Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. Asynchronous learning is based on constructivist theory, a student-centered approach that emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer interactions. This approach combines self-study with asynchronous interactions to promote learning, and it can be used to facilitate learning in traditional on-campus education, distance education, and continuing education. This combined network of learners and the electronic network in which they communicate are referred to as an asynchronous learning network.

The online learning resources used to support asynchronous learning include email, electronic mailing lists, threaded conferencing systems, online discussion boards, wikis, and blogs. Course management systems such as CampusCruiser LMS, Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle, and Sakai, have been developed to support online interaction, allowing users to organize discussions, post and reply to messages, and upload and access multimedia. These asynchronous forms of communication are sometimes supplemented with synchronous components, including text and voice chat, telephone conversations, videoconferencing, and even meetings in virtual spaces such as Second Life, where discussions can be facilitated among groups of students.

Site Map