The following is a guest post by Kamy Anderson, an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
Information technology has revolutionized the learning environment. With the use of virtual classroom software or LMS software, education and training has become easier to use and more accessible.
Virtual classroom software is being incorporated into various organizations and learning institutions, and the worldwide e-learning market is expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025.
This is a trend that comes without an expiration date. Virtual classrooms have a lot to offer, and they’re reshaping the way we approach teaching and learning.
But what exactly is a virtual classroom? What are its benefits? Let’s find out.
What Is a Virtual Classroom?
In simple terms, a virtual classroom is an online learning environment. Through the use of specialized software, such as virtual classroom software or LMS software, teachers and learners can communicate, share ideas, collaborate, and more without ever being in the same room.
Of course, it’s necessary for both the learners and the educators to have a stable internet connection, and the virtual classroom software handles everything else.
This software provides:
- Video conferencing
- Audio conferencing
- Online whiteboard
- Learning materials
- Live chat
- Teaching tools and controls
With the use of virtual classroom software, the online learning environment is made to be very similar to the physical classrooms that we’re all accustomed to already.
The Many Benefits of Using Virtual Classroom Software
Seeing how virtual classrooms tend to mirror the physical classrooms that you can find in schools or even some companies, it’s easy to imagine that the two are not so different.
Instructors and learners can still interact. They can use various learning materials, take advantage of the whiteboard, and more.
Having said that, even the simplest virtual classroom software has more to offer, and teachers and learners can achieve much more than they ever could in a traditional classroom.
Virtual classroom software and LMS software facilitate:
- Enhanced collaboration
- Improved learning processes
- Better accessibility
- Better scalability
Let’s take a closer look.
If two schools or companies wanted to collaborate, they would traditionally have to spend a lot of time on logistics.
Which teachers and staff will be sent to which school? How will they get there? When is the best time for both parties to organize the visit?
Collaboration required a lot of time and effort, not to mention a lot of money.
With the use of virtual classroom software, educators and staff can now easily collaborate wherever they are located.
One of the main features of virtual classroom software is video conferencing, which enables uninterrupted communication and interaction between instructors and learners.
Improved Learning Processes
Without the use of LMS software, corporate trainers, teachers, and online instructors have access to limited resources to enhance the learning experience of their learners.
Many schools in rural areas, for example, don’t have adequate infrastructure to provide quality education.
New technology is here to change this! Virtual classroom software empowers learners to travel around the world without ever leaving their actual classroom.
They can communicate with experts from various fields in real-time and learn from them. They can participate in seminars and classes happening on the other side of the world.
This all allows them to learn and retain more information than they normally could in a traditional classroom.
Virtual classroom software also offers room for personalization. The teaching materials can be customized to suit the learning needs of different learners.
Fast learners can easily skip ahead, while those who are falling behind can go through the materials as many times as they need and learn at their own convenient pace.
Any learner who has an internet connection and a computer, tablet, or smartphone can access the virtual classroom. 67% of U.S. companies, for example, offer learning opportunities via smartphones.
This means that any learner who isn’t able to go to classes can still learn. Those living in rural areas, or those who are bed-ridden and unable to leave their homes can still receive a high-quality education.
No matter where the learners and instructors are located, they can communicate and learn when they choose to do so. This enables you to create a global classroom where all learners enjoy equal opportunities for learning.
LMS software enables you to customize every aspect of learning and teaching. Depending on the size of your classroom and the skill level of your learners, you can easily scale your teaching offerings up or down.
This is especially useful to companies as the employees can focus on improving the right skills at the right time, allowing learning to become more flexible. For example, any business or educational institution will keep adding human resources or learners to it. In a regular classroom model, it can create infrastructural issues or a company will have to expand the training material to accommodate the new requirements while managing the learners and meeting compliances can become tough.
Now contrast this with a scenario where a virtual classroom software provides almost endless possibilities of learning anytime, anywhere. Teachers can take on larger groups of students and businesses can easily track the training process of bigger teams with diverse skill sets.
An LMS which is designed to be scalable enough to grow as per the increasing needs can provide the right environment while cutting down the infrastructural and manpower costs that are otherwise associated with traditional modes of learning.
Whether we’re talking about schools or companies, using virtual classroom software has proven time and time again to be more affordable than traditional classrooms.
All the tools, equipment, and materials are digital and can be accessed wherever and whenever they’re needed.
Companies don’t have to build an actual classroom, and schools and students who don’t have the means don’t have to invest in textbooks or expensive school supplies.
There’s no denying the effectiveness of virtual classroom software. In face-to-face education, students typically have a learning retention rate of 8% to 10%.
When it comes to e-learning, on the other hand, the learning retention rate is between 25% and 60%, which proves the effectiveness of virtual classroom software.
This is mainly due to the personalization of teaching materials. All learners can learn at their own pace, go through the different lectures as many times as they need to, and gain instant feedback on their progress.
The Bottom Line
Using virtual classroom software and LMS software can bring many benefits to learners and educators alike.
This technology has revolutionized education and made it accessible to all learners around the world.
This isn’t a technology that will replace teachers or educators, but rather a technology that helps them improve all teaching and learning processes and assist students in reaching their maximum potential!
Author’s Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs Training Maker.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.