Online learning is here to stay. From virtual classroom platforms for K-12 and higher education to virtual training, reskilling, and upskilling for corporations and government agencies, the ability to leverage leaps in technological capabilities has ushered in new opportunities for organizations. Virtual classes and online classroom platforms are changing how schools, businesses, and government agencies operate—leading to increased effectiveness and efficiency.
In this article, we’ll answer questions such as, “What is a virtual classroom?” and “What is virtual learning?” We’ll lay out the benefits of online classrooms and virtual training. Finally, we’ll look into the future of virtual classroom platforms. Let’s dive in!
Virtual classroom definition
What is a virtual class? How does online coursework and training work?
Defining what a virtual classroom is can be helpful prior to exploring the benefits it provides.
G2 defines a virtual classroom as, “Software [that] enables instructors to deliver distance learning experiences through a combination of video conferencing, collaboration and participation, and assessment features. Educators use this software to provide engaging eLearning experiences, both in real-time and through playback recordings, for students to access material wherever and whenever. Virtual classroom software can be sold as a standalone product or an integrated feature within a larger platform. It is quickly becoming a must-have tool for educators, allowing them to maximize student learning beyond the physical classroom setting.”
While it can be easy to see how this translates into an education setting like K-12 or higher education—establishing a sort of virtual academy—online learning can also just as easily fit into the onboarding, reskilling, or upskilling needs of a company or government agency.
What are the benefits of a virtual classroom?
There are a number of benefits to virtual classroom platforms. Virtual classes offer consistency, flexibility, accessibility, and trackable engagement.
Virtual classes provide consistency
While in-person teaching, training, and onboarding offers a traditional approach to presenting information to students, team members, and new hires, it also provides a higher degree of volatility. Virtual classes provide a level of consistency that is unmatched. Whether ensuring that every section of a college course is provided with the same materials, lecture notes, and deadlines or creating a cadenced onboarding process for all new hires, regardless of where they live or what week they start, virtual classroom platforms can increase uniformity in the experience.
Virtual classes offer flexibility
Are your new hires in a different time zone? Does your management training course fall during the push for quarterly earnings? Are many of your students nontraditional, balancing families, work, and other responsibilities? Another key benefit to online classroom platforms is the ability to increase flexibility, making your courses, training, or other modules available when your students, employees, or team members can access them—without constraints of location and time. Flexibility opens up new avenues for schools, businesses, and government agencies, from expanded geographic reach to widened demographics who can take part in education, training, and more.
Improved accessibility within virtual classes
Not only can virtual classroom platforms extend and expand the reach of your school or organization geographically and demographically, but they can also open up participation to those who might struggle with in-person, one-size-fits-all approaches to education and training. By leveraging accessibility features, your organization can ensure all students, members, new hires, etc. can have equal access to your virtual classes. Captions, video speed playback settings, screen reader compatibility, and more allow your organization to connect—and operate in compliance with—your full student roster, team, or hiring cohort.
Trackable engagement through virtual classes
Another important benefit of virtual classes is the ability to track your student, employee, or new hire engagement patterns—and even explore trends over time. With talk-time analysis, notifications indicating when a participant is off-screen, and other valuable features, virtual classroom platforms provide you with next-level insights not possible to accurately identify during in-person events. Gain deeper insights into what’s working and what needs to be modified by analyzing government employee engagement across multiple onboarding sessions. Evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development inside management-elevation cohorts. Track more than just attendance with deep dives into student engagement in breakout rooms.
The future of virtual classes
Online classroom platforms aren’t a trend—and the demand for virtual classrooms continues to increase. As we look to the future of virtual classes, there are a number of areas that are primed for enhancement. The connection between asynchronous and synchronous learning will continue to intertwine more fluidly. The shift toward one virtual classroom platform that possesses all of the necessary tools your school, company, or government agency may have will continue to become more prevalent. Finally, artificial intelligence is bound to impact the future of the online learning space. AI for learning, whether that be AI for higher ed, onboarding, upskilling, reskilling, and more, will diversify the virtual classroom experience even further.
Now that you’re no longer asking yourself, “What is a virtual classroom?” it’s time to ask yourself, “Am I ready to unleash the next level of virtual learning with a platform designed for the most enhanced experience yet?” If so, let’s talk. Reach out to our team today!