In recent times there has been a significant increase in the numbers of students who are opting to do courses online, rather than attending a face-to-face classroom course. With more and more students opting to take a dip in virtual waters, let’s look at why this new education paradigm is working so well!
A virtual classroom serves to bring together students from around the world together online in a highly interactive virtual platform. This greatly reduces the travel, time, and expense involved in traditional brick and mortar classrooms offering teaching/training programs.
In times of tight budgets, online education comes as a panacea. Trainers can lead live, interactive classes from their own homes- cutting travel costs and saving on time for both student and teacher alike. These reduced expenses translate to lower fees, without compromising on training quality.
Online classes can be recorded and revisited time and again- which proves very helpful indeed in reinforcing end-user training concepts. Any class which is missed can be checked online, as the recordings will be available till the duration of the course (or in many cases lifetime access is provided, which is even more invaluable). This also means that students can pay complete attention during the class and do not need to take down notes while the teacher is teaching.
The subject matter can be laid out in a rich and creative manner, which helps the student to have higher retention of the course content. Small videos, applets and graphics help to explain concepts in a very interesting manner, ensuring that every student is able to thoroughly comprehend the subject.
Virtual classes are led by subject matter experts live, in real time. This means that students can ask questions using a headset or a chat window, and get their doubts clarified, just like in a traditional classroom. Questions can be lined up and answered at intervals, without interrupting the teacher’s flow of thought. There is no difference in the level of interaction- in fact distractions are significantly reduced because of this mode of teaching.
Online classrooms offer flexibility and convenience that is beyond compare. It is very easy to squeeze in an online class into your busy daily schedule, as you can simply log in from wherever you are- home, office, internet cafe, or even while you are travelling. Compare this with a traditional classroom where you have to plan ahead and account for travel time up and down, through congested roads, to attend the class in person.
The tools available for virtual learning – such as the White Board- make it very simple for the teacher to mimic a face-to-face class, and visually draw out abstract concepts using graphics or diagrams. Even a crude diagram can help to emphasize the trainer’s point.
Online classrooms melt down barriers of geography and virtually shrink the world. A teacher in Australia or Canada, for instance, could be sharing his or her experiences with students scattered across different continents! Learning becomes truly global, and all physical barriers to participation are removed with this form of anywhere learning.
The explosive growth of virtual training seems to have been happening for all the right reasons! This, therefore, is undeniably where the future of education is headed.