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Online Etiquette Rules

This page outlines some good etiquette rules for student behaviour while taking courses with online delivery. These rules are designed to help promote communication, cooperation, and engagement in our classes. Please read these carefully.

Who Are You?

To make it easier for everyone in the class to get to know each other please do the following:

  • Required: Change your name in Zoom to your name (the name you prefer to be called).  You can do this in Zoom even if you don’t have an account. See instructions on this page (
  • Preferred: Upload a picture of yourself to your Zoom account. That way your picture is shown to the class if you mute your video


In order to keep the presentation running smoothly when we’re in Zoom as a whole class, please follow these standards:

  • Required: Mute your audio unless you are speaking to the class. Background noise can be very disruptive
  • Preferred: Consider using headphones with a mic to improve everyone’s listening experience
  • Required: If you have a quick question or comment, please post it in the chat, rather than interrupting.
    • Feel free to answer questions in the chat if you know the answer!
    • Tip: You can copy / save the content of the chat for later if you want
  • Preferred: If you have a deeper question, please use the “hand up” indicator and wait until you’re called upon


Much of human communication depends on subtle visual cues, so seeing each other is important. To promote clear communication, a sense of belonging, and to make connections with your classmates, the following these rules.

  • Required: When a classmate is presenting, please turn your video on (and mute yourself). This way they don’t feel like they’re talking into the void.
  • Preferred: Instructors often prefer working in Zoom with everyone’s video on. That being said, it is OK to turn your video off at times as needed, or if there are issues with bandwidth
  • Required: If you are called upon, be ready turn video back on so that the instructor and fellow students can see who is speaking
  • Required: When working with a team in a breakout room, please turn on your video. This will improve your team’s cohesion and communication
  • Note: Zoom allows the use of “virtual backgrounds”. These can be fun but can be problematic with some internet connections. Please feel free to use them but be ready to turn them off if it is impacting anyone else’s experience

Technical Difficulties

Technical difficulties happen. However, communication is key for avoiding misunderstandings and to increase your opportunities to learn from and support your team.

  • If you’re experiencing technical difficulties of any kind, please message or email your instructor
  • If you’re unable to join via Zoom, you can try phoning into the Zoom number. This will work from any phone and will limit how you can engage with the class, but it is better than nothing

Time Zones And Absences

All synchronized classes will be held at the scheduled time in Pacific Time (Nanaimo, BC). If you are in another time zone that differs significantly, please let your instructor know. There may an option for a class / lecture to be recorded, but this may only be available upon advance request.