Virtual learning- Why it works?
Virtual learning is a method of learning which encompasses digital instruments such as computer software, the internet, etc. to enhance the learning experience. Although virtual learning is being used for both physical and online classrooms, it minimizes the need for physical classroom space.
Technology is advancing exponentially and it has made virtual learning easier. People can now get their Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even Ph.D. degrees online without having to attend classes physically. E-learning can also be used to get extra help on specific topics or subjects without having to be enrolled to get a degree. With e-learning platforms being available everywhere, education has become widely accessible and even affordable.
Why does virtual learning work?
There are different types of virtual learning. Teachers can use software alongside traditional learning or mix internet and software to provide distance online learning.
Here are few reasons why virtual learning works:
- Flexibility: Flexibility in accessing study materials such as video classes, recorded lectures, notes, etc. is one of the key advantages of virtual learning. Students can view and learn their material at any time and from any place they are.
- Convenient for any learning style: There are various types of learning styles that students are comfortable with. Some students thrive on only listening to lectures while others prefer a more visual approach like animated examples. Virtual learning can incorporate various learning styles and make learning more convenient.
- Self-paced: The study materials can be accessed at any time and even multiple times. This makes it easier for students to study at their own pace and time. Students can also pause, slow down, fast forward, and download the video content as per their needs
- Interactive: Using various software, virtual learning can be made interactive. Using animated videos and even gamifying the courses to make learning more interesting. Virtual learning can integrate various options to teach students in a fun, challenging, and interactive way.
- Instant Feedback: The learning platforms can have various ways to track the progress of their students. Quizzes, tests, case studies with options are some of the ways to see if the students have retained the knowledge. Quizzes have fixed answers so taking quizzes to know your knowledge level can give students instant feedback on what they forgot and must study.
- Cost-effective: Virtual learning can be a cost-effective alternative to learning. You can enroll in just the classes that you require and for the time you need. Virtual learning also reduces transportation costs, classroom costs, and other facility costs. Virtual learning resources can be reused, unlike traditional learning with face-to-face classroom learning.
How to make online learning effective?
Online learning can be vastly different from studying in the classroom. Along with the means of studying, the method of learning can also be different. Since there is no fixed schedule and you don’t have to commute to your college or university, the effectiveness of online learning can depend on other factors.
Here are few suggestions to make your online learning more effective for you:
- Time management: One benefit of online learning is flexibility. With no rigid schedule to follow, students can learn from anywhere at any time. But when a time is not specified, keeping up with learning can be difficult. So students must be very careful to manage time. You can set aside a certain time of the day to attend classes and do the assignments.
- Stay engaged: It is easy to get distracted when looking at the screen and listening. So you need to stay engaged with the videos by answering questions even if it is rhetoric or taking notes. Since the materials provided can be paused or slowed down, it is easier to take notes in a way that you can refer to later on.
- Follow up with the links and provided resources: On any video class, the lecturer may provide some links to different resources for a better understanding of the topic. The resources could be a textbook page, journal articles, research papers, etc. It is very important to follow up and go through the resources.
- Try to minimize distractions: Online learning can have many distractions. Since learning is happening online, any text from friends or advertisements can distract you from learning. So it is very important to minimize possible distractions by turning off your mobile phones and closing the messaging app notifications. It can also be helpful to use offline features of the website you are using. For example, the Mero School Nepal app has an offline feature to download the video classes so you can turn off your Wi-Fi and minimize distractions.
Virtual learning is a really effective method of teaching and learning. With the advancement of technology, schools and colleges should incorporate technologies to make learning more efficient. There are various reasons why virtual learning works for students. But students should also follow the suggestions to make their learning more effective for themselves. Joining an online learning platform can be challenging and overwhelming so, students should know ways to make their learning experience enjoyable and effective.