The unspoken rules of Zoom


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Zoom logo that students across the world have grown accustomed to.

As a result of campus closures worldwide, classes are still in session via Zoom, and the new virtual classroom brings some unspoken rules for students to follow.
Zoom classrooms have introduced us to a new type of classroom environment and new behaviors that many have become accustomed to.
These rules via zoom can range from the rules laid out on the course syllabus, or they can be rules the professor didn’t officially state.
Many students assume that these are class standards they should also follow. For instance, having your camera on if the entire class has it on as well.
Although some professors may not openly say whether or not they prefer for students to have their camera on, if all other students have their camera on, it’s a given that you should as well.
Another unspoken rule is to not use any devices during a Zoom class. Usually, the device policy for a course is written in the syllabus, but it doesn’t exactly apply to remote learning since we are no longer on campus anymore.
With at-home learning, if a student has devices that distract them, it’s a sort of known thing that it’s probably best to simply put them away or even put them in another room.
These rules are set in place to maintain a school environment through the resource that is: Zoom.
Something that many students are aware of but is overlooked, is to not use the chatbox feature if students know that the teacher won’t be looking at it.
In my experience using Zoom, I have had to deal with students constantly messaging through the chat box which can more often than not become extremely distracting.
As a result of this, there have been some professors that have disabled the function in the chatbox where students can message one another due to the distraction it creates.
Professors may or may not mention this, although it’s something that students have begun to recognize. If a student asks a question for the professor to answer in the chat, and the professor doesn’t answer, students should realize that it’s best to unmute themselves and ask questions out loud.
It is troublesome when students decide to continue to use the chat feature because it will also continue to distract the professor.
Each time someone writes something in the chatbox, the professor has to pause what they’re teaching, then read the question, answer it, and figure out where they left off.
This distraction affects the lecture because it will either run over its time limit or not enough material will get covered which in turn, sets back the class as a whole.
In other situations, when students leave their microphones on during certain points of the class, it can become distracting as well. If your microphone is on, whether you’re aware of it or not, and there’s a loud noise in the background, everyone has to hear that noise.
With that being said, the class gets interrupted and the teacher has to figure out where the noise is coming from, mute that person, and pick up where they left off.
Not only this, but there’s also the fact that when the student’s microphone is on, they become the main screen. This can create an issue for other students because if the class is taking notes, the unmuted student replaces the teacher’s PowerPoint screen so we have to pause our note-taking.
To create an environment where the students understand what and what not to do during class, it’s best to listen as well as be aware of the professor’s rules/guidelines for the course. Remember that Zoom is still a classroom, even though you’re at home.