Management Glossary

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asynchronous learning

An education or training program that does not require the instructor and learner to be present in the same place at the same time. Examples include training that is delivered in a course provided on a CD, CD-ROM or as files on the Web. Questions can be answered through email exchanges between the instructor and learner.

Asynchronous learning has the advantage of being able to deliver courses to a large number of people, while allowing each learner to proceed at his or her own pace. It also makes it easy for companies to deliver "just-in-time learning," so they can train each employee in a particular skill set just when the employee needs it. In contrast, classroom training usually requires training a number of employees at once or having to adhere to a third-party's training schedule. But teaching skills too long before employees need those skills will lead to the employees forgetting some of what they learned; and having to postpone work because an employee doesn't yet have the necessary skills may result in an employer forfeiting some opportunities.

Contributed by: Managerwise Staff

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