Synchronous vs Asynchronous

Annotated Bibliography
Blau, I., & Barak, A. (2012). How do personality, synchronous media, and discussion topic affect participation? Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 15(2), 12–24.
Blau and Barak (2012) conducted two studies. The first study used a viral sampling of 405 Israeli adult Internet users to investigate their perceptions of personality type and the ability to respond to sensitive discussion topics in synchronous media. The second study used an experimental design consisting of 120 volunteers from the sample in the first study. These 120 volunteers were separated into different synchronous media, consisting of online audio, online text, and face-to-face. The participants were engaged more in the sensitive discussion topic as opposed to the non-sensitive discussion topic, and the quality of posts were higher in the sensitive discussion topic. Extroverts were significantly active in discussions than introverts; however, introverts participated more readily when the communication medium was text only as opposed to audio or face-to-face. No significant difference were found on the type of media used on the amount and quality of discussions.
Bryer, T. A., & Seigler, D. (2012). Theoretical and instrumental rationales of student empowerment through social and web-based technologies. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 18(3), 529–448.
Chao, K.-J., Hung, I.-C., & Chen, N.-S. (2012). On the design of online synchronous assessments in a synchronous cyber classroom. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(4), 379–395. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00463.x
Emmanouilidou, K., Derri, V., Antoniou, P., & Kyrgiridis, P. (2012). Comparison between synchronous and asynchronous instructional delivery method of training programme on in-service physical educators’ knowledge. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 13(4), 193–208.
Emmanouilidou, Derri, Antoniou and Kyrgiridis (2012) performed an experimental design composed of 48 physical educator participants who were randomly divided into synchronous, asynchronous, and control group. A pre-/post-test was administered, and the results were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The synchronous and asynchronous groups significantly enhanced the cognitive ability of the educators when compared to the control group. There were no significant differences in cognitive ability between synchronous and asynchronous delivery. The researchers considered them equal.
Ge, Z. (2011). Exploring e-learners’ perceptions of net-based peer-reviewed English writing. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(1), 75–91.
Hay, D. (2010). Elluminate Live in 60 seconds . Retrieved from
Huang, X., & E.-Ling, H. (2012). Synchronous and asynchronous communication in an online environment: Faculty experiences and perceptions. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 13(1), 15-30. Retrieved from
Huang and E.-Ling (2012) conducted a qualitative research using a phenomenology approach. The researchers used a purposeful sampling based on those who taught at least one asynchronous and one synchronous online class and heterogeneity in subject matter yielded sixteen faculty participants. Some faculty members preferred synchronous courses because it allowed for personal connections with students and an opportunity to provide immediate feedback. The faculty members who preferred asynchronous courses did so based on the quality of discussion posts, the ability for students to post comments at anytime from anywhere, and a diversity of students in the class. Miscommunication in an asynchronous course became a theme in this research.
Kienle, A. (2009). Intertwining synchronous and asynchronous communication to support collaborative learning—system design and evaluation. Education & Information Technologies, 14(1), 55–79.
Kienle (2009) conducted a case study that evaluated the design and implementation of a CSCL-system called KOLUMBUS, which integrates synchronous and asynchronous communication through chat sessions. Information was gathered through fourteen students and log files of different events on the system. Students made use of asynchronous sessions for tasks that were conveying information. Synchronous sessions were used on tasks where students needed to collaborate with each other and for group reflections. Asynchronous methods were used first to convey understanding during chat sessions, and then synchronous methods were used to discuss reflections of the material. The asynchronous and synchronous chat sessions had an asynchronous summary at the end. The students found the follow-up summary as unnecessary in synchronous sessions because the moderator was present for questioning. Asynchronous sessions were chosen as starting points for a new unit by the institution because they felt it offered greater reflection of the topic than synchronous sessions because students do not use research in synchronous sessions as much as asynchronous sessions.
Martin, F., Parker, M. A., & Deale, D. F. (2012). Examining interactivity in synchronous virtual classrooms. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 13(3), 227–261.
A multiple case study approach was conducted by Martin, Parker, and Deale (2012) to examine interactivity in synchronous classrooms. Data was collected through a survey instrument used by 21 students, an interview with the instructor, and use of data from archives. The learner-instructor enhanced interactions by having specific expectations while checking for understanding. Students received immediate feedback, the visual presence of the instructor was beneficial, and the students used text messages to raise questions when the microphone was occupied. A downside to synchronous learning came from the interaction with the interface, which consisted of having one video at a time and poor quality of that video. The group did not have technical problems with the interface, but that could have been caused by them being instructional technology students.
Novak, S., Ponting, A., & Bhattacharya, M. (2007). Facilitating online learning communities: The collaborative design of an online support resource. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 18(1), 11–28.
Santoveña Casal, S. M. (2012). Pedagogical principles of synchronous virtual education: The Elluminate Live case at the faculty of educational and language studies (The Open University). Problems of Education in the 21St Century, 47(1), 126–143.
Santoveña Casal (2012) conducted a qualitative research with one teacher and seven student tutors in a foreign language class on their experience of Elluminate Live software, which was a tool used for synchronous learning. Themes of the research indicate that students benefits from listening and verbal skills. Teachers are able to answer questions on the spot, and students practiced speaking with immediate feedback from the teachers and tutors. Interactions between the tutors and students occurred in real-time during the synchronous session that would not otherwise be carried out in distance education.
“Synchronized Swimming” (2008). . Retrieved from
“Technology & Learning Faculty Conference” (n.d.) retrieved from

Vernier Technology and Software (2011).  LabQuest titration video . Vernier Labquest. Retrieved from


7 thoughts on “Synchronous vs Asynchronous

  1. Hi Sanjay! Sorry to dissapoint, but I didn’t get to see the video because for me all I saw was a white screen when I clicked on the play arrow in your video box. Do i need to wait longer, or do i need a different plug in? Just thought you should know.
    Please let me know if there is something else I can do on my end. -Devonee

  2. Sanjay: After I just waited for two minutes I was able to view your excellent video. Thank you. Sorry I jumped to a conclusion, below. Very clear description, I liked your synchronous swimming metaphor. Very effective use of images.
    You explained asynchronous vs. sychronous learning in a very clear way, and I appreciate that because it is a subject near and dear to my heart.
    I also appreciate how well you introduced your speaker. THat is a detail that I did not spend as much time addressing.
    Nice work, and nice job explaining the benefits and costs of both types of learning.
    What I have learned is that a combination of both learning types in a distance learning environment is best.
    -Devonee Trivett

    • Thank you. Originally, I had 13 minutes of video. I ended up editing several times until I reached about 5 minutes of video. I tried not to make the transitions that obvious. I’m glad you liked the video.

  3. I thought your explanation of synchronous and asynchronous learning was clear and easy to understand. I liked your comparison to the swimming, which helped me to get a clear picture.

  4. Sanjay,

    Amazing work done on your video presentation! You had clearly paid attention to the assignment rubric :-). I liked how you introduced the keynote speaker and how you allowed your “audience” to interrupt what you were saying with their applause. That was indeed creative. I especially liked how you compared synchronize swimming with synchronize learning environments along with your use of past studies that run parallel with you topic. Your change of sceneries was refreshing, especially the beach scene where asynchronous discussion threads were demonstrated. Did you import online videos into your project? If yes, to avoid plagiarism, I think you might need to provide citations on the actual clips. Once again, remarkable work Sanjay!!


  5. I thought you did an excellent job with speaking clearly to ensure everyone could hear what you were saying. It was very creative to hear how you inserted the applause audio into your video. You provided great verbal examples and had the visuals to back them up for those who may not understand.

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