ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING brings “correspondent courses” into the modern era. Learning takes place when and where the learner chooses rather than in real time. In the workplace, a Learning Management System (LMS) coordinates all the bits and pieces of the learning, with links to assignments as well as to social learning—forums, blogs, wikis, Twitter streams, etc.

Since ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING takes place at the learner’s convenience, it doesn’t interrupt the flow of work, and it frees training money and personnel for other endeavors. Ideally, learning can be accessed from the learner’s personal devices as well as company computers, allowing learners even greater flexibility. If the learning modules are small, the learner can use downtime to view the modules, and ACTIVE LEARNERS can use the course as a Launchpad for PERSONALIZED LEARNING.

While many people learn just as well on their own, some learners feel isolation while learning independently. They require a little extra handholding, but a voluntary mentor program can alleviate that challenge. The learner who lacks motivation is the biggest challenge with asynchronous learning and could need additional prodding. Finally, in order for social learning to be effective, you need numbers. Groups of 20 learners interact better than groups of five.