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Virtual and on-line education need to be used with caution
With the introduction of virtual lecture system in higher education, many times it is seen as a replacement of face-to-face education or diluting its value. In fact, market forces and investors are pouring millions for online and virtual education as a future market and trying to sell hardware and influencing education system to make teaching modern and hassle-free by going it.
Rajasthan Technical University in Kota has decided to start virtual lectures for higher education in engineering and management, reported Rajasthan Patrika. The university will soon set up virtual sever and studio to deliver live faculty lectures. Also, the facility for delivery of recorded lectures for other institutions will be made available, it is learnt.

However, research study by Sandy Winterbottom of University of Sterling informs that caution must be exercised not to make virtual lectures as a mechanism for replacing face-to-face teaching, but should be used to provide additional material or to free-up time for more discussion sessions or practical-based teaching.

"The recent increase in the accessibility of personal broadcast technology has opened a wealth of new opportunities for learning and teaching, which can enable us to meet the emerging needs of our students and address issues resulting from the changing dynamic of the student population. These issues include the requirement for more flexible learning, as students need to work increasingly long hours in paid employment to meet the cost of their education," says Winterbottom while lading virtual lectures as the best revision aid.

Similarly, a study by Luisa Signor at a techlnoogy university in Australia revealed no significant effect on students' raw score after transition to virtual lectures. According to Signor, the four-year use of virtual lectures had little impact on the academic results of students. The implication of the study is that sufficient face-to-face guidance to students is required along with implementation of virtual lecture system.
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