What is asynchronous eLearning?
It’s a learning process through which participants complete a training program in an autonomous and self-directed fashion by interacting with a course directly through information and communications technology (ICT), that is, without the intervention of a facilitator who guides their learning.
To address the current demands of the work force, asynchronous eLearning should be available through mobile technology (tablets and smart phones).
These are the five advantages:
1. Standardized, quality training
Content for the training is carefully selected, planned, and structured. While it may be replicated several times (meeting the needs of mass-scale courses with various groups and instructors), there’s not room for each instructor to facilitate the training differently by using their own style, sharing different experiences, or including their own examples or practices as could happen with synchronous eLearning (or the “live online” modality).
2. Flexibility in terms of time and space
The training will be available 24/7 without the time restrictions that exist when a training is facilitated synchronously by instructors. Likewise, it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection that participants can connect to, whether from their computers, tablets, or smart phones. If the training is designed with short and concise segments (microlearning), and if the employee’s job allows for it, it can even be accessed during brief periods of downtime during working hours. For example, when a supervisor is waiting for a phase of a process she is overseeing to be completed before setting the next phase in motion, she can make the most of this interval by doing part of the training.
3. Participants progress as their own pace
Group courses have a number of common drawbacks, such as participants’ different comprehension levels and some needing to review or having to wait for others so that everyone can move forward at the same time. With asynchronous eLearning, these hindrances disappear. Participants can stop to review, organize themselves, and advance as it suits them best and with absolute freedom. Moreover, this will help participants to develop time-management and self-management skills by having to set their own goals for completing the training.
4. Unlimited number of participants
With trainings that use videoconferencing applications (or ones held with an “online live” modality), there can be problems with the limitations on the number of devices that can connect per session. With asynchronous eLearning, this isn’t an issue.
5. Significant cost savings
The logistics is simpler because it is not necessary to hire instructors or coordinate them (like in cases when they have to facilitate a mass-scale training session that needs to do be completed within a determined timeframe). Likewise, there is no need to rent classrooms, meeting rooms, or conference halls either.
When it comes to materials, they’ll be reused and may or may not be included in the course. What’s certain is that time won’t have to be invested in organizing them and making them available.
Once available on the technological platform of choice, the asynchronous eLearning course will be ready to access, even on a mass scale if that’s how it was planned. The training is only configured once and then accessed directly online through the host website or a company server or through the technological platform that you wish to use.
If you oversee training at your company, identify the new learning needs and address them by considering the advantages of asynchronous eLearning while also taking advantage of the potential of the technological resources, skills, and new habits of your work force.
About the author:
Mayra Nuriulú is the manager of eLearning at IDESSA. She has over 15 years of experience in executive talent training and academic education for graduate programs as well as in eLearning. She took part in the planning, design, and teaching of virtual courses for the Master’s in Business Administration and the Master’s in E-Commerce of ITSEM’s Vice Rectory for Online Programs.