The concept of the virtual workplace is used in three initiatives to create an out-of-classroom environment where learners worked on virtual space while engaging in learning activities. The first involves a multigroup field-class working at geographically separated locations, under on-demand supervision from the lecturer on virtual workplace, using Internet, video and text messaging, on-demand file uploads and file transfers. The second involves use of virtual lab, to prepare for complicated laboratory procedures and reduce classroom time by allowing virtual hands-on lab exposure. The third initiative is supported by online learning resources, providing a learning environment on demand, on virtual workplace and hence with the associated freedom of choice. Learner responses to each of these initiatives are discussed.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Online Learning: Learning via the internet platform.
Online Learning Resources: Learning resources that are made available online, not from printed sources.
Learning Environment on Demand: Environment supporting student learning initiated and operated upon demand from learners.
Virtual Lab: A lab facility that is on virtual space, to be accessed through the internet.
Learning Scaffold by Lecturer: Facilitation and knowledge support provided by the lecturer.
Synchronous Remote Contact: Simultaneous online contact among multiple groups operating at different locations.
Multi-Group Field Work: A fieldwork exercise where multiple groups are operating simultaneously at geographically separated locations.
Virtual Learning Place: A place ‘anywhere’, physically remote from traditional physical learning facility.
Lab Procedures Online: Lab procedures that can be carried out on virtual space, using internet platform.