6 Benefits of Virtual Learning Environments
Virtual classrooms can be used by students in education systems at any stage of their life and with great results. Online classrooms can actually be very effective and are the future of learning. Even before Covid, online learning was increasing by leaps and bounds. Introduce a global pandemic and e-learning numbers increased exponentially. Now, almost two years into a pandemic that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, online learning has become the norm. Online learning is a great way to learn and we’ll explain how it works with students at all levels in our education system and what the benefits can be.
What is virtual learning?
Virtual learning refers to education or classes conducted in a virtual learning environment. Virtual learning may be either synchronous (live instruction and guidance from the teacher) or asynchronous (self-paced). In both of these environments, the emphasis is on efficient communication between students and instructors. In a virtual learning environment, you can easily find online courses that can be automated or manual. You will also be able to see your progress in real-time, which you will never get in a traditional classroom setting.
What is a virtual classroom?
The virtual classroom is usually an online learning environment where both the learner and teachers communicate with each other just like in the normal classroom, but they don’t have to be in the same geographical location. As the need for online learning exploded, the options for learning management systems did as well. However, when it comes to learning management systems not all are created equal. The Teach Beacon system has you covered. It offers video conferencing, whiteboard, chat, file sharing, gamification, assessment tools, and more all at the touch of a button.
Advantages of Virtual Classrooms
There are numerous advantages to using a virtual classroom for your school, district, college, or university. Let’s look at a few of them.
1. Access to accurate real-time analytics
Good virtual classrooms use analytical and reporting tools to help you track your data and make better decisions. They can measure individual learning activities such as work completed in the system or the competence and progress during a learning cycle by individual students. Accessing these statistics helps you develop your perception of learners’ needs. For example, you can compare learner success between various teaching methods or subject materials in your courses and make adjustments to increase the quality. Teach Beacon’s analytic reporting is generated automatically and can be seen at a glance on the comprehensive dashboard (example below). This is something you would never have access to in a traditional classroom.
2. Flexibility in time and location
Virtual learning allows students flexibility on how exactly to complete their studies. Students can register for courses online from anywhere. In other words, the learners are not confined to one geographic area. Does every member of your family work or attend school from home? Why not rent a beach house or an RV for a couple of months and take advantage of the freedom!? Also, location freedom opens courses to students from all over the country or even other countries, creating highly-desired diversity among the students. Schools can use the flexibility of the virtual teaching model to provide education to students from other locations. With a simple click of a button, Teach Beacon’s browser-based virtual classroom makes this possible. This not only saves institutions time and money but also makes classes more consistent as students will access the same course material no matter their location.
3. Students of all types may thrive in virtual environments
Integrating coursework with technology provides several advantages. Students who find it difficult to concentrate in class could take part in online courses. Students who are less assertive may have more chances to participate in class discussions online. Teach Beacon’s chat and discussion board features can accommodate these types of students.
Virtual learning can be ideal for introverts, shy students, or ESL learners who are not confident enough to speak out in the traditional classroom environment. The nature of asynchronous online learning allows introverted or less self-assured students to receive their education without having to interact with others.
4. Identify at-risk students with predictive models in the background
Because the classroom is online, participation, attendance, and other factors can be easily seen and tracked. Teach Beacon’s predictive models can then sift through this data to help identify at-risk students and can offer interventions that may help them stay in school and do better in their coursework.
Identifying at-risk students is important for institutions especially, because if they are not identified, they may drop out and affect the school’s graduation rates. Teachers can help them preemptively by using predictive models to see what kind of problems they might have and give them the right interventions.
5. Affordable for students and educators
Virtual learning environments eliminate physical space and can significantly reduce cost. Virtual learning is far more affordable for students AND institutions than traditional learning experiences. Students studying at a traditional educational institution face expenses such as meal planning, textbooks, and transportation costs that aren’t necessary for a virtual learning environment. For institutions, property rent is a cost that can be avoided along with utility maintenance, janitors service, office equipment, and rented parking spaces. BONUS: it’s better for the environment!
Remember when we said that not all learning management systems were created equal? Well, they also don’t cost the same either. Teach Beacon has you covered there, too. The Teach Beacon system won’t break the bank. You can get your free quote here!
6. Virtual facilitation is more accessible to learners
Virtual instructors are much more accessible – facilitators simply can provide asynchronous coaching and feedback when they have time. Teachers at school are surrounded all day by students with questions and maybe are unable to give the desired attention to each individual. Online participants can easily send messages, ask questions, and share notes with virtual facilitators. Virtual instructors never have to worry if 1:1 opportunities are missing in a virtual program. It’s a win-win for teachers and students. Learn more about that here.
Online courses delivered through a virtual classroom offer so many more options but still allow you to accomplish similar types of diplomas or certificates to those obtained through regular training methods.
Virtual classrooms have many advantages, including affordability for students and educators. The flexibility in location also opens up courses to all types of learners from around the world which creates a diverse student body. Virtual facilitation allows instructors or facilitators to provide asynchronous coaching and feedback when they are available so it is not always necessary to take too much time away from their other responsibilities. If you still think virtual learning may be difficult even with these benefits, we’re here to make it easy. Teach Beacon is a full virtual classroom, LMS, and analytics platform that gives you a turn-key solution to implement virtual learning quickly, while gaining all of the advantages mentioned above. Contact us today for your free trial!