Asynchronous Learning: Benefits, Advantages and Disadvantages

Rajiv Shah
Rajiv Shah
Asynchronous Learning: Benefits, Advantages and Disadvantages



Examples of asynchronous learning:

  • 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

Advantages of Asynchronous Learning

  • Recorded sessions allow students time to digest the session content and/or conduct further research before posing questions in a discussion group. This is better for more deliberate thinkers and also, in some cases, for students whose first language is not English.
  • Students can access the course content, and initiate or respond to interactions with the instructor and their peers, when it best suits their schedule.
  • Students can re-watch recorded sessions to deepen their learning, or to review content prior to a final exam. Students can likewise review threads in discussion groups long after those discussions have taken place.
  • More democratic: during a live session, only a small number of students will be able to ask questions; in an online discussion group all students can pose questions or make comments.
  • Allows students to work around unanticipated challenges such as falling sick for a week, or dealing with a family emergency.

Disadvantages of Asynchronous Learning

  • Students might feel less connected to an instructor when they are watching a recorded session.
  • Students might feel less connected to the course overall when they do not see their classmates.
  • Students might put off engaging with a recorded session because they can always “do it later.”
  • Asynchronous learning requires significant task initiation skills since none of the class time is scheduled, only the assessment deadlines.
  • Asynchronous learning requires a higher level of commitment and independent learning skills.

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