The virtual classroom is just what it sounds like. You “enter” the classroom using your computer and a headset equipped with a microphone. Since the class takes place in real time, the instructor and all the students attend classes at a set time and date. Students can raise their virtual hand to ask questions and interact with fellow students. The instructor can show videos, break students into small groups for exercises and conduct facilitated discussions…. Just about anything you can do in a traditional classroom you can do in a virtual one!
Traditional education is slowly being replaced by a wide range of technology-enabled learning modalities, from podcasts and webinars to formal, one-on-one coaching and a range of e-learning platforms via virtual classrooms.
The virtual classroom environment is flexible and convenient in its approach and encourages freedom of expression enabling students to communicate and express opinions openly in these environs.
Online courses support critical thinking skills, leadership, communication, problem solving and ethics. Often students’ prefer the delivery mode and work at their own pace and take the time to analyze and synthesize the learning materials.
Research has shown that students take online classes because they are able to get the course schedule they want to fulfill their degree requirements. Moreover, multimedia use has made virtual learning more interesting and lively, thus paving the way for fulfilling the emerging needs of higher education in 21st century India.
The advances that have been made in the quality and sophistication of the virtual classroom learning platform ensure that it is no longer a technological promise, it is a mainstream reality.