3 tips to make Zoom feel like the classroom

BYU AD Lab students use Zoom to stay connected. (Photo from BYU AD Lab Instagram)

Students have been learning how to create an online classroom environment since BYU started using Zoom to remotely teach classroom material.

Traditionally, in-person learning places high importance on classroom engagement. Students in the classroom are normally expected to engage with other students and are also expected to interact with their professors.

As Zoom has become the main platform for learning this semester at BYU, students and teachers have been learning how to make online learning feel more engaging.

Students on campus shared their tips for making Zoom a more engaging experience.

Use the chat feature

Using the chat feature on Zoom was one of the most common tips from students on campus.

On Zoom, there is a feature for students to communicate with one another as the meeting is taking place. Students can use the feature to speak to all of the students at once, or they can use the chat to specifically speak to one student separately.

“It really creates more of a classroom environment when students are able to talk personally to one another. I love it when students send funny chats because it reminds me of what it is like in the actual classroom,” BYU senior Lexi Larsen said.

Keep your camera turned on

Face to face interaction was lost when schools transitioned to online learning, and Zoom allows students to choose whether or not they want to show their camera on the screen for others to see.

“My teachers are starting to require that we turn on our cameras so they know we are engaged in class,” BYU student Lacey Gardner said. “Some students don’t like showing their camera, but I see why the teachers have us do it. Showing your face on camera makes it more personal, and makes students feel more responsible to be a part of class discussions.”

Don’t be afraid to ask/answer questions

Many students feel more comfortable asking or answering questions during in-person instruction. As students are not all together, it can be easy for individuals to sit back and let others participate rather than share their own insights.

“One of the biggest things I have learned from online class is to not be afraid to ask or answer questions during class. It can be intimidating to go off mute and share with the class, but when students speak up it makes class feel more interactive like it would be in person,” BYU sophomore Leighton Davis said.

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