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Digital Learning: Learning Without Limits - Part 2

Part 2: Asynchronous Digital Learning

This is the second in our series on Digital Learning: Learning Without Limits where we look at the evolving nature of learning and its effect on individuals and organisations and the workplace.

Faced with the end of the job-for-life culture, today's workers are constantly forced to re-invent and re-skill themselves as they move from one career to another. Many are turning to PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner project management to improve their employability, and asynchronous learning is one form of digital learning that allows them to do acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding.

Definition: asynchronous/āˈ siŋkrǝnǝs / adjective [see synchronous /siŋkrǝnǝs/ adjective]

Not existing or happening at the same time; not contemporary; not simultaneous.

Asynchronous digital learning is where learning takes place away from other people, in one's own time and space, usually over the internet.

Advantages: Self-paced, self-regulating and independent, asynchronous learning is ideal for dispersed individuals and teams who like, and are motivated, to work without supervision. Free from the limitations of time and space, they are able to reflect on and analyse subjects without pressure from others. The result is that they may understand more and they may be able to give more detailed responses. This form of learning can be beneficial for students or teams who may otherwise be disadvantaged by language differences, educational background or disability.

Disadvantages: On the flip side, the asynchronous approach can hinder learning if it is not properly supported. Without the benefit of timely and live discussion and intervention from fellow students and tutors, trainees may lack motivation, incorrectly understand a subject and feel isolated. A more subtle disadvantage may be that they miss out on the ebb and flow of ideas and the sparkle of discussion that could inspire them to think innovatively and gain the necessary knowledge to apply their learning in the workplace.

Making a learning approach work: For asynchronous, indeed for any kind of learning to succeed, your learning provider must create a positive learning environment. We at ILX Group support individual and team learners irrespective of the type of learning method they choose. Comprehensive support services, a PRINCE2 Forum, PRINCE2 Blog Twitter and ILX Group LinkedIn help students stay connected to the subject, to each other and to the expert tutors who have real-life experience of the subject taught.

And finally... quality trainers make all the difference to learning outcomes and we're delighted that our lead ITSM consultant Mike O'Brien has been nominated for an award at ITSM 12.

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