Virtual classes are the new normal. There’s simply no getting away from it. For this reason, students must learn the ground rules guiding the virtual classroom.
Here are some essential Zoom etiquette tips for students to follow if they want to create the best impression in their virtual classrooms.
Zoom Etiquette for Students During Classes
1. Dress Properly for Class
A virtual classroom doesn’t make you invisible to your teacher and classmates. Everyone on a zoom call can see you as long as your camera is turned on.
It is best not to give in to the temptation to attend a virtual class in your underwear or pajama bottoms. It can be embarrassing if you forget that your camera is still on and you stand up for any reason.
Although you are attending the class from the comfort of your home or even bedroom, make sure you are properly dressed for the Zoom meeting. Look tidy in your appearance. Put on a clean shirt and make sure you follow your normal hygiene routine.
2. Mute Your Microphone
The background noise in your surroundings may sound normal to you because you are hearing it in your physical environment without any device to amplify it. That same noise, however; can be very loud, distracting, and even annoying to others in the virtual classroom.
Remembering this Zoom etiquette is especially important for students once entering the virtual classroom: always mute your microphone.
Simply click on the microphone icon (usually at the bottom left corner of the zoom screen) to mute the microphone. This will completely turn off any background noise that can filter into the classroom and cause distractions.
3. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
Find a tidy and quiet spot to attend the virtual class. Keep in mind that everyone on the call can see your surroundings, so make sure you choose a place without background distractions, such as other people, a busy street, or a messy bedroom.
If your surroundings have some unsightly or distracting elements, you can use a virtual background to cover it up.
4. Raise Your Hand and Speak Only When You Are Asked To
It is rude to speak when you are not asked to or interrupt your teacher in a normal, brick-and-mortar classroom. The same applies to a Zoom classroom.
Use the “Raise Hand” button if you want to speak. Wait until you are called upon before you unmute your microphone and speak. Alternatively, you can physically raise your hand and wait for your teacher to call on you.
Once you finish speaking, say something along the lines of “Thank you,” or “That will be all,” to indicate that you are done. Remember to mute your microphone again when you finish speaking.
5. Chat and Make Comments Only When It Is Necessary
The Zoom app allows you to ask questions, raise observations, and make comments and contributions using the chat feature.
It is important to be aware that comments are public. The app also keeps a record of comments. It is best not to use the chat feature if you don’t have anything useful to say.
Things to Do During a Zoom Class
- Ask your household members not to disturb you during classes. Let them know which area of the house you will be attending the live session and the duration of the class.
- Be punctual. Let your teacher know through the appropriate communication channel if you will be late or unable to attend a class.
- Turn off your cell phone to avoid distracting others and yourself, too.
- Maintain eye contact with your instructor or the active speaker to show that you are paying attention.
- If you lose your internet connection during class, make sure to inform your instructor through the approved means of communication.
Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Zoom Class
- Do not enter your Zoom class under a different name. Your instructor needs to know that only his or her students (or authorized attendees) are in the classroom.
- Do not change your name during a Zoom class. That can be confusing for your instructor and other students.
- Do not enter a Zoom class if you do not have a proper invitation. It is illegal to do so because you are violating the privacy of others.
- Never share access information for your class with those who are not permitted to be in the Zoom meeting. Your friends and family may mean no harm but they usually won’t tag along when you attend your face-to-face classroom, right?
- Do not record, take pictures, or take screenshots of your instructor or virtual classmates. It is illegal to record others in a Zoom call without their consent. Whatever you do, never forget this crucial Zoom etiquette for students.
- Avoid walking around during Zoom classes. You may not be in the same physical location with other classmates but you share the same virtual space. Random movements can create distractions for other students and your instructor.
- Do not let family or household members walk behind you or around the room when the class is in session.
- Avoid changing your position or your Zoom background when the class is already in session. Doing so can cause a distraction.
- Avoid sitting in front of brightly lit locations, such as near a bright light source or a window. It will be difficult to see your face in that lighting condition.
- While the Zoom app is a video conferencing tool with chat features, make sure you do not use the class period for engaging in social interactions or side conversations with other students.
- Do not multitask on a different device or the same one with the Zoom app running. Close all other application windows that are not required for the class. At least silence them if closing the applications is not an option.
An online classroom does not have the strict rules of face-to-face learning, but it is important to follow the above ground rules to maintain a sense of order in a virtual space. While these rules might seem abundant, they are basically common sense and are easy to follow.