What does Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning Mean?

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 7/26/21 7:51 AM

At PA Distance, we use a blended learning model that promotes growth for all of our students, regardless of grade level. We refer to this unique and personalized combination as “synchronous” and “asynchronous”.

But, what does synchronous vs. asynchronous actually mean?

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Learning Model

PA Distance middle & high school students are required to engage in several hours of school work within our blended learning environment which contains “synchronous” and “asynchronous” forms of education. 

Elementary students (K-6) are required to spend 5 hours per school day with 2.5-3.5 of those hours in live learning with their teachers and peers. Middle and high school students (7-12) are required to spend 5.5 hours per day in school. 2.5-3 hours of that is in live learning, and 2.5-3 hours is asynchronous learning.

In short, elementary students have 25 hours per week of schoolwork of which about 15 hours is live learning classes with teachers and peers, and 10 hours per week is asynchronous learning. For middle, and high school students, students have 27.5 hours of school each week with about 15 hours of live learning with teachers and peers and 12.5 hours of asynchronous learning.  

Synchronous Learning 

The synchronous learning portion of each student’s school week is also known as Live Learning Sessions (LLS). Our students have regular Live Learning Sessions on their schedules multiple times a week and every week throughout the school year. The LLS allows students to participate with their teachers and classmates, in real-time, in a way that they are comfortable. 

For more information about our LLS and how they work for our students, visit our website

Asynchronous Learning

In addition to the live learning sessions with their teachers and peers, PA Distance students have asynchronous or independent learning time, too. During this time, students work on assignments and build skills using self-paced, but interactive, online learning programs.

For more information on the educational resources that support and supplement our curriculum, visit our

About PA Distance Learning Charter School

Since 2004, PA Distance has been providing a welcoming virtual learning environment for students in grades K-12 across Pennsylvania. Students at PA Distance engage in a blended environment that combines “synchronous” and “asynchronous” learning. PA Distance’s mission is to blend proven classroom teaching techniques with educational technologies to promote academic growth for all students.

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