Asynchronous training occurs when employees can access training materials in an online portal during individual sessions. Because the learning experience is personal and measured through clear digital guidelines, employees do not need to be gathered in one place for a single class. The model exchanges instructor-based learning for a highly adaptable set of online materials which can work well with specific training points. The asynchronous approach holds several advantages for companies that want to invest in strong online training strategies and promote innovative web development. Benefits to this flexible approach include:
1. Training Efficiency and Analytics: When companies develop asynchronous programs, they create materials, quizzes and rubrics that employees can access at any time. This saves valuable work time that would otherwise be taken up with classes - employees can access learning portals from home instead of spending valuable work time moving through lessons. Hybrid models even allow employees in training to access materials online off-hours and then use the class time to discuss topics with the instructor. Online quizzing and reports can also carefully monitor employee responses and learning habits, gathering data that can lead to more effective training efforts and useful feedback for future courses.
2. Long-Term Resources: Because the materials are designed to be permanent, asynchronous efforts are a one-time project that only requires occasional updates, instead of a consistent effort that saps company time. If a company is using an outside vendor to develop materials, this saves significant cost when it comes to long-term training. If a company is using internal development, then IT or web teams are spared continual work on training initiatives and synchronous conferences to work on more applicable topics.
3. Room for Delays and Transitions: Most asynchronous learning platforms have the option to “bookmark” training materials for later review. Not only can this help employees who can only work on courses at home or during particular times of the day, it can also help deal with difficulties like delays or training transitions. If managers or workers have to take time away from their training to tackle important projects, they can return to the precise place they stopped when it is convenient.
4. Lower Costs for Widespread Companies: Some asynchronous benefits are especially helpful for companies that have a flexible, spread-out workforce, as seen in many modern, flat organizations. Gathered classes with set times can be difficult or impossible in such companies, and often come with both lost time and high deployment costs. Web conferencing is an option, but the associated expenses for constant conferencing every time employees need to be trained compares poorly to the more efficient approach of asynchronous solutions.
5. More Innovative Use of Online Systems: Asynchronous systems are particularly useful for encouraging newfound innovation in web development. Boring text and simple online quizzes are not effective in quality training: Impactful materials require deft use of multimedia and digital interactions that effectively gain employee participation, not just a checklist of facts that are too easy to forget. The result is a meta-training ground for business innovation, development, and powerful training materials - or at least finding a vendor that offers the same qualities. Positive results will naturally flow into other aspects of management, such as digital marketing and social media, with positive changes on all sides.
Sameer Bhatia is the founder of ProProfs.com, a provider of online learning management system software.