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The landscape of education has evolved beyond traditional classroom settings. Today, online classes offer a dynamic and engaging approach to learning. However, this shift presents unique challenges for students adapting to virtual education. In this article, we’ll explore online class etiquette, providing strategies to enhance the effectiveness of digital learning.

Online Class Etiquettes for Students

Confusion sets in when educational institutions are replaced with home environments, as does carelessness. New rules need to be adopted. Here is the online classroom etiquette you need to know. 

1. Dress appropriately

Aim for a professional appearance as you connect with individuals from various locations. Avoid pajamas and opt for shirts or other professional clothing options. Consider wearing your uniform to maintain the decorum of appropriate dress. Additionally, groom your hair to look presentable. This practice helps in mentally transitioning into the virtual classroom. Remember, online schooling should not be synonymous with casual homeschooling, so dress appropriately.

2. Be aware of the surroundings 

Whether you are participating in a session, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings to stay away from potential disruptions. This isn’t limited to avoiding distracting noises and interruptions. It also includes considering visual elements that could cause disturbances. Prevent excessive light from entering the camera. Try to set up the equipment against a window. 

Ensure your room lighting is optimal for a professional virtual setting. Keep yourself and your equipment away from noises in your room. If the noise remains an issue, mute your microphone. Wear your headset muted until it’s your turn to speak, and maintain silence when others speak to avoid disrupting the conversation.

3. Maintain punctuality 

Punctuality holds great significance in online classrooms. As a student, it is essential to establish a reliable system that ensures you join the class promptly. It allows you to start the session on time so you don’t miss any important instructions.

4. Avoid touching the keyboard 

It is important to note that the keyboard can be distracting during the classroom session. Regardless of your activities during the session, aim to limit keyboard usage. Typing texts or messages to friends in the chat section can be distracting for both yourself and other students. Consider taking notes with pen and paper to avoid noisy typing. 

5. Listen carefully

Similar to in-person situations, online learners should also listen and engage actively. Active listening involves:

  • Jotting down notes,
  • Rephrasing the main points and
  • Showing respect by not interrupting

Moreover, it is crucial to be aware of nonverbal signals. Respond by nodding, being attentive, and using facial expressions to show you understand what the speaker is saying. It indicates your engagement and encourages them to continue. 

Participate in discussions, ask meaningful questions, and respond when your instructor asks for opinions or feedback.

6. Be focused 

Undoubtedly, giving your focused attention is crucial for efficient learning. Using a different device or engaging with someone in the surroundings might be tempting during online sessions.But these lead to distraction.It is important to respect the learning process during the Zoom meeting, just as you would in a physical classroom setting. 

7. Avoid multitasking 

Multitasking can  have  negative effects on learning. It can:

  • Weaken  students grasp  on the information they learn 
  • Can take longer time to complete the  main task
  • Affect student’s performance

So, if students  are  used to  multitasking  during online classes, they need to learn how to stop it. Break the habit  and find some other ways to get things done. 

8. Speak when necessary 

Microphones can easily capture surrounding noises. It causes disruptions for other students in the discussion and leads to a loss of focus. To prevent this, students should mute their microphones and only activate them when needed or required to speak.

When students want to speak, they should use the “Raise Hand” feature in most video conferencing applications to signal their wish to speak. This notifies the professor and other members, allowing the student to wait for their turn patiently. While speaking, students should articulate their thoughts and ensure their voice is audible to others in the session.

9. Avoid eating 

While virtual classrooms offer comfort, avoid using them as your dining space during classes. Stop eating food while attending sessions. Eating chips or chocolates can distract others while the teacher presents important information. This can distract you from the class as well.

10. Report your absence 

If you cannot attend an online school session or will be late, inform the teachers with valid reasons. It is one of the important etiquettes students need to follow. This shows your seriousness and how responsible you are. 


The online community has its own set of rules. Students must keep many things in mind and follow the etiquette in the virtual classroom. Remember to have fun in the class that can keep students engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is virtual classroom etiquette?

Treat your classmates and instructors with respect. Limit video distractions such as children, pets, or excessive noise. Use correct spelling and grammar when using chat. Avoid ‘text talk’ and adhere to the rules and guidelines.

What are the don'ts of online classes for students?

Don’t annotate anything on the screen or unnecessarily use the screen share option unless requested. Be mindful of the chat option. Don’t message everyone if it’s meant privately for the teacher. Don’t send unnecessary private messages to any fellow students.

How important is online learning etiquette?

It is a set of rules that encourages appropriate online behavior. It promotes communication skills and prevents miscommunications when collaborating online.

What etiquette should students follow in the classroom?

Don’t talk while your professor lectures or when other students are called to speak. Don’t sleep in class.

What are the rules of digital etiquette?

Avoid posting inflammatory or offensive comments online. Respect everyone’s privacy by not sharing personal information, photos, or videos if another person doesn’t want to.

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