Asynchronous courses can be beneficial for students with sporadic schedules because students can pick and choose when they work on their course work each day. In addition, students can progress through their courses at their own pace, meaning if they need extra time on a section they can take as long as they need to before moving on.
While this style of learning is convenient and seems empowering, there are many risks to asynchronous courses.
Because students don’t get the opportunity to connect with their instructor or peers in asynchronous courses, they can feel very isolated. Students can’t contact their instructors very quickly — certainly not in real-time. Instructors also typically pre-record their lessons or simply do no more than assign readings and homework questions. Most students want their tuition dollars to give them more interaction than watching video lectures and following a reading schedule.
Students also don’t get many chances to interact with their classmates. At best, a course might utilize a discussion board, but when students are submitting at their own pace, engagement stays low.
Without the oversight and consistent encouragement of an instructor, students have to hold themselves accountable for their progress. When things get tough, it can be hard for students to persevere and convince themselves that their continued effort will pay off in the long run.