With the growth of e-learning and online education, it has become possible to interact with professors, educationists and teachers spread all across the world. Even if a student misses few lectures in a day, it is easily possible to log in with a specific ID and password and study the chapter. Do you know what is this type of communication called? Well, it is known as asynchronous communication.
Definition of Asynchronous Tools in Communication
In this particular type of communication method, it is not necessary for communicating parties to be simultaneously present for the communication purpose. An online lecture missed by a student, for example can be covered at some other time. Flexibility is the most profitable aspect of asynchronous communication tools. To understand it better, let us take a contrasting example of Instant Messaging (IM), which is a synchronous communication tool. In IM, it is essential for all the parties chatting to be present at the same time. If you're chatting with your friend on some chat service, it is an essential condition that the other friend needs to be present on the other side and he or she must be replying you, else the communication remains incomplete. So synchronous communication tools work on the basic premise that all communicating parties can be at "different places" but at the "same time". Some examples of synchronous communication tools are audio conferencing, web conferencing, white boarding and video conferencing. Asynchronous communication tools are exactly the opposite to synchronous tools of communication. One of simplest example of asynchronous mode of communication is an email system. When you send an email to someone, you're automatically assuming that it can be replied later and not necessarily instantly.
Asynchronous Communication Tools List
Are you wondering which are real life communication methods used that are called asynchronous communication tool? Read on, to know more...
Discussion boards: We all have been on some or the other discussion boards online at some point of time. It is an online community of members for sharing thoughts, ideas, questions, queries and information regarding some topics. It is a great way to make new friends and to know numerous ideas.
Bulletine Boards: You were not present online in a discussion on some topic and now you want to know about what you missed. Well, with bulletine boards, coordinators post the links pertaining to the discussion and you can use the browser to catch up what you have missed. This is certainly one of the biggest advantages of online education.
Blogs: Blogging is a great way to share and receive knowledge, habits and hobbies. People who like your writing, will follow your blog whenever they want. There is no restriction on time.
Website Links: Instead of providing entire content, it is easier to share website links that direct the user to the contents. It makes the task of information sharing easier and simple.
Shared Calendars: To coordinate numerous activities in your college or in your office, you can use shared calendar software available online that can be also used to share information regarding any public events or with a group of friends.
E-Books: Web books are the latest trends online and it is easier to access them irrespective of time constraints. Even if the local library is not open, it is very much possible to access a book online, late midnight or early morning.
Databases: Information storage is a great way to use it for future references whenever required. Databases are perfect examples of storage houses where data can be stored and managed.
Streaming Audio and Videos: As a part of your online education, you can log in to the video link on a website to learn the lessons again or later to revise it further. It has no limitations of time. You can visit the video anywhere, anytime, if you has access to required communication devices such as a PC and the Internet.
Surveys and Polls: Collecting information from a large number of people at the same time is not a feasible task. So surveys and polls help in preparing critical information regarding any important topic. Again the benefit of doing this task in multiple time zones makes it simpler.
E-Mails: As aforementioned, emails are not expected to be replied immediately and you give time to the other party to reply later. It is just like posting a letter in the post office. You don't get back the reply instantly. You wait for some time.
Being able to get information and communicate at any time forms the greatest advantage of asynchronous communication. Besides that, it is said that this communication type is great for communities and like-minded people who can collect, store and share information despite being far away from another. On the flip side, the disadvantage is that it requires discipline and administration. People who're involved in a discussion board, for instance, are expected to log in for accessing the information. Barring that, asynchronous communication is great for online community users and they've certainly revolutionized the way online interaction is done.