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Mighty Encyclopedia

Synchronous Learning

What is synchronous learning?

Synchronous learning is the process of learning live, at the same time the teacher is delivering the instruction. It can happen online or in person; the important thing is that it’s in real-time (unlike asynchronous learning).

Synchronous learning has been the norm in education for hundreds of years, but the rise of the web has transformed the way synchronous learning can be delivered. Virtual instructor-led training is growing in popularity, and it’s especially common in the corporate world, as a type of synchronous learning that can be done at scale.

Benefits of synchronous learning

Synchronous learning has benefits for students, especially if there’s a lot of live engagement built into the course. Research shows that synchronous learning leads to higher psychological engagement and interactions with peers, which can have positive effects on the retention of the course material. Depending on learning preferences, some students learn better in a live setting.

Synchronous learning increases student accountability, creates a habit of learning with the class (and staying until the end), and you can build in lots of interaction to keep students engaged. One of the biggest challenges with asynchronous learning is that students often don’t finish the material. Success requires a high level of autonomy and self-direction, although building in engagement features like a community can improve accountability. (You can read our comparison of synchronous vs. asynchronous learning here)

The course platform we’ve created here at Mighty Networks helps you make the most of synchronous learning, giving you the ability to teach live or to drip content and provide lots of engagement opportunities in your community.

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Examples of synchronous learning

  • A Mighty Network Host delivers a course live to their community members, with lots of room for engagement and discussion

  • A high school teacher lectures on geography for 2 hours a day, every day

  • A college teacher leads a computer science tutorial in the computer lab

  • An HR manager leads a virtual instructor-led training on workplace harassment

Read More: The Ins & Outs of Online Course Hosting