Asynchronous learning is becoming a common practice in the world. The strategy “uses different online resources to support the educational needs of every student” (Edwards, 2009, p. 2). The learning approach also supports peer-to-peer relations (Bonk & Zhang, 2008). Self-study is also a critical aspect of asynchronous learning. This learning method solves the challenges of time zones and geography. The asynchronous learning process has its limitations. Dealing with such limitations is critical to the success of every online learning process.
The first challenge associated with this learning approach is a socio-cultural barrier. Any cultural barrier will make the process impossible or ineffective. Teachers should be ready “to promote a culturally receptive online learning” (Hrastinski, 2008, p. 3). The teacher should take advantage of every socio-cultural strength or weakness. The teacher should also support the needs of his or her learners. The teaching plan should address the socio-cultural needs and weaknesses of these online learners (Andresen, 2009). This approach will make asynchronous learning more effective.
The learners might feel disconnected from the online group or class. This shortcoming “reduces their morale for learning” (Edwards, 2009, p. 3). Many learners have not benefited from online learning because of this limitation. Many teachers use a pedagogical approach thus affecting the success of the learning process. Programmers should produce new Collaborative Learning Software (CLS) to support teamwork and participation (Edwards, 2009). The approach will facilitate the best learning behaviors. The above practice will also make the learning process successful.
Asynchronous learning fails to support real-time discussions or collaborations. Teachers can group their learners depending on their time zones and expectations. The above information is relevant towards creating diverse teams. The next approach is encouraging the teams to work together. The practice will support real-time collaborations and discussions. The teacher can also use an individualized approach to address the academic needs of every learner (Hrastinski, 2008). The approach will make the learning process more efficient.
The other major challenge associated with asynchronous learning is the lack of real-time exercises. This learning approach encourages “students to work alone using the resources posted by their teachers” (Hrastinski, 2008, p. 5). This scenario explains why asynchronous learning might be less effective. Teachers should use the best activities in order to make the learning process efficient. Every team member should be ready to participate in these real-time exercises and activities (Hrastinski, 2008). The suggested plan will improve the level of collaboration and motivation. Every teacher should also encourage his or her learners to participate in these real-time learning activities.
Modern technologies are changing every day. The above situation explains why “many learners might not be competent with every new technology” (Smith, 2008, p. 68). Teachers and parents should be ready to support the technological needs of their learners. The practice will boost every student’s confidence. The strategy will ensure the learning process is successful.
The chances of disconnection between learners and instructors are extremely high. Every society has its challenges such as power failures and internet interruptions. Such challenges will affect the effectiveness of asynchronous learning. Students and instructors should prepare themselves before participating in this learning process (Edwards, 2009). The above suggestions will overcome most of the limitations associated with asynchronous learning. The above recommendations will make asynchronous learning beneficial to many learners.
Bonk, C., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Edwards, E. (2009). Designing Asynchronous E-Learning. Web.
Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2011). The Purposeful Classroom: How to Structure Lessons with Learning Goals in Mind. New York: ASCD Publishers.
Hrastinski, S. (2008). Asynchronous and Synchronous E-Learning: A study of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning methods discovered that each supports different purposes. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 31(4), 1-16.
Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2003). The Virtual Student: A Profile and Guide to Working with Online Learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Smith, R. (2008). Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.