The rise of online learning, often via platforms such as Zoom, has led to a whole new way of interacting with your teachers and peers. Some students love the changes, and some students hate them. But if there’s one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that the past year has certainly been exciting!
Of course, the last thing you want is for some of that “excitement” to involve you in any potentially embarrassing ways. So as you use Zoom or other video formats to interact with your classes, keep these etiquette tips in mind.
Mute your mic. Keeping your mic muted reduces distractions for your teacher and other students, and can help you avoid any unwanted situations from occurring. You probably don’t want to share your younger sibling’s tantrum or your mom’s laundry meltdown with the rest of the class, after all.
Keep your camera on. We understand that you might feel uncomfortable being on camera, and that is perfectly normal. However, you will get much more interaction with your teacher and a much better classroom experience if your teacher can see your face and he/she knows that you are “present”. Also keep in mind that most colleges and university classes will require you to have your camera on during an online class. Getting used to it this year will prepare you for what may come next year.
Get yourself “camera ready”. Some students have expressed relief at lowered standards and expectations with regard to fashion this year. No longer do you feel the need to spend half an hour deciding what to wear, and you might not feel the need for makeup and time-consuming hairstyles. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should roll into class wearing pajamas and bed hair, so do take a few minutes for basic grooming and put on a nicer shirt.
Watch your setting. Your camera picks up anything in the background behind you, so keep that in mind. Choose an uncluttered space with a blank wall or other neutral background behind you.
Consider your posture. Slouching looks unprofessional, and makes it more difficult for your teacher to see your face clearly. There’s no need to become overly concerned with how you look in the camera, and you don’t need to sit perfectly still the entire time. Choose a comfortable chair and sit up straight, and you should naturally maintain an acceptable appearance.
Avoid eating during class. No one really wants to watch you chew, and snacking can become distracting anyway. Continue to eat at regularly scheduled meal times, just as you do in “regular” school.
Remind your family members. Before a Zoom meeting begins, remind your family members or hang a sign on your door. Interruptions should be kept to a minimum, both for the sake of your class and your own learning experience.