The next generation virtual classroom is here

Mike Lovell, SVP Marketing, Class
01 Feb 2024
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The next generation virtual classroom is here

Education is for all. Ensuring an equitable experience for all learners is at the heart of our mission to change the way the world learns. We’re thrilled for the opportunity to work with such capable, equally motivated partners to deliver on our mission—and Microsoft is chief among them.

 

Next-level solution

Class for Microsoft Teams fully integrates with the Microsoft Teams environment and modifies the same interface layout users utilise for virtual meetings to create a virtual classroom. We’ve built Class for Microsoft Teams with insights from educators and learners alike. We removed the instructor from the “grid view” and put them on their own podium for central viewing and class management. We designed the video wall to be customisable, allowing instructors to organise alphabetically, or even by the order of hands raised.

We also provided features to replicate the physical classroom, adding “front of room” to allow a group of learners to present from a central location for their virtual fellow participants. We added hand-raising and other feedback features, even making them only viewable by the instructor to provide real-time feedback on pacing and more. There are so many additional features—from “all breakout rooms” views to in-platform launching of videos, websites, and LMS-based quizzes, and from automated attendance and gradebook synching to secure proctoring—that serve as difference makers for both instructors and learners.

 

Benefiting from deeper analytics

Part of what virtual classroom platforms can provide are deeper insights not available for analysis through in-person learning environments. We track how long the instructor speaks, how long the learners talk, how many times learners raise their hands, how many chat messages they send and receive, and much more. All of this can be summarised at a high level or be made available as a detailed report. With these next-level insights, we can ensure every learner is being seen, addressing “yellow flags” sooner so that fewer learners fall through the cracks.

 

A platform for new technologies

We’re incredibly excited about upcoming feature releases, including our AI teaching assistant technology which will take detailed notes, answer learner questions alongside the instructor, and more; but, most notably, these tools are there to help facilitate learning—keeping capable, dedicated instructors at the heart of learning.

 

Delivering value to our customers 

Both Microsoft and Class were at Bett 2024 in London last week to connect with the brightest minds in education, including our joint presentation on the Ahead Auditorium stage. Our many conversations throughout the event highlighted the pivotal role of virtual classrooms in modern learning and training—and the enthusiasm reaffirmed the significance of instructor-led virtual education. Our commitment to enhancing virtual learning experiences underscores our dedication to advancing educational accessibility and innovation worldwide.

Matt Baker, SVP International Sales at Class, reflects on the experience, “It was so great to be at Bett with our partners at Microsoft and to announce the availability of Class for Microsoft Teams. This release expands our reach and provides new opportunities to improve virtual learning outcomes regardless of the video conferencing platform institutions choose to standardise on.”

 

Building the future of online learning

We’re eagerly anticipating what virtual classroom technology and AI are going to do to truly open up education and learning more broadly. Class is incredibly excited to be partnered with Microsoft. Ready to discover Class for Microsoft Teams? Reach out to one of our team members today!

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