Thursday, 28 March 2013

Asynchronous Learning Translates Old-age Impracticalities into Possibilities

Flipping through the past will let you know that all social activities whether face to face or in group were synchronous. Until recently, there was no technology to mediate the entire process smoothly until the age of computer and internet took over. First telephone came into the picture and then online tools, such as instant messaging, text chat, web conferencing and internet telephony overwhelmed the market.

Gradually new technologies enhanced the process of communication and machines and devices like tapes, discs, films, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones took over. However, these were synchronous. It’s been only in the past 20 years that computer and internet took a reigning control over the market through which students and teachers now engage in learning activity by making posts. It is now regarded as the advanced form of learning where a date and time is not set beforehand. To that note, here is a brief on what is asynchronous learning.

What is Asynchronous Learning?

Image: Teamblearningmodalities Blog
When learners participate in the same learning process at different times, it is known as asynchronous writing. Synonymously, it is also known as computer based training (CBT) or e-learning. It is a mode of learning that allows learners to get through online study courses or important information at their own pace and schedule. CBT specifically refers to courses that are conducted on computers, either through internet or CDs. The basic difference between CBT and traditional learning is that the former does not involve physical presence of a facilitator or an instructor but the latter does. The more similar terms to CBT are eLearning, web based training, online learning and much more.

Though, asynchronous in nature, this mode of learning has the following advantages:
  • It is not dominated by those who try to speak before thinking
  • The mode of learning allows time for reflection on what you have just read
  • Besides, it allows both learners and preachers to participate in the same mode of education
  • Besides, it also allows for in-depth research and profound sharing of perspectives
  • Since it is asynchronous you have record of the string of interactions that are viewed by participants.
Hence, asynchronous learning has a unique approach to learning. It opens up a sea of possibilities that were once impractical. Hence, the latest trend is to fulfil objective of accomplishing studies at your own pace and accepting the new mode of learning process. 
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