- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is Online Classroom and Why Does It Matter?
- 3 Features of Online Classroom Software
- 4 The Advantages of Online Classroom Software
- 5 1. Accessibility
- 6 2. Flexibility
- 7 3. Affordability
- 8 4. Self-paced Courses
- 9 The Disadvantages of Online Classroom Software
- 10 1. Screentime
- 11 2. May Create a Sense of Isolation
- 12 3. Focus
- 13 4. Lack of Practical Learning
Virtual classes are the newest trend. The typical school setting is no longer available. With the abrupt onset of the current pandemic, educational institutions had no choice but to transition to online courses. Online virtual classrooms have not only been shown to be productive over the previous two years, but they have also opened up huge potential in the education industry. This sort of learning method is not only safe, but also provides several benefits to educators, students, and parents. This is the era of distance education. Distance learning enables students to continue their academics while working or managing their personal lives. It allows for home study without the added expense of accommodation as well as transportation. This is accomplished through the use of online classroom platforms and virtual conference software, which digitally imitate face-to-face conversations. Presently, 85 percent of online students who responded to the survey stated they viewed distance learning to be on par with, if not better than, traditional classroom-based courses.
According to the World Economic Forum, the worldwide online education industry will be worth US$350 billion by 2025. These courses are more accommodating without sacrificing educational quality and impact. While distance learning is delivered online, many conventional features of academic learning have only been digitalized to meet the needs of distance learning. One of these features is the online classroom. Learning is a lifetime key to success, and even more so for career-oriented people who want to improve on both a personal and professional level. Even so, many of us find it difficult to add new tasks to our tight and restrictive schedules. The solution is online education. People may learn about almost any subject online, from anywhere and at any time. Naturally, nothing is flawless. In this article, we will be talking about both the advantages and disadvantages of online classroom software.
What is Online Classroom and Why Does It Matter?
Online learning is an online educational setting in which teachers may connect with students using a digital learning platform from the comfort and privacy of their own homes. Teachers may provide great teaching to students by utilizing numerous elements of this classroom, such as slide presentations, video conferencing, and online whiteboards. It is a cost-effective, time-saving, as well as easy method of providing instruction to students of all levels. An online classroom software is an e-learning platform that allows users to study, engage, communicate, observe, and debate their content via a web-based video call platform. This is a recent educational trend that is revolutionizing the learning environment. The use of this application will strengthen ties between users and trainers by offering a channel through which they may continually share knowledge, answer questions, and engage in conferences, forums, meetings, as well as class activities, among many other things.
Online classes are online spaces that share certain characteristics with traditional classrooms but differ in other ways. A virtual classroom setting assures human interaction, which is a critical component of classroom instruction that video-on-demand courses lack and severely miss. Teachers engage with students in real-time in an online classroom; students may ask questions and communicate with classmates in the same way they would in a traditional classroom, however through the internet. The additional benefit of digital classroom environments is that they may be scaled to accommodate a higher number of students. Seating in physical classrooms is frequently limited to a certain number to ensure that students can sit comfortably and still have enough space for themselves. Online classes, on the other hand, use virtual meeting solutions with a bigger capacity, designed to allow more students to attend engaging classes at the same time. This allows for increased engagement rates and makes information more accessible. Online classes, similar to traditional classrooms, are synchronous in the sense that teachers and students appear online at the same time to allow for instant interactions. Virtual classrooms, like offline classrooms, employ pre-recorded components such as movies, presentations, as well as lecture slides to enhance the learning process.
Online learning may come in a variety of forms. As such, what to expect varies greatly depending on the kind of course or program you want. A free online course may well be the solution if you want to understand the basics of a certain subject. These are much more likely to be self-paced, which implies that a teacher will provide less direct assistance. Offerings are provided in almost every subject matter, including both soft and hard skills. If you want to make a more drastic career transition or advance into a managerial role, you may want to explore a paid online program that offers a certificate (or help members of your team move into new internal positions or gain new skill sets). Among other things, this credential might be a certificate, professional certification, or an entire online degree program.
Paid online classes differ in organization and presentation as well. Some call for you to attend online lectures at a specific time. Others want you to finish courses on your own time, with weekly due dates. Even “online” classes may include some type of in-person, or on-campus, requirement. That is why it is critical to research your program’s website before enrolling. Each program will provide a different learning experience. You may communicate with your classmates in a variety of ways in online classes, including through your virtual classroom (also known as a learning management system, or LMS), email, video conferencing, and many more. Some online programs may require group projects.
Features of Online Classroom Software
A good learning environment may be provided by educational institutions with the use of an online classroom platform. Online classes are video collaboration systems with online education elements at its core. They enable remote teachers to successfully engage their students online. The following are essential characteristics of any online classroom software should have:
Easy Accessibility – Easy access is essential for supporting course learners in absorbing course content. If participants are required to install software or download plugins, they may experience problems. As a direct consequence, the learning experience suffers as a result. Students should be able to access digital tools easily and quickly, preferably with nothing more than a link and their login information.
Digital Whiteboards – A digital whiteboard is a real-time interactive whiteboard that allows you to draw out ideas with students. Most digital whiteboards have permission mechanisms in place to allow other students in the class to use the features as well. To add individuality, use free drawing, shapes, a text editor, as well as styling choices.
Cloud Recording and Cloud Storage – Recording your lessons is an excellent way to reinforce what you learn after class. This is also a significant benefit for virtual classes. Physical lessons may be recorded, but the production expenses would be much higher. You may record straight to your computer with some virtual classroom recording options. I’d suggest those with cloud recording capabilities because the recordings are instantly available to share with your learner. There will most likely be a lot of material that has to be sent to numerous instructors and facilitators. You must have a central place to handle critical content in your online classroom system. You must also be able to readily distribute the material. Facilitators can then use rich materials like presentations and videos to deliver directly in the classroom.
A Variety of Learning Resources – Using an online learning platform that only provides access to one or two types of online training and learning resources will limit student involvement and revert you to the days of inefficient and ineffective training management systems. Your e-learning platform should allow you to upload and view word documents, PDFs, photographs, audio files, video files, online courses, and face-to-face courses at a bare minimum. People learn in a variety of ways, so keep that in mind.
Breakout Rooms and Screen Sharing – The nicest feature about online classes is that they inspire learners to interact with one another during the session. One of the primary reasons massive open online courses, aka MOOCs, have such high attrition rates is a lack of contact with the teacher and other participants. Breakout rooms are an excellent tool for encouraging peer-to-peer participation. Divide learners into smaller groups and send them to breakout rooms to complete a group learning activity. Screen sharing is an excellent method for showing distant learners how to use specialized software, complete important computer operations, or simply show a presentation.
The Advantages of Online Classroom Software
Many people have benefited greatly from the rise of online learning. Students who previously had to spend hours driving to class can now attend from the comfort of their own homes. Numerous students benefit from the advantages of online education. Let us go through some of the benefits.
Online classes provide opportunities for students with impairments to practice in person. Deaf students, for example, can simply enable captioning to participate in class online. Students with auditory processing impairments can also use subtitles or repeat portions of lectures to better grasp the material. Students with cognitive or motor skill limitations can work at their own speed or attend classes when it is convenient for them. Suppose a dyslexic student is having difficulty reading required textbook chapters; with online learning choices such as e-textbooks, they can choose to listen to it instead. Even outside of traditional schools, online classes often include the ability to speed up or slow down audio, as well as put on subtitles or study information in a number of formats.
The flexibility for students to attend lessons from any location is a major advantage of online learning. This means no more spending time driving large distances or taking the bus to school. Students who need to work to support themselves through school have an easier time balancing their school and job commitments. This also applies to adult learners who may be balancing obligations such as children, employment, house management, and so on. With hectic schedules, finding time for an in-person lesson may be difficult. Online learning, on the other hand, allows pupils to investigate anything that piques their interest.
Online learning makes higher education, such as university, far more accessible to the majority of the population. Online university degrees are often $10-11,000 less expensive than on-campus university degrees. This figure does not account for expenditures like on-campus dining or accommodation; it simply represents tuition disparities. Online learning also makes available courses available on course marketplaces such as Udemy, as well as online courses produced by entrepreneurs such as those hosted on Thinkific. Instead of paying learning facility fees, learners can go directly to the source of information. There is also a wealth of free knowledge available on websites such as YouTube. Crash Course and Khan Academy, for example, offer high-quality learning resources for free.
4. Self-paced Courses
Many online courses allow students to complete the course at their own speed. This helps to relieve concerns that the students would not have time in their demanding schedule to complete 2 or 3 hours of education each week. Self-paced courses are ideal for people with hectic schedules. However, completing self-paced courses requires a significant level of self-discipline. If students lack discipline and are unable to complete self-paced courses, there are online courses that place students in cohorts with specified deadlines. This is an excellent alternative for students and teachers who want a more conventional classroom arrangement. This model’s instructors will frequently employ the drip method to distribute the material at a slower rate.
The Disadvantages of Online Classroom Software
While there are several benefits to online learning, it is also crucial to understand the drawbacks.
For both adults and children, staring at computer devices has a slew of detrimental consequences. Eye strain, disturbed circadian rhythm, headaches, as well as neck and back discomfort are among the side effects. Completing online classes increases your screen time. Learners enrolled in online classes must take precautions to prevent signs of excessive screen time, especially if they are also working online in addition to attending classes. This can involve things like blue light courses (though the use of these glasses is debatable), stretching and resting your eyes, and reducing computer usage before bed. Online lessons may not be suitable for people who are already suffering from the harmful effects of excessive screen usage.
2. May Create a Sense of Isolation
While online classes might be highly sociable in character, the truth remains that they are primarily completed physically on your own. This can be a significant disadvantage, particularly for students who already spend a significant amount of time alone at home. Students can overcome this sensation of isolation by working on their online coursework in public places such as coffee shops or libraries. They can also enroll in classes with vibrant online communities to connect virtually with other students. It’s necessary to keep in mind that many students attend university, college, or even community classes to meet new people.
Online learning might make it difficult to concentrate in class. Students are no longer in a learning atmosphere and are surrounded by distractions such as phones, Xboxes, or duties such as washing or walking the dog. Due to the absence of organization, students must be proficient in time management. This is an added obstacle on top of learning that students do not have to consider during in-person sessions. When learning online, students may encounter difficulties or not understand the information. If the teacher hasn’t set up a system to contact them to address questions, pupils will be frustrated and likely lose focus on studying.
4. Lack of Practical Learning
Certain types of knowledge lend themselves more readily to online learning than others. Studying arithmetic or biology online, for instance, will be very simple, however learning medical examination, dental treatment, or even pottery or carpentry may be difficult due to the hands-on components. Online learning clearly does not function well for concepts requiring hands-on experience, but in-person learning works for all topics.