Desperate situations require desperate solutions. This pandemic has forced us to transfer our education system online while maintaining a social distancing formula which is the only cure for this virus. Online learning and teaching have their pros and cons. While efforts are made to make the online experience as smooth as possible, certain things are very basic and cannot be ignored at any cost. When we are attending classes offline, some protocols have to be followed by everybody, be it teachers or students. Everyone abides by some rules and regulations and that is how a school system works. But some of these protocols or Etiquettes are missing in online education or haven’t been established yet.
The online form of education was present before COVID-19 as well but was not used to its full potential and that is the main reason for the absence of basic rules and regulations which should be there in the first place. Many problems have surfaced due to the absence of these required protocols. One of the major problems is the ill-use of online platforms like cursing during the live class, making unnecessary noises, entering and exiting the ongoing class repeatedly, etc. These problems are faced by every teaching staff now and then. Not all students are involved in such events but some of them are. This situation calls for the employment of some basic student-teacher etiquettes during a live class or during online discussion. We are going to discuss some basic etiquettes that students and teachers must follow during an online class.
1. Join the Class With Your Name and Not Anonymously
There are many instances observed where students join a class through a given link for a specific platform with different names and make unnecessary comments as a result of disturbing the whole class. Schools and colleges should mandate the entry of only verified students with proper names for the proper class conduct. Authorities should make sure that the meeting link is being shared in the correct group and strict rules should be made regarding the same. The strict protocol should be made for such notorious activity and strict action should be taken against wrongdoers.
2. Teachers Should Enable the Screen Protection Feature on the Platform
Many platforms have this feature using which teachers can disable the sharing of the student’s screen when not required. It has been seen that many students tend to disturb the screen which was being used to teach the whole class. Using this feature teachers can avoid such notorious activities and ensure smooth functioning. Unnecessary annotation on the screen is being also seen and to avoid that teacher can disable the annotation feature. Some of the platforms also show the names of students who were involved in the annotation.
3. Students Should Decide a Particular Dress and Position for Taking the Class
It has been observed that while the class is progressing, many students keep moving their device through which they are attending the class, this not only disturbs other students but also the teacher taking the class. Maintaining uniformity is very much important and just like we have classes and lecture halls students and teachers should also decide a particular place at home where they can attend the classes and do their learning. Having certainty is very much needed to improve the level of teaching as well as learning. These are the small steps that people can take for a better experience in online education.
4. Avoid Commenting Unnecessarily in the Comment Section During Class
Writing weird things or asking unnecessary questions is the biggest obstacle in online teaching. This not only disturbs the whole class but also affects the effective time of learning and teaching. All the students should get into such things as this would result in some strict action against them. Certain rules and regulations should be set up to avoid such practices. Students should only be allowed to comment when they have legitimate questions. Necessary action would be taken accordingly if instructions are not followed properly.
5. Students Should Always Switch on the Video for Transparent Sharing
Effective communication is only possible when people get to see each other. There would not be any effective teaching if students keep their videos off. Protocols should be developed which makes students keep the video on every time during the live class. Of Course, when necessary they can take breaks but that should be for a particular period. In the recent guidelines from the education ministry, educational institutes have been instructed to ask their students to keep the video on during the ongoing class. This also ensures the whole class participation rather than the involvement of a small fraction of students.
These are some of the basic etiquettes that must be followed during an online class to maintain the integrity of the class and for the smooth functioning of the education system. The basic idea is to make online classes as formal as possible and reduce the gap between online and offline education systems. All the listed steps should be followed before and during the class to maintain a level of teaching and learning on different online educational platforms.