Being Successful in Your Virtual Classroom Session
A few helpful hints for success:
Log in early to your virtual classroom. Log in early to each class session to make sure you have time to your internet connection and your audio and video.
Sit closest to your WiFi router. The best connection is closest to the router. If you can, hardwire your Ethernet cable to your computer’s Ethernet connection to improve your internet speed during class.
Don’t panic if you are disconnected. It is bound to happen that you will be disconnected from your virtual classroom. Don’t panic. Simply log back in and drop a note in chat to your instructor that you were disconnected. Often your instructor will record the virtual session so that you can go back and watch what you missed.
What can others see? Be professional. If you are using your camera, pay attention to what is behind you that your instructor or your fellow students can see. If you are concerned about your surrounding being a distraction or inappropriate for the whole class to share, use an avatar/photo/or static background or no video at all.
What can others hear? Are you sharing your personal space? Consider posting a sign to let others know you are in class, for example “Quiet – Class in Session.” Make sure the mute button is on when you first log into your class. Keep the mute button on when you are not speaking – just remember to unmute yourself when it is time to share with the class.
Eliminate distractions. Close all internet tabs and browsers except those involved with your class session. Turn off your phone. Shut the door (if you can) to the room you are using as your classroom setting. Easily distracted and near a window? Consider shutting the blinds or curtain to avoid the temptation to watch the outside word
Participate! It is ok to ask questions in an online session. Be prepared for each session by doing your readings and other activities. The virtual synchronous session is your time to check your understanding, explore what you learned with your instructor and your fellow classmates, and to demonstrate to your instructor that you understand the material with your participation in group discussion.
Understand how to use private chat, public chat and the “raise hand” feature of the virtual classroom environment. Become proficient in using the classroom tools to get the most out of your online interaction. Just like in a regular classroom session, raise your hand to be called on, some questions should be asked privately of the instructor as to not disrupt the learning of others, and most importantly you should engage in the structured classroom discussions.