The Pros and Cons of Asynchronous Learning

Writer: Sophie

Editor: Sara

Graphics: Sarah

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep ISM in distance learning, around 80 ISM students are currently attending their classes asynchronously from various countries around the world. Some students watch Zoom recordings for a couple of classes, while others undertake their classes in a fully remote fashion. The asynchronous learning experience is unique for each student, and the various ways in which it has affected their lives highlight the pros and cons of this learning method. With this in mind, BT asked students across the world doing asynchronous classes what they thought the Pros and Cons of remote learning are. 

A student working on the east coast of the United States (12 hours behind Manila time), who wishes to remain anonymous, is asynchronous for half of their classes. “Something I can say I enjoy about doing asynchronous learning is being able to have the daytime free to relax and do whatever I want. However, something that has been challenging was keeping in contact with my teachers to be able to ask them questions,” the student said. They also talked about the drawbacks in their social life, saying that they are “not able to see my friends as much as I normally would if I was in Manila. With the time difference, it is hard to stay connected via social media and in my classes.”

Inez, a current sophomore  located in California (15 hours behind Manila time) said that “I like to spend my time during the day going to cafes and playing sports. I wouldn’t be able to do these things in the Philippines due to the COVID lockdown.” Another student wishing to remain anonymous, who is working from New York (12 hours behind Manila time), continues to attend synchronous classes in spite of the large time difference. “I am a night person and usually go to bed late anyway. Doing synchronous classes allowed me to stay on task and communicate better with my teachers. However, now looking back at it, I wish I did some asynchronous classes so that I have more energy in the morning and can sleep longer.”

There are definite advantages to asynchronous learning, the most common of which seems to be more time to sleep and the ability to enjoy leisure activities. On the other hand, it also has disadvantages, such as the difficulty of keeping in touch with teachers and friends due to time differences. Nonetheless, it is important to find healthy ways to cope with the challenges of distance learning, whether it is trying your best to keep in touch with friends throughout the day by scheduling a time to call them or finding ways to motivate yourself by focusing on the tasks at hand. 

If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons and even some tips for asynchronous classes, here is a video created by Bamboo Telegraph Video (BTV).