“Is it ok to be in my pajamas? I am at home after all.”
“Hmm… Where should I sit?”
You might have such questions when you want to attend online classes. Some students find it challenging to sit at home and be in class at the same time. But you know what? Teachers find it challenging too. Online classes run on different platforms (Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp,…), and due to the pandemic, they are the new normal all around the world. We need to acquaint ourselves with the challenges and be prepared to tackle and overcome them. Let’s jump to some quick tips:
- Clothes: Although you are in the comfort of your own home, better keep it formal and not to sit in front of your screen in your pajamas and shabby hair. I know just your upper body will be in the frame, but keep in mind that you might need to get up and get something.
- Background: Tidy up the room you want to sit in. Although some platforms like Zoom offer virtual backgrounds, they can be distracting. Blur your background if the platform has the option (Skype does), otherwise choose a place which is neat and tidy.
- Camera & Mic: It is always wise to log in before your class time and check your computer technically. Check your webcam, screen lighting and audio. During class, if you are not talking keep the mic off to minimize distracting noises.
- Everyone at home Keep your family in check. Give them a heads-up about your class time and make sure they will not distract you or the other participants by walking in front of the screen. If you have a pet, leave it out of the room.
- P’s & Q’s: When in your online class, you should show that you are actively present and focused. Don’t slouch, don’t sleep, try to keep eye contact with the camera and avoid looking down or around. If you want to sneeze or blow your nose, mute your mic. If you need to go to the washroom, excuse yourself and turn the camera off for a while. I know multitasking is a good skill, but avoid using it while you are in class. Don’t play games, check your messages or browse your social media pages! You might distract others and teachers always sense that! Haven’t you heard that teachers have eyes on the back of their heads? That’s it! 😉
- Motivation: We all know that online classes might not have the warmth of face-to-face classes with you and your classmates laughing together, patting each other’s back and hiding yourselves the teacher’s eyes. But we need to get used to this new normal. My advice is to attend every session, keep yourself involved in the activities, schedule your study time and prepare yourself mentally. Give yourself pep talks and stay focused on your goals and what you want to achieve. Reward yourself with something fun after your class. Play some games, chat with your friends, buy yourself an ice cream or …? It always feels good to receive something from YOU! 🙂
Dr. Mehrnaz Gheitanchian