All About Remote Learning: What College Students Can Expect and Zoom Class Etiquette

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Remote learning and Zoom classes are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. While most of us know what to expect and how to behave in a traditional classroom setting (hopefully), many of us are still lost when it comes to remote learning and Zoom class etiquette.

If you want to know what to expect from your new classes and want to brush up on a new form of etiquette, we should all try to familiarize ourselves with, keep reading to learn more.

What Is Remote Learning?

Remote learning is when the instructor transitions the delivery of a course from on-campus to an online format. Grades are based on students logging in to class sessions or “Zoom classes” independently. Assignments and classes are either assigned done daily or weekly, depending on the teacher.

Self-motivation and self-discipline are vital to remote learning because, unlike traditional school, you will not have a teacher or instructor physically there to push you towards excellence. 

Try to create an email or Google account solely dedicated to your studies. This keeps all your school-related material all in one place and minimizes distractions from non-school related activities. If you ever forget or misplace your password, you can always recover your google account.

Zoom Class Etiquette

While you probably already know how to behave in a traditional classroom setting, knowing how to act in a remote learning class held via Zoom may be new to many of us. Here are some etiquette remote learning tips for you to keep in mind for your next class session.

1. Use a Simple Background That Isn’t Visually Distracting

A distracting background will draw more attention to you than to your instructor. There is a time and place for everything. Zooming with friends is the perfect time to bust out the fun backgrounds during a class? Skip them.

Keep your background as neutral as possible, like using a solid color wall. If you are uncomfortable showcasing your room, Zoom has plenty of virtual backgrounds you can choose. Your school might even have a personalized school logo background specifically designed for remote learning.

2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

If you’re going to showcase your room during your class, remember that your classmates and professor can also see BEHIND you. Be sure that nothing is distracting in the background (other people, a pile of laundry, traffic) that could distract from the class.

3. Ask Permission Before You Screenshot or Record a Lecture

Taking a random screenshot or recording a lecture may be uncomfortable for some of your fellow students or even your teacher, so it is best to ask first before taking any. Why could it be uncomfortable for some? 

There are many students out there who have fears of unflattering screenshots of them being posted online without their consent (sadly, this does happen). 

Just the sound or the notification of a screenshot being taken could fuel their anxiety. Now imagine how uncomfortable they would feel if they knew one of their classmates was recording the entire class session? Most of us have insecurities we deal with, some more than others.

For the sake of being kind to others, always ask for permission first.

4. Dress Appropriately

Just because you are in the comforts of your own home or bedroom, it doesn’t mean you can attend one of your Zoom classes wearing your pajamas, or worse, no pants! Attending class in your pajama bottoms may seem like a tempting option, but if you wouldn’t wear it to a class at school, don’t wear it during any one of your zoom classes either.

Put on a clean shirt, brush your hair, and present yourself in the best light as possible.

5. Be Present

Being present goes beyond logging in and attending your class. Choosing not to live record displays a blank photo in place of your face during a remote learning session over Zoom. Did you know that teachers would rather look into a virtual crowd of bored and sleepy faces than a series of blank spaces?

Being able to see your reactions during a lecture helps your teachers out tremendously, and it also helps them feel less awkward and lonely. Also, having their students present seems to be more engaging when discussing topics and examples. 

Remember that remote learning is new to your professors and instructors as well, and they are all doing their best to teach and engage their students as much as they can. When they are stuck lecturing to a see of blank spaces, this is almost impossible.

These new styles of online classes are designed to have a lot more engagement and interaction, even with large class sizes, so it is well worth participating in these class discussions.

If you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about your home situation, you can always opt for a virtual background or use the “Raise Hand” button at the center of the bottom of your screen when you wish to speak and want to turn your microphone turned on.

6. Keep Your Microphone on Mute

Which brings us to our next tip, know when it is okay to turn on your microphone. As soon as you sign on, be sure to mute your mic (lower-left corner of your screen). Also, mute your microphone whenever you are not speaking.

When it comes to loud or distracting background noise and distractions, this is perhaps the most critical tip on this list.

If you have something to say, either use the “Raise Hand” button at the center of the bottom of your screen or physically raise your hand if your camera is on. Once your teacher calls on you, you can unmute yourself and start speaking.

After you have finished talking, show you are done speaking by saying something such as, “Thank you” or “That’s all” so that everyone knows you have finished your comments, and then mute your microphone again.

Remote Learning Tips

For the foreseeable future, remote learning and Zoom classes are here to stay. While most of us know what to expect and how to behave in a traditional classroom setting (hopefully), many of us are still lost when it comes to remote learning and Zoom class etiquette.

We hope this brief guide answered some of your questions and gave you some insight into what to expect from your new classes as well as helped you brush up on some Zoom class etiquette.

If you found this post helpful, check out our Education category for more!