Combating Zoom Fatigue in Online University Courses

Last week, we talked about what Zoom fatigue is, what causes it, and why it’s bad, especially for students in higher education and university.

This week, we’ll be going in depth and providing actionable steps you can take to increase student engagement and help your students overcome Zoom fatigue.

How to prevent Zoom fatigue in online classes and courses

Attending Zoom classes is unavoidable in the time of the pandemic.

However, there are preventative measures teachers can take to reduce the risk of Zoom fatigue in both educators and students.

#1 Let students take control of their learning journey

When you give students the power to control when, where, and how they learn, you immediately decrease Zoom fatigue because big meetings and group discussions are reduced.

Instead of having live Zoom classes every day, you can make saved video content that students can access whenever they want. Live Zoom meetings can then be used to supplement the classes.

Incorporating virtual learning buddies into your online platform can also enhance the independent learning experience.

#2 Encourage your students to focus on one task at a time

Multitasking may seem like a time-efficient way to get more work done, but it's been proven time and time again to reduce productivity because your brain has to constantly focus on the new activity before refocusing on the old activity.

By giving your students tasks that require more focus and attention, you can keep them more engaged in each activity.

#3 Stick to the stipulated time

Teachers and institutions should schedule Zoom classes and meetings, just like they do for physical classes and meetings.

As technical difficulties can occur, especially if you are unfamiliar with the platform, it’s important to test the platform, its functions, and multimedia before the meeting.

If possible, don’t start early and don’t overrun as that can give students unnecessary stress.

#4 Allow for breaks during and between classes

Even when you don’t overrun your Zoom meetings, it’s beneficial to include breaks during the class and between classes so that students can get a breather.

Paying full attention to an online class for hours at a time can be mentally and physically exhausting, so this can help to release some tension.

By giving students time to stretch, drink water, have a snack, or use the bathroom, you make them feel more comfortable, less stressed, and more able to focus on the lesson.

#4 Don’t use the camera when it’s not necessary

When hosting Zoom classes, you can reduce anxiety and stress among students by letting them turn their cameras off whenever possible.

An immense amount of pressure will be taken off your students when cameras can be turned off because they will be able to worry less about how they look and focus more on the class.

It’s ok to turn on cameras in the beginning of the lesson to take attendance, during important discussions, or when body language and actions need to be seen.

Other times, you may want to create smaller groups for more intimate, less intimidating discussions.

The bottom-line

Zoom fatigue can seem daunting, but there are simple steps you can take to combat it.

If you have any questions about online education, Zoom fatigue, and increasing student engagement, feel free to contact Noodle Factory here!

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