7th Inning Stretch to Reduce Online Fatigue

By Jin Li

My name is Jin Li. I am a founding member of the Advisory Committee for the mobile applications development (MAPD) program. I have taught design and programming courses at the college and university level. This is the third year I am teaching the MAPD-715 UI/UX course (but first time teaching online version due to Covid-19). 

As we use online conference tools such as Zoom to conduct our teaching, we have all experienced online fatigue when we spend too much time sitting and staring at our screen. I have applied a “7th inning stretch” technique to reduce online fatigue. Here is how it works. After about 45 minutes of online learning (lecture, Q&A, or lab demo), I would have everyone stand up and play an alphabet game together. Preferably, everyone has their audio and video turned on, but at a minimum, the speaker must have their audio and video on when it’s their turn. I would pick a theme such as animals, and each person would take a turn to name an animal that starts with their alphabet letter and do a corresponding gesture. For example, A for Antelope while putting hands on their head to illustrate its horns. Usually, it takes about 5 minutes for the full class to complete the game. It helps people to de-stress, stretch while laughing out on people’s funny or unorthodox gestures. It has worked well for me and my students so far, and I encourage other instructors to try it!