With Universities all over the world moving their classes online, it’s understandable that not all of us are used to the new format just yet. Many tutors might not even know how to properly behave in a video call. But instead of just going in blind, I think it’s about time we learn some proper video calling etiquette before our next tute. Because there’s a lot.
I mean, who wants to look unprofessional in front of their tutors? Definitely not me!
Mute Yourself If You’re Not Talking
Ever catch yourself humming to a song while on a call without realising you weren’t on mute? Yeah, me too.
Muting yourself when you’re not talking is better for both your reputation as well as the whole tute in general. Even if you’re not humming to embarrassing tunes like I do, distracting background noise can still hinder the class even if it’s out of your control.
Make Sure You Don’t Have A Distracting Background
Last week, my tutor told my class a story of how one of his students joined a call with her housemate making breakfast in the background in a scantily clad nightgown. Oh, the horror.
When joining your online tute, make sure your background isn’t cluttered or messy. A clear or simple background will be a lot less distracting and it’ll help make the tutorial go a lot smoother. Also, you won’t have to worry about something embarrassing happening if you’re in front of a white wall, that’s for sure! And if you’re unable to find a simple background to use, Zoom offers a function where you can insert a green-screened background behind you.
Turn Off Your Camera If Your Internet Isn’t The Best
A bad internet connection is probably the worst thing that can happen in this day and age. But what’s even worse is when your video call is compromised by said internet connection. If your call is lagging and pausing all over the place, it’ll be best to turn off your camera in case it becomes distracting to your classmates and/or tutor!
While speaking to a group of classmates via video call can seem scary, being asked to repeat yourself multiple times is probably worse.
Make sure to speak clearly and loudly into your mic, but don’t scream! If your classmates or tutor still can’t hear you, adjust your microphone levels instead. Shouting can be jarring and unpleasant to hear, so it’s better to just… not, or use a good earphone.
Asks Questions in the Chat
When listening to your classmates or tutor talk in a zoom meeting, it’s completely normal to have questions pop up in your head in the middle of them talking. And I understand that sometimes, But, that doesn’t mean you should interrupt them mid-speech just to ask your question!
The text function in Zoom allows you to ask questions while other people are talking without being disrespectful or rude. So the next time you have something on your mind that you’re scared you’ll forget, just pop into the chat and ask there!
Attending online lectures from home can make it feel like you’re just on an extended break, instead of actually going to uni. But despite this, you still have to remember what occasion you’re dressing for and dress appropriately as well.
Wearing something too distracting can cause disruptions in class and deter you from learning what you should be learning during the allocated time frame. So, next time you go onto Zoom, try not to just wear your pyjamas but something casual and class-appropriate as well!
What are some other unspoken video call rules we should follow? Leave them in the comment section below!