The internet, social media, cloud computing and other emerging technologies have transformed the fields of education and training. One innovation that draws from the combined power of such technologies to deliver a learning experience like no other is a virtual classroom. These online learning tools play an essential role in allowing educators and trainers to merge the best attributes of in-classroom education with remote learning. Projections show the e-learning market worldwide is forecasted to surpass 243 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.
In this blog we will understand what a virtual classroom is and the best practices it should incorporate to optimize the learning process.
What is a Virtual Classroom?
A virtual classroom is an online learning environment where teachers and students can interact with each other and teach any course material using software. The key distinction of an online classroom is that it takes place in a live, synchronous setting. It’s a video conferencing tool or software that offers an added set of features that are essential to a learning environment.
In a virtual classroom setup, instructors are able to perform:
- Teach students by using learning materials in the form of documents, slide decks, or multimedia files
- Do screen sharing and teach students about certain topics more clearly
- Use virtual whiteboards
- Use live chats to interact directly with students if they have any queries
- Engage students with polls and quizzes
- Record live teaching sessions that can be used later for future reference through on-demand videos.
A virtual classroom is an exciting platform that aids the learning experience in becoming more interactive and engaging while providing a controlled environment. In an online classroom setup, instructors can access the classroom prior to the lesson to prepare the material. This material, as well as the session recording, is available after class, for reference for instructors and participants alike.
Online education platforms have gained leverage especially during pandemic times and have aided students to get connected from the safety of their homes, remotely. Participants can connect to virtual classroom platforms from any device that can connect to the Internet. This type of flexibility enables participants to consume content, regardless of their location across the globe.
What Do You Need for a Virtual Classroom?
A physical classroom setup is different from a virtual classroom setup. Therefore, when moving from a physical classroom to a virtual classroom the most important thing one should understand is that these two environments are different from each other.
As opposed to a physical classroom, a virtual classroom is basically a software or hardware tool through which students and teachers can interact with each other online using the internet. Whether you will be using software or hardware tools, completely depends on your requirements. What you need when looking to create a virtual classroom is to find the most suitable virtual classroom platform tailored to fit your needs. One consideration may also be how the virtual classroom platform fits with other systems that you may already have in place, such as your Learning Management System (LMS).
Muvi One’s online education solution includes a range of offerings such as virtual classrooms, live lecture recording, live events & webinars, online store, and more. Make education easily accessible by creating, uploading, and monetizing online course content.
Key Features in a Virtual Classroom Platform:
- User-friendly Interface – Having an easy-to-use platform interface is crucial for both teachers and students to use and navigate through digital learning tools. When the interface is simple and intuitive, users can optimize their learsion sessions by searching and finding relevant learning materials, communicating with instructors and collaborating with classmates.
- On-demand Learning – A virtual classroom platform should incorporate the feature of on-demand learning as it provides an excellent method for both teachers and students to revise the study session and always acts as a good reference point.
Using Muvi One’s CMS, you could create and upload course videos as on-demand content and categorize lesson playlist.
- Live Streaming Classes – A virtual classroom is best utilized using the live streaming feature. Teachers can directly live stream courses and interact with students in real-time. Using a live chat feature, students can also ask tutors their queries on-the-fly as the lesson progresses. A live classroom session imbibes the feel of a real classroom where students and teachers collaborate with each other without any barriers.
With Muvi One, you can stream live sessions directly from your camera. Muvi One supports both RTMP and HLS feeds for your convenience.
- Recording Live Sessions– It’s always an added advantage to record your live streaming classes and convert them into standard on-demand content for your students. Recording live classes will help students to acquire knowledge even if they miss the online class. It also helps them to learn at their own pace.
- Content Security – Content security is one of the most important features of a virtual classroom that helps organizations and education institutions gain complete control over their content. The elearning platform should also provide built-in security measures, such as authentication and access controls, watermarking of content which help prevent unauthorized access, usage, and download of educational and sensitive data.
Best Practices for a Virtual Classroom Setup
Best practices for a virtual classroom session varies from one organization to another and each has their own unique digital learning stack, which meets their individual needs and standards. However, there are certain practices that can help improve the process in most cases:
1. Simulate a Physical Learning Environment
For a virtual setup to be successful, both instructors and class participants need features that simulate a physical learning environment, irrespective of their current location. Even if participants are viewing the class from their living room, the digital space should look familiar. A virtual classroom can help create a suitable learning environment, which is beneficial for learning retention for students.
2. Activities Must Suit The Subject Matter
As a tutor you must make sure that the virtual training activities you choose should not only align with learners’ needs but the subject matter and objectives. For example, certain tasks may require more hands-on experience that may demand simulations, practicals, or video demos.
On the other hand, checklists and infographics might be ideal for compliance and company policy topics. Tutors must frame lesson activities according to the topic and need of the particular subject topic so that learners can effectively accomplish learning goals before the end of the virtual classroom session.
3. Use Interactive Tools for Teaching
Online learning demands extra supplements in terms of interactive elements like digital whiteboards and annotations, live chats, and polls. All of these features help instructors engage participants and create a dynamic and interactive learning environment.
With Muvi One, you have complete control of your platform to administer live chats. You can flag any unpleasant comment that violates community guidelines, restrict users, pin the best comment to the top, and more.
4. Ensure Audience Participation
Unlike a physical classroom setup, it’s often difficult to track learners in a virtual setup. As a vigilant instructor, make sure you interact with your learners and frequently ask questions. Get them to share their stories.
Allocate specific times when audience participation is mandatory. For example, use live chats to open the door to student questions after the first 20 minutes or schedule a breakout activity or include polls and contextual chats throughout the delivery.
5. Easy sharing capabilities
It is important for instructors to often share materials with participants for better understanding of the subject. Instructors need to be able to share screens, video, audio, pdfs and other resources. Easy and quick sharing is critical to ensure a positive learning experience.
6. Ensure All-Inclusive Environment for Learning
One of the best things about a virtual classroom is that you could teach students from all over the world remotely and ensure an all-inclusive learning environment without any language barriers. Choose a virtual classroom platform that allows you to integrate multiple subtitle support and enable students across the globe and hearing-impaired users to learn at your virtual learning platform.
With Muvi One, you can add subtitles in multiple languages in SRT and VTT formats. Our platform also allows your users to set subtitles in their preferred language for all courses.
Virtual Classroom with Muvi One
Choose Muvi One’s Virtual Education platform to engage your students with interactive tools for focused learning that requires no coding or download. Here are the exclusive features Muvi offers for a stimulating virtual classroom environment:
- You could create and upload course videos as on-demand content and categorize lesson playlist in Muvi One CMS.
- With Muvi One, you can livestream your classes on your virtual education platform directly from your camera. Muvi One supports both RTMP and HLS feeds and processes RAW feeds from the camera. With DVR-enabled livestream, Muvi One also enables your learners to pause, rewind, and replay live classes in real-time.
- With Muvi One, you can broadcast webinars, podcasts, campus events, guest lecturers, presidential addresses, athletics, and more in real-time.
- You could record your live streaming classes and convert them into standard on-demand content for your students.
- Muvi One integrates with Learning Management Systems via API & SDKs for real-time assignments, tools, powerpoint, etc. and provides an interactive learning experience at one place.
- With Muvi One, you have complete control of your platform to administer live chats.
- With Muvi Kart, you can create an official online store for your institute and sell customized merchandise, sports gear, accessories, study materials, and more to your students across the globe.
- Muvi One allows you to add subtitles to every course content and enable students across the globe and hearing-impaired users to learn at your virtual learning platform.
- You can set multiple monetization methods for your education platform with Muvi One by selling individual sessions or courses on the Pay per View(PPV) model or even set Subscription models(SVOD)
- With Muvi One, you can analyze student data and track performance of your educational content at the same time.
Virtual classrooms are an indispensable tool for today’s educators and trainers, and the most effective way to harness the benefits of online learning for your purposes. By choosing the correct virtual learning platform, you can help your students learn and retain subject matters more effectively.
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