Distance education is a learning pattern wherein instructor and student are located somewhere at distant place. Distance education has evolved with the development of new media like print, radio, television, computers and now internet. Various technologies are being used depending on the learning objectives of the course. Distance learning is delivered through synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Synchronous Distance Tutoring:
At times when the online tutor and student communicate with each other at the same moment is known as synchronous tutoring or called “Real-time” learning. It is time bound tutoring where tutor and students located at distant place meets at the same time. The major benefits of real-time online tutoring are instant interaction, quick feedback, pacing. The online tutors and students can interact and communicate with the help of computer in the circuit of high speed internet networking system, computerized video-audio setups and packaged software.
The teacher can conduct tutoring and receive real-time audio/video/chat based responses from students. It is very similar to face-to-face interaction conducted in traditional classroom.
Asynchronous Distance Tutoring:
Asynchronous distance tutoring allows communication between two or more entities that do not take place in real-time. The online tutor can email or post soft copy of questions, worksheets on discussion board either in text or pre-recorded video-audio format. The students can download and read the material provided by the tutor at his own convenience. Time factor is never a subject of worry in asynchronous learning. The student can take learning at “different locations and different times”. Both the tutor and students can teach and learn in their own time and record their tutoring activities at the same time. The recordings become useful situation for other students in the same condition or course. One more advantage of asynchronous distance learning are more choice in interaction and communication media selection, system reliability, flexibility in time and pace of learning, access to vast variety of internet resources.