Can virtual classroom takeover traditional classes
A virtual classroom, also known as a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an online classroom environment. It is facilitated using specialised video conferencing equipment. It requires some infrastructure such as an internet connection and an access to a screen for viewing the tutorial videos. There can be just one student of a virtual classroom or several more, as there is no such restriction on the number of students that can enrol in a course taught through a virtual classroom. These days there are many online MBA courses which are taught through this type of technology. In fact, it is not restricted to an MBA (Master of Business Administration), as there are several other courses like an MCA (Master of Computer Applications) degree, which are also available through the distance virtual mode. To get the distance MCA course details or any other online distance education course details, students can get the desired information on popular online education portals or they can check directly with the colleges who offer such types of courses.
Features of a Virtual Classroom
The participants can interact in a virtual classroom. They can communicate, view and discuss presentations and go through the learning resources while collaborating in groups. All of this is done in an online environment. The medium is usually a video conferencing application that allows multiple users to stay connected and interact with each other at the same time. The number of instructors can be one or multiple as well.
However, it is not necessary for a virtual classroom to have an active instructor at all times. The classroom with no instructors is known as an unsupervised virtual classroom. It has ready made learning material that students can follow on their own. It is a self-paced course with exams taking place in an automated fashion towards the end of every module in the course. This is also the most common type of virtual classroom. The most basic and common examples of virtual classrooms can easily be found on YouTube. On YouTube, students can just watch video tutorials or the power point presentations on a topic.
The supervised classrooms are led by an instructor or a team of instructors. The lessons are carried out on specified timelines with exams on a defined schedule. The students attend the class virtually through video conferencing mode. The students can interact with the teachers and actively participate in the class through this type of classroom.
Advantages of Virtual Classroom
Virtual classrooms provide the students the convenience of studying from anywhere. They are not restricted by geography. It is a format which is convenient for the students because of the flexibility to study at their own time and pace. It is also far more affordable than the regular full-time courses. Some of the virtual classrooms are free of cost as well. Also, the student does not need to travel to a specific college location everyday or pay for hostel etc. It is also preferred by working professionals who do not want to quit their jobs for studying.
Will Virtual Classrooms Replace Traditional Classrooms?
Compared to traditional classes where there is rigidity of time, place and schedule, virtual classrooms clearly seem to be a far more preferred method. Traditional classrooms are also more expensive. In the future, traditional method of education may soon be replaced by the online method. Universities would like to cut the costs they incur in maintaining physical infrastructure and hiring staff where ever possible. By bringing in virtual classrooms, the universities will also need fewer professors. It will not require a multitude of support staff. It would not require them to manage many operational costs. This also provides the universities with an opportunity to reach a far larger student base irrespective of their location.
Virtual classrooms also offer a highly interactive method with far more information at hand thanks to the internet. Students would also prefer online classes because they offer them the benefit of saving time and money as well provide them with the option of education being tailored to their learning needs. Considering that not all students learn the same way, it makes sense to introduce virtual classrooms which are far more flexible than traditional ones.
The traditional rigid format of education puts all kinds of students in a physical class and they are dependent on the schedule that is maintained by the college to study and understand. This inconvenience is not there in the modern virtual format of education and hence students are less likely to drop out or lose interest midway through the class. The content of virtual classrooms is also more interactive and based on multimedia tools which makes it far more engaging for the students. Due to which, they are bound to retain more.