Will Virtual Learning Replace Class Room

Will Virtual Learning Replace Class Room

Virtual training is closely aligned with the way people work and learn today. Unlike physical classroom training, which is based on a relatively rigid learning model, lives virtual training:

In the last 10 years, education has benefited from a real e-revolution – most training now have a functioning Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), at the heart of their teaching and e-learning programmes – a virtual ‘shadow’.

Non-Classroom Based Virtual Learning

will_virtual_learning_replace_class_room_basedVirtual learning environments are not merely on-line, or virtual learning courses. A virtual learning environment can be just one component of an educational curricula, and can serve as an adjunct to in-class learning. A virtual learning environment is a virtual space for real interaction and discussion. Virtual learning environments are also not synonymous with virtual campuses, as the latter provides solely university or college-levels courses while the former does not restrict the scope to any particular level.

According to a recent report by ACTN (Anticipating Content Technology Needs)—a company that continually monitors the European virtual content industry—the new wave of Internet-based educational tools will “custom fit work schedules, budget, and training preferences” and will be used as self-service applications personalized for each individual). One of these tools is simulations, which many companies are beginning to recognize as invaluable to efficient and cost-effective ways of virtual learning. Similar to the idea of in-flight simulation programs, virtual learning simulations enable companies to train employees on new products and services without costly mistakes. A newly-hired support technician could, for example, engage in challenging “real-world” scenarios in a manufactured (or safe) setting. This type of education, in a sense, removes the faculty from the process, allowing participants to learn first-hand from their mistakes in order to acquire the necessary skills more quickly. More companies will soon utilize simulations for screening a prospective employee to see how he/she would handle certain situations. Over the next few years, there should be a proliferation of companies that design products or offer services that will enhance this educational medium.

 

Does VLE suits to all types of Learners?

This is one question that depends on the participant and the passion s/he carries, whether in a classroom or in front of the monitor who wants to learn will learn, but then again we have seen participants perform better during self-studies because no one can teach you what to do and how to learn, it is something that comes from within. So to learn they can learn but through the internet they will learn faster as it is an interactive medium.

 All participants have different intellectual abilities. They think and learn differently. Some learning patterns will have been developed as a result of the schooling experience where materials were largely presented in a way that benefited participants with linguistic/numeric abilities. As a result innate learning styles may not have been developed and participants may need to be encouraged to identify their own learning pattern.

There are various ways of classifying differences in learning styles. Many theories and models have been proposed. This section will look at three of the most common learning styles classifications:

  1. Left and Right brain
  2. Auditory, Visual and Kinaesthetic
  3. Activists, Reflectors, Theorists and Pragmatists

 

Left and Right Brain:

In the last 20 years, research has revealed that the two hemispheres of the brain perform different functions. According to Rose and Nicholl (1997):

‘The Left Brain specialises in academic aspects of learning – language and mathematical processes, logical thoughts, sequences and analysis. The Right Brain is principally concerned with creative activities utilising rhyme, rhythm, music, visual impressions, colour and pictures. It’s our metaphorical mind, looking for analogies and patterns.’

Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic Learners

Research by neuro-linguistic programming experts Bandler, Grinder and Grinder has identified three distinct communications and learning styles:

Visual learners relate most effectively to written information, notes, pictures, Handouts and Flipcharts, etc…. These learners need to see the tutor’s body language and facial expression to fully understand the content of a lesson. They may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays

 

Visual learners make up around 65% of the population.

Auditory Learners: learn through listening…They learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say.

Auditory learners make up about 30% of the population.

Tactile/Kinaesthetic Learners: learn through, moving, doing and touching…Kinaesthetic Learners learn effectively through touch and movement and space, and learn skills by imitation and practice.

Kinaesthetic learners make up around 5% of the population.

All of us utilize all three types of learning, but most people display a preference for one over the other two. In early life the split amongst the overall population is fairly even, but by adulthood the visual side has become dominant.

That leads to the new trend of integrating classroom and VLE to suit the needs of different learners

 

Does Virtual Learning Need Faculty Support?

It suggests that the roles of faculty could be defined in terms of how they support that particular facet of participant learning, Transfer of ownership – How do you encourage participants to take ownership of the technology

Teaching face-to-face and teaching online are both teaching, but they are qualitatively different. In comparison, driving a car and riding a motorcycle are both forms of transportation, but they have enough differences to warrant additional training and preparation when switching from one to the other. The same is true when faculty move from the traditional classroom to the online classroom. There are some things that the two have in common, but there are also plenty of differences. With this in mind, consider the following Five roles of an effective online faculty.

  1. Tour Guide – A tour guide leads one or more people through a place or a series of places, usually revolving around some sort of common theme or subject. Similarly, the online faculty plays the role of guiding participants through one or more online learning experiences. These experiences are most often designed and planned long before the course starts so that the Faculty can devote more time to guiding the participants and less time preparing lessons. Within this role, the faculty directs and redirects the attention of learners toward key concepts and ideas. A good tour guide doesn’t want anyone to miss out on the highlights of the tour.
  2. Learning Coach – Many people focus on the role of faculty as role model and that is valuable. However, the role of coach is just as important, even more important if we want learners to develop high levels of competence and confidence. A role model throws a perfect spiral with a football while the learners watch. A coach gets the learners on the field, puts the ball in their hands, and then coaches them on how to throw a spiral for themselves. This is a powerful and essential role of the online faculty. Such a faculty must move beyond simply modeling a love for the subject and personal skill with the content. Instead, find ways to hand the subject over to the participants to do something with it. Applied projects and papers work well for this, and it gives the faculty an opportunity to be a coach and mentor.
  3. Individual and Group Mirror – Imagine waking up in the morning, getting ready for work, and heading out the door without ever looking into a mirror to see that your hair is sticking straight up in the air. That is good information to know before you walk into the office. Learners need this same sort of feedback about their work. How are they doing? Are they getting closer to meeting the learning objectives or not? The effective online faculty finds ways to give this sort of feedback to individual learners and, when appropriate, groups of learners.
  4. Valve Control – Online courses are rich with content and sometimes participants can get lost in all that content. The faculty as valve control intentionally releases content in chunks that are appropriate for participants. Sometimes this comes in the form of only releasing content one week at a time. Other times, the faculty releases it all at once, but directs participants to only focus on certain parts at a time. Another key is to break content into smaller segments. Rather than a twenty-page document of instructions, consider breaking it into ten two-page documents.
  5. Co-learner – Great faculties are lifelong learners, and they can model that learning for their participants in a variety of ways in the online classroom. The faculty can be an active (but not too active or it will silence participants) participant in online discussions, sharing what they are learning about the subject, and even complete all or parts of some assignments, sharing their work with the participants. This goes a long way in building a vibrant and dynamic online learning community where every person in the community commits to embodying the traits of a lifelong learner.

 

The Future Of Virtual Learning

The future of virtual learning is also leading towards incorporating multi-media to further optimize the learning process and even turn online education into a form of entertainment and may be one of the most effective teaching methods for today’s participant s. ACTeN reports that the future trend is towards “digital convergence,” and that virtual learning will utilize “the capabilities of telephone, radio, television, and other interactive devices”. In theory, a person could watch a cooking show on television, access one of the recipes via a wireless hand-held device (e.g., iPhone, iPad etc…), and participate in an interactive cooking demonstration complete with a voice-over narration and virtual assistant. Whilst Participants may be anxious to catch up with the global trends in online education, the complex issues that attend online teaching and learning must first be addressed. As the studies in this paper have shown, for online courses to be effective there needs to be appropriate training and support both for faculties and learners as they develop new strategies in response to new technologies for learning.

It is also apparent that support structures need to be implemented at every level of the online process, and that these may vary according to the cultural context in which online opportunities are being provided.

Although a number of recent studies have endorsed the commonly held perception that some participants are less autonomous than others, what TTM study revealed was that the students merely preferred more direct personal interaction in their learning process that traditional classroom contexts readily provided.

It may simply be a case of participants wanting what they are used to, but it is also the case that they are very alert to the advantages of personal interaction that online learning is simply failing to provide.

With appropriate support from the faculties the majority of the participants enjoyed the extra flexibility and opportunities that online learning presented, technological frustrations aside, and responded well to integrated tasks that extended from online contexts, to more social, traditional teaching, contexts.

 

While the debate will remain “Can Virtual learning replace classroom training?”

TTM has the privilege to integrate all types of learning methodology and offer both types of learnings with the help of its enormous pool of faculties whom have a huge experience in classroom and virtual learning thus give us the opportunity to fulfill the need of a wide variety of learners with different industry and different cultures.

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