A virtual classroom is an online learning environment that permits live interaction between the tutor and the learners as they are participating in discovering activities. Virtual classroom needs to be connected to synchronous online learning, which occurs in genuine time and offers the participants with an experience very near-standard face-to-face mentor.
In other words, the virtual classroom is a shared online area where the learners and the tutor work together all at once. Typically, these interactions take place through video conferencing. The individuals have tools to present learning material in various formats, in addition, to execute collective and specific activities. In this type of interaction, the teacher has a particularly crucial role as the mediator who guides the learning procedure and support system activities and conversations.
Common tools in a virtual classroom
- Online whiteboard for real-time collaboration
- Desktop Sharing
- Instant messaging tool
- Smartboard for annotation
- Participation controls
- Breakout rooms
- Lecture tracking system
Synchronous virtual classrooms have the potential to provide considerable added value to online learning by resolving the requirements of the learners as they associate with social interaction and psychological security. They can also produce a brand-new standard in the learning experience that exceeds and beyond the physical area of the classroom and standard mentor approaches. The virtual classroom offers an abundance of chances, specifically when combined with self-study platforms (finding out management systems) or when used in addition to standard classroom knowing activities. Unlike asynchronous learning environments, the synchronous virtual classroom permits instantaneous feedback, direct teacher-student interaction, and interesting activities to increase inspiration and active involvement. Immediate communication favors relationship structure within the group, along with a sense of community.
New Pedagogical Methods
Mentor and knowing in a virtual classroom provide an experience similar to the physical one, it needs new pedagogical methods and a redesign of the training model that includes the following characteristics:
- Virtual Classroom’s high Interactivity
- Collaborative Learning
- Student-Centered Instruction
- Variety of Content Presentation and Learning Activities
- Emotionally Safe Environment
- Favorable and Constructive Feedback
1. Virtual Classroom’s high Interactivity
Training in a synchronous virtual classroom can just achieve success with the active participation and engagement of the learners. This creates a favorable learning environment and helps individuals achieve the anticipated results. Throughout the virtual session there need to be opportunities for frequent interaction between student and tutor, learner and other learners, and learner and material. Over the course of the virtual session, the tutor should motivate the trainees to take part every 3-5 minutes. This can be achieved by a range of activities such as brainstorming, little seminar, collective and individual jobs, Q&A sessions, hands-on experience, and so on
2. Collaborative Learning
Collaborative learning means that the learners interact to achieve a common objective, exchange views, clarify the meaning of principles, or fix problems together. It produces opportunities for cooperation in skills development. The emphasis is placed on interaction in which common understandings go through conversation and are developed specifically through checking out the distinctions in the participants’ level of knowledge, skills, and positions. Applied in the virtual classroom, this method is connected with an active process of the cumulative building and construction of understanding using the group as a source of information, and inspirational representative, and a means of shared assistance.
3. Student-Centered Instruction
The lecture, which is a traditional teaching format, frequently makes trainees more passive as the focus is on the material and the students need to work separately with little chance for collaboration. This technique is more suitable to asynchronous virtual teaching– the tutor develops video lectures and self-directed activities, which the learners cover at their own rate. Synchronous virtual classes need student-centered direction in which the learners and the tutor connect equally– active participation, collaborative work, and interaction are encouraged in this kind of class. The tutor develops chances for both independent learning and learning from one another, and guides the learners in establishing and practicing the abilities they require. This increases the inspiration level of the students, along with their interest in the knowing activities.
4. Range of Content Presentation and Learning Activities
It prefers the creation of a more tailored knowing experience and individual success. When an instructor utilizes different sources to present the material– text, images, diagrams, audio, video, etc.– this can greatly improve the learning process by providing a versatile learning experience that is tailored to the numerous needs and choices of the trainees.
Blending various types of discovering activities within one virtual session also creates chances to satisfy a broader series of the requirements of the students. Changing in between specific work, little group partnership, and class discussions resolve the particular discovering choices of all of the students– either to work alone, to connect with the others, or to express themselves in front of a bigger group.
5. Emotionally Safe Environment
Interactions in a virtual classroom create the sense of a more casual and much safer psychological environment as the learners generally get involved from the convenience of their houses. The knowing process is a lot more focused because of the lack of the usual physical distractions that are discovered in the traditional class. Psychological safety leads to much better-knowing outcomes. The teacher can enhance the psychological safety of the learners and make things more customized by including choices for self-directed learning, as well as by communicating more regularly with every student through a Learning Management System.
6. Favorable and Constructive Feedback
Unlike asynchronous virtual platforms, the synchronous virtual classroom enables immediate feedback from both the tutor and the other individuals in both a private and a general way. The crucial role of the tutor here is to produce an environment of favorable feedback by directing the group’s interaction. The requirement for feedback, which acknowledges the favorable elements of the students’ performance and offers valuable comments and suggestions for improvement, benefits the education and development of the students. It also develops the practice in the group of trying to keep a positive and constructive tone. All of these factors are vital in assisting the learners to overcome their errors without feelings of negativeness, in addition to promoting confidence and inspiring them to attain their full capacity