Teaching at a Distance Etiquette

By Siyam Subair

The fully online delivery of the courses was implemented as a sudden response to COVID-19, and we totally understand that it may be difficult for you in transitioning from the traditional mode of learning. As we are not used to this situation, it is better establishing some rules/norms that will maintain respectful behaviour and effective learning.  


  • Please consider as you were in your regular classroom or lab and dedicate the hours of learning. 
  • Please communicate promptly whenever you can’t make yourself available to the scheduled tele-conference or group meeting. 
  • Take responsibility while working in groups; maintain a healthy communication; divide workload and share results. 

Synchronous Participation (Virtual Classroom/ Teleconference): 

  • Please make sure the home/office space that you are at while entering the virtual conference is appropriate before turning on the video/camera.
  • Ensure the background noise/ language is appropriate and not disturbing/distracting the audience. Feel free to take a break and rejoin the meeting. 
  • At any time, feel free to mute the camera or microphone at uncomfortable situations or privacy issues.  
  • If you are assigned as a “moderator/host”, while doing your class presentations, please make sure the shared screen is free from personal details or emails (you can close other applications/ browsers, or files in the background before starting the screen sharing).  
  • In most cases, the recorded meeting will be made available. However, participating in the tele-conference/ meeting will be a quick and effective way of clarifying your doubts.

Asynchronous Participation (Discussion Board, Wiki, Group Work) 

  • Please be courteous to lab partner as well as other students in the class. 
  • Participate actively in the online forum and make a commitment to your assigned task 
  • Acknowledge the contribution/ work by the group members, classmates or even other sources that you used for your comments/critique.  
  • Disagree with ideas, but do not make personal attacks. Be open to be challenged or confronted on your ideas or prejudices.  
  • Challenge/ critique others with the intent of facilitating growth. Do not demean or embarrass others. 
  • If you feel that your group dynamic is impacted or not all your members are doing a fair share, record your contribution in the e-lockers rather than personally attacking other group members.