A virtual classroom also called as a virtual learning environment (VLE) is a teaching and learning setting where the participants interact with each other, discuss the presentation or subject, communicate, and engage with the available learning resources in an online setup. Mostly, the medium is video conferencing through an application as it allows multiple users to connect virtually from any corner of the world and take part in the discussion.
In simple terms, this is an online classroom operated or functioned over an internet application. This environment includes one or more instructors/ teachers and participants/students. However, it is not necessary to have an instructor in a virtual classroom, they can function without them as well! This type of classroom that does not have an instructor to supervise the setting is called an unsupervised virtual classroom. Each student has their own learning material to follow without needing instructor’s guidance. The most common example of an unsupervised virtual classroom is YouTube. Sometimes a PowerPoint presentation too helps in conducting the class.
The other category is the supervised virtual classroom. This is a more traditional form of classroom wherein it is conducted in the presence of an active instructor with a set timing for learning. Through video conferencing application, the teachers and student can take active part in the class.
The key characteristics of a virtual classroom are:
- No Restrictions: A virtual classroom setup is meant for equal participation from both teachers and students. They can participate from any corner of the world and interact with each other.
- Affordable Teaching & Learning: One of the biggest advantages of a virtual classroom is that it is inexpensive. This helps the participants save time and money both without compromising education.
- Practical and Proven: Without the compulsion of physical presence, this learning method is far more practical with proven benefits.
- Easily Accessible: You don’t have put in a lot of efforts for exchanging the ideas, thoughts with the fellow participants. All you need is the internet connection and application!
- Flexible Learning: The content is accessible even after the session gets over which is not possible with the traditional methods.