According to Wikipedia, Synchronous Learning refers to “a learning event in which a group of students or learners are engaging and learning at the same time”. Before the advent of synchronous learning in eLearning, online education was limited to just asynchronous eLearning.
But today, because of its availability and accessibility, people prefer to opt for synchronous eLearning as it serves the solution to all the problems faced by learners all over the world because of huge distances in online education. It has enabled the learners to form a community of them over the internet all because of communication through synchronous eLearning.
All of the training delivered through synchronous eLearning has proved out to be more efficient than any other means of disclosure. Problems of learners or students of conventional or asynchronous eLearning training programs like not having the opportunity to ask the instructor right away about any doubt, and to have interaction with them are solved by synchronous eLearning tools such as live chats, video conferencing, and webinars which allow teachers and students to collaborate and enhance the process of learning all in real time.
Synchronous eLearning session can be implemented by making learners or students and instructor participate in a class carried out by web conferencing synchronous eLearning tools for example, Blackboard Collaborate, WebEx or simply Skype. In this way, these synchronous learning and training sessions tend to strengthen student-teacher interaction, which is generally believed to be a huge task in distance learning programs.
There are a lot of free of cost and easy to use applications on the web for mobile phones, tablets and laptops that let us have communication with people who are geographically distant from us. To have uninterrupted real time conversation with geographically distant people is no more rocket science for us. In fact with its advent, synchronous eLearning is believed to take online education to a whole new level.
Group video conferencing apps such as Google Hangouts and appear.in have provided their users with the added feature of document and screen sharing too. Feature of this sort makes it easier for instructors as well as learners to put their point forward and share their views properly by citing examples and points through documents and notes.
POTENTIAL OF SYNCHRONOUS TOOLS FOR eLearning:
These synchronous tools hold great importance and potential in the industry of online education and eLearning. Uninterrupted live chats, web conferencing and video discussions have opened the gates of newer and more innovative ways to deliver training content, communicate and educate people even when they live in different corners of the world.
Synchronous tools have helped in facilitating student-teacher as well as student-student interaction which have led to the development of social connections, a space where ideas are exchanged and discussed upon and feedback is given equal importance also, which is not something that asynchronous learning could have done. The face of training and learning has changed for all the good reasons with the advent and evolution of synchronous eLearning.
Synchronous eLearning holds the potential to reach almost every person who is willing to learn and get educated, irrespective of where he or she lives. It has the potential to reach remote areas with the help of the exponentially spreading network of internet.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be a lie to say that synchronous eLearning is the future of online education and training, which will help eradicate the feeling of isolation and promote personalization of learning experiences for the students all across the globe.