Online trainings and virtual classrooms come with their fair share of pros and cons, some common sense and some not-so-obvious. Based on past experiences, I would encourage adoption of a few practices (below) to foster interactive participation in trainings and classrooms.
Basic rules and reminders
Please kindly observe the “ground rules” and reminders below:
- Mute your mic when you are not speaking; help reduce audio feedback and picking up of background noise.
- Maintain video and camera connection at all times.
- Display the name you would like to be addressed by.
- Ensure that you are taking this video call in a quiet place (free from audio and visual distractions).
- Refrain from taking this video call during a commute or in a transitory environment.
- Refrain from working or multi-tasking on unrelated matters.
- Ensure that your background is “clean” (no embarrassing, sensitive, and confidential information visible).
- Raise questions via the chatroom (to streamline management of the classroom, we won’t be monitoring any “raise / lower hand” function).
Breakout room notes
The following applies where Zoom breakout rooms are adopted:
- The trainer may share worksheets and other materials with the class during breakout group work time.
- Download shared worksheets and other materials via the chat screen in Zoom. This is available in the desktop version of Zoom; not the mobile version (at the time of this post).
- Save a copy of the completed files with filenames identifying you or your group (e.g. XXXX_GroupZ).
- Once you have completed the requisite worksheets and materials, share the files by uploading them in the chat screen.
- During the group discussion, you will be invited to share your screen to present the group work and the relevant files.
Online security is a unique aspect of running virtual classrooms.
- The links to access video calls should be password protected, and only invited participants should be shared the relevant access link and password.
- “Waiting room” function may be enabled at the start of a video call.
- Participants may be muted by default upon joining a video call.
- Only the host(s) should have default access to share screen. The host will enable the share screen function for participants when they are invited to present.