What is Synchronous e-Learning and How It Helps Enterprises?

Viren Kapadia December 27, 2021
What is Synchronous e-Learning and How It Helps Enterprises?

E-Learning-Paradigm Shift

In current times, enterprises and learners have come to rely heavily on e-learning as the most effective and user-friendly way to disseminate and acquire knowledge. Delivered over mobile devices, this anytime, anywhere learning has brought about a cathartic change in the way education is consumed. Technological advancements have helped bridge the gap between traditional teaching and e-learning. It incorporates near human elements, hitherto considered a key factor for enhancing the learning experience and deemed to be the exclusive domain of classroom teaching. This has accelerated the shift of balance in favor of e-learning, making it the overwhelming preferred choice.

Two Modes Defined

E-learning is possible through two modes- asynchronous and synchronous. Broadly defined, synchronous e-learning is instructor-led, interactive, real-time teaching. Same time, common content, multiple participants like live video conferencing, webinars, interactive chats and discussion forums, etc., exemplify synchronous learning.

On the other hand, asynchronous e-learning is one where self-study is predominant with pre-prepared instructions with no teacher intervention and no real-time interaction. Thus, own time, self-paced, isolated, access to varied content, and no in-person presence, for example, watching pre-recorded lectures, video demonstrations, reading research papers and presentations, etc., represent asynchronous learning.

Both methodologies have their pros and cons, and from the literature, it would appear that asynchronous e-learning scores over synchronous e-learning in the current disrupted and remote working environment. But in some situations, synchronous training can give better outcomes and objectives fulfillment.

This write-up looks at some such instances and how adopting synchronous e-learning can be beneficial to enterprises.

Advantages to Enterprises

  • Cost benefits

    Per unit cost of synchronous training is low. As a group gets the inputs at the same time, costs are spread across a large number bringing down the per-unit cost of training. Recording the teaching will help create a resource bank that can be supplemented with other inputs and used for asynchronous learning as per need. A one-time expense can provide long-term gains.

  • Time-saving

    Since the group logs in at the same time per calendar, it brings in greater time efficiency. Workers can schedule their tasks around the fixed time of training for more effective work planning.

  • Enhances learning

    Synchronous e-learning being real-time allows greater worker participation and engagement. Real-time feedback and doubt resolution help in knowledge assimilation and retention. Peer-to-peer, co-learner, and teacher-learner interactions facilitate deeper information absorption. The enterprise also gains valuable learner feedback for applying towards any improvements and modifications in course, content, delivery, etc.

  • Works as a Team Builder

    Enterprises are constantly making interventions for a collaborative culture. Synchronous e-learning, by its nature of group learning, fosters this culture easily. All participants consider themselves as part of the larger team and bring them on a common platform. Interactions during a course build relationships. Collectively working towards a common objective gets inculcated as an ethos. Group activities, social interactions, discussions, sharing of concerns, collective problem-solving, etc., typical of synchronous e-learning, bring a sense of community, collaboration, and cooperation which enterprises truly value.

Best Suited Situations

Since synchronous e-learning engages groups of people simultaneously, in situations where enterprises are undertaking group exercises, this type of training proves itself to be cost-effective and efficient. Some such instances are presented below:

  • Onboarding

    Onboarding is usually done for groups of employees and new appointees. Introduction to the company, its policies, culture, expectations, objectives, structure and key personnel, logistics, etc., are common inputs to be provided. In addition, the entrants have similar apprehensions about the new environment and similar queries and concerns about the induction. All these are best addressed through synchronous e-learning sessions where the set of new employees can log in at a common time and get inducted simultaneously.

  • Cohort Training

    Employees with similar job profiles doing similar tasks are best trained through synchronous e-learning. For instance, the introduction of a change of process, working of a new machine, a common compliance issue, policy changes, etc., are easily communicated via synchronous e-learning. As a result, the training and knowledge gaps are filled in simultaneously for the cohort and the enterprise gets a better-trained set of workers.

  • Compliance Training

    Compliance is a critical factor in any enterprise as deviations and shortcomings can invite serious strictures from regulatory authorities. Compliance is an enterprise-wide activity. Training about compliance issues and new changes in the compliance environment is better conveyed through synchronous e-learning. It ensures that all employees are on board at the same time.

  • Mandatory Training

    In some sectors, enterprises have to ensure that their employees are qualified with industry-specific certifications and stage-wise mandatory training. For instance, enterprises in the security segment, arms sector, pharmaceutical industry, medical and healthcare industry, engineering business, etc., require certified employees. These certifications need to be upgraded and renewed periodically. Synchronous e-learning facilitates this for similarly placed employees and gives notifications for timely completion of such exercise to its stakeholders.

  • Client and Customer Training

    Synchronous e-learning is very handy for customer outreach and client education. Product and service information, new launches, etc., can be communicated to customer groups and their queries handled in real-time. It is an effective marketing tool to improve customer loyalty and enhance the brand value.

  • Troubleshooting and Updating

    It is often imperative to take quick and timely action in a dynamic situation. In case of adverse events and fluid, fast-changing situations, enterprises require rapid dissemination of information across their workforce. In such circumstances, corporate management cannot wait or depend on employees to do self-study. Synchronous e-learning is the way out in such situations to simultaneously reach out to the wider audience, provide rationale and quell employees’ apprehensions.

Sum-up

Synchronous e-learning is a lever for real-time employee and client engagement. It has an edge in many business situations and can be effectively used at scale by enterprises to bring their employees and customers up to speed.

Whatever the business concern in the e-learning sphere and answer which —synchronous, asynchronous, or blended learning— is the better option. Gyrus has a competent team and supporting technology to provide satisfying answers to all types of learning activities - online, instructor-led, webinars, or file-based courses and classes, with approvals and assessments. We shall be glad to help you learn more.

What is eLearning?

  • E-Learning allows the online delivery of training with real-time tracking of training analytics, optimizing time and reducing costs associated with traditional learning methods.

What is an LMS?

  • E-Learning allows the online delivery of training with real-time tracking of training analytics, optimizing time and reducing costs associated with traditional learning methods.

SCORM, AICC & XAPI

  • SCORM and AICC are an international standard for tracking E-Learning activities. xAPI (formerly Tin Can API) is the Learning Objects new standard. The Gyrus Learning Management System supports both of these standards.