Ranganath is the Director-Growth for Agora. He is responsible for the overall business and operations of Agora.io India and the SAARC region. His directive includes growing market share and driving healthy ecosystem growth among both partners and customers in the region. He comes with a strong Sales & Business Leadership background with over 25 years of in-depth industry experience. Prior to joining Agora.io, Ranganath co-founded Fetchon.com, worked with Syniverse Technologies, Verisign Inc, EFI, Unimobile and Micros Fidelio India in various capacities. He holds an Executive MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and is a graduate in Arts from Osmania University along with a diploma in Hotel Management and Catering Technology.
Consider a virtual classroom setup: The teacher prepares an engaging lesson incorporating diverse content. Students log in, are eager to learn, and enjoy the spontaneous interaction that makes classes interesting. Isn’t this how we envision virtual learning to be?
However, the reality can be quite different. Several problems emerge. The teacher uses a whiteboard, but the illustrations appear several seconds later. Students ask questions in the chat, but there is a lag. And the teacher has moved on to the next point. The teacher tries on-camera lecturing—but there’s a disconnect between the video and audio. The class is not the seamless experience the teacher and students expected.
What matters is how well they’re synchronized with many individual components in play during a live lesson. The ability to deliver a high-caliber virtual learning environment will determine its success; if the platform’s features are out of sync, it will be useless.
A virtual classroom is a demanding use case for real-time engagement due to the many participants and diverse locations. Amidst this virtual setting, teachers and students must maintain the same interactivity level as before. When technology foils teachers’ plans, they’ll quickly reject the platform as inadequate. A developer’s solution is likely to lose customers soon if it develops a reputation for having out-of-sync components. Hence, synchronization is a crucial component of any virtual classroom solution.
Synchronous online classrooms can allow for real-time messaging and enable teachers to share PowerPoint slides, Word or PDF files, or audio/video files with students synchronously. Teachers and students can even write things collaboratively on a whiteboard in the virtual online classroom.
It is essential to have a solution that can perform in different settings, such as one-to-one classrooms, small classrooms, lecture halls, breakout classes, and hybrid classrooms.
To deliver the full range of virtual classroom capabilities at the best available quality—without the synchronization issues of a multi-vendor strategy its crucial to include the following characteristics:
- Audio – High-fidelity, HD-quality sound allows clear communication with ultra-low latency.
- Video – HD-quality video and smooth, uninterrupted 48kHz sampling up to 192 kbps bitrate bring participants face-to-face from anywhere, on any device.
- Chat – Chat and signaling with ultra-low latency and high concurrency provides additional opportunities for classroom interaction. Offline caching enables students and teachers to access messages even when disconnected.
- Whiteboard – Teachers can use sophisticated tools like text editors, Float Bar, graphics tools, shapes, laser pointers, and hand tools to augment display content and provide interactive engagement and communication.
- File sharing – With dynamic file sharing, teachers and students may effortlessly exchange documents throughout a lesson, such as lesson plans, homework assignments, and more.
- Recording – Virtual classroom streams may be stored locally or on the cloud. Sessions can also be pre-recorded for students to view or listen to later.
Each virtual classroom component should provide top-notch availability and performance in any network condition on any device. A quality monitoring system may modify poor-quality servers, automatically fix problems, and optimize the network to keep latency well below 400ms, the accepted industry benchmark for a satisfactory user experience.
For reliable coverage worldwide, the platform should have several data centers so that participants in a virtual classroom may connect to the network with low latency, quick data transfer, and high performance. These are prerequisites for an excellent virtual classroom experience.
The Future of Virtual Classrooms
Virtual classrooms that can be online very quickly and aid businesses in swiftly seizing possibilities have a prolonged future. Companies creating learning management systems, massive open online courses (MOOCs), tutoring services, language learning programs, and other virtual learning goods should concentrate on company development without grappling with the intricate mechanics of Real-time Engagement.
By building your platform to deliver the full range of real-time engagement capabilities instructors and students depend on, with the closely synchronized experience needed for effective learning, you can position your business to thrive in the new world of online education.