Training methods: Synchronous, asynchronous or hybrid?
New technologies have paved the way for innovative types of training methods and the possibilities moving forward are now endless. These new options can take various forms and it is important to understand the differences between synchronous and asynchronous learning tools.
Above all else, it is important to grasp that the fundamental difference between the two is how synchronous training happens in real time while asynchronous is delayed and adjustable.
The first type of training that comes to mind is synchronous. These types of programs occur in real time and require human involvement. Other synchronous methods exist whereby involvement can be via the phone or in virtual classrooms or audio/video conference.
The exchanges in these cases are free flowing between trainers and trainees and are facilitated due to the fact it occurs in real time. The same can be said regarding instantaneous sharing and interaction thanks to documents provided by the trainer. This also undeniably contributes to the cohesion of a group and to the quick resolution of issues. The primary hurdle in these cases is the cost they entail, as well as the time constraints given it is crucial to have fixed schedules and to have spaces booked for on-site training.
Asynchronous training is comprised of training methods which can be held at different times and can be disseminated on a large scale. This, of course, includes options like e-learning, MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), blogs, written support tools, books, videos, PowerPoint, etc.
This method favours easy and autonomous access to interactive training methods. It offers flexibility to the trainee, allowing them to learn at their own pace with the advantage also having access to vast amounts of thorough content. In such programs, exchanges between trainers and trainees are made possible through discussion forums and via email.
In addition, costs are also lower when they are compared to synchronous methods and the possibility of evolving within this method is without question an advantage and represents one of its important assets. That being said, this type of training necessitates being connected through a LMS (Learning Management System) and trainees will have to consider the potential difficulties getting immediate responses on subjects not covered in the training program in question.
The Tactic! LMS platform (https://eduperformance.com/tactic-lms) is one of the top modular training programs on the market today. This platform features an impressive array of scalable and functionalities which make the platform ideal for use by both smaller and larger organizations regardless of the nature of their business.
A third option then becomes hybrid or mixed training programs which combine aspects of both synchronous and asynchronous methods according to one’s specific needs such as combining an online training program with an on-site session to ensure the uniformity in learning by the group. The advantage here is that such a method would address the needs of a variety of trainee profiles, but the major inconvenience is that it is complex to put into place and how it requires being linked through a LMS to centralize all information.
In the end, it is unnecessary to choose between either synchronous or asynchronous methods and it is even recommended to combine these tools in order to draw on each of their respective strengths.