Virtual Classroom: A web-based teaching

A virtual classroom is a web based class, in which the teacher(s) and students can interact anytime, everywhere. A lot of lecturers from many reputable universities around the world are using such thing in their class. Harvard University, for instance, is using video conferencing in the class.1

Several universities in Indonesia are using the same thing. For example, Kunthi Afrilinda Kusumawardhani, a lecturer of International Relations program at President University2, has encouraged her students to use the virtual classroom method. By using this technology, her students can access all materials given, discuss them, and do the quizzes as well.

However, the implementation of the virtual classroom brings both advantages and disadvantages.

What is virtual classroom?

The virtual classroom has a myriad of advantages. One of them is that the communication between the lecturer and the students can be conducted anytime and anywhere without having to meet face to face as long as the internet connection works. The learning process using this method is also student-based so the students are encouraged to be active and creative during their study.

In doing the evaluation, the lecture can deliver different ways of assessment of learning in such a way that the students' potential can be assessed well. The parents, therefore, can monitor what their children do in the class.

Virtual classroom for the future

Nevertheless, the use of the virtual classroom still has some things to improve its performance. Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) mentioned some of the challenges like the lack of experienced lecturers to teach in the virtual classroom, the reliability of the learning content, the academic and assessment validity, the plagiarism and the students' limited access.3

Despite its advantages and disadvantages, the virtual classroom is a sophisticated breakthrough. In today’s modern world, students are required to be tech-savvy dealing with such new method of learning like the virtual classroom. In the future, it is expected no single Indonesian student is gaptek (technology illiterate).