If you have gone through workplace training before or taken any self-paced online courses, then you have been participating in what is known as asynchronous learning. This style of learning happens when the instructor and the learner are not both participating in the education at the same time.

Is Asynchronous Learning Right for Your Team?

So instead of having an instructor teaching you while you take notes, such as in an academic classroom, the instructor has pre-recorded or pre-created a lesson. Then you, the student, go through the material on your own. When you are finished, the instructor will assess your progress on their own time. This process is called asynchronous learning.

There are many benefits to this type of learning, as well as its counterpart: synchronous learning.

The Pros and Cons of Asynchronous Learning

Before deciding what type of learning is best for your workplace, here are some pros and cons to consider about asynchronous learning.

When to Use Asynchronous Learning

Given the pros and cons above, when should you choose asynchronous learning? Consider these things:

If these are not the most important factors for your team, consider the benefits of synchronous learning.

When to Use Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning means that your team will be attending live training. This could be in person, over the Internet, or some combination of both. The key for this type of training is that the instructor is available immediately for questions and feedback. Here are some situations where you may want to choose this type of learning over another:

These situations may be better suited to a live event rather than pre-recorded materials. But there is good news. You may not have to choose between one or the other.

When to Combine Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning

Many offices combine both types of learning into a robust training program. This allows employees to take advantage of both types of material. For example, a trainer may offer a pre-recorded webinar and become available for a live question-and-answer session at a specific date. This would allow your team to watch the webinar when it works best for their schedule and reduce the time spent in the group discussion.

Another good way to combine synchronous and asynchronous learning is to attend a live training event but return to the office with a workbook or other materials to foster a deeper understanding of the topic later.

Asynchronous Learning Has the Advantage in the Digital Age

The real power of asynchronous learning is its strength for a hybrid or virtual office. In today’s global business world, it’s simply not always possible for everyone to attend a training event simultaneously. By offering recorded training, an LMS platform with multiple training courses, and other types of self-paced materials, employers are working with their teams instead of against them.

Lean into the technology that allows you to cater to many learning styles and needs. This is the best way to empower your employees to improve their skills and take action when and where they can. Asynchronous learning helps you accomplish this objective.