In an age where information technology is leveraged across the world, it is no surprise that it has had a tremendous impact on education and learning. Digital technology enables students to decide what, when, where and how they want to study. Virtual classrooms have synchronised digital educational tools such as recordings, live classes and other e-learning material to enable students to interact closely with their teachers and peers online.
Popularity of virtual classrooms
The main reason behind the growing popularity of virtual classrooms is its ability to overcome the limitations of a traditional classroom. While teachers remain the focus of virtual classrooms, they are available to the learner irrespective of geographical challenges. The virtual classroom is democratising the educational landscape by making learning accessible despite such barriers.
Through live classes, e-books, online study material, recordings of lectures, communities and forums, it is possible to provide the classroom-like experience online just as efficiently and thoroughly as one would in a physical classroom.
In a country as vast as India in terms of geography and demographics, it is possible to provide every individual with the education that one seeks, through virtual classrooms. The flexibility offered by virtual classrooms is further bolstered by an increase in the number of people with smartphone access, widespread and faster data connectivity.
Here are five reasons because of which virtual classrooms score over traditional classrooms:
A virtual classroom is not bound by time or place. A learner is free to study and finish coursework at any time anywhere. This ensures that people pursuing an education while working or running a business or as full-time students can build their own time-tables.
Convenience and time management
While a virtual classroom also has scheduled courses, quizzes, mock tests, assignments and other such features, it allows the learner to pick and choose a time that is convenient for them rather than traditional learning mechanisms that lack such flexibility. Additionally, virtual classrooms help the learner save the time that would otherwise have been spent in traveling to and from the physical classroom.
Freedom of structure
The virtual classroom system focuses on providing education factoring in the preferences of the student in terms of learning material, schedule and timings. They give greater freedom to a learner to decide whether they want to take a test, homework, have a forum discussion or watch a video lesson. The freedom of self-paced learning is a major appeal for virtual classrooms.
On-campus education is very costly these days and that is where the virtual classrooms are proving to be mutually beneficial for educators as well as learners. While the educational institutions don’t need intensive investments on physical infrastructure and are able to impart superior training using cutting edge technology, the learners find it more affordable and accessible courtesy the reduced fees.
Enhancement of digital skills
Learning on the internet and with technology helps learners enhance and update their digital skills. They get to familiarise themselves with the latest innovations in technology. Online tests, drop boxes for homework and assignments, interactive tools, emails and audio-visual tools are all instrumental to improving a learner’s digital prowess.
Learning in virtual classrooms is the next big thing in education. It helps do away with constraints such as time, space, reach, resources and other problems faced by traditional education. It is truly a disruptive development that is making it possible to provide ‘education and skill development for all on a global scale.
(The author is head of marketing, Unacademy)