Technology has significantly changed the classroom environment. Many students enjoy the flexibility of choosing whether they want to take their classes online, in-person, or in a hybrid format.
Online classes have become more predominant. So, students must be flexible and learn how to adapt to an entirely online learning environment.
Zoom is one of the major players in online learning. Therefore, knowing how to utilize it properly will save you from any possible embarrassment. It will also allow you to maintain the respect you deserve from your tutor and classmates.
Therefore, in this article, we are talking about Zoom etiquettes & tips for students. We will share 21 zoom etiquettes & tips that will assist you in making the most of your Zoom class lectures.
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You should take Zoom classes seriously, just like you would regular classes. For instance, you should be in your seat and ready to join the Zoom class before its scheduled time.
However, it is vital to note that the Zoom class host may or may not allow you to join the class before they do. If they allow you to join the Zoom class early, they might allow you to join 5-20 minutes before the scheduled time.
If, for whatever reason, you will not arrive at your Zoom class on time, be sure to let your teacher or Zoom host know in advance.
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A Zoom class does not make you invisible to your classmates and teacher. Everyone in your Zoom class will see you as long as your camera is on. Besides, just because you are attending classes from home does not mean you can do it in your underwear or pajamas.
Generally, you would want to wear the same attire for an in-person class with your classmates and teacher.
For instance, although you attend your class from the comfort of your home, ensure that you dress correctly for the Zoom class. But, regardless of what you wear, you should strive to be tidy and presentable in your appearance.
Wear a clean shirt and ensure you follow your regular hygiene routine. For instance, have your hair cut. You may also put on a nice watch.
Although your choice of footwear will not matter, as no one will see them, you should avoid attending your Zoom class in workout pants or boxers. You would not want to be embarrassed when you stand up to fix something on your laptop or for any other reason.
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You should turn off your mobile device. For instance, just like in standard class settings, you should only use your mobile device if there is an emergency.
Other than being destructive to yourself, using your mobile device can get you in trouble with your teacher or host.
Focusing on your online class will be challenging when your mobile device is constantly buzzing with incoming notifications.
Therefore, you should consider turning off notifications for specific apps on your phone. Besides, by taking a break from your mobile device, you will be able to concentrate on your class better.
You should also close or minimize all other windows on your PC display, so you are not distracted by incoming emails or notifications from other applications.
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You must choose the most professional-looking or presentable part in your house or room for your Zoom class. For instance, you can pick a corner of your room that has a blank wall and could look professional to your teacher and classmates.
There should also be decent lighting in your room. Besides, you should pick an environment that is as quiet as possible.
The place should also be private. For instance, you do not want your roommates or kids popping into the room while in the Zoom class. They can distract you from focusing properly.
Therefore, you should consider locking the door and, if necessary, put a sign on the door that you are busy and that no one should disturb you.
Suppose you do not find any place in your home presentable or professional enough for your Zoom class. Or, if you need to attend the class on short notice and you do not have time to clean your messy room, using a virtual zoom background could be your best bet.
Your environment should be private and quiet, even with a virtual Zoom background.
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It is normal for your internet connection to lag sometimes. However, you will find it hard to keep up with the class if you have an unstable internet connection that constantly lags or freezes.
Therefore, if your internet connection is not stable, you should get a new router or move closer to the router.
You should consider switching to a wired internet connection by using an Ethernet cable if you use a wireless connection. For instance, wired connections are usually more stable than wireless ones.
Another option that you can consider is using your mobile hotspot. However, you must ensure that you have enough mobile data to support Zoom video calls.
If you still can not get a stable internet connection, here are some DIY fixes that you can try:
- Switch off the webcam video. However, you should explain this to your teacher or classmates.
- Turn off all background apps that might be using the internet. You can also disconnect other devices from the network.
- Inform other people using the WiFi connection to take a break until you finish your Zoom class.
- Disable the HD video because it uses up more data.
A general rule calls for all Zoom class attendees to mute their microphones until they are required to speak.
Muting your microphone will also prevent your classmates from getting distracted by unnecessary noise from your background.
For instance, even if you go to the quietest room, your classmates or teacher may still hear your doorbell or the phone ringing, your kids screaming, your dog barking, or any other noise.
By staying muted, you give your teacher a chance to deliver the lesson without getting disrupted by noise in your background.
You should only unmute yourself if you want to contribute something to the class.
However, some teachers or classes require you to remain unmuted. In this case, you must comply with their rules while trying to minimize your background noise as much as possible.
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While in a Zoom class, maintain eye contact with your teacher and fellow students by looking into the webcam.
Therefore, the webcam should be positioned correctly. For instance, you should not place your webcam too low or too high.
Eye contact is a vital aspect of Zoom call etiquette that helps establish connections with others.
You do not want to stare into your webcam with a death gaze. You should be natural. For instance, look at other parts of your PC screen as required.
It is also recommended to sit upright and avoid slouching. Just maintain a good posture.
Slouching can be viewed as a sign of lack of engagement and disinterest. On the other hand, maintaining the correct posture indicates that you are confident and ready for the Zoom class.
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Although you might get away with multitasking, your teacher or classmate can easily notice. Therefore, it is vital to always stay focused and avoid multitasking.
For instance, if your Zoom class teacher asks you a question, you may not get it if you’re focused on some other task. They may need to repeat it a few times until you hear them.
Alternatively, replying to an email may make you miss some vital class points.
Therefore, multitasking during a Zoom class can be considered rude. Besides, if you would not multitask in a physical class, you equally should not multitask online.
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You should be considerate to your classmates. For instance, if you are in a Zoom class discussion, you should listen to what one is saying.
You should not talk over others or interrupt them, just like you would not in a physical class. This is because it can get disorienting and confusing when multiple Zoom class members talk simultaneously.
In a physical class, the voices are separated – they come from different places in the classroom. But, in a Zoom class, you will hear all voices from a single sound source: the attendee’s PC.
This is why you need to listen by being muted unless you are asked to contribute something.
For instance, when multiple attendees talk at once, the other students will find it hard to hear the instructor or the person speaking.
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It is typically unacceptable to eat during the Zoom class. However, you can sip a drink in your Zoom class. For instance, you can get thirsty. You may also require a glass of water to clear your throat.
However, you should avoid slurping the drink, as this displays some level of disrespect to your teacher and classmates.
You should also avoid chewing the gum. Besides, although it is impossible for anyone in the Zoom class to inhale second-hand smoke, smoking in a Zoom class comes close to crossing the line.
It is essential to customize your profile according to the basic Zoom requirements. For instance, your full name must appear appropriately during your Zoom class.
This allows your administrator or instructor to configure settings such as chat options, class attendance, participant permissions, etc.
Besides, the profiles can be used to create Meeting IDs and custom welcome messages.
Rather than just using your name in your profile, you can add a photo or an image. However, you should avoid changing your name or profile image during the Zoom class session.
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Do you have a question to ask in your Zoom class? Or do you have an answer to a question asked by your instructor?
You can do that without rudely interrupting your lecturer or classmates. For instance, talking over someone else does not fit standard social etiquette – likewise, it does not fit proper Zoom class etiquette.
You can raise your hand in front of your camera or use Zoom’s ‘raise your hand’ feature to signal that you have something to ask or say.
Besides, you can type a message in the Zoom class chat. This is considered more effective as it does not break the flow of your instructor’s presentation.
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Whenever you get a chance to speak in your Zoom class, be sure to talk in an assertive, clear, confident, and sharp voice. You should maintain professionality and be respectful to your classmates and teacher.
It is also vital to avoid using words that would be viewed as inappropriate in a professional context.
It is vital to adjust the microphone sensitivity settings before the class starts. This will help in avoiding any technical failures. You should also check the audio settings to ensure that you can hear others or be heard clearly.
For instance, your teacher or classmate should not have to request you to repeat yourself.
Furthermore, although you should not shout in a Zoom class, it can be hard to show precisely how loud you should speak. But speaking in a low tone will make it hard for you to be heard. Therefore, be sure you are loud enough.
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If you are planning to use an external microphone instead of your PC’s built-in microphone, be sure it is a good one. Although you can easily get a cheap microphone for less than $10, will it be worth it?
A bad microphone may come with low-audio quality, distortions, and many other problems. It can also break down while you are in a Zoom class, and you might not even realize that your classmate and teacher can not hear whatever you are saying.
If you are not able to get rid of background noise, the noise-cancelling microphone can be handy. They ensure that your classmates and teacher only hear you.
You should also adjust the microphone sensitivity settings on your PC. Play around with it to ensure it only picks your voice, not background noise.
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The opinions on this Zoom etiquette are divided. For instance, some instructors and students prefer recording every Zoom class by default so they can rewatch the video later while revising.
However, knowing that a Zoom class is being recorded can affect how candidly your classmates contribute in the classroom.
Besides, organizing and keeping track of all the stored videos or recordings can be time-consuming if you have tens of classes every week.
Therefore, you should avoid recording your Zoom classes by default. However, you can hit the red recording button if you think the content will add value to your studies.
You need to note that whenever you decide to record a virtual class, let your professor and classmates know at the start.
This is another vital Zoom etiquette for students. For instance, if the Zoom discussion or class will not add value to your studies or you won’t add value to the class discussion, then do not go.
But if you realize this halfway through the discussion, then leave. However, be sure to follow the correct online class etiquette.
For instance, leave a message in the Zoom class chat stating the reason why you are leaving.
You should also make sure you cause minimal disruption to the Zoom class. After all, the session might be important to others, and you do not want to interrupt their concentration.
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It is essential to have your books, pen, and other learning materials where you can easily access them ahead of time.
This will allow you to spend less Zoom class time switching between windows and searching for files or writing materials.
It will also allow you to concentrate fully on the Zoom session.
The Zoom session ID is usually sent to students before class time. Some administrators or professors set up a Zoom class password, while others do not.
Whichever the case, it is the proper Zoom session etiquette for you not to make the session public by sharing the Zoom ID or password with strangers.
For instance, only the intended students should access the Zoom class session.
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It will be a great idea to talk over the etiquette rules beforehand with your host or teacher. For instance, it does not need to be an official or formal document. It can simply be a short email with some basic Zoom classroom rules.
Your teacher or host, in their reply, will lay out their expectations. These are not limited to;
- Putting on a dress shirt
- Minimizing background noise
Having open and transparent communication with your teacher is always great. It doesn’t hurt to know what they expect from you, so you can avoid doing something that will be considered inappropriate.
You should be conscientious of your Zoom environment – both on your computer and in your physical space.
For instance, if you are required to share your screen with your classmates or teacher, for whatever reason, you need to be mindful that anything you share is appropriate. This applies to files, folders, and the background of your desktop.
It is recommended to have an ambiguous desktop background—like a picture of some landscape or flat color. A super safe bet would be simply using one of the predefined backgrounds that come with your OS.
For folders and files, you must ensure that the private files are securely stored in a folder before sharing them. The folder must have an acceptable title.
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Whenever your class meets online for a Zoom or online class, you tend to meet other students from different backgrounds and countries virtually.
If you are not careful or keen with how you word things( whether writing in the chat Zoom feature or while speaking), you can offend your teacher or classmate or make them uncomfortable.
Therefore, it is always great to be respectful and thoughtful with what you speak and write, just like you would during a physical in-person class.
It is even vital to avoid using profanity or dirty words while writing or speaking in Zoom classes. Such words can potentially leave your classmates with a bad taste in their mouths. Besides, it could undoubtedly escalate to further disciplinary measures by your teacher.
Attending an online Zoom class can be just as engaging and informative as an in-person physical class. Therefore, learning the basic Zoom class etiquette can assist you in getting the most out of your online classes.
By following the above etiquette, you keep the online learning environment welcoming for your teacher and classmates.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.