What is a Virtual Classroom?
Drexel University School of Education
What is a virtual classroom? Classrooms are essentially a system of communication, which help facilitate a dialogue between teachers and students. Traditional classrooms and virtual classrooms achieve this in different ways, and there are strengths and weaknesses to each approach.
But how do you setup a successful virtual classroom? How does learning online affect students? By learning more about the characteristics of virtual classrooms, you’ll be able to develop a better understanding of the advantages of digital learning.
- Among the many benefits of virtual classrooms, some of the most significant include:
- Reduction in costs. Potentially including course materials, commuting, and tuition.
- Increasingly adaptable scheduling options for both students and teachers.
- More personalized education for students.
Moreover, the importance of virtual classrooms will only continue to grow, since they are making learning more accessible while also reducing the costs of education. Along with them, so is the importance of graduate certificates, such as the K-12 Virtual School Leadership program.
Virtual classrooms have many distinct advantages over traditional classrooms, which is why they’re only becoming more common over time. So if you’re interested in learning more about the future of education, request more information about the School of Education today.
How to Make a Virtual Classroom
Setting up a virtual classroom from scratch is actually a multi-step process. Doing so requires compiling a list of all the hardware and software necessary for the task, as well as reflecting on their compatibility, cost, and so forth.
Because virtual classrooms aren’t traditional classroom environments, people who endeavor to develop their own virtual classrooms have to think about how working in a digital environment will impact the workload placed on students and instructors alike. Instructors also have to learn more about adapting learning techniques to digital formats, and how to create a more personalized learning experience for each student.
You can usually skip many of these steps because schools which offer virtual classes typically have their own learning management systems (LMS) to help teachers along. LMS are made to be capable of facilitating a laundry list of teacher requirements, often aiming to be able to do everything a teacher needs to do within a virtual classroom. Naturally, that includes online chats, conferencing, and assignment feedback.
In a perfect world, one virtual classroom platform would allow every student unlimited access to everything necessary for the course. But in actuality, virtual class activities may occasionally need to be assembled in formats or programs that aren’t supported by an institution’s LMS.
Furthermore, coursework needs to be selected and developed with accessibility in mind. For instance, you may want to distribute a presentation through PowerPoint, but you must be sure that all of your students are able to access PowerPoint.
Cost Advantages of a Virtual Classroom
Among the many advantages of virtual classrooms, being able to reduce the costs of education tends to be one of the most attractive. Commuting can be expensive, especially if you’re paying for gas and parking. Time spent on the road can add up. And time spent waiting around between classes can add up, too.
Additionally, the advantages of virtual learning often include course materials being available on an entirely digital basis. That can allow students to access required course materials at a greatly reduced cost. Moreover, since no physical classroom is necessary for the students to occupy, there’s no need to maintain a physical space. As a result, fewer overhead costs can help cut the cost of education.
Unlike traditional classrooms, you won’t find classes getting cancelled due to unstable weather. Because in addition to saving time and money, studying with a virtual classroom means both students and teachers aren’t at the mercy of road conditions.
Flexibility Benefits of a Virtual Classroom
The benefits of virtual classroom training are actually quite extensive. Rather than following a schedule dictated by someone else’s availability and someone else’s convenience, students can decide to study at the times that work best for them. Having that kind of flexibility means you can face fewer distractions, too.
Parents who need to manage daycare responsibilities along with their education can appreciate that kind of flexibility. So can students who are interested in maintaining or pursuing a career outside of school. All in all, studying in a virtual classroom means it’s easier to maintain a good work-life balance.