As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education, it’s essential to explore innovative teaching methods that enhance student learning and provide flexibility for both educators and learners. One such approach gaining widespread recognition is asynchronous online teaching and learning.
Asynchronous online learning differs from other formats of teaching in that there is no point in an asynchronous class where the students and professor are required to meet at the same time and place – even virtually. In other words, what differentiates it from synchronous learning is the piece where you do something synchronously, at the same time, all at once. Asynchronous learning makes no such demand on your time. It can be a tricky transition, but the DELD team is ready to help with their upcoming Spring Professional Development series. Let’s briefly overview some of the high points of asynchronous learning.
The Flexibility Factor
One of the primary advantages of asynchronous learning is flexibility. Asynchronous courses allow students to access materials and complete assignments at their own pace, accommodating diverse schedules. According to a study by Allen and Seaman (2013), asynchronous learning promotes self-paced progression, enabling students to delve deeper into concepts or revisit challenging material as needed.
Enhanced Student Engagement
Contrary to common misconceptions, asynchronous learning can foster heightened student engagement. Discussion forums, collaborative platforms, and multimedia resources empower students to interact with course content and peers at their convenience. A report by Means et al. (2013) suggests that asynchronous discussions provide students with more time to formulate thoughtful responses, leading to richer and more meaningful exchanges.
Inclusivity and Accessibility
Asynchronous learning promotes inclusivity by accommodating diverse learning needs. Students with varying schedules and responsibilities, or those who require additional time for comprehension can benefit significantly. Moreover, asynchronous courses can be designed with accessibility features, ensuring that educational materials are available to all students, regardless of their physical location or abilities.
For faculty members, asynchronous teaching provides an opportunity to leverage technology in innovative ways. Educators can create multimedia-rich content, design interactive assignments, and provide timely feedback asynchronously. This mode of teaching allows for a more thoughtful and intentional approach to course design, enhancing the overall learning experience.
Professional Development Offerings
In order to be sure you have what you need for a transition to online teaching, the CDLI offers a variety of resources and seminars for Faculty, Lecturers, and GTAs. Our monthly seminars are all targeted to the needs you have for online teaching and learning.
Join us on second Thursdays at 10 AM each month as we explore the transformative power of asynchronous education and discover how it can enrich the student experience. Watch the CDLI Event Calendar for registration information and topic announcements.
- Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing course: Ten years of tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group.
- Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2013). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. U.S. Department of Education.
- Mandernach, B. J., Dailey-Hebert, A., & Donnelli-Sallee, E. (2006). Frequency and Time Investment of Instructors’ Participation in Threaded Discussions in the Online Classroom. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 5(3), 213-225.
- W3C. (2018). Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview. World Wide Web Consortium.