What Features Are Crucial in Customized Virtual Classroom Software?
When you decide to expand your Online Tutoring Platform or launch the tool for the University's/School’s extra operations, you can develop a Virtual Classroom Software.
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When you decide to expand your Online Tutoring Platform or launch the tool for the University’s/School’s extra operations, there are always two options on the table: choose the all-in-one solution or develop a customized product adapted to your needs. Indeed, such a decision depends on many factors, including the list of expenses, the variety of functionality, and the deadlines. And if after the full consideration of details, you pick up to create a customized Virtual Classroom Software, you must be wondering: ‘Where to start?’, ‘How much will it cost?’, ‘Where to find a development team?’, and finally, ‘What features to add?’. The first ones necessitate a more in-depth examination of your specific approach and concept. However, after reading this article, the last question wouldn`t be a burden for you since we will sort out what features are the most crucial for the user-friendly, profitable Virtual Classroom Software. But first, let’s find out the buzz around such solutions and what the audience demands from them.
Why Does the Market Need Virtual Classroom Software?
The innovative teaching method extends beyond classrooms and training facilities. As shown in the 21st-century campus study, 61 percent of colleges and universities provide virtual learning, while 53 percent of students have taken virtual learning sessions. This is the reality of current society, current circumstances, where studying is constantly shifting from online education to offline and vice versa. So all the institutions and platforms must adapt and have a solid solution for the convenience of lectors and learners.
Designing a learning experience that matches up to the reputation your on-campus courses have gained is likely the most challenging issue in supporting online learning. Thus, here comes the customized Virtual Classroom Software, which is obligated to fulfill the demand of both educational institutions and participants of the course. And that is a challenging task since online education is nothing compared to real-life lessons. You might use diversity and make remote learning even more productive than offline; it depends on your product's functionality. For instance, in face-to-face studying, students cannot record the lecturer and use it for future exam preparation, but it is extra easy with online technologies. This, and many other features, which we will define, are building a perfect user experience.
What Features Are Required for the Virtual Classroom Software?
Virtual classroom software ranked first in the search engine results because it provides unrestricted access from anywhere, asynchronous learning, and simple classroom administration. Virtual classrooms are also intended to be engaging. They include collaboration-based technologies that facilitate peer involvement while allowing for more practical learning usage. Extensive feedback metrics, adaptability, tablet compatibility, and so forth are all advantages that should be applied to such eLearning software. But let’s go through the features one thing at a time to have a clear vision of each one.
1. Screen Sharing
Regarding program demonstrations and assignment overviews, screen sharing is essential. Tutors can also demonstrate how to handle problems at work in real-time. Indeed, suppose the virtual classroom software is merely a portion of the overall eLearning program. It should include all of the course resources accessible to all the participants, even during the video conference. But if the lecturer needs to show the assignment or the presentation in real-time, there should be a screen sharing feature available. Besides, it’s better to extend such functionality and make access to multiple screens shared at the same time from different participants. It’s better not to limit your users in this matter and make them close one screen to show the other one.
2. Breakout Rooms
We've all been to conferences that were chaotic and overloaded. Since so many people were chatting at once, you wouldn't even get a word in general conversation. Inside the virtual classroom, breakout rooms assist in establishing independent spaces. Tutors can, for example, give one-on-one assistance or split users into groups for exercises. In breakout rooms, participants can discuss alternative solutions to an issue presented by the speaker beforehand. They create narrowed environment where everyone gets the opportunity to express their thoughts and views. Usually, while the learners are not allowed to switch the groups and move within them, the lecturer should have the ability to enter each of them to listen to the groups’ presentations or assess the task.
3. Live Chats
In virtual lesson planning, live chat is a must-have functionality. During the online lesson, you need to create the perception of the full-fledged conversation between the lecturer and learners because otherwise, it's a one-sided monologue. Live chat allows participants to discuss thoughts, provide comments, and address questions. Tutors can also use the feature to mute learners (if there are too many of them) and encourage them to write questions or comments in the forum, which will help to simplify dialogue throughout the conference and structurize the sequence.
4. Mobile Optimization
A substantial section of your talent pool expects you to be able to access information at any time and from any location. To optimize compatibility, the software should be accessible from any gadget, such as a tablet or smartphone running any operating system, whether Android or iOS. There are a few ways to reach that goal - you can develop PWA, Hybrid, or Native app. Regardless of what approach you choose, make sure the user interface is convenient to take part in video conferences and conduct lessons with its tests on the go. Because nowadays, people more and more prefer the mobile learning environment, considering its availability for everyone ad everywhere. Moreover, they might be able to shift to their phone or tablet during the webinar and don't lose a single minute of the conference call.
Gamification is frequently towards the bottom of the "desired" agenda. Nevertheless, it should be a must because it can inspire remote learners and measure personal success, which increases engagement. Why not offer top participants a badge to wear on social media or reward points for the correct answers throughout the course? Or there could also be a scoreboard to create a competition. Even if you add the possibility for tutors to create flashcards or games within the platform to participate online, you will differ from the rivals.
6. Screen Recording
The ability to record the screen for reference purposes should also be available. Learners are expected to be able to keep all of their material, including video lectures, papers, homework, and schedules, in the eLearning software. They can do it by themselves during the live course, or the platform should provide it if they miss it. So there’s better be a dashboard with a limitless playback feature, where students may learn the content at their speed and in the more available time.
7. Video Search Engine
Learners may use a video search engine to identify and quickly forward to any point in a tape when a relevant term is uttered or seen on screen, making their study more productive. It could be connected to the ‘Notes’ feature, where the students then write down what they’ve learned. And within the record list of lectures, video tagging tools provide students with even more options to expand their knowledge. For instance, they can subscribe to the particular tags and find related webinars, which can help them better understand complex themes.
8. Video Conferencing
The whole virtual classroom software depends on the video conferencing feature. This is the superior functionality that helps to replicate the real-life learning experience. High-quality video conferencing makes online education more personalized. Live events, filming, and potentially even editing raw footage are all part of this. Teachers, coordinators, and guest speakers may contribute their perspectives from worldwide via video conferencing, which completes your software system's central aspect.
Instead of developing this feature from scratch, you may add the CPaaS (communication platform as a service) to your software. By choosing the well-known service providers, you will get the whole pack of solid functionality.
9. Whiteboard and Interactive Notes
Lecturers could find it helpful to draw thoughts or offer schematics on occasion. They can communicate and discuss ideas using the whiteboard LMS capabilities during online education. However, they may need to use a more robust visual approach to display all the work phases or respond to employee inquiries. Numerous virtual classroom software is equipped with whiteboards for tutors to let them demonstrate their point. The material may be shown with this feature, notes can be made, markings can be made, and detailed descriptions can be given—for instance, students who want to present a project to their classmates during class.
10. Participation Reports and Statistics
You should add the statistics panels to the platform, so the educators may quickly and effortlessly access essential data via attendance reports. Create a system that can gather information such as class duration and peer interaction in the classroom. Since the most significant component of online education and any studying is measuring and assessing the learners’ development. Thus, it's essential to include a feature that allows teachers to evaluate student performance. Your virtual classroom software should track users' progress throughout training and generate assessment ratings by gathering critical Big Data. So any material and class wouldn’t just go to waste.
In the overview above, we’ve collected the primary functionality, which will be fundamental for providing users a demanded service. But this list doesn’t exclude the possibility of adding some unique features which would differentiate the market. However, this is something to discuss further after thorough market research.
Published at DZone with permission of Tetiana Stoyko. See the original article here.
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