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A Comparison of Asynchronous Online Text-Based Lectures and Synchronous Interactive Web Conferencing Lectures

Issues in Teacher Education Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 1536-3031


Online learning environments are more prevalent in teacher education than ever before. In 2009, many instructors are attempting to emulate traditional instructional methods in the online learning environment as much as possible. Online courses are separated into two categories, (1) asynchronous; and (2) synchronous, depending on the nature of the online tool. Asynchronous courses provide learners with a flexible environment that is self-paced with learners accessing course content using a variety of tools such as CD-ROMs, streamed prerecorded audio/video web recordings, and audio podcasts. On the other hand, synchronous courses provide online learning environments that are very interactive and use web conferencing products such as "Elluminate Live, Interwise, Wimba Live Classroom, Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional," and "Saba Centra". This study aims to compare asynchronous online environments and synchronous web conferencing environments and their effect on the achievement and satisfaction of students. Specifically, the study investigates whether asynchronous and synchronous online instruction result in differences in student performance, student satisfaction, or student perception of their technology skills. Forty-four preservice general education and special education students receive instruction in two different types of online learning environments (asynchronous text-based lectures using WebCT and synchronous web conferencing lectures using "Elluminate Live"). The results of this analysis suggest that both types of lectures are effective in delivering online instruction. In addition, almost three-fourths (30 of the 41 students) of the students indicate that they would rather take an online course that uses synchronous web conferencing lectures than an online asynchronous text-based lecture course. This finding suggests the importance of interactivity on student satisfaction in a course. This study supports the finding that students participating in an online course perceive an increased level of their technology skills. (Contains 2 figures and 4 tables.)


Skylar, A.A. (2009). A Comparison of Asynchronous Online Text-Based Lectures and Synchronous Interactive Web Conferencing Lectures. Issues in Teacher Education, 18(2), 69-84. Retrieved December 2, 2021 from .

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