What is Bichronous Online Learning?

While some instructors teach asynchronously online with no real time meetings, some instructors rely on the real time live online meetings to teach synchronously online. However, there are some instructors who teach using a combination of asynchronous and synchronous online delivery methods. Currently, there is no term to denote this blend of asynchronous and synchronous online learning. Do we need another term labeled in online learning? After much though along with a team, we came up with the term “Bichronous Online Learning”, to denote the “blending of synchronous and asynchronous online learning.” We have been asked, does blended or hybrid learning not capture it? Blended or hybrid learning describes the blending between online and face to face online learning, while “Bichronous” captures the blending between two online environments.

In a previous Educause post, we define Bichronous online learning as “the blending of both asynchronous and synchronous online learning, where students can participate in anytime, anywhere learning during the asynchronous parts of the course but then participate in real-time activities for the synchronous sessions. The amount of the online learning blend varies by the course and the activities included in the course.” (Martin et al., 2020)

Bichronous online learning provides students the best of both online delivery methods, where they can participate in anytime, anywhere learning during the asynchronous parts of the course but participate in real-time conversations for the synchronous sessions. This gives them the opportunity to learn at their own pace but also provides them the opportunity for immediate feedback and interaction. Could this blending be considered a happy medium in online learning? We will have to wait for more research to see what instructors and students think.


Martin, F., Polly, D., & Rithzaupt, A.D. (2020). Bichronous Online Learning: Blending Asynchronous and Synchronous Online Learning. Educause Review. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/9/bichronous-online-learning-blending-asynchronous-and-synchronous-online-learning

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