The time has come – or rather it was hastened  by a pandemic – but in any case, a digital transformation in education has arrived.

Many teachers are needing to be quick studies, as they discover new tools and methods to streamline teaching and administration. And in doing so, many are coming to understand the power of a hybrid approach. Some of the biggest advantages of online course delivery are flexibility and the availability of options. This is where Synchronous and Asynchronous classes come in to play. Which method to use, and when, can make all the difference for a successful outcome for both teachers and students.

What are Synchronous and Asynchronous classes?

For synchronous classes, the instructor and the students are present online at the same time and in direct communication. Teachers instruct through video or audio conferencing, or live chat. The lectures and discussions are at a fixed time and students can only access the lecture if they are present online at the time it takes place.

Asynchronous classes refer to classes where the instructor and the students are not present online at the same time. The instructor uploads material, lectures, and assignments to a designated portal that students can access anytime, and from anywhere. 

Both synchronous and asynchronous classes have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s dive in and cover some so that you can make a decision as to when to use what method.

Synchronous classes


– Interactive sessions

-Immediate answers to their questions

-Easier sharing of ideas between student and instructor,  or among students

-More in-depth instructions

-Spontaneity and flexibility in lectures

In synchronous classes students and teachers can interact, ask questions, and present ideas spontaneously. For example, teachers may ask students to have a conversation about what they did on the weekend or present something to show they understand how to use vocabulary and expressions in context. The instructor can give them immediate feedback and the student can feel motivated and connected to their teacher.


-Rigid time constraints

-Dependent on connectivity and bandwidth

Unfortunately, synchronous classes can be a problem for students who have a hard time logging on at a certain time, or who have poor internet connectivity. And slow learners may find it difficult to grasp concepts during synchronous classes. 

Asynchronous classes


-Flexibility: time and pace

-Less chances of technical problems

-Less formal compared to synchronous classes

-Immediately informed of digital quiz results


-Lack of real-time interaction

-Difficulty in staying on track or meeting deadlines

-Delayed feedback with some tasks

Asynchronous classes are convenient for students who struggle to attend online classes. They allow them to work at their own pace and on their own time. In asynchronous classes, the instructor assigns vocabulary, listening, reading, writing tasks, etc., and the students can complete the work any time prior to the deadline. There is, however, a chance that they will procrastinate and try to complete all the work right at the deadline. Other important things to point out are:

1. The instructor only provides feedback after the assignments are submitted

2. There are no real-time question-answer sessions

Pocket Passport provides teachers with tools to create extremely fun and interactive lessons and courses. And they can use materials and resources  for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Teachers can share illustrations to initiate conversations, show a video, assign tasks in breakout rooms, and a lot more.

Pocket Passport’s lesson and course builder gives teachers options to create bite-sized lessons that students can complete on their own time. It also gives educators tools to gamify lessons with badges and stamps as they achieve lesson and course objectives.


The best results come from using a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous classes. It’s important to provide students with real-time feedback and opportunities to practice the language on one hand. On the other, it essential to provide fun and engaging materials to acquire new vocabulary and expressions, practice listening, reading, and writing. When done properly there is unlimited potential to maximize students learning.