Online learning is the latest in a long list of social technologies that have been introduced to improve distance learning by adding various augmentations, substitutions, or blending of new pedagogical approaches and technologies. Online learning is beginning to act as a complete substitute for both distance learning and the traditional face-to-face classroom.
Online education, has significantly drawn the attention of students, educators and professional learners. Traditional education is rapidly being replaced by the online or virtual classroom through 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, web and multimedia materials; simulation and gaming; collaborative learning, immersive simulations and wireless and handheld devices. Most current distance courses have incorporated one or more of these technologies or methodologies thus paving the way for fulfilling the emerging needs of higher education in 21st century India.
Virtual classrooms or online learning sites promote a collaborative learning among students. Through Web based learning, vast amount of information can be searched, reorganized and downloaded from decentralized worldwide digital libraries. Also the quick delivery feedback ability of the Web can make learning more effective. Through virtual collaboration researchers can also share data visualization and create documents collaboratively producing and editing text in real time. 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.
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