With the advent of technology, everyone has a common query — is synchronous training viable in the modern workplace? Before diving into that, let’s see how technology has affected the contemporary learning ecosystem.

With the advent of technology, everyone has a common query — is synchronous training viable in the modern workplace? Before diving into that, let’s see how technology has affected the contemporary learning ecosystem.

You can go anywhere with it. Yes, the best thing about technology is how adaptable it is. If you own a full tech stack, you can do whatever you wish, whenever you choose. 

Many of us utilize technology to improve our daily lives in a manner called “self-paced.”. And this model has also affected the business world.

Due to digital technology, almost everyone can work in different ways and from other places if they want to. They can even learn in a flexible manner and from afar.

Self-paced asynchronous training is when workers are in charge of their learning path. And most companies now use it a lot as a way to train people. Especially those with portable, distant, or internationally spread out employees.

However, while digital training is increasing, there are indications that self-paced training may be getting harder.

In 2016, the US self-paced digital training market was worth $20.85 billion. By 2021, that number had slipped to $15.86 billion. Nevertheless, $15.86 is a significant amount. But this is a big drop from the years before. Other numbers also show this slow drop.

Since self-paced learning is beginning to lose steam, could the opposite of asynchronous education, synchronous training, be experiencing a resurgence?

This article will try to answer this question: “What do you mean by synchronous training?” We will also see if it still holds a significant position in this modern era of eLearning, which is growing fast. The numbers indicate that it does. How come? Let’s take a closer look.

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Synchronous Training: An Introduction

synchronous training

When creating training plans for employees, you’ll hear the phrases “synchronous” and “asynchronous” a lot. We’ll talk a little bit about what asynchronous learning means later. What is “synchronous training,” though? And how is it different from the self-paced model?

Well, the apparent response is how it deals with time. When multiple people work together, or several things coincide, people often say they are “in sync.” And that’s how learning in real-time works.

In self-paced training, workers learn by themselves and decide when they want to know. But, in synchronous activities, everyone gains knowledge at the same time.

People who take part in synchronous training don’t have to gain knowledge on their own; instead, they can talk to other peers and their instructors during the learning experience.

People often think synchronous training happens in a physical lecture hall because a trainer accompanies it. But this is not the case. The synchronous activity must coincide for everyone; not everybody needs to be in one location.

So, learning in a physical class perfectly illustrates synchronous training, but it’s not the most prevalent. Synchronous eLearning is a way to learn in real-time online.

There are several situations in which the two worlds come together. Blended engagement, for instance, is when some employees use technology to join a face-to-face class session from a distance. But still, most synchronous learning takes place either in-person or online.

Examples of synchronous training

Offline examples

  • Lectures or presentations in a training room
  • Role plays in-person
  • Practical demos and tests in the real world
  • Practical sessions on “how to.”
  • In-person and one-to-one tutorials
  • Mentoring or coaching sessions in person
  • Business or industry meetings, which take place in a conference hall

Online examples

  • Audio conferencing
  • Live-streaming
  • Instant messaging
  • Web conferencing or teleconferencing
  • Live-streamed demonstrations or lectures
  • Webinars that are shown live
  • Virtual chat rooms where trainees can set up dates and times to meet

The Benefits of Synchronous Training

training and development methods

Although it has fallen out of favor over time, synchronous training is still a significant aspect of organizational and business eLearning. Also, there are numbers to back it up.

But what does it have that self-paced learning doesn’t? It looks like a lot.

  • Faster ways to build communities: While all your trainees are simultaneously in the same place, they begin to connect and establish connections instantly.
  • Use what others can teach you: Attendees in real-time learning sessions can learn from one another as from a trainer.
  • It makes it convenient for employees to operate together: It’s easier for a group to finish a task or look into a concept when everyone is involved simultaneously.
  • Get more people together: Synchronous training makes learning more social. Thus, it is convenient for employees to share their thoughts and discuss them.

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  • Speed up learning: Trainees can ask their course trainer for help or more information immediately and interactively. And this help, given when it’s needed, makes it easier for people to learn.
  • Improve engagement: When people learn around each other “in the present time,” they are more involved in every aspect and learning goal.
  • Lessen your isolation: Work from home has become the norm, not an exception. And besides, working away from home can make you feel lonely. Synchronous training modules give employees an option to interact with each other in real-time, which they may not be getting elsewhere.
  • Get people interested: Learning by yourself can be discouraging because you don’t have anyone to encourage or help you, especially when things are hard or you’re not interested. Real-time training boosts energy (for example, by doing activities with the entire team) and gives people the reassurance they need from their peers to deal with mood or motivation drops.
  • Boost completion rates: Employees who want to learn at their own pace must take charge and plan. Some learners give up because this is hard for them. Or, don’t do anything until it is too late. A synchronous training ecosystem is set up to take away this obligation from the trainees and keep them on the route and concentrated. Real-time learning creates a sense of urgency, making people more likely to join.
  • Get feedback right away: How are your employees doing? Are the right results coming from the content? Instructors can receive instant feedback from exams, questionnaires, and challenges that happen in real-time. Misconceptions are straightened out right away. And you can change the course material to fill in any gaps in knowledge.
  • Improve the way people learn: This is a good thing about synchronous training. Open, honest discussions that happen in real-time lead to new and innovative ideas. And these take learning to a higher level by taking academic objectives to a new level.
  • Stronger stakeholder connections: Synchronous training makes people feel confident and open, which is an excellent way to train customers or business partners. Interacting with stakeholders in real-time makes the communication more personal. As a result, this makes partnerships stronger and establishes confidence.

Disadvantages of Synchronous Training

skills for all

There are many good things about synchronized training. But there are still problems. Below are some things to consider as you decide where it could fit into your eLearning curriculum.

Your staff members are occupied and don’t have time to be rigid. If you tie your instruction to a set of dates, you might turn away people who can’t make it. There probably won’t be as many people at a live training program as at a webcast recording shared through your LMS.

  • Time to think: When learners know that training will happen at A time, on B date, for C hours, they have far less time to slow down, think, reflect, and comprehend information.
  • Speed and flexibility: If a larger organization is expanding rapidly, you should be able to scale up strategies for increasing demands. When you’re attempting to get a lot of workers together at once, it’s harder to do this.
  • Exclusion: If you talk to many people simultaneously, some could feel isolated. [Tip: Segment live training sessions with one-on-one or small group Q&A discussions]
  • Mobility: When employees aren’t at the desk, they often use their phones to get training. Using mobile devices to take part in live digital training events is not so easy.
  • Accessibility: Synchronous training makes it harder to ensure everything is accessible to everyone. There are several things to think about and strategize for if it’s a live event or an online live session. And more things that can go wrong.
  • Control of quality: Most synchronous training sessions are led by a trainer. This indicates that the training quality depends on the educator or manager.
  • Expenses: Based on what kind of synchronous training you do (for example, a big, in-person convention or a live stream summit), the costs could be much higher than other types of learning.
  • Geography: It’s almost impossible to train people in real-time if they are all over the world, in multiple time zones, and communicate in different languages.
  • Individuality: Everyone learns in their way and at their own pace. Synchronous training restricts what you can do and can stop some individuals or groups from getting the same benefits.
  • Focus: Learning in real life can be tiring because there isn’t always an opportunity to catch a break and recharge. [Tip: Include interaction, keep discussions brief, and evaluate and summarise often.]
  • Technology: Live streaming media and joining virtual meetings use a lot of data and need high-speed internet. If your trainees don’t have the right technology, they might face problems.
  • Troubleshooting: If a monitor or microphone stops functioning or documents go missing, video and audio problems can make synchronous training sessions hard to follow.

Experience has shown that synchronized training requires planning and thought. Even with that, there are some things you can’t plan for. So it’s challenging to ensure that all employees have the same experience at each session. This is where asynchronous training comes in.

Asynchronous Training

train knowledge com

In asynchronous learning, individuals use the same channel to learn at various times and according to their schedules. You don’t need to be present at a particular location at a specific time to take lessons asynchronously, as you would have to if you had to attend a training session or conference in person.

Self-guided eLearning, understanding from videos, and interacting on social networking web forums are all illustrations of asynchronous learning.

Which Is Better: Asynchronous or Synchronous Training?

Both training methods have pros and cons, just like most stuff in life. The best strategy for your team will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The different ways your employees like to learn.
  • What’s being taught, how much time your professionals have, and where they live are all important factors.

Does that sound right? If you have a team that works from home, is spread out throughout the nation, or across continents, asynchronous learning may be the ideal way to meet the requirements of your workforce.

But if you want to coach your crew on a subject they’ve already learned a lot about, you could discover that synchronous training via face-to-face learning sessions with a lot of communication and a chance to talk about the topic works best.

You can accompany this with asynchronous learning. That way, your crew can access the information and can look at it at a later time or every so often to replenish their knowledge.

If you’ve performed a learner’s evaluation of your staff members and discovered that a few of them favor synchronous training over asynchronous learning, or conversely, it’d be better to attempt to make an L&D plan for each of them that fits their needs.

So, you’ll get your money’s worth. Employees tend to absorb more new knowledge when they feel more interested and assisted in their teaching.

Blended Learning to Bring Together the Best of Both Worlds

what is online learning

So, learning in real-time vs. learning at your own pace. Which is right? If you have the appropriate equipment, technology, and assets, the best way is to take parts from both.

So, you can reach out to different kinds of employees differently. And change your strategy to fit the way your training course is set up. And what kind of organization and staff you’re in charge of.

For instance, synchronized training can be a better way to keep employees updated on changes to corporate policies. Or it is showing them how to use something new. It can also teach customer service or sales skills in the real world. Or the physical abilities that some jobs require.

But that might not work if you are a global corporation multiplying and quickly hiring thousands of people worldwide. Or if you would like your staff to learn the ideas behind a particular way of managing or leading, for instance.

The great news is that it’s easy to use a blended learning model when you use an LMS to deliver training. Use pre-packaged eLearning on the internet and smartphones for most of your courses. Merge this with real-time classrooms or webinar-based training.


Don’t forget that synchronous learning is not old or outdated. With a full tech stack, like instant messengers and conversation techniques, interactive webcasting, and video calls, you can give all your employees a live experience that is innovative, immersive, and engaging, just like a modern workplace. On the way back? Synchronous training has always been there. It has just kept on getting better!

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is built for millennial learners. Micro-Learning and assessments and gamification features ensure learning outcome measurement and sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

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