Zoom guidelines for students

Real quick-like, I wanted to share a one-pager I created for my students on how to Zoom effectively. Here goes, and here’s a link to the document: feel free to steal or adapt.


Zoom Discussion Guidelines

We will do a lot of our collective thinking and skill-building this term via Zoom, the online video conferencing platform. In order for this to function smoothly as a space for intellectual exchange and growth, we need to follow some basic rules of the road and thus create a safe and dynamic space for ourselves and each other. Here are some guidelines:

how to connect:

For class discussions, we will use the same link  every time: it’s on the syllabus  in our private Dropbox folder and in Bb. It’s not on the open blog for security reasons. There is a different link for office hours, which is also in those places. Click to connect, and remember to enable video and audio, unless you’ve got some personal reason not to.

how to use:

Remember to enable video and audio: you will be “muted” by default, so to make a comment, you’ll have to unmute to speak up.
Some other ways to participate:
  • raise hand: if you want to speak, use the “raise hand” icon (click on the icon labeled “Participants” at the bottom center of your PC or Mac screen and click “raise hand”). You can also use the “reactions” button to give me or a peer feedback (claps, happy face, etc.)
  • comment via chat: 
    • you can ask questions or add to the discussion in writing via the “chat” function as well. Be careful to address general comments to “everybody” and personal comments to me or to the person you want to address. 
      • I’ll designate a peer to be the “voice of the chat” for each session so I won’t miss important questions or problems as I’m trying to focus on the day’s topic.
    • I will save the ‘everyone” transcript each time, so I’ll have a chance to review unanswered questions or issues after class.

other issues:

Feel free to customize Zoom for self-expression, including:
  • using a virtual background (especially if you have family members or roommates in the environment that might be distracting) 
  • creating an avatar (could be a selfie, could be something else that expresses you); 
  • changing the “name” field to whatever you want to be called (please include a preferred pronoun if you like)

dos and don’ts:

  • respect one another: we all want to learn, and we all have valuable comments and perspectives to share. 
  • speak up: I recognize that this is a difficult time, but I want you to be active participants in your education at all times
  • ask questions: use the “chat” function when possible to avoid breaking up the flow of discussion and I’ll do my best to make sure things run smoothly
  • reach out to me via email  or office hours or the chat function if you’re having problems or issues, technical, intellectual, or otherwise
  • use unprofessional language, engage in personal attacks, or distract others
  • use the chat function (either privately or to everyone) in ways that distract from the topic
  • sit there like a bump on a log: real learning is active learning, when you’re producing rather than just consuming facts and interpretation
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