When we think about virtual learning there are many things that come in our mind but mostly it is online courses or online technology.
But virtual learning is a much broader term than what we really think. Virtual learning is about learning remotely or outside of the school, where students connect from different places in the world. There are many ways we can think about the benefits or the impact of virtual learning technology in the school.
The teaching is carried out where a person is not physically available but one can connect them through the online resources or technology it can be through live web conferences or virtual platforms.
Virtual learning is one of the emerging forms of teaching that became a boom especially this year.
There are various types of virtual learning :
1. Synchronous learning
Synchronous learning is basically real-time virtual learning, a good example of this type of learning would be audio or video conferencing. There are a lot of tools that you can use for audio and video conferencing, but one of the easiest and commonly used ones is zoom. Zoom is a great way where you can have a live classroom.
2. Asynchronous learning
Asynchronous learning is learning which does not take place on a real-time basis. These are basically recorded video lectures of the teachers where the students generally can log in to the site or application and watch the recorded video lecture anytime at any place.
3. Hybrid learning
In this type of learning, there is a mixture of both in-person and online learning. In hybrid learning, the students are learning through online as well as in the classroom. There are various universities abroad that have adopted hybrid learning for the students.
Benefits of virtual learning:
1. Students can easily avail of online courses from anywhere in the world.
In virtual learning, students can study any course from any university all around the world. The top universities in the world like Harvard encourage students to learn any online course from their online platform.
2. There is no age limit for learners in virtual learning platforms.
Students from any age, caste, creed, and background can avail of virtual learning. There are many professionals who still are eager in learning new things opt for an online course through different virtual learning platforms like udemy or Coursera.
3. Students can learn at any place and at any time, without getting concerned about the schedules. Students do not have to worry about going to places to learn a course. They can easily log in to the virtual learning site and start their course at any place of their choice at any time.
4. Virtual learning is not as expensive as traditional or campus learning.
Virtual learning is very inexpensive compared to traditional or on-campus courses. There are various virtual learning platforms that allow students to learn the expensive courses for free. This allows economically backward students to have an equal opportunity to learn different courses.
5. Students can improve their digital learning techniques because of virtual learning.
Digitalization is one of the important phases of the 21st Century. Because of virtual learning, students can improve their digital learning techniques. This will be very helpful for them in future career opportunities.
Disadvantages of virtual learning:
1. Internet connectivity packages may be quite costly nowadays.
Because of a lot of demand in online as well as virtual learning the internet connectivity packages have also increased. Many students from rural areas might not afford such high pricing internet connectivity services for their online classes.
2. Interrupted internet network is very irritating sometimes, as it might distract students. During the live webinar or virtual learning session, there might be some internet connectivity issues which totally distracts the flow of learning. This might become irritating for some students as well as the teachers.
3. Classroom interaction is missing.
Sometimes due to virtual learning, there might be less interaction between students and teachers. The students might not feel comfortable talking virtually, which makes them less active in a virtual classroom.
4. Virtual learning requires a smartphone or laptop, which might not be affordable for everyone. In rural areas or for economically backward class students, virtual learning might not be affordable. Because most of the rural and poor people cannot afford a smartphone or an internet connection for learning online.
5. In asynchronous learning, students might not have a student-teacher connection as they have to learn alone. In recorded video lectures students do not connect to the teachers as seen in live webinars or lectures. This might make their learning process quite difficult.
Virtual learning has both pros and cons but it is up to us how we can adapt to both of them and learn with great interest. I hope you understood the importance and the advantage and the disadvantage of virtual learning. Good Luck!.