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Zoom Etiquette: What You Need To Know

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Written by Chamberlain Zulauf

Every day is a new challenge during the Coronavirus pandemic. This is especially true for millions of young adults returning to school this fall. Situations vary from school to school and from person to person. One thing all college students have in common right now is Zoom. 

Roanoke currently has students in all sorts of settings checking in to their daily classes from home or dorm. Some students may already have experience with online classes due to the abrupt order to return home back in March. However, just because a student may have experience with Zoom does not necessarily mean they know how to conduct themselves. For any freshman who have no clue how to act in an online class, here are a few points of Zoom etiquette. 

For starters, put yourself in the teacher’s shoes. Imagine you are trying to explain the facets of microeconomics to a board of blank screens calling out, “anyone?” to keep the lesson rolling. To avoid the awkwardness, the proper Zoom etiquette is to have your camera on (if you have one). Additionally, your teachers surely would appreciate it if you were not staring at your lap the whole time. 

Now that we have our cameras on, the next point of etiquette would involve your background. There are many options here. A few of the most popular are a blank white wall or whatever is in front of your desk. If a student is looking to go the extra mile or just values privacy, they can easily use a virtual background. As long as it’s not obscene of course. The most popular of all the backgrounds though is the bedpost. There is nothing wrong with attending a Zoom class in your bed if it does not put you to sleep. Nobody will blame you for wanting to get an education from the comfort of your favorite spot on the planet. 

Outside the obvious medium of a computer screen classes have all the same rules. Do not speak out of turn, try to participate, and resist the urge to go on your phone. It is important to remember that everyone else is trying to figure life out as well, so be helpful and patient. Take this time to embrace this new format. Before students could only have a bag of chips or a Cavern burrito in class, but now nothing is stopping us from having a full five course meal during class. Pants are optional and everyone gets bonus points for showing their pets to the class.