In the previous article, we discussed Asynchronous eLearning. It is when the student has complete control over their learning pace. In the next part of the two types of eLearning series, we will discuss Synchronous eLearning.
Unlike the other type of elearning, this one has a real-time interaction with the instructor. It is very similar to the traditional classroom setting except that the learning is done online. Although everyone is present at the same time, they are not physically with each other. The instructor and student/s are in different places. This is still a convenient way to learn but students are obliged to log in at the same time. The convenience here is they can choose where they will learn. They can stay at home or go to a coffee shop or library.
There are different ways to implement synchronous elearning. There is usually a platform by which everyone will log into to participate in the lesson. There, the instructor and students will interact in real-time so the lesson and questions can be exchanged immediately. It functions just like a classroom wherein the students are listed for being present. The lessons can be imparted through a slide presentation, shared whiteboard, audio/video conference or application sharing.
Since everyone is there are the same time, the instructor can facilitate quizzes or exams to immediately gauge the effectiveness of the lesson.
There are two ways that this can be implemented. The first is through the Internet wherein instructors and students will use Voice-over IP or IP Audio Conferencing. The other implementation is through the phone. For videos, these are also applicable but there is an additional system that requires a webcam/digital cameras or video conference devices.
This is similar to a discussion group in the Asynchronous eLearning but, again, this is done in real-time. More than one in the group can discuss and exchange ideas and this is a great way to facilitate learning. It is more interactive as long as the instructor or the moderator can control the flow the of the conversation between all participants.
This is similar to chatting with peers but you can choose to message only one or a few people.
This type of synchronous implementation allows the instructor and the students to share a common whiteboard where they can point to relevant areas in the discussion and send messages relating to it. This is a common feature for virtual classrooms.
This last implementation is when the instructor shares a screen with their students to help illustrate relevant information about the lesson. In will also allow the teacher to watch over the student as they perform practical applications.
Synchronous eLearning is still a great option to learn despite the need to be present at a certain time for a particular lesson. It is also better for the students because they can raise questions and queries about the lesson and have them answered immediately. It is more conducive to learning because of the interaction that is present whole the lessons are being absorbed.
In the end, you can choose between Asynchronous and Synchronous eLearning depending on your availability. If you do not mind logging in at a specific time, then the latter may be your best option.
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