Synchronous vs Asynchronous

When delivering a class remotely or fully online, we often get the question of if class sessions should be synchronous or asynchronous.  This page provides a basic overview of the two options, which course elements are best suited to synchronous versus asynchronous delivery, and tips for using both delivery methods effectively.

Synchronous Teaching

Synchronous teaching uses tools and strategies to allow students and instructors to meet at the same time and in the same space (physical or virtual.)


  • Real-time interactions can help instructors and students feel more connected
  • Ability to answer questions in real-time

Asynchronous Teaching

Asynchronous teaching uses tools and instructional strategies where interactions between students and instructors do not occur at the same time.  Instead, students and instructors engage with each other, course content, activities, and instructional materials at any time they choose, and from any location, as long as they have an Internet connection.


  •  Improves student’s ability to process information
  • Students can take time to read and re-read course material, think and reflect before completing course activities and discussions
  • Minimal technology disruption

Synchronous Teaching

Best practices, tools, and considerations for synchronous teaching.

Asychronous Teaching

Best practices, tools, and considerations for asynchronous teaching.