Asynchronous E-learning involves learning through the internet facilitated and initiated by media, such as e mails, discussion groups, virtual libraries, Internet radio as well as visual band.
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Challenges faced when creating an active asynchronous discussions
Asynchronous learning involves learning at one’s convenient time. Some learners might find it difficult to manage time. This can in turn affect the speed at which the class moves. Learners who take long to cover assignments might delay the rest of the group.
Asynchronous mode of instruction hinders interaction between the teacher and the learner. The main mode of communication is non verbal. Learners respond through emails, wikis, discussion board and portfolios, which separate learners from tutors hence learners feel isolated (eLearners.com, 2012).
Asynchronous mode of instruction is limited to fewer learners per session. It lacks facilities which can accommodate a larger class like in the case of Synchronous. Fewer learners attend classes at their own convenient time. The lecturer then leaves assignments with instructions for the learners, which poses a problem making the learners unable to apply for a lecturer in case they need to clarify some questions.
Asynchronous learning does not give a true reflection of learners’ strength and weaknesses because learners do not respond to questions immediately. Learners are given time to respond to their assignments at their own time, which never allows an instructor to gauge learners’ ability to think fast.
Avoiding extraneous processes
When designing an online curriculum, it is important to consider learners’ needs. The learners should actively participate in learning activity without external interference. This can be done by introducing innovative ideas in the learning process. For instance, if the instructor is using asynchronous e-learning, he can introduce synchronous e- learning in order to vary teaching methodology.
The instructor should come up with special design and structure to suit the learner. E- Learning structure should be progressive as learners actively involve themselves in the learning process; learning should progress from simple to complex.
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There should be constant communication between the teacher and the learner regardless of the method of teaching. Communication betters the psychological state of a learner, which is meant to bond the teacher and the learner (Hrastinski, 2008).
Incorporating new knowledge
It is important for the instructor to investigate existing online courses that are similar to the one he is using and applying. This helps in comparing notes and adding new ideas to the already existing curriculum.
A decision should also be made to structure the course in order to suit interests of the learners. The teacher should arrange concepts in a systematic manner that creates room for students to enjoy learning activities.
Learners should be actively involved in discussions to boost their confidence.
It is important for a teacher to vary teaching methodologies. A teacher should know when to reflect on a new concept, why students need more time to reflect on the new concept, plan for tasks, and when to expect quick responses when a new concept is introduced.
Selecting learning outcome
Selecting learning outcomes will depend on the level of the learners and the dedication of the teacher. Learners should always be made to anticipate the outcome of leaning activities. Environment for learning should be conducive for learning outcomes to be achieved, where the teacher should always be a mentor to students.
eLearners.com. (2012). Synchronous vs Asynchronous classes. Web.
Hrastinski, Stefan. (2008). “Asynchronous & Synchronous E-Learning“, EDUCUSE quarterly, 31(4). Web.