur in an asynchronous learning environment than in any other online learning environment. Personal interaction helps employees maintain their interest, whereas isolation rarely boosts motivation.
  5. Requires self-discipline.
    Finally, asynchronous learning asks from participants to be focused, goal oriented, and with great time management skills. Success in an asynchronous learning environment requires of employees to be both strongly committed and disciplined, which can be a huge disadvantage for those who are not exactly highly self-motivated.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of asynchronous learning can help you determine whether it is ideal for your future online training plans. There is no doubt that asynchronous learning can be incredibly beneficial, but there are certainly some cons to consider before following a pure asynchronous learning approach.

However, there are certainly some ways in which you can achieve success in developing effective asynchronous learning programs: Read the article 6 Tips For Creating Engaging Asynchronous Online Training Courses and discover 6 tips for asynchronous online training that can help you develop engaging, exciting, and memorable online training courses.