Virtual Learning Center and Its Effect on Learning
A virtual learning center is an online learning platform that uses computer software to partake in a web-based educational platform. Even though this method of teaching and learning has been accepted with mixed feelings, studies have demonstrated that there is a growing demand for virtual learning centers on a global scale. Designed to address the needs of its users, virtual learning centers have expanded their coverage to serve learners and students in grades K-12 as well as at the university level.
There exist a variety of reasons why institutions continually integrate the virtual learning option into their systems. These reasons comprise: virtual learning centers minimize costs by lowering the costs of infrastructure and staff, enable and promote networking of instructions between various institutions and campuses, permit the reuse of common study materials for different courses, and address the gap of distance constraint and time differences, enabling students to have flexible schedules.
Studies report that between 2000 and 2009, enrollments in virtual learning platforms in the United States alone, increased by over fourteen percent while the K-12 virtual learning market recorded an estimated annual increase of thirty percent. Possible explanations for this increase among students include: virtual learning centers are cost-effective and present students with flexible schedules, they make education readily accessible to students who otherwise had no access, they instruct similarly to the current generation of students, and they have the potential to improve student’s achievement through the provision of activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure. For institutions, the advantages of a Virtual Learning Center are many. They are able to set training courses or lessons for the students to finish all at once, regardless of how close or far they are. This environment also allows the trainer to help remotely in case it is needed.
SLIPPS project is using a virtual learning center approach to share the important learning events among the stakeholders. In the first phase SLIPPS project collects a wide variety of important learning events from the project participants to the virtual learning center. In this phase the project members want to learn from the multinational examples and understand how these learning events could be used as examples for teaching and learning. In the second phase the learning events could be used for the actual teaching and learning activities. As the learning events are of very personal nature SLIPPS project and the virtual learning center will take care that all learning events are properly anonymized before publishing.
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