Guidelines for Online Classes

It is important to recognise that the online classroom is still a formal classroom environment. Certain behaviours are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your teachers online.

  1. Be ready to join the class at the arranged time. Once a class is in session, bringing in late attendees can be disruptive.
  2. During all online classes the student’s camera should be switched ON (unless it is necessary to briefly turn it off for personal reasons) for the duration of the class and the student’s face should be visible to their teacher and the class group unless otherwise directed by the teacher. Students are expected to participate actively in their learning.
  3. Mute your microphone when not speaking to help keep background noise to a minimum.
  4. Use the wave button if you wish to contribute to the conversion or wait for an appropriate point to intervene. At that point it would be an appropriate time to unmute your mic.
  5. Be mindful of background noise when your microphone is not muted; avoid activities that could create additional noise, such as shuffling papers.
  6. Do not record or take photographs of the class unless you have prior permission from the teacher. If permission is granted to record classes or take photographs, these recordings and photographs cannot be shared in any way without the permission of Ballyfermot College of Further Education.
  7. Position your camera properly. If you choose to use a web camera, be sure it is in a stable position and focused at eye level, if possible. Doing so helps create a more direct sense of engagement with other participants.
  8. Limit distractions – you can make it easier to focus on the meeting by turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running apps, and muting your smartphone. Please try to take your online classes in a private space where possible to respect the confidentiality of the classes.
  9. Avoid multi-tasking – you will retain the discussion better if you refrain from replying to emails or text messages during the meeting.
  10. Prepare materials in advance if you will be discussing content during the class. Make sure you have the files and/or links/physical notes ready to go before the class begins.
  11. Teachers will take student’s attendance at the beginning of class and the information will be transferred to VSware to be included as part of your course attendance profile.
  12. Adhere to the same standards of behaviour in online classes as you would in face-to-face classes:
    1. Treat all participants with respect.
    2. Do not talk over others; wait your turn.
    3. Post your question in chat, and wait to be called on.
    4. Don’t use the chat room to socialise and avoid personal conversations in the chat room.
    5. Keep the chat on topic.
    6. Dress appropriately.

January 2021