Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Classrooms – A Teacher and Student Guide

E-learning is fast picking up pace with so many tools at the teachers disposal, learning using auditory, visual and text features has really changed the face of teaching. Plenty of organizations these days are shifting to the idea of hosting virtual classrooms to save up on funds and to make sure that the inefficient aspects of classroom teaching. Virtual classrooms are an upcoming technology which is doing great with people all over the world. In this piece, we help you exploit the virtual classroom features to help maximize the process of learning for your students.

BrainCert Virtual Classroom

Tradition teaching vs. these new virtual classrooms

There are plenty of research studies which have carefully compared each and every aspect of the two teaching methods. There are no major disadvantages of learning via electronic media. In fact using this technology one can study wherever they are provided they have a stable internet connection so that they can connect to wherever their teacher is. Many electronic classes that provide distance learning have had proven outcomes where they have outperformed traditional classroom teaching.

The main thing to notice is how the technology is being used. The fact of the matter is that instructional teaching can help one do far better in their studies but more often than not, teacher in classrooms fail to make the most of the same. The crux of the matter lies is how well we make use of electronic or traditional teaching. The exploitation of them both can really help in making learning much easier for kids.

How to make an online course more effective?

Step 1: Those who begin such online classes but realize their goals. As a teacher you must have the necessary skill and knowledge to provide your students with. While you are training, make sure that you think about all the possible instructional methods that you could make use of. Think of it like this- If you were to teach a topic on software, why not demonstrate the same using a demonstration. Nowadays one can make use of a whiteboard to teach and many teachers do not use that to the full advantage. One needs to select their delivery medium of choice in order to display effectively the demos for practise. As you give shape to your virtual classroom, you might want to think about what you would like your student to learn about. Make sure that you take full advantage of thing that normal teaching wouldn't give you.

As a teacher you must define all outcomes. While you are at it, you need identify the learning objectives you would want to achieve. After selecting the media of your choice, you will have identified the methods of instruction you are most comfortable with. As you align your business goal in sight, the virtual classroom should get your full attention. One must hone their skills and make sure that they blend well with the instructional media.

Getting the right blend

At the end of the day, the instruction method is what attributes to the learning process. The delivery media doesn’t matter as much. Not all media forms can carry methods of instruction. To make sure that you are running a great virtual class, you need make sure that you are qualified to impart the knowledge that you want to give out to others.

Step 2: Online courses of asynchronous and synchronous natures really do depend upon content visualization. The whiteboard as states earlier is a lovely tool that can help the teacher gain command over their virtual class. Using this one can easily display visuals. Participants too can interact on the white board using the same.

Before that you need to settle down with visuals of your choice. Post this you can see how you can make good use of them.  While you are at it, try making sure you deal with cue facilities so that the virtual classroom understands what you are trying to say. Your message must be conveyed in a simple manner so those he students understand what you are trying to say.

Why must I visualize the content?

For any virtual session, the effort put in t making content visually appealing goes a long way. Words often do not have that impact as visual aids do. Messages sometimes are best communicated visually. Graphics and decorative visuals shall help create an impression on the mind of the student and shall emphasize on the job at hand. With a much deeper understanding, the students attention shall be held for a longer time plus the student can co-relate to what you are trying to say, Most visuals are self-explanatory so they make half the work easier. Dynamic visuals like flow charts, slides and other graphs can really make the student interested in what you are saying.

Visual classrooms come with so many neat cueing tools. Cueing is of great importance when one has to illustrate a detonation. Audio sometimes is very transient which is why to give direction to what you’re saying. Visuals, text and graphics shall better help you.

Step 3: Any experience trained would know that interaction is the key to great learning experiences. Polling to survey to IMs, there are plenty of tools at the teachers disposals which they can use to engage the students. As a teacher one must really exploit the same so that the students really do learn something.

How can I engage the learners?

Engagement goes hand in hand with learning. With so many opportunities for active participation, one can really create job specific interaction. To keep someone’s attention, you must make the process of interaction a very frequent one. If you do not speak with your audience and involve them at the same time, you risk overloading what they are absorbing. Students have low attention spans especially when they are not familiar about the topic you are talking about. Ask questions to them back but make sure that these are general ones.

Webcasting can really help you address knowledge questions and can also test demographic ones too. The instructor must make sure that apart from keeping a monetize set of mind, he/she must also make an effort to learn more about the students as the student learns about them. Make appropriate jokes and try to gel with them.  If you are handling a fairly large group, you might want to make use of the poll feature or can get direct response answers and see who is right and who isn’t. If you need to discuss projects and better understand discussion, breakout rooms are great. Like in a real classroom, group assignments help the students to collaborate with one another to ensure the work is done.

Step 4: For smooth delivery on a technical platform one need infrastructure. One must really know how to package the classroom in the virtual world so that all events before and after the classroom session runs in a smooth fashion.

The way you package the program depends a lot upon your efforts. Pre-informing the group helps them to understand technological issues with clarity. A welcome message also helps in breaking the ice. Greeting chats must be made use of as well. One must have nice photographs in their presentation in order to make your online teaching session worth the students and your while.

While you yourself are preparing for the presentation make use of hand-outs that could work as visuals aids. Design them in such a manner that someone who knows nothing about the topic gets an idea about what you are trying to say to them. Checklists, templates, examples and other guides must be carefully created and crafted to make the student’s experience impressive.

After defining what you are comfortable with, you must consider giving an online test to your students to see how well they fair. This will test them and help them to study with a goal. Asking students to pre-work could also help as they would be able to better prepare for a topic you are going to touch. When one enters the virtual classroom they are often unprepared which is why learning beforehand for the student shall help to a great extent.

When should one make use of the virtual classroom?

Virtual classrooms have so many features like app sharing, tools, breakout rooms and so many other interactive tools. As a teacher too, you will find that teaching can become easier. Make sure that you make use of the virtual classroom in cases wherein you require to:

- Explain, display and have a discussion on the visuals.

- Create an interactive environment.

- Collaborate with the participants.

For reasons of pragmatic nature, virtual classrooms help put out the message better. They even save in unnecessary travel costs too. One can learn from home, the office or anywhere in fact.

Virtual classrooms or the MOOC need to be made really exciting in order to differentiate an online course form the regular boring classroom lectures. With more responses in class, children will better understand what you are trying to say. For someone to learn better, you must up your game. The interactivity factor really needs to be brought out otherwise the whole point of a virtual classroom is defeated.

Why should a student opt for online education?

The adaptive learning in a live class in the virtual world poses limitless opportunities to the student to learn. First of the all, student doesn’t have to waste time in actually coming to class, so this does save up on money. Next the individual isn’t required to go a particular place to gain access to online education.  Virtual classrooms merge distance between teachers and students who might be miles or continents apart.

One can attend classes of the online course even at home or at work for that matter. How to go about it? As long as one has a good internet connection, they are good to go. They just need to get in contact with someone offering such services for a reasonable fee and they can get started.

The virtual world actually imitates the real world and allows students to ask doubts too. In a virtual classroom, the student can type in their query or raise their hand when they have a question on their mind. This way the teacher can address the problem whenever they take a pause. Usually, the student in the real world would have to interrupt the teacher and break their flow of speech but this isn’t the case here. The virtual classroom also sees the teacher going the extra mile to make the environment a bit social. Apart from interactions as a teacher and student, any good teacher shall make it a point to give personal care as well.

Another great feature about this type of teaching is that one can record the session and listen to it later. This way one doesn’t miss out on any classes and can catch up easily on their own.

With the teachers help students will get extra attention that they usually fail to get while they are working in collaboration with other students in big classrooms. With so many tool and features, the learning process looks to be a lot simpler. Projects, activities, study and making notes can be more fun and interactive. In fact one can really grasp topics that were hard to understand in the real classroom.

As more and more students parents and teachers embrace the world of virtual teaching, the growing understanding of just how effective the media forms today have become. With education evolving like never before, virtual classrooms are surely here to stay and who knows that they might be the permanent replacement to traditional study in a four walled classroom. As a teacher, one must plan out their virtual classroom beforehand and the student must make a conscious effort to absorb what they are being taught. Together, this new relationship over the Internet can help educate, teach and make kids learn about things that they couldn't possibly understand with good old traditional teaching methods.

BrainCert Virtual Classroom is tailor-made to deliver live classes, meetings, webinars, and conferences to audience anywhere!

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