Asynchronous learning is a straightforward concept: a learner accesses training materials at a different time than the instructor does. When a real-time learner-instructor interaction is unavailable, it is vital to create an environment that encourages skill development.
Learning, particularly technical learning, has traditionally taken place in a classroom setting. Nevertheless, learning has developed. Budgets are being reduced. IT personnel are becoming increasingly busy. Technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Learners today expect to be able to access training whenever and wherever they desire.
Asynchronous training, often known as on-demand training, is often the solution.
Asynchronous learning has the same requirements as traditional classroom learning. Learners and managers continue to want high-quality training, feedback, practical laboratories, and group interaction, all while keeping prices low, productivity high, and course information correct and up-to-date.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for learners and instructors to run into some asynchronous learning pitfalls that can easily be avoided.
Pitfalls of Asynchronous Learning
Not every talent can be taught online or asynchronously. Nobody wants to have an operation performed by surgeons whose only training came from online courses. Aside from such extreme cases, there are only a few things to consider when choosing asynchronous learning.
Fewer resources are available to clarify the topics.
If a learner does not comprehend the explanation in a video, he or she has few options for getting an alternative explanation. The on-camera instructor should make every effort to explain things in a way that the majority of people can grasp. Those who require additional explanation should have access to the learner support features.
Attempting to recreate in-person classroom experience in the new eLearning environment.
Physical classroom experiences do not easily transition to live online environments. The human connection in the asynchronous environment is missing. The enthusiasm in a room full of learners and an instructor cannot be reproduced online. However, asynchronous (or on-demand) video learning material does not attempt to imitate the in-person classroom experience but rather takes advantage of the inherent benefits of the online environment to meet — and sometimes exceed — the in-person setting.
It is pointless for instructors to attempt to replicate classroom dynamics in the virtual realm or become anxious if things don’t operate as well online as they do in person.
The online experience necessitates novel techniques and strategies that would not ordinarily be used in the classroom. For example, you cannot expect a learner to remain attentive and present during a 45-minute lecture-style workshop in a virtual space. The virtual space gives new options for learning and instruction that can be as successful and pleasant as those in the classroom.
There is a lack of feedback and two-way communication.
The limited communication and feedback with instructors and other participants is an important consideration in asynchronous learning. While learners may contact teachers via email or any other platform, they do not have real-time communication as in synchronous learning.
This can be problematic for learners who are dealing with extremely tough or sophisticated subjects, or for those who benefit from more supervision in their learning. Make sure to provide opportunities for regular feedback to assist learners in overcoming any challenges that may arise throughout training.
Skipping the needs assessment.
The assessment of needs is a critical phase in the design of asynchronous learning. A training needs evaluation is frequently overlooked with reduced finances, less time, and fewer resources. Here are some of the reasons why organizations avoid conducting needs assessments:
- Training managers are frequently under pressure to execute training programs on time.
- Sometimes, functional managers believe they know exactly what their team needs and are skeptical that a requirements assessment will provide any further information.
Skipping the needs assessment is analogous to attempting to build a house without a design. The needs analysis will assist you in defining the training requirements and how an asynchronous online learning course can benefit. The needs assessment will assist you in determining the reason for training, the learners’ present skills and skill gaps, and what is lacking from the current training program. An effective needs assessment can assist you in developing sticky learning that is linked to corporate performance, skill improvement, and employee engagement.
Lack of motivation.
While the flexibility of asynchronous learning is alluring, it can also be difficult for some learners. Being free to choose their timeframe to accomplish assignments inside an asynchronous learning platform can result in less motivation, increased levels of distraction, or procrastination for people who operate well with discipline and routine. If the information is not especially engaging, learners may become bored and fail to participate.
There is no live collaboration or real-time activity.
Learning at one’s own pace also entails waiting for others to reply, which can take a long time. Asynchronous learning does not allow for real-time conversations or live collaboration, both of which have been shown to boost engagement and motivation. Furthermore, because of the general impression of being alone and “disconnected,” overall communication among collaborators might be difficult. You can take the help of these 10 asynchronous learning tips to increase engagement and collaboration among your learners.
Forgetting to create for mobile devices.
Many learners choose to learn via mobile devices. To make it as simple as possible for your learners to complete your asynchronous learning course, make sure it is compatible with mobile devices. In most circumstances, this can be accomplished by employing a responsive design.
Dumping irrelevant information.
Do not overload an asynchronous course with knowledge just because subject matter experts in your organization provide you with more than you need. As instructors, if you can extract information that will be valuable to learners in achieving their learning objectives, you will be able to assist the instructional designer in working on the course.
Choose only the content that is relevant to the course. If the content does not meet the training program’s objectives, it is not required to be included in the course. You might include it as a resource link with “good to know” information.
Asynchronous learning isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. There are some pitfalls to consider. Learners should never feel disconnected or alone, even if they are learning from thousands of miles away. Give them a motivational nudge to encourage active involvement, followed by regular follow-ups to help them complete the gaps. Above all, tailor the approach to match their needs and make them feel included.