Whether your university has made the decision to reopen campus or remain remote, chances are you’ll run into several courses that are completely digital, even if you are on campus. For most, an online class can feel a bit easier than a traditional course, however it does come with its own challenges.
Video conferencing can be difficult to navigate at times, especially if you aren’t used to relying on it for a class. If you’re wondering how to navigate your upcoming virtual courses, use the tips below on college video conferencing as your guide to feeling prepared and comfortable during every online class.
Keep Your Space Clean & Organized
Keeping your conference space clean is crucial to your success for two reasons: firstly, it shows your instructor that you are organized and prepared, and secondly, it makes you feel organized and prepared. Focusing in on the work that needs to be done can be difficult if you haven’t decluttered, so make this a priority moving forward.
If you haven’t already created a college workspace, carve out some time in the coming days to clean and organize your workspace. Having a clear space will give you a clear mind during your class period allowing you to stay focused on the tasks at hand. And, as an added bonus, it will help you stand out amongst your peers.
As tempting as it is to leave your TV on in the background during class, the short answer is, don’t. For many students this advice feels like a given, however, as you navigate online courses in the coming months, you will likely find it easier (and more tempting) over time to bend the rules.
Make the commitment to yourself now to have no outside distractions as you attend class each day. A great way to hold yourself accountable is by blocking off times in your planner to relax before or after class as a reward for staying focused.
From treating yourself to an hour of your favorite show or taking a trip to snag some ice cream, a rewards system can go a long way over time.
For some courses, having your video turned on the entire time may be a requirement. If this is the case, you should have a plan in place for class conferencing attire.
Since most classes will likely not require you to dress up, there’s nothing wrong with staying comfortable for your sessions. Spend some time organizing your closet to identify the best clothing items to get you through this upcoming virtual semester.
Consider these ideas:
Comfortable yet professional tops: Most students will already have an option like this in their wardrobe, but if you don’t, be on the lookout for a blouse or shirt that is both comfortable and professional. Tops like these are perfect for virtual presentations and discussions when you’re required to keep your video on.
Trendy loungewear sets: Loungewear is continuing to gain popularity amid the current pandemic. It keeps you feeling cozy and trendy as you do your homework or take notes for class. If you have yet to invest in loungewear sets, now is the time to do so. Not only will you feel comfortable throughout the entirety of your day, but also choosing an outfit in the morning will be a breeze.
Foundational staple pieces: From undershirts to underwear, it’s no secret that what you have on below your everyday outfit can truly make a difference. Since the best part of taking an online course is being able to stay comfortable, make sure you have the right foundational staples in your closet that you know won’t wear out or bother you during class, such as casual cotton underwear. Wearing these comfortable foundational pieces below your regular class period look can make all the difference as you try to focus on course content for hours on end.
Don’t Forget Lighting
An often-forgotten aspect of video conferencing is lighting. Keep in mind that setting up a workspace behind a bright light or window will leave you with a silhouette-like image on your screen as you tune in to class.
If you’re worried about how your lighting will come across in class, try testing out your camera before logging on each day to ensure you’re able to be seen clearly. Usually dimmer lights work best for conference calls, so it may be in your best interest to rely on natural lighting throughout the day as opposed to using a bright bulb.
Stand Out from the Pack
Lastly, just like in every class setting, it’s important to do your best to stand out. Show up to your conference calls early and remain attentive throughout the entirety of them.
In most cases, having the class virtually would not have been your professors first choice, so be understanding of this as you go about the semester. Don’t shy away from answering a question or speaking up just because you’re worried about talking over someone else!
Class video conferencing is something that is new to most educators and students alike, meaning we’re all together on this new journey of virtual learning.