It is good practice to ensure that you learn correct pronunciations of your students and they too learn yours. This will enable you to invite all students to contribute in sessions without hesitating. To help you do this, you can consider using pronunciation help websites such as Pronounce Names; Nameshouts; Forvo.
You could also ask students to make short audio or video personal introductions (optional) that could be added to the course Moodle site to support community building.
In online environments like Zoom both staff and students should display their names. In addition, you could display your name phonetically and ask students to do the same.
The resource Getting pronouns right for students describes ways staff can help ensure they are using the right pronouns for students. It suggests some approaches intended to reduce stress and effort, for both staff and students.
You may find some of the techniques outlined in this Guide to active listening in education useful in helping you demonstrate active listening.
In her blog post Silence in the classroom is not necessarily a problem our colleague Lee-Ann Sequeira questions some of the assumptions made about silent students.
Be careful when using humour or sarcasm as it can easily give offence, especially when you cannot see facial expressions.
Use clear and concise language, and be aware when you are using slang or local expressions as not everyone may understand the meaning.
Netiquette is a set of practices for good, polite and considerate behaviour in online contexts. If you are using an asynchronous online learning space, such as a Moodle forum, you can post our student-facing guidance on Good academic practice in online discussions and to your Moodle forum. You can adapt this guidance to suit the context in which teach.
If you are using a synchronous online/hybrid learning spaces, such as Zoom, we recommend some space clearing practices, which would benefit from discussion and negotiation with your students. This will set clear expectations for your students around how you expect them to engage with you and vice versa.
Ensure students have been provided with guidance on Zoom backgrounds should they wish to not share their personal spaces. Staff should avoid commenting on student’s personal space.
Students should not be required to have their cameras turned on. This requires discussion and optionality. In her blog post 'Voices first, faces second' Maha Bali (Associate Professor of Practice, American University in Cairo) outlines some of the debates around this issue.
Microphones should be muted to avoid background noise: Additionally, having cameras and microphones off unless speaking allows students with hearing difficulties to focus on one speaker or interaction at a time. You can also use the active speaker setting on Zoom to help reduce overstimulation.
Ensure you inform students of how the raising of hands using the participants box and the chat function will be used. Our guidance on Synchronous learning activities using Zoom outlines issues you should consider in relation to these funcions.
If you have caring responsibilities at home that may cause interruptions during a session you may like to communicate this to your students.
Explain your role in managing online learning activities, e.g. muting or unmuting students’ microphones, allowing or not allowing file sharing and why.