Synchronous vs. asynchronous learning in online education

When students decide they want to attend online Christian colleges and universities, there are still many decisions they need to make before they find the right degree program. For instance, they must decide whether or not they want to enroll in a synchronous or asynchronous degree program. Both of these types of courses offer different benefits, so it is important for students to weigh their options carefully before they make a choice.

If degree seekers opt to enroll in a synchronous online degree program, they will be expected to log on for class or lectures at a certain time. They may need to sign into chat rooms to join live discussions with their peers or engage in video chats with their professors. The advantage of this is that even though students will never enter a classroom, they will still have the focused, real-time instruction provided in campus-based courses. This can be great for students who lack independence or motivation and need a more structured learning schedule. However, the downside of synchronous classes is that they do not provide a great deal of flexibility. While students can save time from not having to commute to class, they are still expected to follow a somewhat regular course schedule.

Asynchronous classes, on the other hand, do not require students to go online at any particular time. Instead, individuals are allowed to complete their work on their own time. This can be really useful for students who hold full-time jobs or must maintain family or church responsibilities, as they can fit their classwork into their schedules with a great deal of flexibility. However, these types of courses are not for everyone. To succeed in asynchronous classes, degree seekers must be focused, motivated and independent. After all, it is not always easy for students to force themselves to complete classwork with so many distractions at home, especially without the guidance of a teacher or mentor.

Overall, both asynchronous and synchronous courses come with their own benefits and disadvantages. Students who are trying to choose between the two should speak with a college advisor, professor or other degree seekers who have engaged in online learning to get a better idea of which online program is right for them.