24 cze 2021

Virtual classrooms vs. video conferencing tools in teaching and training

SZKOLENIE Czas wymagany na przeczytanie: 4 min

Technology advanced spectacularly in the world of teaching and training, but with so many solutions on the market, it´s not easy to distinguish the right ones. That is why we looked into two of the most popular solutions: virtual classrooms and video conferencing tools.

Virtual classrooms are solutions created specifically for teaching and training. They enable successful learning outcomes through high-quality interaction, engaging content via polls and quizzes, collaborative tools such as whiteboards or enhanced breakout rooms. In addition, they deliver in-depth analytics and overall, they offer a more immersive type of experience.  

Video conferencing tools enable live, remote, online communication through audio or video meetings. They have built-in features such as chat, screen sharing, recording or breakout rooms. They are perfectly suitable for the working world but can also be used for teaching or training. However, their success for instruction purposes is highly variable.   

Video conferencing tools as emergency solutions 

While they can be a helpful solution for a limited period, they usually don't deliver the full range of advantages available from more sophisticated online learning platforms like virtual classrooms. These advantages that are lacking include high levels of engagement, quality interaction and collaboration or the possibility to truly oversee and support learners.  
With video conferencing tools, successful learning outcomes are more difficult to obtain - a problem that has been flagged by numerous customers and experts.


The challenges of video conferencing tools 

The approach of merely replacing face-to-face training with remote training poses challenges to instructors in the corporate world and higher education. For example, research conducted among L&D professionals by Fosway Group revealed that 70% of organizations are using video conferencing software as part of their virtual training programs, but only 10% rate it as effective.  

Additionally, in an AMBA & BGA survey, business schools' leaders named their top challenges in delivering online education via conferencing tools: internet connection, student engagement, transforming courses for an online format, interaction among participants, identifying gaps in students' understanding, etc.



The advantages of virtual classroom solutions 

How are teaching and training solutions like virtual classrooms tackling those challenges? What are the advantages they can bring? Read our three main advantages below.


1. Purpose-built, they offer a rich teaching and learning experience  

Virtual classrooms are purpose-built for teaching and training, often designed together with universities, business schools and L&D specialists.  

A virtual teaching and training tool such as a virtual classroom enables a rich experience for both instructor and participants.   

With the right solution, instructors never lose sight of their participants, not even in breakout rooms. They impact every person in the audience, encourage quality interaction, and share varied, interactive content such as videos, polls, and quizzes.   

Instructors monitor participants, offer support whenever necessary, and get user analytics to optimize classes and learning outcomes.  

On the other hand, the learners can form strong ties with their peers in a fun, interactive learning environment. They experience quality engagement and in-depth collaboration, perfect for creative ideation and inspiring brainstorm sessions. 

Lastly, virtual classrooms offer a well-deserved break from video conferencing used by most learners at work. Virtual classrooms enable a differentiated, enhanced educational experience that will deliver results effectively and interestingly. 

2. They bring a competitive advantage in a digital, globalized world 
As McKinsey (2020) asserts, ´to stay competitive in this new business and economic environment requires new strategies and practices´
Since 2020, teaching and training have transformed irreversibly. The age of classroom-only education has set, and learners' expectations have changed.   
With teaching and training more global than ever, competition is transcending geographical borders. As a result, instruction offerings and brand reputation have become more consequential than location.   

Organizations and educational institutions must prepare to transform and diversify their offer, become flexible and digital. Learners have discovered that there is no one way of learning, but a myriad: face-to-face or fully online, hybrid, synchronously or asynchronously.  

They now seek different formats, customized tracks or short training activities. They demand rich multimedia content; authentic interactions; and memorable, high-quality learning experiences delivered at their convenience. Virtual teaching and training platforms can fulfil that need with a high degree of success.
3. They support your digital transformation strategy for a thriving future 
Digital transformation is top of mind for all organizations that want to ensure a thriving future for themselves.  
For example, digitalization is deemed essential for running a business school over the next 10 years. 63% of leaders responded to the AMBA&BGA survey asserting that digitalization will be very important.

As for the corporate world, Gartner's 2020 CEO Survey, cited by Deloitte, revealed that more than 80% of organizations planned to increase their expenditure on digital transformation.  

A purpose-built virtual teaching tool such as a virtual classroom will support your digital transformation journey in many aspects. Based on the nine elements of digital transformation, we can mention customer understanding, customer touchpoints, process digitization and worker enablement.   

With a powerful solution, you will unlock the power of data and enable analytics that will help check for understanding and information acquirement and improve learning outcomes.   

But digital transformation is not only about technology and tools but also about mindsets. Virtual teaching and training via a purpose-built, user-friendly tool will support digital adoption and an innovation-oriented attitude across the organization and among your customer base. 

Barco supports your organization´s learning outcomes and digital strategy 

Our virtual classroom solution, Barco weConnect, will help you to deliver rich teaching and training experiences that enable bright outcomes.
It will give you a competitive edge in a globalized and digital world, and ultimately be a cornerstone on your journey towards successful digital transformation. 

With our platform, the instructor engages with participants remotely, from anywhere in the world, never losing sight of them, not even in breakout rooms.
Learners will enjoy a rich, engaging learning experience in a virtual environment, meaningful interaction and high engagement via polls, quizzes and enhanced breakout rooms. They can easily switch between multiple available views. They can ask questions, chat with peers, answer polls and quizzes, draw or add pins to the whiteboard.