Report of the Sultan Qaboos University
College of education
Presentation ILT Department
Done By : Murtadha ALAjmi
Submitted to : Dr. Alaa Sadik
Actually, there are various definitions to explain the meaning of Virtual
classroom as follows:
A teaching and learning environment located within a computer-
mediated communication system.
All activities and interactions take place through the computer instead
Virtual education refers to instruction in a learning environment where
teacher and student are separated by time or space, or both, and the ...
The online learning space where students and instructors interact.
The electronic, learning community where students and teaching
faculty interact using Internet listservs and the World Wide Web.
Virtual classrooms provide the community and control some learners
Flexible time: students may participate at any time of the day...
(Learning is flexible).
Location: students are not limited to courses offered in their geographic
locality.( Overcome distances)
More active learning: the computer forces response and attention.
A Virtual Classroom might contain:
Group and individual learning activities
Discussions and chats with students, parents and guests
Quizzes and surveys
Homework activities and assessment documents
Full online courses with modules of work
Forums and synchronous chat sessions WebQuests, Hotlists,
Scavenger Hunts, etc.
Time of interaction
Type of interaction
Self-based learning √
Flexibility Anytime √
Ease of access/use √
Speed Feedback √
Stand-alone medium √
Multimedia support √
Advantages for students
Virtual classrooms remove the need to travel to a location in which to
participate in the course or lessons.
Virtual classrooms can be accessed from any computer that has the
necessary software, hardware, Internet connection, and Internet
browser requirements in order to participate in the virtual classroom.
Virtual classrooms are accessible to students with physical disabilities,
which is an advantage over the real classroom, as they can access it
Virtual classrooms have been affirmed as “time independent� meaning
that students can access the course material and activities in the virtual
classroom at a time that is most convenient to them.
Advantages for teacher
The teacher is not required to work from an office or classroom to
instruct lessons or organize material and lessons; this can be done
from anywhere where they have access to a computer with an Internet
connection and other necessary software/hardware, which is an
Electronic content can be updated more efficiently than printed
material, and at a lower cost, which saves the teacher time and money
when preparing and adjusting material to suit their lessons and courses
within their virtual classroom.
Advantages for Schools and
Businesses operating Virtual
For educational institutions and businesses offering courses, lessons,
and/or training through virtual classrooms, several advantages exist
over the traditional form of delivering courses and training in a physical
classroom. One source says that technology-delivered training costs is
less than half that of lecture/laboratory training costs, which is an
advantage to educational institutions and businesses who want to
create a means of educating people in a cost-effective format. Also,
because training hours are usually less in a virtual classroom compared
with a traditional classroom, they are an advantage to educational
institutions as they would be paying teachers less because teachers
would be working fewer hours to conduct lessons in the virtual
Limitations for students
Limited offerings: the choice of courses is limited at present.
Equipment requirements: students who do not have a computer will have
to travel to use the necessary equipment.
Delayed feedback: it may be hours until a question is answered by the
Limitations for teacher
The teacher must develop educational content that is interesting, relevant
and important to students, and in an appropriate format (using
asynchronous communication or synchronous communication tools),
which is a difficult task.
Implementations of VC
Second Life has recently become a virtual classroom for major colleges and
Cisco webex: provides on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web
conferencing and video conferencing applications. Its products include
Meeting Center, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center,
MeetMeNow, PCNow, WebEx AIM Pro Business Edition, WebEx WebOffice,
WebEx Connect, and others.
Microsoft Live Meeting
Select a qualified instructor.
Provide complete instruction.
Simplify tasks for learners.
Manage teams and deal with problem learners.
Enable interpersonal communication.
Pick tools to suit learners:
Communication and Interaction in Virtual Classroom
Students in virtual education typically acquire knowledge in a uni-directional manner first
(e.g. by studying a video, reading a textbook chapter). Electronic media like a discussion
forum, chat room, voice mail, e-mail, etc. are often employed for communication.
Homework assignments are normally submitted electronically, e.g. as an attachment to an e-
mail. When help is needed, lecturers, tutors, or fellow students, or a help desk are available,
just like in a real university. The difference is that all communication goes via electronic
Chat is “an online, real-time interactive communication method using text to send
and receive instant messages? (World Wide Learn, 2005). It is commonly
recognised as text-to-text communication that occurs between two or more people
using the chat program, for example Microsoft’s Messenger Network (MSN).
In comparison, videoconferencing allows the transfer of aural and visual
communication over the Internet, thus communication occurs without text.
Teleconferencing is much the same in that it does not involve textual
communication; it occurs over the Internet, but is also possible over other
“telecommunication channels such as telephone lines, [and] local area networks?
Both of these forms are most alike to face-to-face communication.
In virtual classrooms, synchronous communication is used for learning and
teaching, it has been referred to as a “channel? Of communication, which learners
use to communicate with fellow class members and their teacher. Chat can occur
between the teacher and the learner in real-time; hence replies are immediate, which
is an attribute similar to face-to-face conversation in the traditional, physical
classroom. Chat sessions are usually organised with a predetermined purpose that
is in line with other learning activities in the virtual classroom. The way that chat is
used can vary. For example, the discussion topic, level of engagement, and whether
the communication is formal or non formal, and what the aim of the chat session is,
all vary among different virtual classrooms.
Videoconferencing and teleconferencing in virtual classrooms are not as common
as chat tools, because they require “a minimum connection speed? As they are
“memory-intensive; all students may not have these requirements.
E-mail is an asynchronous communication tool; the sender and receiver do not
have to be in the same space as each other, or sending/receiving at the same time
as each other. Listservs are an “automatic e-mail service? That sends e-mails that
can be read by the recipient at any time. Listserv e-mails cannot usually be replied
to, and are only sent to subscribers (World Wide Learn, 2005). These are common
on websites that send out weekly newsletters or advertisements; they are
informative, can be read at any time, but cannot be replied to. These pages can be
read and commented on by others at any time, by accessing the web page that the
weblog is contained on, for example Blogger is a service where people can create
and view weblogs. Threaded discussions are an asynchronous communication tool;
they are based on a topic that is discussed by a group of people, who contribute at
the Virtual Classroom
In many virtual classrooms, “the instruction is delivered at one time and the work
can be done at a different time? (Oregon Network Education, date unknown). In this
case, learning is self-directed, and asynchronous communication tools are used.
Asynchronous tools used in the virtual classroom allow students to participate in
various class activities, discussions, and other online interactions with their teacher
and fellow class members, at their own pace and in their own time (World Wide
Learn, 2005; Watkins, 2004). Both the teacher and the student benefit from
asynchronous communication forms, such as discussion groups and forums,
because the “entire discussion is recorded? Points can be revised any time after or
even during a discussion.
There was researcher in USA called Dana Parrish. He conducted in 2005 the
most used Virtual classroom tools to find out the first three tools by doing
questionnaire/survey. The tested tools were as follows:
- Horizon Wimba
- Macromedia Breeze
- Microsoft Live Meeting
The researcher had found out that Horizon Wimba, iLinc, and Microsoft Live
Meeting are the most attractive and implemented tools of virtual classroom
through internet in USA.