Step Five: Prepare and distribute contents
This step focusing on the below mentioned questions.
a. Which authoring tools should be used?
b. How to import, create, and edit images?
c. How to import, create, and edit sounds?
d. How to import, create, and edit graphics and animations?
e. How to import, create, and edit videos?
f. Where will the Web pages be posted?
Step Six: Enable communication
Effective communication between instructor and students and among students themselves should be a high priority issue during the design of the virtual classroom. Some pertinent questions are:
a. Which form of communication?
b. Which tools should be used?
Step Seven: Implement online student assessment methods Teaching
Implement online student assessment methods Teaching without assessing the amount of content that has been learned is hardly acceptable. It is well known that even the most conscious, mature students do not reach their highest potential limits if some sort of systematic evaluation does not challenge them. The following questions address the problem of assessing the student performance in the virtual classroom environment.
a. Should the virtual classroom contain quizzes?
b. What about online assignments?
c. Should we provide some kind of student evaluation?
d. How tests are implemented online?
e. What about cheating?
f. How will assignments, tests, etc. be submitted, graded, and returned to students?
Step Eight: Implement class management procedures
Class management tasks are the clerical and administrative tasks necessary to ensure that a classroom operates efficiently. These are tasks that many educators wish they did not have to perform, even knowing their importance for the operation of a class. It is natural to expect a computer-based virtual classroom to have some automatic tools to make these tasks easier and in fact many tools, such as WebCT, include class management modules. Some questions that may arise are:
a. Which type of class management information is relevant?
b. Which tools can be used to perform those tasks?
Step Nine: Set up the system
It is now time to get a little more technical and discuss some issues involved in setting up the system and making the virtual classroom available. Some of the relevant questions are:
a. Which hardware and software components are necessary?
b. What is needed to install, configure, and protect the virtual classroom contents?
Step Ten: Maintain and update the virtual classroom
Creating a virtual classroom demands a lot of work, but that is just the beginning. As with any other computer-based information system, the virtual classroom requires maintenance and frequent updates to retain its usefulness. Some of the questions involved are:
a. What are the media, software, and policies for backup?
b. Should the site contents and links also be maintained on a regular basis?
This article is aimed to define the conceptual background of distance learning and virtual classroom, to explore the present status of virtual classroom for providing distance learning in Bangladesh, find out the necessity of the distance learning through virtual classroom, and describe some strategies to implement virtual classroom for distance learning. Those have a previous understanding of the basics of Web-based education and want a structured simplified view of the steps that ought to be taken in order to successfully implement a virtual classroom.
Now all most every district has the Internet facilities. PC’s, Laptop are become familiar to mass people. More people have the access to telecommunication facility. By taking advantages of modern technology it is now easier to integrate virtual education in distance education. If we bring more people under virtual education program, we will get more skilled people who will contribute to overall development of our country.
In June 2010, a survey was carried out to explore access to digital technology, attitudes to digital technology and approaches to studying across the adult life span in students taking courses with the UK Open University. In total, 7000 people were surveyed, of whom more than 4000 responded. Nearly all these students had access to a computer and the Internet, but younger students were more likely than older students to have access to other technologies, to spend longer time using those technologies and to have more positive attitudes to digital technology. However, there was no evidence for any discontinuity around the age of 30, as would be predicted by the “Net Generation” and “Digital Natives” hypotheses. Older students were more likely than younger students to adopt deep and strategic approaches to studying and less likely to adopt a surface approach to studying. In addition, regardless of their ages, students who had more positive attitudes to technology were more likely to adopt deep and strategic approaches to studying and were less likely to adopt a surface approach to studying.
It is the right time to take such initiatives for our people. Both government and private agency should take right strategy to implement virtual classroom in distance learning. To cope with next century’s requirements we could utilize this technology.
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Manuscript received 14 Nov 2009; revision received 3 Mar 2010. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License For details please go to: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/
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AKLIMA SHARMIN: Divisional Education Coordinator (Dhaka and Chittagong Area), World Vision Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.