The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on how we work and interact. This is a result of companies moving to remote work in order to protect their employees. This change has however now necessitated the development of new strategies for facilitating learning and training for remote workers. In the era of remote work, one such strategy, known as synchronous learning, has gained popularity among many enterprises.
Furthermore, experts in learning and development have started to forecast that remote, synchronous learning will become increasingly popular as millions of individuals sign up for remote employment.
According to a Gallup poll in June 2022, just 2 out of 10 people work entirely on-site, while 8 out of 10 work either work remotely or opt for hybrid jobs. The hybrid work paradigm is also expected to rise from 42 percent in 2021 to 81 percent in 2024, according to an AT&T report.
Synchronous learning has become indispensable for the remote workforce. Thus knowing about it becomes crucial. This article deals with every aspect of synchronous learning- from what is synchronous learning and its benefits to its importance for the remote workforce. Let’s take a look.
What Is Synchronous Learning?
Synchronous learning refers to learning that takes place in real time, with employees and instructors interacting simultaneously. This type of learning can be particularly effective in remote work, as it allows both the employee and the instructor to connect and collaborate in real time, despite being physically separated.
It is an interactive learning method that supports employee development and training. This might include live video conferences, virtual classrooms, or online meetings, where employees can interact with trainers, instructors, or subject matter experts in real time.
For companies with a distributed or remote workforce, synchronous learning can be particularly effective. This is because it allows employees to connect and collaborate with trainers, despite being geographically and physically bound.
Synchronous learning can also be helpful for companies that need to provide training or professional development in a specific subject area, as it allows trainers to present material in real time and respond to questions and concerns from learners.
Synchronous learning can be contrasted with asynchronous learning, which refers to learning that takes place at different times without the need of real time interaction. Asynchronous learning might include self-paced online courses or materials that employees can access and complete at their own pace. Both synchronous and asynchronous learning can be effective in different contexts, depending on the goals and needs of the learners and the subject matter being taught.
Benefits Of Synchronous Learning
There are several benefits to synchronous learning for remote workers. It allows for real time feedback and Q&A sessions, which can be particularly helpful for those who may not have access to in-person support. Synchronous learning also enables remote employees to collaborate and work together in real time, which can be beneficial for building teamwork and problem-solving skills. Following are the top 7 benefits of synchronous learning for the remote workforce.
- Increased Engagement: Synchronous learning allows for more interaction and collaboration between learners, which can help to increase engagement and motivation.
- Real time Feedback: During synchronous learning sessions, learners can ask questions and receive immediate instructor feedback. This can be particularly helpful for remote employees who may not have access to in-person support.
- Collaboration Opportunities: Synchronous learning allows remote employees to collaborate and collaborate in real time. This can be beneficial for building teamwork and problem-solving skills.
- Sense of Community: Participating in synchronous learning can help remote employees feel more connected to their colleagues and create a sense of community within their organization.
- Flexibility: Many synchronous learning platforms offer the option to participate in live sessions or watch recordings later, allowing remote workers to learn at their own pace.
- Consistency: Synchronous learning can ensure that all remote employees receive the same training and information, helping to create a consistent company culture and level of knowledge.
- Personalized Support: Synchronous learning allows instructors to provide customized support to learners through live Q&A sessions and one-on-one interactions.
How To Implement Synchronous Learning In The Age Of Remote Work?
Here are some critical considerations for implementing synchronous learning in the age of remote work:
Choose the right platform: There are many different platforms available for synchronous learning, such as video conferencing tools, virtual classrooms, and online meeting platforms. Choose an easy-to-use platform with the features you need, such as screen sharing, breakout rooms, and whiteboarding.
Establish clear communication and participation guidelines: Establish clear guidelines for communication and participation during synchronous learning sessions to ensure that all students and teachers are able to participate fully and engage. This might include guidelines for muting microphones, using the chat function, and raising hands to speak.
Encourage engagement and interaction: Synchronous learning can be more interactive and engaging than asynchronous learning, as it allows for real time discussions and collaboration. Encourage students and teachers to actively participate and engage with each other during synchronous learning sessions.
Provide support and resources: Ensure students and teachers have the help and support to participate fully in synchronous learning sessions. This might include technical support, training materials, and access to resources such as slides, videos, and notes.
Monitor and evaluate: Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your synchronous learning sessions and make adjustments as needed. This can help you ensure that your synchronous learning is meeting your remote workforce’s needs and helping them succeed.
Overall, synchronous learning is a valuable tool for organizations looking to facilitate learning and training for remote employees. It allows for real time interaction and collaboration and can increase engagement, build teamwork skills, and create a sense of community among remote workers. As the trend of remote work continues to grow, synchronous learning will likely continue to be a popular choice for organizations looking to support the learning and development of their remote employees.