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How Do You Create a Virtual Classroom?

How Do You Create a Virtual Classroom?

Before 2020 most of our learning and teaching was done in traditional classrooms with few courses being offered online.

Now that the current pandemic changed our lives drastically, online classrooms have become the new normal. It is no easy task to create and host virtual classrooms especially if you are not tech-savvy.

What is a virtual classroom?

A virtual classroom is essentially a brick and mortar classroom moved to the online world. Instructors still need to engage their students while still getting knowledge across to them and helping them build their knowledge base. Virtual classrooms provide the same things as a traditional classroom. They need to be interactive, have quizzes, tests, assignments and group interactions among students. Virtual classrooms need suitable software or platforms to be able to reach students efficiently and effectively. Edusity is one of the most interactive and fully integrated platforms.

How do they work?

Virtual classrooms require different software and hardware. The essentials are an internet connection, an online teaching platform and a computer. Your first step would be to find an online platform or learning management system that works for you or your institution. If the learning management system does not meet all of your needs, then you may need to find external options. Most virtual classrooms will require live video lectures, quizzes, live online chats, as well as assignments submission and feedback. Some institutions already have learning management systems that allow most of these features with the exception of live video lectures. As we saw this year, most schools had to turn to Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meets for their live lectures to interact and engage with their students.

How to set up your virtual classroom

First, you need to decide what style of teaching will be best for you or most convenient for you and your students. Some courses like English may not need to live lectures unless the students are ESL (English as a Second Language) learners. If live lectures are necessary then you would need to prepare your presentations and content ahead of time. You will also need a suitable webcam that will allow your students to see you clearly. You may need to get an external webcam and set it up with your computer.

In addition to that, the content you will be teaching needs to be prepared beforehand. Whether it is a PDF file, a Powerpoint, or a Word document, it should be readily available to share with your students by sharing your screen, or by emailing it to them before the lecture so that they can follow along.

The next thing you need to do is make sure you have an online teaching platform that is reliable and easy to use especially if you are not technology savvy. Many platforms may require you to use other software to actually carry out your course. Edusity’s teaching platform is one of the easiest to use with a fully integrated whiteboard and interactive webinars. You want to choose a platform that has everything you need readily available.

Setting up a virtual classroom is not the same for everyone. It differs and depends on your needs as a teacher and your students’ needs. The biggest and first step in creating a virtual classroom is to plan. You need to plan everything out before executing it and finding the resources you need.

 

You can find many more tips out there but remember to stay safe and healthy!
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