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With over half of students taking online courses in the last year, virtual classrooms are now a popular learning technique practiced by thousands of students and educators across the globe. With face-to-face lessons becoming less traditional, online teaching allows students and educators to enjoy a more flexible schedule, increased participation options, and instant feedback. So how can students and teachers benefit from online learning?
Read on to explore everything you need to know about virtual classrooms and how they can enable better online learning.
What is a virtual classroom?
A virtual classroom is a video conferencing tool used by thousands of educators, students, professionals, and corporate all over the world. The educational tool enables students and teachers to engage and interact with each other no matter where they are through educational videos and games. With new ways to learn online, virtual classrooms supply students with the same material, but with up to 60% less class time than traditional classrooms. Even if students are participating in group projects and discussions, virtual classrooms provide the right tools to manage and moderate and assess individual students.
Top 3 benefits of virtual classrooms
When virtual classrooms are successfully held, they can provide students with more than engaging and effective learning experiences. Let’s find out more about the benefits of virtual classrooms.
1. Student progress tracking
Making sure every student is keeping up to date with materials, and understanding the work is one of the biggest challenges of any given learning environment. Each student learns at a different pace, prefers different teaching styles, and not one student is the same. But virtual classrooms might just be the new and improved teaching tool educators are looking for. They provide a range of tracking tools to view class attendance, activity, and performance in assessments or coursework, as well as polling and analytics tools to help instructors get feedback and a more accurate picture of how each student is progressing.
With virtual classrooms being held via video conferencing, educators have the opportunity to start individual student conversations to help personal connection and a more direct communication method. It is extremely valuable for students and educators to be able to see facial expressions, as well as hear the tone of their voice to know when students are struggling to understand a topic. Students may feel more comfortable raising their hands or asking questions via virtual classrooms, as they have up to 60% higher retention than in-person education.
2. Wide range of participation options
A virtual classroom gives students many different participation options on how they can interact with educational materials, group projects, and assessments. Let’s say it’s in the curriculum to share an educational video with your students. Instead of sending students a link via online chat or email to watch alone, share the educational video through your virtual classroom for an active learning experience. By doing this, educators can start and stop the video at any time to further explain a concept or ask questions about the video. Less confident students can receive help and a further explanation without disrupting or sharing in front of the entire class.
90% of teachers say video should play a critical role in education, yet only 20% use it in their daily lessons. Teachers can show videos to their students via a virtual classroom to decrease setup time, making their lessons feel more beneficial and feasible. But showing educational videos doesn’t mean they have to be made by someone else. Teachers and students can make their own educational videos using Clipchamp’s free video editor. Just by creating a video using stock footage, text-to-speech, and subtitles, users can create engaging and professional videos in just a few clicks.
By recording key points of the class and explanations of important ideas, teachers can share and reiterate these clips with students. Scheduling videos to be posted on YouTube directly from Clipchamp’s saving integrations can also act as a free resource for students and teachers. Students can even use the screen recording tool to show their work and receive instant feedback.
3. Automated attendance reminders and absentee alerts
Virtual classrooms offer a seamless and effective admin feature that will help both students and teachers stay organized. Teachers can turn on features to automatically track each student’s attendance when they’re paying attention and disconnecting from the lesson. In an event of an unscheduled absence, teachers can set up automatic notifications to follow up on those missing out on the lesson. Teachers no longer have to take a roll call at the start and end of each lesson as virtual classrooms do it for you.
Stay on top of upcoming events, classes, assignments, and due dates with automatic reminders. All you have to do is integrate your education tools with a texting app to receive automated SMS notifications to help classes start on time and be prepared. Here's a list of texting apps with the widest range of integrations with online tools such as learning management systems.
How to optimize your virtual classroom
Similar to other educational tools, like online course platforms, virtual classrooms provide students with the help they need to succeed. Follow the below practices to help your class get the most out of using virtual learning.
1. Create a home learning environment
Students and teachers can stay connected no matter where they are with virtual classrooms. Developing a learning environment can help students and teachers to stay productive, focused, and create a feeling of normality. Try to encourage students to find a learning environment at home that they feel comfortable in and learn without any distractions.
2. Use interactivity during lessons
Just because lessons are not held in person, doesn’t mean interactivities like fun quizzes have to stop. Interactive learning activities can be integrated into virtual classrooms in a matter of seconds. Teachers can create video games, online puzzles, crosswords, and many more virtual games to share during lessons. If students need help completing a process, teachers can easily webcam and screen recorder and create a demonstration video to share with the whole class.
3. Prioritize ease of use
A potential challenge with virtual classrooms is each new student or even teacher will need a certain amount of training to be able to use the software successfully. Before the semester starts, prepare which virtual classroom features students will be using the most, and find solutions to problems they may encounter. Create a step-by-step tutorial on how to join the class, share questions, and any other valuable information. Upload help videos to YouTube or a video sharing platform accessible for your students so they can re-watch at any time. This will save a lot of time and minimize delays throughout the lesson.
4. Individual feedback and progress assessments
Students require individual attention, feedback, and progress assessments. Virtual classrooms give students the opportunity to connect with their instructors via private feedback and performance assessment discussions. Teachers can also use tools like test grade calculators to quickly grade any online quiz. These features give students a chance to give their honest feedback without the added pressure of speaking in front of the class. It’s just as important to give teachers a detailed picture of how students are adapting to their lessons and new online learning styles.
Expand remote learning opportunities with virtual classrooms
Whether you’re teaching students an online mathematics class, professionals about a new product, or holding corporate training sessions, virtual classrooms can offer your students the best available remote learning experience. No matter what learning style students prefer, virtual classrooms create opportunities for everyone.
Create engaging and informative virtual classroom videos with Clipchamp.