In object oriented programming, a virtual class would be a specialized inner class whose various member variables and functions can be overriden andredefined by subtypes of an outer class. Virtual classes are like virtual functions within an executable application. The difference between a normal function and a virtual function is that a normal function can have side effects when it is called outside its enclosing instance, whereas a virtual function does not. As well, in case of a virtual function, the value of its argument or its return value is not conserved, unlike a normal function.
Easier Development Process
One of the main benefits in using virtual classes in an education system is that they make the development process easier because every student has a similar set of requirements for learning. Every student has a common environment to learn and work in, which makes it easier for them to learn together. This is very different from the situation where the instructor is the only teacher available, with the responsibility for every student’s learning. Furthermore, virtual classes allow every student to move as freely as he or she wishes while in a group or in a classroom.
When we talk about LMS (Learning Management System), the LMS effectively integrates all aspects of e learning, as well as providing a rich web browsing interface. The web browsing capability of a LMS allows for various processes to be easily conducted in real-time. With LMS, instructors can share videos, documents, and applications with their students, and the students can share these with one another. Students can also take advantage of multi-media features present in the LMS such as forums, discussion boards, shared files, chat rooms and digital whiteboards.
However, while LMSs are quite effective, many believe that the cost involved in implementing a virtual classroom software in education systems is too high. Many people argue that facilitators and instructors cannot get the necessary resources to implement such systems, thereby causing them to close down. On the other hand, the facilitators cannot implement a virtual classroom software system without the consent of the instructors themselves. Therefore, it can be argued that the cost of a virtual classroom software system is justified since it serves both the instructor and the student.
Interact More Effectively
Another significant advantage of a virtual classroom allows learners to interact more effectively with their instructors. In a physical classroom, the distance between the instructor and the student is increased, whereas the situation in a virtual classroom allows the learners to access the instructor physically, via a web camera. With virtual classes, learners are able to monitor the instructor’s performance directly, even if they are on a different location. They can easily find out if the teacher is answering questions, answering homework or giving tutorial.
Finally, virtual classes can benefit both students and tutors equally. In traditional classrooms, students miss out on the opportunity to ask their tutors questions. However, with virtual classes, students get the chance to get started right away. It allows them to ask their own questions as well. Further, with the availability of multiple learning environments, tutors can assist their students from different parts of the world.