Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication in eLearning

Types of Communication that eLearning Offers: Synchronous and Asynchronous

eLearning and online education is a vast concept. It is the notion which is still emerging and evolving to bring out the best of the farfetched world of Internet. eLearning and online education provides its learners, pupils, trainees and students two ways to opt from for the learning and training programs and courses offered by them. eLearning is the ultimate solution to all the ones who are confined to some remote locations where they can’t get access to higher education or to even basic courses. There are two ways of communication to acquire all the content and training through eLearning, and they are:

Synchronous Communication and Asynchronous Communication.

LITERAL MEANING OF SYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION:  In literal terms, synchronous communication refers to that type of communication in which messages are able to flow in both the directions, to and from. In this, the client waits for the server to respond to a message. Basically, it means that synchronous communication or messaging is a two way communication, in which, sender sends a message to receiver and receiver receives the message and gives a reply to the sender. And the sender won’t send another message until he/she gets a reply from the receiver.

LITERAL MEANING OF ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION: In literal terms, asynchronous communication refers to that type of communication in which messages are not able to flow in both the directions at the same time. The flow of communication here is one way only. Here, an occurrence is utilized to activate a message from the server. So that even if the client is not available, or is down, the whole thread of communication will be completed. Hence, we can say that asynchronous communication is a one way communication only. The only disadvantage it has is that it can lack the sense of immediacy.

As mentioned above, when it comes to eLearning, learners can get their work done in the following two ways:


‘Synchronous’ the word means working together at the same time. And in online education and eLearning world, online video conferencing and chat rooms are the best examples of Synchronous Communication. In chat rooms, learners and instructor have a one-on-one interaction as their messages are relayed immediately that makes it into a real-time discussion.

In the same manner, eLearning and synchronous communication provides us with all the benefits of online conferencing and tools such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), like real-time conversation through Video Conferencing. One of the perks that synchronous communication offers to all of its learners is that it enhances the whole process of training, content delivery and learning because of creating visual as well as verbal interaction of students with their teacher or trainer.

This helps the trainees in retaining more of what is taught to them as this type of communication enables them to build bridges between different concepts, and get them sorted out in real-time by their instructors.


Asynchronous communication is the broadcast of information with a time warp. Discussion councils and emails are two examples of asynchronous communication in eLearning and online education.

This type of communication is really helpful as it gives plenty of time to the students to develop and nurture their thoughts. Through emails, trainees and students can respond in thorough detail, and if they have any query, they can ask about it in particular, which can be missed if asked during a real-time video conference. What is called time lag here is of great importance as it offers more time to research ideas and formulate thoughts.

In conclusion, we can say that Synchronous and Asynchronous communication both help students in the process of content delivery, training and learning through online education or eLearning. It can’t be stated as to which one is better, because of the simple reason that both of them are valuable in their own way.


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