Synchronous learning e-learning glossary-mauthCC
Synchronous learning 2

Synchronous learning explained simply

Synchronous learning is like a live concert compared to a recording: you are right there, can ask questions, get immediate Feedback and exchange ideas with others. Whether in the classroom or in an online webinar, it means learning and interacting together in real time. It is a dynamic and interactive process in which all participants are active at the same time.

Background information

Synchronous learning refers to a learning method in which learners participate in the same learning process at the same time. This type of learning enables direct interaction between the participants and the instructor, resulting in a dynamic learning experience. It often takes place in traditional classrooms, but also in digital formats such as live webinars or online courses with real-time interaction. 

The advantages of synchronous learning lie in the immediate feedback and the opportunity for direct discussion. Participants can respond directly to the material presented, ask questions and learn from the experiences and perspectives of others. This interactivity promotes a deeper understanding of the subject matter and can increase learner motivation and engagement.

Another important aspect of synchronous learning is the structure it provides. Fixed schedules and deadlines create a disciplined learning learning environmentwhich is particularly important for subjects that require continuous attention. However, this structure can also be perceived as a limitation as it offers less flexibility compared to asynchronous learning.

Technological requirements and challenges

An appropriate technological infrastructure is essential for effective synchronous learning. This includes reliable internet connections, suitable software for web conferencing and interactive learning platforms. The challenge is to provide access to all participants regardless of their location or technical ability. This requires careful planning and the provision of resources to ensure inclusion and accessibility.

Comparison between synchronous and asynchronous learning

Synchronous learning differs from asynchronous learning through real-time interaction. While synchronous learning enables immediate feedback and dynamic discussions, asynchronous learning offers asynchronous learning more flexibility as learners can work through the material at their own pace. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages and are suitable for different learning situations. The choice between synchronous and asynchronous learning depends on the learning objectives, the availability of the participants and the resources.

The role of the course instructor

The course instructor plays a central role in synchronous learning. He or she must not only teach the material, but also encourage interaction and engagement among the participants. This requires didactic skills and the ability to create a positive learning environment. The instructor must respond to the needs of the participants, lead discussions and create a balance between teaching and learning.