Are you wondering whether you should run your lecture in realtime, or record it and put it online? Most learning events can be run both synchronously and asynchronously, and both options have their benefits. This overview of pros and cons is a useful tool to help you choose the best approach depending on the specific objectives and context of your learning event.

 

Pros

Cons

Synchronous

  • Real-time Learner-Instructor and Learner-Learner interaction
  • Immediate responses
  • Social interaction (including before and after event)
  • Allows for spontaneous learning opportunities 
  • Instructor can adapt to the 'average' learner in realtime
  • Common questions (when asked) are addressed to the whole cohort
  • Relies on continuity of internet connection.
  • Less control of the situation
  • Accessibility issues (can't use screens readers and transcripts)
  • Requires fine scheduling and availability of participants
  • Time-zone concerns
  • Not possible to pause to allow reflection / digestion

Asynchronous

  • No concerns with time-zones
  • Can be accessed online or offline. Less dependent on a constant internet connection
  • More accessible through use of screen readers and video transcripts
  • More control of the situation (pre-prepared)
  • Can be produced when best suits the instructor and consumed when best suits the learner
  • Students can pause and revisit
  • Less social (more isolating)
  • Delays in Learner-Instructor and Learner-Learner interaction
  • Instructor cannot adapt or explain content in realtime
  • Does not generally allow for spontaneous learning events
  • Common questions and misunderstandings are more likely to be addressed indvidually