What Makes an Effective Zoom Class?–A Student’s Perspective

Source: DrawKit
Source: DrawKit

Part I: Before Class

1. Your Class is a Zoom Class.

  • “Arrgh! XYZ would be so much easier if we were in person.” OR
  • “Teaching XYZ is so hard to do on Zoom!”

“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”

  • “I know XYZ is not the easiest to teach over Zoom, but bear with me, and we’ll get through this together!” OR
  • “I know XYZ is a really hard topic to understand–especially over Zoom–so please feel free to ask any questions or voice any concerns.”

2. Audit and Improve Your Environment.

3. Provide a Class Agenda Beforehand.

4. Develop a Routine Structure for Your Class.

5. Make Tech Your Friend.

6. House All Class Materials in One Place.

Source: DrawKit

Part II: Beginning of Class

7. Recruit Students as TAs.

8. Warm Up the Crowd.

Source: DrawKit

Part III: During Class

9. Create Breakout Rooms With Deliverables.

10. Invite Students to Ask Questions.

11. Build in Breaks.

  1. Task-Based Breaks: In order to leverage the concept of flow, schedule a 5–10 minute break for after your students complete a task or a discrete segment of that day’s lesson.
  2. Time-Based Breaks: Schedule a 5–10 minute break at a certain time during the class period (i.e. half-way through class or every 45 minutes).

12. Adjust to Multiple Methods of Student-Teacher Communication.

Source: DrawKit

Part IV: End of Class

13. Give Students a Choice.*

  1. Personally, if I know that a teacher is genuinely interested in my wellness, then I am more likely to be receptive in their classroom, and more likely to put additional effort into the work that I do for that class. Letting your students leave early once in a while will encourage them to like you, and you want your students to like you.
  2. Especially during distance learning, it is important to prioritize community wellness over content or class rigor. It is better to reschedule part of your lesson for a different day than to spend all of your energy giving the lesson to tired students. I assure you that whatever you are trying to teach will go in one ear and out the other.

14. Provide Simple Review Questions.

Source: DrawKit

Part V: After Class

15. Make Lecture Notes and/or Class Recordings Available.

16. Don’t Schedule Extra Help Manually.

Source: DrawKit

Final Thoughts

  1. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-to-change-your-environment-to-be-more-productive/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/office-ergonomics/art-20046169
  3. https://www.eaglesflight.com/blog/4-ways-effective-meetings-benefit-your-organization
  4. https://www.iospecialist.com/product/cybertablet-8-graphic-tablet/
  5. https://www.howtogeek.com/674907/how-to-create-polls-in-zoom-meetings/
  6. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers
  7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/flow
  8. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/213756303-Polling-for-meetings
  9. https://teaching.berkeley.edu/resources/learn/memory-and-recall
  10. https://www.businessinsider.com/does-zoom-automatically-record
  11. https://woven.com/guides/calendly



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