Human nature is such that we prefer to cling on to the conventional means of doing things rather than jumping in the uncertainty of the future using contemporary methods. Such has been the clash between the traditional way of education and the upcoming, modern method of virtual teaching through social platforms and the internet. While the traditional method of education is still widely preferred, the concept of virtual classrooms is catching up with the education industry and stakeholders are willing to explore the depths of this technological reform. And why wouldn’t we, if we knew the benefits of the same?
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open mind. Technology’s purpose is to connect the world for the most interactive and interesting educational experience. And virtual classrooms are bridging the gap between learning and the learners through technology-mediated portals which are not only proving to be helpful in advancing the learner ’s knowledge and skills in their field of interest but are also making them tech-savvy and helping them hone their digital skills. The biggest and most valued benefit of virtual classrooms is the 24X7, round the clock accessibility to course material and other study resources from anywhere in the world. You can study, complete your assignments or clear doubts based on your time and convenience and all you need for that is your laptop, your tablet or just your mobile phone. The virtual medium of education gives you the freedom, liberty to choose the best time to chat with your classmates, discuss queries with your professor simultaneously providing you with a structure for the course to keep you inclined and dedicated towards the course through due dates, weekly submissions, monthly examinations etc. Another advantage of virtual classrooms is the ability to engage in a diverse culture of educationalists and peers with whom you get to learn beyond demographic bounds and get an exposure to different perspectives and approaches. One also gets the opportunity to be part of projects with international students and share ideas with world-renowned professors who are best in their fields of work. This across borders interaction is aided by different ways provided by technology for communication such as text chat, live video or audio. Apart from these benefits, another benefit which stands out in favour of virtual classrooms is the instant feedback assistance as well as the advantage of keeping track of the progress of the learner at every step. The learner does not have to wait for days to get scores for their assignments or exams. As soon as the learner is done with their part, the online portal provides with them instant scores to help them keep a check on their performance, simultaneously benefitting the professor sitting on the other side of the globe to keep tabs on student performance and analyse scores for every student individually.
To conclude, it won’t be justified to say that virtual classrooms have only merits because every coin has two sides. Sure this medium would need some infrastructural changes and some amount of training for those who are not as technologically sound as the upcoming generation. Regardless, the benefits of virtual classrooms outweigh its negatives and with some scope for improvement, it is definitely going to become an important tool for the future of the education industry.