Virtual classes was a popular form of distance learning or an option for furthering knowledge in post-secondary education. With the sudden closure of educational institutes and the following lockdown, online learning through virtual classrooms became a necessary tool for furthering education.
Virtual classes are now a need of the hour and have emerged as a godsend solution for the entire education sector. It requires an adjustment both from the teacher as well as the student. A digital schoolroom is an online class for learning which enables live interaction between the teacher and the student but requires mindsets and preparations very different from a regular physical class.
In virtual classes, new trends, tools and methodologies are used by teachers to resolve students’ problems. Usually a Course Management System (CMS) software is utilized by institutes. CMS allows instructors to design and deliver their courses within a flexible framework that includes a number of different tools to enable learning and communication to occur.
Responsibility of teachers
Due to the prevailing pandemic education sector is severely affected as classes and exams have been put to a standstill, which is severely affecting the learning and the academic calendars at every level at schools and colleges. But a teacher’s responsibility towards their students’ future need not come to a stop when technology is widely available to assist and enable. E-learning via virtual classrooms has ensured that disturbance to learning schedules are avoidable or at worst minimal. Teachers make virtual classes richer by using webinars, audio-video conferences, web presentations, live streaming, text chats, learning management system (LMS) and online training courses.
In a virtual classroom teachers have additional responsibilities of promoting, socialising and motivating to encourage learning and productively navigating the curriculum.
Individual learning is a process involving a change in behavior or knowledge. It might be the result of experience, reflection, trial and error, imitation and formal teaching. Every student should take an opportunity from present situation to learn something new, enhance their skill set and prepare for future.
Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn something together. The present situation does not allow physical collaborations, but virtual collaborations can be as much fun and result bearing.
In this unforeseen and unpredictable situation technology is enabling credible solutions. The online tools and upgrades to existing technologies that have been pushed to the forefront of the teaching will emerge as platforms in India. They may well establish new global standards and new norms for online blended education. Once the immediate period of virus prevention is over, conventional classes will return. Then students and teachers will have collectively experienced a new benchmark of contemporary education, a more interactive, real-time and innovation-oriented learning experience.
Prof. Dr. Sanjay Patil MRICS, Associate Dean & Director, School of Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Mumbai
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