Online classes are great! You can communicate with students and teach all the syllabus from the comfort of your own home. But with the remote learning and online classes being extended due to the lockdown, we may see a handful of students gradually lose interest in attending lessons. Although this is expected, some students have devised some ingenious tactics to possibly avoid online classes. In this article, we explore the top 3 unbelievably cheeky ways students use to avoid classes.
The most common form of evasion is “The Loading”. The student uses a “…” in place of his or her name on the screen. This makes the screen look like it is continuously loading.
The efficiency of this method depends on the program that the teachers and students use to communicate. The student will sometimes notify the teacher that he/she is experiencing connectivity issues. Some students even change their display pic into GIF of the loading icon.
Often, teachers will let “The Loading” slide and will not have time to do an in-depth background check on whether the student is experiencing connectivity issues. If absolutely necessary, one way to tell is to ask the student to screenshot his/her internet speed. If the speed is extremely slow (2.5 Mbps or lower). Accountability is everything in this instance. You may also need to contact the student’s parents if this incident keeps repeating.
The Green Screen is often a quick hack to a background change. The concept of green screens is most popular in Hollywood movies to insert computer-grafted images (CGI). Often used in the remote working world these days, the user has a green coloured background that can accept any form of video projected as a virtual background. Some students may choose the Green Screen not to skip classes entirely, but to conceal the viewer of his or her location. The student may be in a gaming room or a hotel by the beach but has his/her own study room as a background. Or like this guy attending class while riding his motorbike!
One common example of this is the use of gameplay backgrounds. The student puts up his/her favourite computer game playback. These gameplay backgrounds might be a distraction to the rest of the class but certainly can be part of the humour and individuality that the student brings.
One may wonder why a student will try something as quirky as this, but kids will be kids. Teachers can encourage students to revert to their original background and guarantee that they will not be reprimanded. This sense of security encourages the student to be honest about where he/she is.
Akin to skipping school altogether, The Missing is one trick where the student doesn’t show up for an online class at all. This often happens during subjects that are less appealing to students.
Much like you would in a classroom setting, a teacher should employ empathy and a soft approach to handle students that skip classes. Teachers can adopt methods to keep students entertained and peak their interest in the subject.
Use resources such as apps on the internet to engage students in educational games and quizzes. Apps such as Kahoot! or Discord are great for games that reiterate the lessons in class.
Teachers can try to understand the reason behind the absenteeism when taking attendance. Talk to the student’s parents or guardians. Find out if there is an underlying issue to the lack of participation. Another way to reduce absenteeism is to guarantee a shorter time online. Students have so many classes per day, resulting in hours and hours of screen time. It is only healthy to limit classes to a shorter period than for them to run on for hours.
The 3 cheeky student behaviours above may be tell-tale signs of a lack of interest in a subject or possible Zoom-fatigue. It is best to procure more information on the student before assuming that he/she is skipping classes. Dedicated teachers go to great lengths to motivate and encourage students to participate in online classes. But, most importantly is to not be discouraged by these actions. We were all like this once upon a time.
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