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Synchronous Distance Learning vs. Asynchronous Distance Learning

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Distance Learning Timing:

There are two primary types of distance learning courses: synchronous courses and asynchronous courses. Knowing the difference between these two terms will help you choose a distance learning program that works for your schedule.

Synchronous Distance Learning:

Synchronous distance learning occurs when the teacher and his pupils interact in different places but during the same time. Students enrolled in synchronous courses are generally required to log on to their computer during a set time at least once a week. Synchronous distance learning may include multimedia components such as group chats, web seminars, video conferencing, and phone call-ins.

Generally, synchronous learning works best for students who can schedule set days and times for their studies. It is often preferred by those who like structured courses heavy on student interaction.

Asynchronous Distance Learning:

Asynchronous distance learning occurs when the teacher and the pupils interact in different places and during different times. Students enrolled in asynchronous courses are able to complete their work whenever they please. Asynchronous distance learning often relies on technology such as message boards, email, pre-recorded video lectures, mp3s, and traditional mail correspondence.

Often, asynchronous distance learning is preferred by students with complicated schedules. It tends to work well for self-motivated learners who do not need direct guidance to complete their assignments.

Choosing the Right Type of Learning:

When trying to decide between synchronous and asynchronous courses, take your learning style and schedule into consideration. If you get lonely studying independently or feel more comfortable working closely with your professors, synchronous courses may be a better choice. If you are unable to commit to specific class times due to work or family obligations, asynchronous distance learning may be the way to go.
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