The SU

Oops I did it again... Etiquette for online lectures

Oops I did it again... Etiquette for online lectures

It’s been 8 months since the world went virtual and our hours on Zoom have really been racking up. We’re all starting to get used to life online a bit more now, but online learning is still something we’re adjusting to. But what’s the true online learning etiquette?

  1. Check your backgrounds

Scrolling through Insta a couple of months ago and it was a-flood of embarrassing things happening in the background of video calls. Whether that’s an unwelcome intruder, a misplaced object or a pile of laundry that’s more than overdue a wash. Before you hop online, just do a once-over and check that you’d be okay with your nan seeing what your whole lecture can see.

  1. You’re on Mute

It’s sometimes a bit of light-hearted relief when you’re saying something important and profound to realise your microphone is on mute, but if you’ve been gearing yourself up to say something it’s better off people hear you the first time.

However, this can also work the other way. If you’re not talking, mute your microphone. There’s nothing more distracting for other people than hearing their own voice echoing. This is particularly important as well if you’re somewhere with a lot of background noise, or in a shared space; as much as we’re sure you love your housemates, the world doesn’t need to know about what they’re getting from Dominos.

  1. Remember you’re on camera

It might seem like an obvious one but it’s easy to forget that we’re on camera particularly if you find yourself drifting away from your lectures. OBVIOUSLY, we hope you’re 100% paying attention, but sometimes we do just switch off or need to multitask. Countless videos of people forgetting they’re on camera have been online. Whether it’s taking your lecture to the loo with you or getting ready for a lunchtime workout. If you’re doing something that you don’t want to be on a recorded lecture then PLEASE just make sure you turn your webcam off, or you know… wait until it’s finished.

  1. Try and stay focused

Conference call fatigue is real. Particularly if we’re sitting on zoom back-to-back it can be very easy for our minds to wander. If you can, try and stay present with the lectures. Believe it or not, everyone can tell if you’re not paying attention. It’s even more important to stay focused when we’re learning virtually than with IPT because it’s so easy to miss something important or an opportunity to contribute. Try and keep your phone out of the way and resist checking your messages. Some people even recommend swapping typed notes to written notes when doing online lectures because there’s less chance of our keyboards ‘accidentally’ heading to Facebook!

  1. Do stuff that you enjoy

You’ve heard it to death we know, but it’s important that we take breaks and are still doing what we enjoy, particularly things that are away from the screen. Even if that’s reading a book or painting, or getting involved in something more sociable we need to make time for ourselves and keep doing what we enjoy doing not only for our sanity but also to stop our screen time creeping up to shameful levels.