With the world reeling under a pandemic, classroom learning is no more the preferred learning medium with virtual learning taking its place. To make the most of this opportunity, educators across the globe are looking for effectual ways to provide the best virtual learning experience to the 21st century learners.
Such is the time now that it has led to schools closing down and a break from face-to-face learning opportunities for an unknown period along with the rapid growth of the virtual classroom, popularly called the “online classroom.” What do you mean by an online virtual classroom? Let us first get the basics right.
An online virtual classroom is a system of learning providing the same opportunities as classroom learning for the effective flow of the teaching and learning process, but beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom's four walls, thanks to the use of computer communication networks. Due to the present world scenario when the world is fighting against a deadly pandemic, along with the ubiquity and popularity of the Internet, virtual classroom implementations are held online.
It is indeed technology that has become the savior to the education sector to keep the learning flowing in the midst of a crisis that has forced many schools to suspend classroom training and opt for virtual classroom for online teaching and learning - the best technology-enabled substitute for classroom training. This is a good thing as research has shown that virtual classroom training can be just as effective as in-person classroom training, if done in the correct method.
Well, that’s a really comforting thought as in-person training isn’t just the most suitable option right now.
It has been found in a research that many institutes find it difficult to retain their students in their offline courses; however, when it comes to online courses, the student retention rate is between 25% and 60%. A study in 2012 revealed that 77% of the academicians found online learning to be at par/superior to classroom learning. in 2018, another survey found that 85% of students who had enrolled for both classroom courses and on-line courses felt that their online learning experience were same or in some cases better than their in-class learning experience. (37% felt that online classes were better than classroom learning.)
Therefore, to make use of this opportunity here are some of tips that you can follow to hold a successful virtual training:
Be More of Yourself
Develop your online teaching style, making yourself and your learners comfortable in the online environment.
Engage Learners, Often
Encourage and hold attention and initiate student interaction in your online classroom. Make every student feel important part of the session. You may use interactive activities or give each student a task to complete.
Now that everyone is interacting with you, pay attention to each student and learn to recognize what needs your attention.
Deliver Meaningful Fun
With short attention span, today’s learners need more than just theoretical learning materials. You can use multimedia (sound game/video) in online environment to give your learners the best learning experience
When preparing for your virtual classroom session, there are three basic areas that you need to consider: Qualifying Your Audience, Delivering Great Content, and Holding a Rehearsal
Qualify Your Audience
Know as much as possible about your learners because the more you know about them, the more effectively you can give them just what they need, within the limited time of an online class.
Deliver Great & Organized Content
Ensure that your content that you plan to deliver is relevant, organized, concise and clear. Once you fulfill these criteria, strive towards making it better. You may prepare an agenda and have a copy of it in front of you while delivering your class, with cues for demo and slides or video.
Hold a Rehearsal
Before delivering any new course, especially if you are a new instructor or new to online teaching, always run through a rehearsal of your presentation – with an audience. Let your attendees interrupt you while you are talking, just as your students will while you teach. Record the run-through. This scenario being the closest one to the live experience, will help you find solutions to the many unexpected issues that you may actually face in your class.