Virtual Classroom Asma AL-Amri u054767 Tamadher AL-Za'abi u063225

Definition: Virtual classrooms are complete programs of learning .They consist of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous events. They are special application of computer and network technologies to the task of education. Virtual is something whose existence is simulated with software. Actually, they are considered as teaching and learning environment located within a computer-mediated communication system. All activities and interactions take place through the computer instead of face-to-face. Virtual education refers to instruction in a learning environment where teacher and student are separated by time or space, or both, and the teacher provides course content through course management applications, multimedia resources, the Internet, videoconferencing, etc. Students receive the content and communicate with the teacher via the same technologies. Virtual classrooms may involve three overlapping scopes of interaction technologies: VC courses, meetings and presentations. Among the synchronous events are online meetings, which may include online presentations.

Objectives for using the virtual classroom in DE Technology serves to facilitate teacher/student and student/student interaction at a distance.Virtual classroom enrich interactive communication through integrated voice, video, and data.In addition,he Web plays a supporting role in this environment. For that, Virtual classroom can be used in DE due to it's technological capabilities and features as just as DE is.Also,usually refer to the fact that the students are at a distance, but the greatest benefits is to be able to use teachers at a distance. Contact and interaction with the instructor was the primary contributor to student satisfaction at a distance. A virtual program (or a virtual course of studies) is a study program in which all courses or at least a significant portion of the courses are virtual courses. If someone wonders why we craete virtual classroom? What is the need of using vitual classroom? We can convence him/her by providing some advantages of using such class. Using vertual classrooms enables the instructor to adapt learning to learners. Moreover, virtual classrooms provide the community and discipline some learners need. In addition, classroom learning is familiar and proven. Furthermore, learning is flexible and active.

Features/advantages and limitations of the Virtual classroom. Virtual courses are delivered on the Internet. "Virtual" is used here to characterize the fact that the course is not taught in a classroom faceto-face but through some substitute mode that can be associated with classroom teaching. Virtual classrooms provide the community and control some learners need. In the virtual class, learning is familiar and proven. It has Flexible time: students may participate at any time of the day... (Learning is flexible), Economical, Efficient learning, Location: students are not limited to courses offered in their geographic locality. (Overcome distances) and it is more active learning: the computer forces response and attention.

In the other hand, virtual classroom has some limitations such: it’s a limited offering that means the choice of courses is limited at present. In addition, there is a problem of equipment requirements: students who do not have a computer will have to travel to use the necessary equipment. Moreover, the feedback may be delayed hours until a question is answered by the teacher. Researchers and distance students' concerns about virtual classroom There are many concerns raised by researchers and distance tutors of Virtual classrooms. These concerns could be divided to different levels and sides as following: Instructor should consider the following:Select a qualified instructor, Provide complete instruction, Simplify tasks for learners (Keep the class small, offer a textbook and respond promptly and reliably),Manage teams (Decide whether you want teams and manage collaborative activities), Deal with problem learners which are like Give fair warning, Deal with bad behaviours, Handle with common problems such as (Sloppiness, Plagiarism, Copyright violations, Latecomers, Flaming, and Dominating).In addition, it must enable interpersonal communication, Pick tools to suit learners: (Such as: Language fluency, Accents, Typing skills, Technical expertise).Consider the speed of learners’ network connections, so, you have to layer learning activities:

When creating a virtual classroom, you have to think about who will use it and how they will use it? Is it wholly online or a supplement? Is it available for all the Internet users or only to those enrolled in the course? What is necessary in use of a virtual classroom? Wimba Classroom, an example of a virtual classroom through the internet and how does it used to deliver and support DE Wimba is a company focused solely on education and dedicated to the principle that people learn more when they are drawn closer together .In fact Wimba Company provides us with a collection of collaborative suite that support people to teach others at a distance interactively. The suite contains of Wimba Classroom , Wimba Create, Wimba Pronto and Wimba Voice. Wimba Classroom is one example of virtual classrooms available through the internet. Wimba classroom supports two way communications between learner-instructor and between peers. Moreover, student-content interaction and student-media interaction are also supported. During the live class instructors can use audio tools, chat boards and web cam to talk, explain and see students as well as learners can. Audio tools available at Wimba Classroom enable the instructor and learners to speak, listen and collaborate together without being tied to a computer. That is because phone simulcast tool allows anyone to join the class via cell phone, or landline while travelling not to miss the class. Wimba Classroom provides instructors and learners with some services that make them to feel as they are studying in a face-to-face classroom. Application sharing enables them to share the whole or part of their desktops with others in the class. Another service is the electronic board and its interactive tools where the instructors can use those tools to explain different contents and to make some annotations while presenting the content. Instructors and students can use breakout rooms for private chat. Instructors at a distance can insure learners understanding by asking them immediate questions during the class and provide them with immediate feedback or by using Polls, Quizzes & Surveys.

Beyond the synchronous virtual class, any course at a distance requires pre-development before the class time. Wimba create course Genie enables anyone who can use Microsoft Word to easily create, edit, and maintain robust online courses. Moreover, instructors do not need to change their learning management system (LMS) that they usually use such as Moodle, Blackboard, Angle or WebCT. In few clicks instructors can integrate Wimba Classroom into their regular LMS.

As learners learn in their own at a distance; they always need a kind of support whether academic support or technical support. Wimba Pronto allows students to contact their instructors, administrators, academic advisors and others to get any support that help them in their learning. Moreover, Wimba Pronto includes unique features to specifically benefit students, teachers, and educational institutions including instant access to campus services, queued chat for tutoring and office hours, blended audio and video conferencing, instant school-wide notifications. Thus, this service with all its communication capabilities extends the boundaries of the live classroom, enabling learning to take place anytime, anywhere. Students can stay connected and continue to build relationships while expanding their learning within a social context.

Another service that supports live discussion between students and teachers is Wimba voice. With Wimba voice teachers can encourage ongoing discussions and debates about different subjects and ideas and students can learn all aspects of a language through listening, speaking, and writing exercises. In addition, Students and instructors can send vocal email messages to anyone, and recipients simply reply by sending their own voice email. Wimba voice offers a threaded voice boards where students can Speak and read a language at the same time. References: 1. Education Queensland. (2008). "Virtual Classroom: What is a virtual classroom?" Available at: http://education.qld.gov.au/learningplace/onlinelearni ng/virtual-classroom.html 2. Murray Turoff. (1995)." Designing a Virtual Classroom". Available at: http://web.njit.edu/~turoff/Papers/DesigningVirtualC lassroom.html 3. Prof Cronje. (1998). "Why a virtual classroom? Definition of a virtual classroom". Available at: http://www.und.ac.za/users/clarke/rto/vt 2.html 4. Wimba. www.wimba.com

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