You are not alone if you are feeling more tired after a day of video calls. The ways in which we process information over video are indeed tiring. We have to focus more intentionally than we normally would in a typical on-site meeting, maintaining eye contact and focus with an invisible camera for long periods of time, sometimes straining to hear others’ audio or pick up on non-verbal cues, all while we quietly shoosh a child or a barking dog. This fatigue also translates to video learning, particularly when the mode of delivery is synchronous. (Synchronous learning is learning that takes place at the same time or in “real-time,” as opposed to asynchronous learning which takes places during different times or locations). In this blog, we’ll offer some tips on how to deliver learning that is asynchronous and does not add on to an already full Zoom schedule.
In a synchronous training format, learners would consume a lecture in a real-time format through face-to-face presentation, screen cast or with lecture accompanied with other visual tools like PowerPoint. Synchronous training tends to block out a longer time period and asks more of trainees over a specified period.
In an asynchronous training format, learners can consume training and learning materials in an online format at their own pace through a variety of means. Trainers can break up their content delivery with shorter, recorded sessions, screencast examples, documentation, or through interacting in eLearning modules within a Learning Management System (LMS). If learners need to master a particular skill, they will need the opportunity to practice in an environment that is as similar as possible to their real-world scenario. This could be accomplished by creating exercises for use in a sandbox or demo environment.
Delivering content this way can minimize the amount of time spent together over video, and can help trainers use time more wisely for maximized attention from trainees. When synchronous sessions are needed, learns will be more likely to actively participate to answer prompts, take part in activities, complete polling or attend break-out discussions if they have also not attended long video sessions where they are asked to consume information all at once, in one format. Trainers can still make themselves available as the expert to learners via chats, discussion boards, email, etc., so learners don’t lose that immediate access to instructors when they have questions.