Etiquette during online course meetings

Draft of November 1, 2020

Here are some proposed rules for online course meetings, based on the experience from the last semester.
(adapted from:, 1.11.2020)

Before the meeting

    • Prepare the technical set-up.
        • Wired connection is preferable to avoid streaming lags
        • Turn off possibly distracting notifications
        • Use headphones to avoid echos or feedback
        • Check that your mic and camera are working
    • Make yourself comfortable
        • Choose a quiet place
        • Do not sit next to another attendee to avoid feedback
        • Make sure that the camera is facing you head-on
        • Check the background – it will be shown in your video
    • Check Olat
        • Make sure that you have the Zoom meeting-ID and password at hand
        • Check for slides in case they are available beforehand
        • If available study the description of the upcoming session (some sessions might require online group work others just ask you to listen in)
        • Prepare yourself for notetaking in order to facilitate post-preparation
    • Go to the meeting a little early to ensure everything is working fine.

During the meeting:

  • Things to do:
      • choose a proper name, preferably your real name. Always choose the same name!
      • leave your video turned on if possible
      • turn off notifications on your mobile or laptop
      • always mute yourself unless you are actively speaking
      • be at least as considerate and respectful to your course-mates and lecturer as you would be in a real-life meeting
      • raise your hand via “Manage Participants” if you’d like to speak
      • consider using the chat to ask questions
      • use every possible way to participate actively in class!
  • Things to avoid:
      • overspeak over anyone
      • disturb the meeting by using the chat excessively
      • eat while in a meeting
      • try to multitask
      • moving around while on video
      • logging-in simultaneously on different devices at the same time
  • Recording policy
      • Do not record sessions in any way by yourself. All slides will be uploaded, there is no need for taking screenshots!
      • The lecturer will inform you on time should a recording be made.

After the meeting

  • Use about 15 min to:
      • complete your notes
      • save all material in an appropriate place
      • make sure to remember the tasks for the next meeting
  • Send feedback to the lecturer if there were problems or you felt uncomfortable.
  • About 1 day after class: Remind the lecturer to upload the slides

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