What is asynchronous learning?
A learning experience that’s online, can happen at any time, and centers around the unique needs of the learner, is commonly known as asynchronous learning. As a result, learners using asynchronous learning formats typically rely on digital learning materials that can be accessed anytime.
The main component of asynchronous learning is the flexibility it offers. Learners can set their learning schedules according to their own priorities and pace. They can enhance their learning experience with a wide range of digital content — like videos, online courses, and podcasts — and interact through a variety of mediums — like email, discussion boards, and chat.
Asynchronous learning has perhaps become the most popular learning format as a result of Covid-19. To fill the gaps that physical distancing has left on the world, most organizations have opted for online asynchronous training to connect with their employees at home.
Let’s learn a few tips for developing an online asynchronous teaching strategy within an organization.
Asynchronous learning tips: develop your strategy
Here are eight tips to optimize your asynchronous learning strategy:
Create Short Courses
This is the first and basic step to capture organizational knowledge in a meaningful way. Look for easy authoring tools that allow you to quickly create and publish e-learning courses. Set clear objectives and create crisp content to give learners a clear idea about what is expected of them. A user-friendly authoring tool like Easygenerator makes it easy for anyone in the organization to share their expertise in the form of a course, even if they don’t have a background in instructional design.
Short videos engage learners more than visual text. You can include relevant Ted Talks, educational YouTube videos, or even create your own videos to engage your learners. Learners are more likely to retain information when visually engaged by videos than they would with other types of media.
Add interactive features
Similarly, including interactive elements also helps keep learners engaged with the subject. Unlike static content and textbook materials, learners are more likely to engage when they’re invited to interact with their lesson. You can use audio-visual content, simulated assessments, and even invite your learners to participate in real-time scenarios to illustrate a concept. You can also engage your learners in games and reality-based use cases that get learners to practice the skills their new skills.
Discussion boards and forums
Encourage learners to post their learning experiences, questions, and views on discussion boards. These boards are a great way to connect people. They can also be used to facilitate shared assignments like group discussions, which learners can participate in at their convenience. Learners can also use online forums to post their questions and get responses from fellow learners or an instructor.
While it’s not always possible to give immediate feedback in an asynchronous learning setup, make sure your learners can still easily get feedback on their progress. You can facilitate feedback through assessments or assignments. You could also set up a feedback channel where you can easily manage, read and understand learners’ concerns. Though asynchronous learning is not instructor-based, having a trainer to guide your learners’ experience can be useful.
Use email to communicate
Speaking of feedback, email can be an effective tool for engaging with learners — among other communication needs. Ensure you respond to your learners’ messages promptly. You can do this by setting aside time on your calendar to engage with and respond to your learners’ queries.
Blogs are also a very effective medium for learners to reach out with questions and take note of any key updates. They also offer a good support structure for learners can engage with each other and exchange perspectives.
Further reading and resources
Including curated links within courses to additional, existing resources allows learners to go beyond their assigned learning content and pursue the subject further according to their interests. You can place links to webinars, videos, or podcasts for your learners to explore on their own.
Creating an asynchronous learning strategy is not simply about meeting the definition but also about creating an interesting and engaging learning environment. Not only does it satisfy learners, but it also serves as a major leap for organizations to be able to meet learners’ needs under any circumstances.