Now that the new academic year is underway, online teaching has evolved. Universities have started using video-chat platforms, such as Zoom, to hold many of their classes. This maintains a personal interaction and discussion with students, whilst avoiding being physically face-to-face.
For some students though, the idea of learning this way might not appeal. Not everybody feels at ease on camera, whether that be showing your face or speaking out loud with your classmates watching you. To help, Radar has put together a list of tips to boost your confidence in online lessons.
Body language matters
On its official blog, Zoom discusses nerves and confidence in attending video meetings, with body language a common theme. Sitting up straight, keeping your arms uncrossed and making eye contact by looking into your camera can instantly make you look more assertive and engaged with the lesson. If you often find yourself nervously fidgeting, Zoom suggests firmly planting your feet on the floor and placing your hands palm down on your desk or lap.
If you’re worried about using new technology, it’s worth bearing in mind that problems do happen! Video and audio can glitch or freeze, people can hit the wrong button on their device by accident. Try having a practice meeting with close friends or family to get to grips with the software you will be using for online classes. Check your internet connection and find a comfortable place to sit, with good lighting, in plenty of time so you aren’t distracted during your class.
It’s normal to feel nervous
A lot of students won’t have had much experience learning this way. If you’re unsure about knowing what to say or embarrassing yourself while speaking, have some notes ready with a few things you might want to mention. Before you log into a class, give yourself a few minutes to take some deep breaths and practice saying your points out loud.
What students say
Radar asked a group of RGU students for their take after their first experience of online classes this semester. One student recommended familiarising yourself with the lesson topic and content, if possible, as this will make you feel, “more comfortable”, in speaking up. Another stressed the importance of preparing your audio and video beforehand to ensure you and the people you are meeting with can be seen and heard.
Finally, don’t be afraid to speak to your lecturers if you’re anxious about taking part in online classes. Have a chat with your classmates too and see how they feel about it- it helps to know someone in the same position you can talk to.