In the midst of a global pandemic like COVID -19, virtual learning is the current buzzword in the education industry. Like any technology has its own merits and demerits, the same is the case with virtual learning or often called e-learning. A virtual classroom is usually an online learning environment where learners, as well as instructors interact with each other from remote locations, much like the actual classroom. The program provides all the basic resources needed to operate a classroom effectively. Learners can interact in various ways such as text chat, live video, live audio, etc.
Having said that, academic organizations that would like to implement virtual learning would want to look at some of the merits and demerits of the virtual interactive classroom.
Merits of Virtual Classroom:
- The costs needed to set up an online virtual classroom and distance learning compare favorably with the cost of building or expanding new physical classrooms to take on a higher number of students. Usually, such benefits will be passed down to the pupils, who are expected to pay fewer fees making it affordable for learners.
- It is clear that virtual classrooms have eliminated the constraint of time and place, a growing difficulty in traditional classrooms. With these restrictions being eliminated, learners have the convenience to study and complete the coursework anytime, anywhere. Also, learners can participate in classroom topics with others, do the assignment, consume class material, or take exams at a time or period that best suits their schedule.
- Online learning provides working professionals with the perfect atmosphere required to balance work and family life. Virtual classrooms help working professionals to manage the time effectively. Attending virtual classes at your living room’s convenience saves several hours that might otherwise be used to drive back and forth to campus.
- Having immediate reviews on exams and assessments is another big benefit for a virtual classroom. When a learner is enrolled for an online course, the learner doesn’t have to wait days or weeks to get the grades. Exams, tasks, or online assessments are typically graded as soon as the learner has completed the module or course. This helps to monitor the student’s progress and shows the scope of improvement.
Demerits of Virtual Classroom
- Infrastructure-related issues are perceived to be one of the major drawbacks of a virtual classroom. The initial implementation of the technology requires a large and strong network infrastructure, likely to handle heavy traffic. While we have very inexpensive solutions these days, the cost of building these infrastructures is extremely high and not all the institutions may afford to implement it.
- Another downside to virtual classrooms is that some trainers and students are not comfortable in using interactive e-learning resources. Some instructors face difficulties in the acquisition and implementation of technology, and most of them experience technical issues. In addition, some online teachers have trouble preparing course materials in digital format. This may call for additional training for staff and students, which might add to the cost of implementation.
As stated earlier, there are a few demerits of incorporating a virtual classroom into a teaching school environment, and there is no doubt that the many benefits have been greatly exceeded. The bottom line here is that any learning institution that wants to offer online classes should be prepared to invest in a strong virtual classroom and learning management system.
Westford University College has been a pioneer in online education and has mastered the delivery of online courses. Talk to our education consultant to know how can you benefit from online learning