Prepared for an online class

An essential part of higher education is e-learning. E-learning is mainly organised in the ZOOM online meeting service, and the meeting function of Microsoft Teams is often used for online meetings. Both online meeting services are easy to use and work on the same principle.  

There are several things to consider when preparing for an online class or meeting.  Is the mike working? Is the camera working? What kind of background? How do I request the floor? What and how to write in chat?  

At the beginning of the online meeting, it is possible to agree the practices each participant is expected to follow. These wishes may include activities related to the use of the camera and microphone. The list below serves as a general guide when you are participating in an online class or meeting:  

  1. Find out in advance which online meeting service to use – download it already in advance if you are using the service for the first time.  
  2. Be on time for the meeting – get ready by familiarising yourself with the topic.  
  3. Use a headset – you can thus control the background noise and hear your voice better.  
  4. Check the microphone and camera before you start.  
  5. Keep the microphone off when you’re not talking.  
  6. Keep the camera on if your network connection is working properly.  
  7. Calm the background – put yourself in front of a distraction-free background or select a virtual wallpaper.  
  8. Look in the direction of the camera – position the camera so that the view transmitted by the camera is natural.  
  9. To request the floor, use the raise hand feature or write a message in the chat.  
  10. React when others talk using reactions such as thumbs, clapping, hearts – the reactions act as intermediate comments and comfortably take into account the speaker as well.  
  11. If necessary, explain your situation to other participants if the transmitted video gives false information to other participants. For example, if you’re looking away from the camera, let others know you’re taking notes on another screen, or if a bad connection means you have to keep your camera off completely. In this way, negative interpretations are avoided.  

The guidelines have been modified based on the guidelines prepared by Professor Anu Sivunen (HS 27 April 2020).