Synchronous Learning: Advantages & Disadvantages

Synchronous learning describes real-time learning that takes place at the same time but not in the same place. Television is an early tool for synchronous learning. How many people in millions of locations tuned in to Julia Childs to learn how to turn a recipe into a dish? (Those who taped the show for viewing later took part in asynchronous learning. See below.) Today, we use computers or mobile devices to connect people to learn synchronously.

For example, large companies that release a new product can use SYNCHRONOUS TRAINING with their sales forces to feed the enthusiasm frenzy while training the entire team on the new features and benefits in a hurry.

Synchronous learning can allow learners to interact with the presenter, which alleviates feelings of isolation and allows real-time Q&A. Company training that used to require travel can now occur synchronously through webinars. Think of the cost savings!
While synchronous learning saves time and money, it requires a specific block of time that may or may not be convenient to the learner. Unless there’s a replay of the session or notes available for download, it could be up to the learner to do whatever it takes to learn the information presented in the session.