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Virtual Learning

Written by: Michelle Ramalingam

The influx in virtual learning can influence future education models. The shift to online learning could be the catalyst to create a new, more effective method of educating students; it could revolutionize the overall learning experience. The semi-autonomous, self-directed nature of the Virtual Classroom makes innovative approaches to instruction easier to execute.

For example, within an online structure, students are allowed time to articulate responses with more forethought than in a traditional situation, where the participant must analyze the comment and plan an immediate response. As a result, students can make meaningful contributions whilst learning relevant information through a variety of lenses. The Virtual Classroom is constantly accessible to students through computers instead of having to physically travel to the campus. This is particularly convenient for those who may need to take more time revising material before moving on, as they can review concepts as needed. Students will understand not only the material, but also how to comprehend new information and apply it. Time efficiency is the first strength brought by the online learning format.

Thereby, online education gives students greater responsibility for their learning experience. To successfully take part in an online program, students must be self-motivated and possess a certain degree of planning abilities to keep up with the pace of the course. This requirement of character could be very beneficial for building strong task management skills starting from a young age. Also, in the online environment, discriminating factors such as disabilities are largely absent. Instead, the focus is on the content of the discussion and the individual’s ability to respond to it.

However, to reach full potential, there are a few small discrepancies that must be addressed. Students must have a minimum level of computer literacy to function successfully in an online environment. If they cannot operate the technology the institution employs, they are lost as learners, and instruction and participation in the online program will not be fair for all students in the course. Failure to do this can alienate the class both from each other and from the instructor. Fortunately, developing strong skills pertaining to technology is an important skill needed in various paths of life.

To receive the full benefit of online learning, there must be a concerted effort to provide a replication of a physical class through video capabilities. It is necessary to recognize that some subjects should not be taught online because the electronic medium does not allow for the best method of instruction. Certain subjects are best taught in a face-to-face traditional learning environment. Curriculum and teaching methodology that is successful in on-ground instruction will not always translate to a successful online program where learning and instructional paradigms are quite different. Due to these restrictions, new methods of manipulating technology could be discovered and introduced to enhance the teaching ideology. Thus, the integration of information technology in education could cause online learning to ultimately become an essential component of academia.