Do you want to make the most of your online class experience?
1. Try the best place in your home for a WIFI connection. It may sound obvious, but it’s astounding how so many of you neglect and postpone making sure your webcam and sound are working correctly, or if you have the latest version of Skype or Zoom. Technology may fail at its best and we can all experience occasional problems. However, if you don’t fix the basics, not only yours but everyone’s experience will not be the most pleasant, especially if you are in a group.
2. Have your lesson prepared, if required. You know it does make a difference, even if a plan doesn’t go to plan. As simple, if you have revised, you will feel more confident and up for it. In case you’ve had a hectic week and you couldn’t prepare yourself for the lesson, let your tutor know beforehand.
3. However, there is no need to miss your class because you don’t feel prepared. There might be another reason for missing class, but some of my students already let me know if it’s the case of being unprepared due to personal reasons, which I appreciate.
4. Get your handouts ready, organised and in the correct order. If your teacher sends you handouts, keep them tidy. I try to number the pages, but sometimes the paging does not show online for some reason. However, put them in the right order as soon as you print them out (if you can print them).
5. Listen and speak more than write during the lesson, unless you have been asked to take notes, read or write something. If you are a couple, be careful with any parallel chat.
6. Do sit down instead of lying down during an online class. You know it makes sense. Lying down is for sleeping, don’t you agree? You may be at home, but you are still in a class.
7. In case you are on the phone or on an iPad, try to get one of those mobile/iPad stands so you can place it on a desk or a chest of drawers and go hands-free. It’s so much better to stand the phone than hold it. Phone stands/ holders are not expensive. They range between £10 and £20 on average, or less. The best experience is having your class via a laptop, which is not always possible, I understand, but when there is a will there is a way. If the only way is your phone, use it. You can still make your practice pleasant, even on the phone if you have the right equipment.
8. If you are at home, make sure you have eaten (if you had time, of course!), but not stuffed yourself so much you want to sleep. Also, make sure you have not just woken up from an afternoon siesta and switched on your laptop, iPad or phone for the class! But no harm to have one glass of wine with you.
9. Pets. Oh, that’s a difficult one! Because I love them! But do choose the right time to show your lovely fur babies. You can’t help a cat walking across your desk or a puppy wanting attention (aww!). They can sit on your lap and quietly stay there, no problems! But be cautious with any interruption you may constantly make to show your pets (ok, sometimes I ask to see them- guilty here!). However, there is a time for everything unless a domestic issue is going on. Hence, I do understand when you have children and need to interrupt your lesson.
10. Do feel good before class and get dressed (no, not what you’re thinking!). And I don’t mean dressing up (God, no!), but if you are in your PJs and bathrobes, are you really in the mood for a class??
Of course, this last tip is entirely up to you (in fact, most tips), and it solely depends on your participation. If you are trying your best, your tutor does not care if you are wearing a gorilla costume, a tuxedo, a pyjama or a dressing gown. They want to see you happy and in a learning mood whenever possible. Above all, your tutor does appreciate any effort you make to attend the classes, be they online or not.
Do you have any other tips you can offer here to help us?