Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How to participate in a online lesson

  1. Preparation
  2. During the lesson
  3. Quick tips
  4. Do’s and Don’t
Preparation
  1. Google Hangout.  You may want to make sure you have an account ready and logged in before your session.  
  2. Webcam: You will need one directing toward your face and another one for your desk.  The camera facing your desk will allow you to share your drawings with your instructor.  You may also use additional devices as your secondary camera, as long as you can access your lesson’s Google hangout from that device.
  3. Lighting: A desk lamp is important to ensure clear visibility for your instructor
  4. Supplies: Depending on the agenda for a lesson, please make sure you have all your stationery or supplies ready.
  5. Clear the stage.  Make sure you have an area where you can draw and sketch comfortably and it is clutter-free.  This can also for ease to make any adjustment during the class.
  6. Soundproofing: Make sure you find yourself a location which has little or no background noise.  
  7. Internet connectivity. You may want to try a test call with someone ahead of time and see if you have everything ready before the lesson.
During the lesson
"Give your full attention to your teacher as you would if you were in the same room. Don't be distracted by email, social networks, Web, or texting. Try not to eat or drink so that you can be prepared if questions are directed to you."
Talking in Google Hangout should actually move at a slightly slower pace than a regular conversation or phone calls, as there maybe a lag with the audio. Make sure there are sufficient pauses after asking a question or comment. It is usually a good idea to pause for 2-3 seconds and wait for the other person to response.  
Bring attention to yourself before addressing the group by signaling with your hand or saying "question" or "comment" and then waiting a couple seconds before continuing."
You should always try to make eye contact by looking into the camera. It will make conversation among the participants more natural.
Quick tips
  1. Reserve 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of your first lesson for make sure all things are setup correctly.  
  2. Be aware of background noise.
  3. Do not multitask and avoid interruptions.  It is a good idea to turn off all your online communication tools, social networks and your cellphone prior to the lesson.
  4. When you are listening to the other speaker, mute yourself can help with noise reduction.
  5. Audio feedback loop may happen. You can avoid that by using a headset to hear the other person.  This can help avoid your microphone from catching the audio from your speaker.
  6. If the connection is slow, you may want to try to take turns in using your webcams.
  7. Use the Chat window in the Hangout.  If you have a link or a document or anything you want to share real-time with your instructor, you can use the chat window.


The Do's
  • Do make sure you are in a quiet space, background noise can be very disruptive
  • Do speak clearly, check with the other person if they can hear you    
  • Do make sure you have good lighting on yourself and your desk    
  • Do give the other person a 2 to 3 second wait for their response
  • Do maintain eye contact by looking into the camera    
  • Do keep body movements minimal, check yourself in the playback on your screen.     


The Don'ts
  • Don't make distracting sounds, it’s a good idea to mute yourself when you are listening to the other person.
  • Don't interrupt other speakers, you can gesture to signal the other person if you would like to make a comment.
  • Don't carry on side conversations, check your emails or use your computer for other purposes.
  • Don't type on your keyboard. Everyone can hear you, clearly!

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