The Difference Between

What are the differences in synchronous communication and asynchronous communication?

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06/23/2010

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Synchronous communication is direct communication where the communicators are time synchronized. This means that all parties involved in the communication are present at the same time. This includes, but is not limited to, a telephone conversation (not texting), a company board meeting, a chat room event and instant messaging. Asynchronous communication does not require that all parties involved in the communication to be present at the same time. Some examples are e-mail messages, discussion boards, blogging, and text messaging over cell phones. In distance (specifically online) education asynchronous communication is the major (sometimes the only) method of communication. Usually, we use different discussion boards in each class with each having its own purpose.

Although all parties maybe present at the same time, they don't necessarily communicate in a synchronized fashion. Telephone conversations, board room converstions, and chat sessions are asynchronous in nature due to the fact that each participator can interrupt at any given moment which makes them inherently asynchronous.