What Is Asynchronous Learning?

The use of collaborative interactive technologies in professional development is vital to the future of professional development.  Because we live in an ‘instant learning’ environment due to the speed and quantity of knowledge, using  online teaching modules (learning management systems) can meet these needs.

Research shows that facilitated asynchronous learning has multiple benefits:

  • Flexibility of learning
  • Ability to process information and refine contributions
  • Communication between peer/peer and peer/facilitator is content driven
  • Increases the learner’s ability to process information

The key to a successful asynchronous learning is active facilitation.

  • Participants need to feel they can opening share information and receive social support
  • Need to easily plan work, allocate tasks and coordinate joint efforts
  • The facilitator needs to be very supportive when problems and/or conflict arise

For programs to be successful, they need to include aspects of the fundamental shifts in learning and development.  It is no longer enough to simply provide event-based training.  Professionals expect ‘instant learning’ which means programs must provide continuous resources before and after training, so it is available at the point of need. According Dr. Izzy Justice, founder of EQmentor, states in his blog Professional Development that creating a knowledge community in the form of a blog, resource portal or membership forum, fills this need. will fill this need perhaps in the form a subject specific blog where participants can read and share information.

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