Asynchronous learning refers to forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not take place in the same place or at the same time.
To answer the question, “what does Asynchronous mean in School”, we can say the term is most commonly applied to various forms of digital and online learning in which students learn from instruction that is not delivered in person or in real-time.
Such learning includes prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own.
However, asynchronous learning can include a wide range of instructional interactions, such as email exchanges between teachers, online discussion boards, and course-management systems that organize instructional materials and correspondence, among many other possibilities.
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Examples of Asynchronous Learning
Examples of Asynchronous learning are the following:
‣ Watching pre-recorded lecture videos or lessons
‣ Viewing video demonstrations
‣ Reading and writing assignments
‣ Research projects
‣ Student presentations
‣ Online class discussions via course discussion boards
‣ Individual or group projects
‣ Learning activities such as quizzes, problem-solving, and games.
The Benefits of Asynchronous Learning
For remote students, asynchronous learning not only helps alleviate the “Zoom fatigue” that can lead them to disengage but also offers flexibility to personalize learning to suit their specific needs.
Asynchronous learning offers a decisively effective learning experience that enables students to benefit from the following:
‣ Never miss a class
‣ Learn at any pace
‣ Personalize and optimize the learning experience
‣ Revisit lessons as needed to improve comprehension and retention
‣ Take advantage of extra time to process, practice, and respond
‣ Adapt learning to self-accommodate for a disability
‣ Of course, synchronous learning also offers advantages that contribute to student success.
In live sessions, either in-person or online, students can engage in real-time social interactions and discussions, and they can get immediate feedback and guidance from instructors.
Asynchronous Activities and Learning Tools
For instructors who are used to meeting with students in a traditional classroom or at least during online office hours, embracing asynchronous learning can be daunting.
Try these activities to add asynchronous learning to your course:
Turn in-class lectures into videos by recording your teaching. For best results, you can combine video with documents, text, photos, and slides for a full presentation.
Encourage your students to view your presentations in their own time and at their own pace. A tool like Moovly, for example, can help you get started by providing students with valuable artifacts to carry through their academic careers and into the real world.
Sometimes, students need to see something in action. Post an existing video that shows a skill or make your own and publish it on YouTube.
Consider using a transcript tool to make a text copy for student reference.6
Discussion boards embedded into the learning management system are a great way to get students to interact while not requiring them to be online at the same time.
You can also use social media, such as a class Twitter hashtag, to make the conversation feel more natural.
Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.
Your students don’t have to be in the same room to work together. Group presentations and reports can be edited using Google Docs or Dropbox for real-time collaboration and commenting.
To keep communication moving smoothly, you can also introduce a task management system like Asana or other project management/Gantt chart software to track progress.
Your students need to apply what they’ve learned from your online materials, so make quizzes and games that allow them to practice their skills and get feedback on what they know and where they need to improve.
Customized online activities can be created using JeopardyLabs, Quizlet, and Sugarcane.
Pre-built assessments can be integrated into your learning management system to provide real-time, in-depth insight into what your students know, have learned, and are able to do as a result of instruction.
Both the instruction and the assessment can be asynchronous, with the resulting data used to guide the instruction the following day.
In conclusion, Asynchronous learning, which was once primarily used for traditional homework assignments, has evolved into a valuable resource for providing more personalized instruction.
Accept it, celebrate it, and use it to provide students with the best educational experience possible.