Online Learning Modules 3 & 4: Synchronous vs Asynchronous – Can’t Have One Without The Other

My First Thoughts/Impressions:

The debate on which is better I feel is nonsense.  We may all have our preferred style and environment for learning, but as humans we are adaptable, which means we are fully capable of learning equally in both.

I played around with Powtoon (one of the many new tools I have discovered in this class).  This sums it up for me:

The Big AHA!

“Training was simpler when the world was predictable, progress was slow, and the task was teaching people how to do their jobs. Today’s world is a kaleidoscope, information is a tsunami, and workers face novel, complex situations every day. The only way to keep up is to work and learn with others. ”  – Jay Cross (

For older generations advancement depended on your ability to succeed through competition – and the more successful you were at learning in an asynchronous way to jealously guard what you knew meant you would rise above the rest.  Traditional classrooms and examination systems dominated education for centuries based on this premise.  I feel this is why so many learners and organizations still prefer and utilize asynchronous learning.  However, as a species we did not evolve individually but as social animals in groups – yet I often encounter the belief that many feel only those with the right ‘personality’ can succeed  through synchronous learning.

It all comes down the the learner experience, doesn’t it?  If the learning is designed in a way that enhances how the learner interacts with content in both environments, then that experience will leverage the best of both asynchronous and synchronous.

Ah Learning Experience Design!  Is there anything it can’t do?

My Most Favourite New Thing:

This introduction to Learning Experience Design:  Andre Plaut spoke to me on so many levels:

Elements of Learning Experience Design.