There have been innovative concepts introduced in the field of education so that learning becomes all the more fun and the learner has a sense of achievement. With the increased pace of World Wide Web, education is no more limited to a small classroom. The whole concept of education has observed a change of how learning was imparted. The confines of a classroom no more exists, education is now a global phenomenon wherein a person sitting in any part of the world can have access to educational institutes or colleges situated thousands of miles apart. The advent of Internet has surely revolutionized education and learning in a big way.
Are You Aware About Virtual Classroom/Virtual Education?
Education imparted through the means of Internet can be broadly referred to as virtual education. The characteristic feature of virtual education is that the teachers as well as the learners are separated by geographical constraints and lessons are imparted online or in a virtual classroom. In a virtual classroom, traditional classroom education is combined with technological advancements to give a product called e-learning or online learning.
Features of Virtual Classroom:
Virtual classrooms have certain important underlying features which makes it all the more unique. They are as follows:
- Established on a virtual environment, World Wide Web, therefore rightly adjudged as ‘virtual’.
- Education is not confined to the area of a classroom.
- Omnipresence, as far as the Internet can reach.
- Ease of learning.
- Reach out to high number of people.
- Blend of technology and traditional classroom.
In a virtual classroom the lecturer / teacher can deliver the lectures, conduct exams enter into an interactive question and answer session with the students undergoing a particular course. So, virtual classroom acts as a platform that brings together, teachers as well as students from different locations. So the learner has the benefit in a virtual classroom that he could choose the best teachers for a particular online course.
The virtual classrooms are conducted in the same manner as the traditional classrooms are carried out. In a virtual classroom, the student has the freedom to interact simultaneously to many students unlike the traditional classroom. So virtual classes are more interactive than their traditional counterparts. The graphics, animations of the lectures in the virtual classroom make it interesting and high on fun quotient. As a result of this, the effectiveness of the online education is more. It makes the complex topics very easy to comprehend and remember.
Real time learning is the keyword of virtual classrooms, although students can submit the routine tasks or assignments by mailing them to the concerned teacher. Virtual classrooms make usage of discussion forums, chat groups, social media and various blogs to enhance interaction between students and teachers. Virtual classrooms are best for those people who do not have the time to go and attend the regular courses or are working but have the intent to study further.
Virtual classrooms are beneficial for the students as well as the teachers in the sense that, all the lessons imparted, tests, discussions and course related documents are all recorded and stored. So it becomes easy for a student to refer to what was discussed or taught on a particular day. So accessing information becomes easy. Also, the student can refer to any course material any number of times. Virtual classrooms can include both synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.
Synchronous learning is when the teacher and the student are present real-time. Live lectures, online chat come under synchronous learning. While in asynchronous learning, interaction is not real-time but rather it is through e-mails.
Education through virtual classrooms has its own advantages. A student can at any point of time and anywhere have access to the course and content. In case of absenteeism, a student can refer to what was taught in the classroom session as all the sessions are recorded. Through a virtual classroom a teacher finds it easier to monitor the progress of the learner, so as to understand whether more training is required or not on a particular topic. Assignment submission has become all the easier with the advent of online learning.
by Ian Bell.