Zoom is a relatively easy-to-use app and one of the most popular platforms for remote teaching or distant learning.
The tendency to approach the video conferencing app in a casual attitude is high, considering its popularity for social video calls. However, students must maintain an acceptable code of conduct in an academic environment, whether in in-person or virtual situations.
This article will share some important zoom classroom rules and best practices to help educators manage and improve the student virtual classroom experience.
Students may not know what they are expected to do if you don’t tell them. For this reason, it is crucial to set clear expectations before ever getting in front of students in a virtual classroom.
Here is what educators need to do from the beginning:
Provide vital information beforehand
- Make sure to include vital information in the syllabus regarding virtual class attendance. Students need to know from the beginning whether they are required to join in a live classroom session or if they can watch a recorded session.
- Let students know whether or not virtual classes will require the use of microphones and cameras.
Remind students of acceptable behavior and code of conduct
- Students should be aware that the student code of conduct and behavior expectations remains the same for a virtual learning environment.
- Violations and inappropriate behavior in the zoom classroom will be escalated for appropriate actions.
Provide zoom meeting details
- Make sure every student and participant is aware of the scheduled meeting. Email the meeting time and date well in advance.
- Provide a link to the Zoom virtual classroom so that students can easily join in at the scheduled time.
Record meetings and save chat logs
- Recording your meetings allows you to revise the virtual class sessions. It also gives participants who were not in the live session a chance to re-watch recorded lectures. You can record meetings directly to your computer or a cloud service. Of course, you can always delete the recording at a later time.
- Always notify students from the beginning if you plan to record the class.
- You can set Zoom to automatically save chat logs or do so manually.
Before the First Zoom Classroom Session
It is crucial to make sure that your equipment and devices are in good condition before your very first virtual classroom session. Most importantly, you need to learn how to use them.
- Practice hosting: Get familiar with the zoom app before your first class session. The app is user-friendly at straightforward, but it is usually a great idea to practice a few times before going live in front of a class. Among other things, practice how to share your screen, how to use the chat function, how to mute/unmute participants, and how to remove offending students from the virtual class.
- Get your content ready: Have any digital files or content you want to share ready before class begins.
- Invest in a good-quality headset: While holding zoom sessions in a quiet indoor location, such as an office, can minimize ambient noise, a headset will usually provide better audio quality than most built-in computer audio systems. A USB headset is a good choice.
- Test the audio: Make sure the microphone and speakers are set up properly before class sessions begin.
Take note of these zoom classroom rules, tips, and suggestions. They can help you manage the class better and help students get the best in a virtual learning environment.
It is a good practice to open your session about 10 minutes early. This will let you get everything you need for the session ready and allow participants to join before the class start.
- The standard recommendation is to set a meeting password. This will prevent unauthorized participation. All attendees will be required to enter the password to access the virtual classroom.
- Lock the zoom meeting once it is already in progress. You can decide how many minutes into the class to allow before locking the meeting. New participants who come late cannot join the meeting once you lock it.
In addition to zoom etiquettes for students, make sure everyone is clear on the following zoom classroom rules to ensure smooth live sessions:
- Take attendance: Attendance helps you to generate meeting reports. Have students type “here” or use the thumbs-up emoji in the chat window.
- Real name: Require students to use their real names. One way to enforce this is to let them know that only those who attend with their real names will receive attendance credit.
- Raise hand: Have students use the “raise hand” button and wait to be called upon before they speak. This will encourage orderliness.
Use the chat function
- You can ask questions or send remarks to everyone at the same time or individually in the chat window. Students can respond and also ask questions.
- Delegate a Teaching Assistant to track questions on the chat window.
Zoom offers plenty of useful features that can enhance virtual learning. However, these same tools can cause distractions if educators do not control their use.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent distractions:
- Mute participants: As the meeting hose, you can mute everyone’s microphone at once or mute individual students. Unmute them when you want them to speak.
- Disable video: You can block inappropriate and unwanted gestures on video by turning off a participant’s video.
- Disable private chat: Disabling in-meeting chats will restrict students’ ability to privately message each other while the meeting is in progress.
- Turn off file transfer: Files, pictures, memes, and GIFs are easily sharable using the in-meeting chat. Turn this off to prevent unsolicited sharing of content.
- Remove disruptive participants: If you notice a disruptive participant or an unauthorized attendee, you can remove them from the meeting. They won’t be able to join the meeting again unless you allow them.