Synchronous vs Asynchronous Learning

What's the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning? What do synchronous and asynchronous exactly mean?

New technology is taking over the traditional classroom. This new system is called e-learning.  E-learning can be divided into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous learning. Hopefully you will know the differences after reading this article :)

Synchronous vs asynchronous learning

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What is the definition of synchronous learning?

Synchronous learning involves online studies through chat. This kind of learning can only happen online. By being online, you can stay in touch with your teacher and other students. It’s called synchronous learning, because the systems allows students to ask their teacher or fellow students questions instantly through instant messaging.

What is asynchronous learning?

On the other hand we have asynchronous learning. This can be carried out online and offline. Asynchronous learning involves coursework delivered via web, email and message boards that are then posted on online forums. Students are not able to have instant messaging via this online forum. A benefit of asynchronous learning is that you’re able to be self-paced.

So, what’s the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning

A significant difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning is the instant messaging and immediate feedback. With synchronous learning you have got instant messaging and immediate feedback from your fellow students or teacher. Asynchronous learning doesn’t include that. If you’re having trouble answering the questions, you’re not able to ask them directly. Then again, with asynchronous learning you can be self-paced. This is not possible with synchronous learning.

Example – watching an online lecture and during this lecture the teacher will be asking some questions

Synchronous learning

You have to watch the lecture at a certain time. You are able to interact with your students about the answers. The teacher is also able to read your answers immediately and to interact with the students during this lecture. The lecture has to be given online.

Asynchronous learning

You are able to watch the lecture at your own pace. You you’re not able to discuss your answers with your classmates immediately. This lecture can be given offline


Asynchronous learning is the only method which can be used with our LMS. You can get immediate feedback from the system itself, but not interact with your teacher or other students. For example, participants can follow a course and after that make a quiz about that course. The quiz is able to give them immediate feedback on your answers.

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