Synchronous conferencing


Synchronous conferencing is the formal term used in computing, in particular in computer-mediated communication, collaboration and learning, to describe technologies informally known as online chat. It is sometimes extended to include audio/video conferencing or instant messaging systems that provide a text-based multi-user chat function. The word synchronous is used to qualify the conferencing as real-time, as distinct from a system such as e-mail, where messages are left and answered later.

Synchronous conferencing protocols include:


According to the type of media used, synchronous conferencing can be divided into[1]

According to the number of access point used, synchronous conferencing can be divided into

Synchronous Vs Asynchronous conferencing

Both synchronous and asynchronous conferencing are online conferencing where the participants can interact while being physically located at different places in the world. Asynchronous conferencing allows the students to access the learning material at their convenience while synchronous conferencing requires that all participants including the instructor and the students be online at the time of conference. [1]

While synchronous conferencing enables real time interaction of the participants, asynchronous conferencing allows participants to post messages and others can respond to it at any convenient time. Sometimes a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous conferencing is used. Both the methods give a permanent record of the conference. [2]


Some of the methods used in synchronous conferencing are:[3]

Critical factors for effective implementation

There are four critical factors identified for implementing synchronous conferencing for effective instruction to the students[1]

Synchronous conferencing in Higher Education

Synchronous conferencing in education helps in the delivery of content through digital media. Since this is a real-time teaching, it also brings the benefits of face-to-face teaching in distance learning. Many higher education institutions offer well-designed quality e-learning opportunities. Some of the advantages of synchronous conferencing in education are: [4] [5]

Implementation of Educational Technology

The tools for implementing synchronous conferencing depends on the type of educational problem addressed. This is in turn decides the method of synchronous conferencing to be used and the tool to be used in the learning context. The tool selected addresses the problem of improving the learning outcomes which cannot be solved with an asynchronous environment. There are many tools and platforms available for synchronous conferencing.[4]

The selection of tools and platforms also depend on the group size which depends on the activity for the course design.

Effective teaching strategies

To make synchronous conferencing effective and engaging, appropriate teaching strategies are important and plays a very important role in making the learning successful. Some of these are [6]


Some limitations for synchronous conferencing in learning are:[4] [7]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Grant, Michael M; Cheon, Jongpil. "The Value of Using Synchronous Conferencing for Instruction and Students" (PDF). Journal of Interactive Online Learning. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  2. "What is online conferencing?". Online Conferencing. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  3. "Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Classes". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 Ozden, Sule. "Student Perceptions of Web-conferencing in Hybrid Classes" (PDF). Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  5. Ferriter, Bill. "Using videoconferencing to connect your class to the world". Learn NC. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  6. Crews, Tena B.; Wilkinson, Kelly; Neill, Jason K. (March 2015). "Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education: Effective Online Course Design to Assist Students' Success" (PDF). MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. 11 (1). Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  7. Anderson, Lynn; Fyvie, Barb; Koritko, Brenda (June 2006). "Best practices in synchronous conferencing moderation". The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. 7 (1). Retrieved 25 September 2015.
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