Going Virtual

May 25, 2011
School of Engineering, Amritapuri

Learning is turning virtual. Education through virtual learning (VL) is becoming more popular every day. The quickly advancing innovative teaching method hasn’t just made its way into high schools; in some cases it has actually replaced them. IHigh Virtual Academy in San Diego, California is an example of a fully functioning, accredited virtual school which has obviated the need for the traditional high school setting.

On April 29 and 30, Prof. Raghu Raman attended a conference at Hartford, U.S.A., where he presented two papers illustrating the merits of VL.

virtual learning

The conference was sponsored by IAJC (International Association of Journals and Conferences) and ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education).

During his first presentation titled Virtual Labs Collaborative and Accessibility Platform (VLCAP), Raman explained Amrita’s development and deployment of the collaborative and accessibility platform in the scientific community. He also discussed how scalable architecture enhanced learning using high-resolution imagery and high-definition video.

“VLCAP has multi-tier, scalable architecture at its core; the technology platform allows VL builders to focus on a particular logic in their experiments,” he said.

virtual learning

Further describing the advantages of the platform’s structure, he explained, “The axiomatic design of the user interfaces built into the various modules improves development time and assists in functional element use. VL workbench, collaborative content management and repositories are incorporated into the design.”

“VLCAP supports multiple deployment models and ensures scalable, reusable and reliable deployment in a hosted environment,” he summed up.

In his second presentation titled, Computer Assessment of Practical Skills (CAPS) Using Scaffolding Methodology as Enabler of Learning, Raman discussed a framework that utilized practical skills and practical assignment structure. The framework also considered feedback to promote constructivist learning wherein students learned on their own following teacher aided instruction.

virtual learning

Raman concluded explaining initial CAPS results, “It was discovered that students prefer assessment with intervention that includes appropriate hands-on simulation or interactive animation for the presented concept,” he said.

Virtual learning is breakthrough technology that takes education beyond the walls of the traditional classroom environment. It provides collaborative, flexible learning without boundaries. Some predict VL is the future of education. Amrita isn’t waiting for the future to arrive; it’s making VL a reality today.

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