Introduction to the Virtual Classroom

The studio arts require a highly dynamic interaction between faculty and students, facilitating presentation, discussion, and critique. Live web-conferencing enables faculty, students, and guest speakers to actively engage remotely in the third space, simulating the dynamics of a physical classroom or seminar space.

By: Randall Packer |

In order to replicate the dynamics of the classroom experience in a physical space, Adobe Connect is used for live web-conferencing. Adobe Connect is a browser-based application that does not require additional software except for the Connect Add-in. In my courses at NTU, taught from my studio in Washington, DC, students log in from their laptop computer, typically from home with a good broadband connection, and participate via camera and microphone from their laptop.

The Virtual Classroom functions as a hub for media presentation, the critique of student work, real-time conversation in a chat room, and dynamic Web links in which pages are remotely launched on student browsers. All forms of media, including images, video and sound can be integrated seamlessly into the virtual space of web-conferencing, with students and other participants cycling between Adobe Connect and their browser interface.

Web-conferencing also opens up the classroom to a much larger arena of participants, by accommodating guest artists, curators, and scholars from anywhere in the world. This ability to invite guests into the virtual classroom creates unprecedented opportunities for cross-cultural exchange, collaborative projects, and inter-institutional dialogue.

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An Adobe Connect session with NTU students in Issues in Interaction: Media & Performance, 2014

The following tutorials describe the fundamental techniques for using Adobe Connect as a virtual classroom in a highly energized, peer-to-peer environment for learning and teaching.