Technological advancements have revolutionized the aura of learning. Academic processes that required physical boundaries to be accomplished effectively have now gone boundary less. Digital learning has now become the new norm. Students and teachers can now interact through online education platform o different social media platform, that too, with much more convenience and effectiveness. Resultantly, traditional classrooms are now taking the form of virtual classrooms.
What is a Virtual Classroom?
A virtual classroom is a virtual learning space created online where the students and teachers can interact with each other, share ideas and promote online learning. It is a form of video conferencing technique which creates a digital learning environment where students and teachers engage with the course content and participate in different activities. The only difference with other video conferencing platforms is that virtual classrooms provide supplementary features that are vital to a learning environment. The students can also interact with one another just like they do in regular physical classrooms, share the course material and have discussions to clear out any ambiguities.
Salient Features of Virtual Classrooms
· Video conferencing
The main feature of virtual classrooms is the leverage to have online video conferencing. This enables both students and teachers to feel like they are sitting face to face with each other, although being miles apart.
· Online whiteboard
Virtual classrooms also possess online whiteboards which are similar to traditional whiteboards but are different in the sense that they are digital. Teachers can use these boards, just like they do in regular classrooms, to teach the course contents more effectively to the students.
· Instant messaging
In virtual classrooms, students and teachers can also make good use of the instant messaging feature. This enables them to interact by typing their thoughts out in addition to speaking through the microphone. It is more convenient for those individuals who prefer writing or typing instead of speaking.
· Moderation of student participation
Through virtual classrooms, student participation can be moderated by the teachers with ease. Teachers can assign participation time to all students and point out those students who they think are not participating effectively. Also, the participation time can be managed quite effectively.
· Screen sharing
Both students and teachers can share their screens live. This enables them to share the material online and display real-time demonstrations without any hassle. Documents, slides and other files can also be shared online.
· Online quizzes and activities
Teachers can create online quizzes, polls and other activities for the students. This allows all the students to participate in them with ease and stay on the same page. Communication remains very effective through ulearn online education.
· Session recording
Virtual classrooms also have the feature of recording sessions and saving them for later use. They can also be sent to those students who were absent in the class for some reason.
Advantages of Virtual Classrooms
Virtual classrooms possess various advantages. A few of them are discussed below:
Virtual classrooms provide the benefit of learning conveniently. Due to the salient features discussed in the previous section, students can promote their learning quite effectively. Likewise, it is also convenient for the teachers to deliver their lecture content with maximum engagement rates.
Studying in virtual classrooms is also comparatively cost effective. It saves transportation costs for both the students as well as teachers. Such classrooms can be joined from anywhere in the world, breaking physical boundaries.
As students and teachers don’t have to travel long distances, it saves them from any unnecessary fatigue, tiredness and stress. Resultantly, both students and teachers are more productive and fresher.