For the last three decades the student/teacher ratio has increased by 30% - in the US there are 26.8 pupils per teacher for public secondary schools. The providers of traditional training are limited in reaching a larger number of students by their resources – mainly teachers and facilities. Blended/hybrid learning is addressing these issues by mixing learning methods that incorporate multiple teaching modals - traditional face-to-face classrooms, videoconference teaching and self-paced learning. Currently, blended learning is one of the fastest growing models in the teaching organizations – vocational training providers, K-12, universities, corporate training, etc.
Compared to massive online self-paced courses, which lack live interaction, immediate feedback and personal support, blended training improves the quality of learning. Studies report that on average only 25% of learners complete their self-paced courses in comparison to 75% when there is live interaction.
In the context of blended learning, combining a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) like Canvas with a virtual classroom for synchronous(live) online instruction could be a flexible substitute to traditional classroom training.
A Virtual classroom brings a number of benefits to teaching organizations:
A 2010 U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis found that blended learning, where students have options for live interaction combined with online learning experiences, is the most effective learning model. However, its successful implementation requires relevant pedagogical approaches and instructional models. Here are some tips from our experience:
Virtual classrooms provide an abundance of opportunities, especially when combined with LMS platforms. They favor social interaction, learner’s motivation, and relationship building within the group, which increases the retention rate.