Virtual learning is a broad concept and it involves more than just online learning. Virtual learning involves the use of computers or the internet both inside and outside learning institutions. This practice mostly takes place in an internet environment. The teaching and learning activities take place across different geographical locations.
Although virtual learning is not new, we’ve seen an increase in use as the world is hit by Coronavirus pandemic that has caused uncertainty for learning institutions across the globe. The uncertainty can be felt across the UAE as schools have closed and learners have to find new ways of studying. More students and learning institutions are embracing the use of virtual learning to keep up with their studies and school curriculum.
Why Virtual Learning is Ideal during Times of Uncertainty
Virtual learning allows students to continue their education during times of crisis and uncertainty. It’s also convenient because learners don’t have to travel to a learning institution. This not only reduces transport costs but it also keeps students safe from easily transmissible viruses like Coronavirus.
Students can access learning materials from anywhere and at any time. Just because schools are closed it does not mean, learning has to stop. This also means learners can help out at home and still learn.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to concentrate in class with many students; however, virtual learning allows you to study in a quiet room away from distractions. It also allows you to learn at your own pace.
Virtual Learning Strategies during Times of Uncertainty
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the world and causing uncertainty in all learning institutions. However, this does not stop learning. Various schools and higher learning institutions have come up with various strategies to ensure that their students keep learning. Below are some of the most effective ways to implement virtual learning.
One of the biggest obstacles of virtual learning is the lack of digital equity among teachers and students. If your institution cannot afford to provide devices for all learners and teachers, conduct a survey to find out how many might require help.
Coronavirus has forced most people to work from home and parents might be involved in team building activities from their computers. Also, other family members might be using the limited computers at home. You need to ensure that learners are not left behind by making sure that all learning online applications are accessible across mobile platforms.
During times of uncertainty, clear communication between the administration, the teaching body and parents is vital. You need to lay down clear and specific expectations for all the parties. In an online environment like virtual team building games that require everyone’s efforts can cause anxiety.
Virtual learning requires clear and frequent channels of communication. This ensures that the administration, teachers, students, and parents are on the same page. Teachers send assignments, notes, and other learning resources for students. Parents need to know how to access this information so they can help their kids learn.
Planning is Essential
If your learning institution closed before teachers were prepared for virtual teaching, take a few days to plan for this before rolling out the program. For instance, team building Dubai activities can help the staff prepare for this shift.
This helps the staff to create learning strategies and plans and to also familiarize themselves with them. This prevents confusion and chaos and helps run to go on smoothly. Even if schools close suddenly, take a day or two to prepare.
Create a Schedule
Both teachers and learners need to understand the times they need to be logged on. Although learning is necessary a whole day of learning on a computer can be overwhelming for teachers and students. It might also be inconvenient for families that have to share devices. You can have classes in the morning and allow learners to work on their own throughout the rest of the day.
Make it Engaging
During a lockdown, teachers can be tempted to overwork their students by uploading and sending massive workloads to the students. However, this is not effective. During times of uncertainty when schools are closed for extended periods, you should try to engage learners just like you would in a traditional classroom. If this does not happen, students end up being overwhelmed and learning less.
Virtual learning can be successful without overworking your students. Divide the workload into smaller chunks, this way; learners have an easier time learning and understanding the content. Also, provide frequent feedback by leaving comments or engaging in a class chat.
The sudden need to shift from our normal lives has not been an easy transition; however, we can the best out of it. Virtual learning has transformed the education sector in a big way. Students can access learning materials remotely and they can engage with their peers and instructors virtually.