Is Zoom Fatigue Becoming A Serious Threat For Online Learners?

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All About Zoom Fatigue

Whilst Zoom has been an excellent platform that has enabled thousands or in fact, millions of learners and teachers to connect through the platform, it does take its toll. With more than a year of confinement and continuous online training, learners are surely experiencing some stress.

What Is Zoom Fatigue? 

When you are building an online team or managing a training program concerning multiple remote employees, it is imperative that you rely on a video conferencing platform like Zoom.

But according to Hogle (2021), the pressure of having to constantly keep eye contact with both the teacher and students online is putting undue pressure on both parties.

Moreover, having to see their own face constantly during the process is also making online learners more conscious about themselves, thereby adding to the stress factor.

The likes of Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) argue that during a traditional physical class the students do not have to see themselves constantly. This is why they are not conscious about themselves throughout the duration of the lecture. However, in Zoom sessions, the students can of course turn the camera and the microphone off but it might not always be prudent to do so.

Also in the case of Zoom, the chance of the teacher’s voice and statement being muted is higher and all the individual students need to pay more attention than usual.

So, Hogle (2021) believes that long Zoom calls are wearing learners out as they have to pay more attention than usual. It is nerve-wracking and also exhausting for both the learners and teachers and, as they lose focus and concentration midway through the online lecture and also become truly fatigued.

Causes Of Zoom Fatigue 

Advocates of microlearning always discouraged long live training sessions. According to them, hours of long online classes are not fully realizing the potential of the online teaching platforms.

Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) imply that during the sudden closures of schools and institutions the teachers resorted to online classes. But what they did was to replicate the offline teaching habits and transfer them online. That is where the issue was triggered.

Hogle (2021) points out the fact that teachers, all over the world, thought that online teaching was a temporary solution. That is why they continued to carry on with the same routine, thus creating a lot of stress for the students and themselves.

Shea (2021) in his article, in Washington Post, reports on statistics that indicate that women fall prey to Zoom fatigue more than men, in general. However, the article indicates that the findings are dependent on the time gap between the two consecutive sessions. If the gap is more than half an hour, then the fatigue level is less.

This brings us to our next section concerning the reduction of fatigue amongst learners. So, how can we ensure that the learners do not get stressed out?

Alleviating Zoom Fatigue 

Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) believe that there are certain measures that online academies and individual online teachers can take to ensure that the students do not become fatigued.

Asynchronous Online Lecturers 

Synchronous online lecturers backed by live video classes often inject a sense of compulsion for online students. The mandate of getting online at a certain date and time and at regular intervals puts more pressure on the learners. Asynchronous lecturers can grant the desired freedom to them in case they are feeling suffocated.

Recorded Video Lectures 

We understand that videos are by far the most popular form of digital content and that is the reason why many teachers choose to give live classes in the first place. However, studies have shown that on many occasions well-edited video lectures recorded in advance are more effective in delivering content. The small videos teaching one matter at a time has proven to grab the attention of learners in a more effective manner.

Small Quizzes

There is no better way to ensure student engagement than to throw in a bit of a challenge now and again. Small quizzes, placed in between long lectures can help them stay on their toes and help them focus on small sections of the lectures.

Online teachers also need to give proper breaks after the quizzes so that the students have enough energy to continue with the course.

Active Dashboard 

Zoom does have a chat system, but more often than not, the teachers cannot really notice if a particular student has posted some non-verbal query. However, if your online courses are hosted on an LMS platform, then in that case you can use an active dashboard to encourage students to also communicate non-verbally. This puts less stress on online students.

Conclusion

Long class hours are exhausting for both students and instructors in the physical world. It becomes even more difficult when the same habit is transferred online. However, with focused strategies and a basic understanding of how online education works, the teachers can actually reduce the ominous Zoom fatigue to a great extent.

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