The virtual classroom is a shared online space or a system for live interaction between students and teachers. Both the parties work together simultaneously with the interactions taking place through online video conferencing. The educator plays the role of a moderator who guides the students in the learning process and supports discussions and group activities.
The synchronous virtual classrooms can offer an added value to online learning by addressing the needs of the learners. They can experience a new standard of learning which goes above and beyond the physical space. It is different from physical teaching in the classroom or the traditional teaching methods. This process of learning requires a new pedagogical approach and the redesigning of the instructional model.
The virtual classroom is the learning environment for the learners or the students as they are actively participating in the learning activities. The most useful online teaching tools for learning with the tutors are video conferencing, instant messaging tools, breakout rooms, online whiteboard, and participation controls. These are also referred to as cloud-based learning solutions that are fragments of larger learning management systems.
The virtual classroom can provide plentiful opportunities when combined with a self-study platform or learning management systems. It is also useful in addition to traditional classroom learning activities. This digital learning environment aids in the engagement of different activities, increasing the student’s motivation and leading to active participation. It also allows for instant feedback and direct teacher-student communication. This immediate student-teacher interaction is vital and favors in building the relationship within the group and a community. There are few virtual classroom characteristics, which are necessary for building up a strong community within the learning space. It includes student-centered interaction and collaborative learning. The variety of content presentation and learning activities help create a psychologically safe environment—a virtual classroom’s high interactivity results in positive and constructive feedback.