Virtual online courses and the teaching of these courses should be carried out according to a set of standards in the design of the content of these courses that will establish the basis for better learning.
Next, we are going to analyze the necessary elements to enjoy an effective online virtual Education, highlighting the role that teachers, students and institutions must play to facilitate the transfer of a traditional education model, anchored in the past and that leaves many young people behind, in front of the new innovative education models such as e-learning and the own training online and through RV.
These tips are designed for the new education, that education for the masses, that is, virtual education. These tips are developed so that students do not lose their motivation and their desire to learn.
Keys to Effective Online Virtual Education
In this sense, the courses must be led by an instructor. A clear and consistent instructor presence is critical to the successful delivery of online virtual courses. Teachers can facilitate student learning by working with students online to stay on task and organize their time appropriately to ensure success in a virtual environment.
Courses must be learner-centred as, in virtual online courses, it is not practical to rely exclusively on traditional lecture-based learning. Instead, teachers should act as educational facilitators and coaches, designing challenging activities and providing effective guidance and high-quality feedback.
For this reason, learning should be collaborative in nature. With virtual online courses, many more small group activities and team projects can be introduced into the academic curriculum and students should collaborate in order to foster an online community of learners.
Course work should maximize flexibility of participation while providing a framework for student pace. In order to accommodate student schedules and provide optimal time zone flexibility, online virtual courses can and should be designed so that students do not have to be all online at the same time.
This is what the courses of the future will look like
Courses must be asynchronous but scheduled, that is, students must complete the established activities within a given time frame. In order for students to keep up with their classmates and help them successfully complete the course in the assigned time frame, the course should establish a clear framework to guide students to complete assignments in a timely manner.
The ability of students to access and work on their courses “24/7” should be an asset to online education.
Courses should foster the information, communication and technology skills needed for success in this century, such as 21st century learning and information and communication technology skills.
Virtual online courses should make full use of the online environment to develop effective online information, communication and interpersonal skills, as well as collaboration and team-building. In addition, courses should require students to use inventive thinking skills, i.e. creativity, problem solving and critical thinking.
The course format, expectations and instructions should be clear and concise.
Online virtual courses should be interactive and use the full range of resources and tools offered by the Internet. This effort should include the consistent use of clear and specific instructions, as well as aesthetically pleasing online materials.
Like quality face-to-face courses, virtual online courses should set clear expectations for students and include specific grading rubrics. Special attention should be given to clearly and directly communicating expectations for course performance to students.
Taking into account different learning styles
Activities and assessments should take into account different learning styles.
Because learners have unique learning styles, online virtual courses should include varied activities and assessments that fit the learning styles of all learners.
Courses should use the latest best practices: The body of research on online learning is growing every day. Virtual online courses should be designed and delivered to incorporate best practices.
What is needed in the Virtual Room to have a successful online virtual course for students.
To implement an online course with virtual reality, we will need at least one virtual online room that supports at least 100 simultaneous participants.
In addition, several typical aspects of this type of conference should be taken into account, such as that they should be recorded for those students who cannot participate in each session. In this type of video-session, two-way voice communication should be possible between the teacher and the students.
The possibility to do a practical training together in the Virtual Room should be allowed while other participants can watch and learn, as well as the possibility to show videos, images and slides of the conference to the participants inside the Virtual Room.
Each participant should use their own face with the avatar or some random avatars in case they do not want to reveal their faces, but the name of each participant should be visible near the avatar.
Learning to support different learning styles
We must support the different learning styles and take them into account in the practical activities and in the evaluation of the course. To achieve this, we have the following tools.
- Ability to run VR/AR/MR/XR/360- courses within the Virtual Room and thus replace the normal style courses when appropriate.
- Access to the VR/AR/MR/XR/360 editor to demonstrate how new content can be easily created.
- Lectures should be teacher-led so that the teacher has a clear view of how each student is progressing in the case of a practical style continuing education.
- Support for many different types of virtual equipment that can be used to participate in the online virtual lessons
- Support for virtual gloves to have haptic feedback in practical training, thus motivating participants with an improved WOW effect compared to the traditional remote control based training session.
Dealing with material limitations
Take into account the limitations of wired VR/AR/MR/XR glasses by designing the course material so that not all participants can make large movements in virtual space due to the limitations of wired VR/AR/MR/XR glasses.
Taking into account when designing the course material that not all participants necessarily have high quality VR/AR/MR/XR glasses
For this reason it is essential to take into account when designing the course materials that learning must be collaborative at least in some parts of the lectures and therefore small group activities and practical training must be possible within the Virtual Room.
Virtual study centres will need to support 24/7 access to the Virtual Room for students to view missed lectures, do practical exercises and train more in their own time on topics they have not yet fully understood based on previous lectures.
Also, any learning environment with VR should have the ability to show different types of tests/quizzes/exams to participants and ask them to complete them simultaneously so that participants do not see what others will answer, i.e. only the teacher has access and visibility to all the answers of all participants.
This includes the ability to send the teacher a private response (only the teacher can see it) or a bulk response (all participants within the Virtual Room can see it), or to have the teacher “screen share” with students when students need to show something to all other participants within the Virtual Room or to edit the course material on the fly using the VR/AR/MR/XR/360 editor or more traditional tools for editing lecture slides, etc.