Time to Break the Silence

The question, “As an online student, which form of interaction do you feel is most effective for you, synchronous, or asynchronous? Why?” intrigues me because my reaction to it surprises me.  While I like the idea of having an avatar as in the “Comparing 2D to 3D Learning” YouTube video, the reality is that right now as an online student I prefer asynchronous communication. In part, I think it is because synchronous communication is readily available as an option through Elluminate on Moodle or by telephone.  If I had a matter of urgent concern, synchronous communication would be my “go to” method; however, I enjoy the ability to read discussion posts or tweets from my #TT1411 classmates or check updates in diigo without regard to a clock or scheduled appointment.

Unlike synchronous communication, there is no need to silence any speaker to send a message or an email or to respond to a discussion post. Asynchronous communication forces me to be direct and focused. It also allows me to multi-task. For example, as I process this question and consider my words to respond to this discussion question, the Canadian and German Olympic curling teams are moving stones or rocks down a long ice alley toward a target with a broom. I enjoy the background of athletic rumblings and a commentator talking about a “hammer” as a backdrop to my studies which exemplifies asynchronous timing. The event to which I’m listening occurred yesterday. Asynchronous communication which suggests the ideal that communication would not be in sync is rather an opportunity to be in sync with one’s self.  I’m able to communicate with others on my schedule; others communicate with me on their schedule.

Admittedly, I am most assuredly looking forward to synchronous communication with a classmate. Sometimes the silence needs broken.


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