Over the last few years, and especially over the last year, virtual technology and learning have seen a massive boom. There are more efficient online learning platforms than ever, and there are more users of those platforms than there have ever been. But while virtual classrooms can be an interesting solution for a multitude of logistical learning issues, they also have their problems.
For example, during online learning, the rules aren't always clear, and since online learning is just becoming popular, it's possible not to know the proper etiquette that governs them. These classes aren't held in person, so the necessary physical cues that we use in communication aren't there, to begin with. The lack of these cues could lead to miscommunication, which would also lead to the online learning session being unproductive and would defeat the entire point of online learning in the first place.
With that in mind, here is some body language do’s and don’ts to help get you through online meetings.
Do Remember to Smile
Everyone likes a smiling face. If you want to be more welcoming and want your classmates and instructors to be at peace with your presence, you must smile a bit more. I know that it's fairly easy to
go blank and return to your regular resting face when you're in front of a screen, but that face doesn't tell the person communicating with you anything. It doesn't tell them you understand, don't understand, or whether you're even paying attention. This can be disconcerting for instructors.
Do Try to Maintain Eye Contact
Did you know that the reason why we evolved the white part of our eyes was so that other people could trust us? That's right. The main reason why our eyes aren't just filled up with irises is that it sends social cues that other proto-humans could understand. That's why eye contact is so important in communication today. You need eye contact to show that you're honest and trustworthy. This tip is especially important because it's easy to lose sight of the camera during online courses. Remember to always stare at the camera. That way, you'd be given people on the other end a sign that you're honest.
Do Stay Close to The Microphone
Whatever your audio dissemination medium is going to be, you've got to have it set before the online class starts. Even if you aren't going to be doing a lot of talking, you're still going to have to answer some questions at the end of the lesson. And your voice must be heard by your instructor and everyone else. That's why you should always stay close to the microphone and avoid leaning away while you're speaking.
Don’t Rest Your Head on Your Hand
It's very hard for humans to drop some habits, especially when it comes to routine. That's why too many online learners eventually succumb to acting like they are watching a Netflix movie while in an online class. They act distracted, they stay in awkward positions, and even rest their heads on their hands. That position may be great for watching the Blacklist or Friends, but it's certainly a don't for online learning.
Don't Rely on Physical Gestures
While some cameras can capture split-second physical gestures like the wave of a hand, many aren't able to do that. Importantly, network connections are usually not good enough to capture your physical gestures as smoothly as you'd like. What this means is that physical gestures often come off as badly excited nuisances that do nothing for the quality of the class. So, if you're someone who loves making these gestures while speaking, you should try to stop them, as they will ultimately prove to be counter-effective.