Asynchronous learning: what it is and how to practice it successfully

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In today’s fast-paced world, learning is no longer limited to a traditional classroom setting. With the rise of technology, distance learning has become increasingly popular, allowing individuals to access education anytime, anywhere. One of the most significant trends in distance learning is asynchronous learning, which has gained significant popularity in recent years. In this blog post, we’ll explore what asynchronous learning is, its benefits, and how it differs from synchronous learning. We’ll also provide some tips on how Prezi can help you to practice it successfully.

What is asynchronous learning? 

Asynchronous learning is a form of distance education that occurs when students learn at different times and locations. In asynchronous learning, students are not required to be present in real-time, unlike synchronous learning, where students must participate in classes or sessions at scheduled times. Asynchronous learning can be delivered through various means, including online courses, email, message boards, video lectures, and pre-recorded lectures. The primary objective of asynchronous learning is to provide students with the flexibility to learn at their own pace, based on their schedule and availability.

Asynchronous learning at home using a laptop.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous learning 

What is synchronous and asynchronous learning? While both approaches share the common goal of providing education to students outside of a traditional classroom setting, they differ in how learning is delivered. 

Synchronous learning is a real-time, instructor-led approach to distance learning, where students and instructors participate in classes or sessions at scheduled times. Synchronous learning can be delivered through various means, including video conferencing, webinars, and chat rooms. 

Asynchronous learning, on the other hand, occurs when students learn at different times and locations. With asynchronous learning, learning materials are pre-recorded, and students can access them at any time, allowing for a more flexible approach to learning. 

The choice between asynchronous and synchronous learning depends on individual preferences and circumstances. When deciding whether asynchronous or synchronous learning is best suited for you, there are several factors to consider. If you have a busy home life or other commitments that prevent you from attending virtual lectures at specific times, asynchronous learning may be a better option as it allows you to complete coursework on your own schedule. Additionally, if you work better in your own time and space and prefer to study at your own pace, asynchronous learning may be a better fit for you. 

On the other hand, if you thrive in a structured environment and benefit from real-time interaction with instructors and classmates, synchronous learning may be a better choice. Ultimately, it’s important to evaluate your individual needs and preferences when choosing a learning format.

A women online learning at home.

Benefits of asynchronous learning 

Asynchronous learning offers numerous benefits over traditional learning methods, making it an attractive option for students and educators alike. Here are some of the significant benefits of asynchronous learning: 


Asynchronous learning provides students with the flexibility to learn at their own pace and convenience. This flexibility is especially beneficial for students who have other commitments, such as work or family obligations, making it challenging to attend traditional classes. 

Self-paced learning

With asynchronous learning, students can learn at their own pace, spending more time on complex topics and less on concepts they are already familiar with. This allows for a more personalized learning experience that meets the individual needs of each student.


Asynchronous learning eliminates the barriers that can limit access to education. Students can access learning materials from anywhere, anytime, using a device with an internet connection. This opens up educational opportunities to individuals who may not have been able to attend traditional classes due to geographical, physical, or other reasons.

Improved retention

Asynchronous learning allows students to revisit content multiple times, which can lead to better retention of information. Students can pause, rewind, and re-watch lectures or review course materials as needed, allowing for a deeper understanding of the material.

Teenage boy doing schoolwork at home.

Overcoming the challenges

While asynchronous learning offers a lot of noteworthy benefits, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of the common challenges that students may face when practicing asynchronous learning and some strategies to overcome them:

Time management

Asynchronous learning requires students to be self-motivated and manage their time effectively. Without a set schedule, it can be easy to fall behind on coursework. To overcome this challenge, students should create a schedule and stick to it. They should also break down assignments into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each task to ensure that they are making progress.

Lack of motivation

Asynchronous learning can be isolating, and students may feel less motivated to complete assignments or engage with course material. To overcome this challenge, students should set clear goals, as discussed earlier, and establish a routine. They should also take regular breaks and find ways to stay connected with their peers and instructors. 

Grab their attention by making your presentation more interactive

Technology issues

Asynchronous learning relies heavily on technology, and students may face technical difficulties that can disrupt their learning. To overcome this challenge, students should have a backup plan in case of technical difficulties, such as saving work frequently, using multiple devices, or contacting technical support when necessary. 

By understanding and addressing these challenges, students can practice asynchronous learning successfully and achieve their academic goals.

How to practice asynchronous learning successfully 

Asynchronous learning requires students to be self-motivated, disciplined, and organized. To practice asynchronous learning successfully, here are some tips and tools to keep in mind:

Develop a study plan

Creating a study plan can help students stay organized and on track with their learning. A study plan should include a schedule of when to study, what topics to cover, and deadlines for assignments or exams. Without a study plan, it can be difficult to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively. 

To create a visually appealing and organized study schedule, use infographic, poster, or other templates available in Prezi. You can either choose from the selection of templates in the gallery or simply create a study schedule from scratch. Afterward, you can print it out and put it in a visible place for you or have a digital version available to you anytime. Here’s an example of a study plan you can create using Prezi:

Set goals

Setting clear goals can help students stay motivated and focused on what they want to achieve. Students should set both short-term and long-term goals for their learning, such as completing a specific assignment or mastering a particular topic. One helpful strategy is to write down a list of your goals and regularly review and update it as you make progress. This not only allows you to keep track of your accomplishments but also provides a sense of satisfaction and boosts your confidence as you tick off each goal. 

And having your goals visualized right in front of you will make you more motivated and organized in achieving them. Use a Prezi template visualized in the video below to illustrate your goals. 

Communicate with instructors and peers

While asynchronous learning may not involve real-time interactions, it’s still important for students to communicate with their instructors and peers. Students can use email, discussion boards, or other communication tools to ask questions, seek clarification, and collaborate with others. Instructors can also provide valuable feedback on your assignments and offer guidance on how to improve your work, while staying connected with your peers can help to foster a sense of community and support.

If you choose to check in with your instructor or students using a video conferencing tool, make sure to make the meeting even more productive and engaging using Prezi Video, where you can easily showcase your content right next to you on-screen. Or you can choose to record a video of yourself and send it to your instructor or students, where you present your visual material or simply share an important message. Staying connected, while keeping that face-to-face interaction will create a much more engaging learning and teaching experience. See what you can do with Prezi Video and check out the first of the Prezi Education Team’s 7 Tips for Engaging, Effective Instructional Videos featuring Paul Teske, a teacher in residence at Prezi.

Plus, you can also share your Prezi presentation with teachers or students and let them go through the content at their own pace. This is also a great way to stay connected and present content and feedback to each other. You can share a presentation like in the example below, where others can zoom in and out of topics they’re more interested in and view it in whatever order makes sense for them.

Take advantage of available resources

Asynchronous learning often provides students with access to a variety of resources, such as online textbooks, videos, and other multimedia materials. Students should take advantage of these resources to deepen their understanding of course material and enhance their learning experience.

As mentioned, with Prezi you can easily present and share your findings, learnings, and course content asynchronously. You can either choose to share a presentation, a video recording of you presenting your content right next to you on-screen, or create and share other learning materials, like infographics, reports, dashboards, and more. Discover everything that Prezi can offer to enhance your asynchronous learning experience and begin a more engaging learning chapter. 

Stay motivated and focused

In conclusion, asynchronous learning offers many benefits for students, including flexibility and convenience. By being self-motivated, disciplined, and organized, students can successfully navigate this learning format and achieve their academic goals. However, it’s important to note that asynchronous learning requires a high degree of personal responsibility and accountability, and students must be willing to put in the effort to stay engaged and connected with the learning community. Additionally, synchronous learning can provide opportunities for students to interact with their peers and instructors in real-time, facilitating immediate feedback and promoting a sense of community and collaboration. However, it may not be as flexible as asynchronous learning and can require strict adherence to a schedule.

A women studying at home.

If you opt for asynchronous learning, you can elevate your experience using Prezi. With Prezi, students can create visually engaging presentations that incorporate multimedia elements such as images, videos, and audio. This can enhance the learning experience by capturing students’ attention and making the content more memorable. Additionally, Prezi offers collaboration features that enable students to work together on presentations, even if they are not physically present in the same location. This fosters collaboration and encourages peer-to-peer learning, which is beneficial in asynchronous learning environments where direct interaction with classmates may be limited.

Moreover, Prezi’s cloud-based nature allows students to access and present their presentations from any device with an internet connection. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for asynchronous learners who may have varying schedules and need to access their materials at different times and locations.

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