So when you hear the term “virtual classroom” it may conjure memories of those dusty days spent wishing for the final bell. In truth, virtual classrooms have very little in common with traditional classrooms at all. The more correct term these days is “virtual learning environment” and they have some serious advantages over traditional face-to-face teaching. They are just one of the many technological revolutions happening in modern education.
Wherever I May Roam
Virtual Learning Environments reduce or eliminate the need to learn in a particular place at a specific time. One of the main reasons many people don’t go back to school is that what little free time they have doesn’t align with class schedules.
Virtual Learning Environments let you use the spare time you have productively to learn when you can, instead of when you’re told to
Every student is different. Some can grasp new concepts almost immediately while others need significant repetition to get new knowledge down. A virtual classroom provides a way for each individual to repeat lessons as many times as they need to, without disrupting anyone else.
This means that each student can use their own time to maximise their retention, if they’re engaged enough of course.
The Best of the Best
Since you’re not limited by time and space when it comes to who you can collaborate with or learn from, you have the luxury of picking the best teaching help you can afford.
For example, if you’re into language learning you can get a tutor to help you out directly via Skype. One company, Preply, gives extensive tutor profiles so that you can spend time finding the most promising candidates before trialling anyone. If you peruse their Skype English teacher list, you’ll see exactly what I mean.
The Game is On
Virtual classrooms also allow for the inclusion of cutting edge education technology that wouldn’t work in the real, physical world.
Learning analytics systems are one example. They monitor everything that you do in your virtual learning environment and then use that to figure out if you are doing well or need help. If adaptive and personalized learning solutions have also been set up you may find the lessons and materials change to better match your style and preferences.
On top of this, it’s also possible to fully gamify courses given in virtual classrooms. This involves taking fun game elements and building them into the learning process. Why do this?
The point is to keep students interested, motivated and having fun while they learn. It can be an incredibly effective technique when it’s done the right way and only in e-learning systems can it work its full might.
It’s Virtually Perfect
Learning in a virtual classroom is not without its challenges. Although you could say that the collaboration and communication opportunities are much better, there’s still something special about being face to face with another human being.
But the technology is getting better and better. Not to mention, people are now very used to interacting with each other on social media.
It’s not that this aspect of the virtual classroom is worse than real classrooms, just different and most of us get used to it pretty quickly.
In almost every other way, virtual classrooms provide a better learning experience overall and a perfect solution to learners who couldn’t enroll in face-to-face classes anyway.
Image is Public Domain