How to Cope with Zoom Class Fatigue
COVID-19 has forced education systems around the world to find alternatives to face-to-face instruction. This has resulted in unprecedented usage of online teaching and learning by students and teachers alike. Governments must identify which policies can maximize the effectiveness of online learning since lockdowns – whether massive or localised – may be needed in the future to respond to new waves of infection until a vaccine becomes available. As online education becomes increasingly popular, this policy brief examines how student attitudes towards learning play a role in maximising its potential. Since parents and teachers play a crucial role in helping students develop these attitudes, targeted interventions must be designed to reduce the burden on parents and help teachers and schools make the most of digital learning.
An outbreak of Coronavirus disease -2019 has struck India to date (COVID-19). Due to the lack of proper medicine and vaccine to treat COVID-19, the Government of India has imposed a country lockdown from 25 March 2020 to avoid chain/community transmission of the virus. Since the educational institutes were also closed during the lockdown period, traditional classroom teaching was switched to online teaching in India to compensate for the educational loss.
Students in India have become accustomed to attending online classes every day during the lockdown. Because schools were closed during the lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus, online classes have taken centre stage in students’ lives.
In spite of the lockdown, many schools are providing online courses to provide continuing education. Interesting enough, the online classes have prepared students for lockdowns better than the traditional ones.
The school doesn’t have to be run every day for them. Studying and learning in the comfort of their homes is possible, as well as submitting assignments online. It is less physical activity and more mental activity in online classes, which makes students more academically oriented.
In addition to becoming more tech-savvy, students have benefited from online education. They learned more about various apps and programs. During the lockdown, students are learning so much about technology in addition to academics. Radio and television are becoming more familiar to them, as well as computers, smartphones, and mobile phones.
While online teaching has played an important role during the pandemic, its consequences should not be ignored. Students who live in remote and poor areas may not be able to access online courses because there is no access to smartphones, laptops, or mobile networks. The result is discrimination between students of rich and poor backgrounds or between urban and rural areas. Children under 14 are not aware of the screen effect and become addicted to mobile devices, resulting in mental and eye disorders. Because of this, online teaching cannot replace traditional classroom teaching for a long time, and we will need to return to traditional classroom teaching after the pandemic ends.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing tool used for virtual meetings and hangouts. While we are all isolated while we work on our projects or attend classes, it can be used for live streaming. On a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, Zoom lets you see your chat partners face-to-face, just like Skype or FaceTime. There’s no limit to how many people can join a Zoom conference at once.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, millions of people have been forced to stay at home. Many have resorted to happy hours, trivia nights, and birthday parties to remain social online. Among all of the video conferencing services, Zoom has gained popularity through intensive separation measures and a profound resonance within this new culture of distance.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom users have risen sharply since many schools and companies have moved to remote working.
Since March 18, Zoom has enjoyed a 30x increase in daily downloads, and its free app remains the no. 1 free app in the U.S. according to Bernstein Research and Apptopia. The company reported a 200 million-user increase in daily users from 10 million in December.
In the wake of its announcement that inactive users continue to pour in, Zoom shares soared more than 12.5%.
On April 22, Zoom’s video conferencing software was used by more than 300 million consumers, the company reported.
An engaging way to engage learners in a fully online course is to schedule an asynchronous class session when everyone logs in at a pre-scheduled time. Synchronous sessions are held using web-conferencing software and students are invited to participate at a scheduled time.
With Zoom, students can access class sessions on laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, and even desk phones.
What is Zoom Fatigue?
“Zoom fatigue” is a result of using virtual communication platforms too much, resulting in tiredness, worry, or burnout. Zoom fatigue is widely prevalent, intense, and completely new, as have other experiences associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Another explanation relates fatigue to underlying factors like increased financial stress and unemployment caused by the pandemic backdrop. Additionally, cognitive factors contribute to fatigue, as our ability to multitask virtually is putting our attentional capacity at risk.
Our brain responds to rewards by increasing alertness, energy, and motivation, which in turn decreases fatigue. It is even possible to excite our brains and increase our energy by simply walking in the halls between classes. We are rewarded by getting social interaction or by moving around or changing environments. We are communicating non-verbally every time we speak to someone, such as by our body posture and smile, even though we aren’t aware of it. Due to the difficulty of picking up on these cues, video calls make it harder for us to socialize, which makes us feel more tired.
REASONS FOR ZOOM FATIGUE:
- Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact are highly intense.
It is unnatural to engage in so much eye contact when video chatting as well as to see so many faces on screens.
A typical meeting will have people taking notes, observing the speaker, or looking at something else. Zoom calls, however, bring everyone into the same frame of mind. Listeners are treated nonverbally like speakers, so even if you don’t say a word but look at faces in a meeting, you still have their attention. There is a dramatic increase in eye contact. Public speaking phobias are one of the most common phobias we have as a population. Standing up there in front of everyone and having the whole world stare at you can be stressful.”
The size of the monitor you use and whether you’re using an external monitor can also affect how large the faces appear on video conferencing calls. With most set-ups, when you’re having one-on-one conversations on video with coworkers or strangers, your face is sized to simulate the type of personal space you’d normally have when you’re with someone intimately.
- Video chats are tiring since you are seeing yourself in real-time constantly.
During a chat, most video platforms show a square of what you look like on camera. But that’s unnatural. It would be crazy if somebody followed you around with a mirror all the time – so while you were talking to people, making decisions, giving feedback and getting feedback, you were seeing yourself in a mirror at all times. It would never occur to anyone to consider that.
Researchers have found that when you see a reflection of yourself, you are more critical of yourself. Video chat has now become a common daily occurrence for many of us. We are strained by it. There’s a lot of stress involved. Seeing yourself in a mirror has been shown to have negative emotional consequences in several studies.
- Video chat reduces mobility a great deal.
Humans can walk around and move during in-person and audio phone conversations. In videoconferencing, however, most cameras have a fixed field of view, so a person is usually forced to remain stationary. Movement is restricted in ways that are not natural. People perform better cognitively when they are moving, according to a growing body of research.
- The cognitive load is much higher in video chats.
As part of normal face-to-face interactions, nonverbal communication is quite natural and we make and interpret gestures and nonverbal cues subconsciously. Sending and receiving signals in video chats is more difficult.
Humans have taken one of the most natural things in the world-a human conversation and turned it into something that requires extensive planning: “You have to frame your head within the centre of the video.”. The best way to show someone that you agree with them is to do an exaggerated nod or give them the thumbs up. It adds cognitive load since you are using mental energy to communicate.”
In the context of a video meeting, gestures could also mean different things. Sidelong glances during an in-person meeting mean very different things than someone watching their child off-screen on a video chat grid.
HOW TO COMBAT ZOOM CLASS FATIGUE:
- If the platforms don’t change their interface, Zoom should be removed from full-screen mode and the Zoom window should be reduced in size about the monitor to reduce face size and using an external keyboard to increase the personal space bubble between oneself and the grid.
- When it only needs to be sent to others, content platforms switch to beaming the video as well as to self. Until then, users should use the “hide self-view” button, which one can access by right-clicking their photo, once their face is properly framed.
- In most cases, people consider their room, where the camera will be placed, and whether an external keyboard can help create distance and flexibility during videoconferencing. For instance, a camera farther away from the screen can be used in virtual meetings to allow paces and doodles as we do in real meetings. One should periodically turn off the video during meetings to give oneself a break from nonverbal communication.
- Take a short break between meetings if you are meeting for a long time. As you turn off your camera, you are taking a break from nonverbally active behaviour, but you are also turning your body away from the screen for a few minutes so you are not surrounded by gestures that are perceptually real but socially meaningless.
Taking time to care for our minds and bodies away from screens is as important as making our digital interactions as rewarding as possible. According to experts:
- Make small talk during your video call or share something that is bothering you if it is appropriate. Perhaps that means showing off your cute dog or discussing something outside of work with your coworkers or classmates.
- You will be more productive if you take a break to do nothing or something unrelated to your work.
- While you’re on the phone, get off your computer, walk outside, and get some fresh air.
- For online calls, move to different locations, which can stimulate your mind and change your pace.
- Children who spend too much time sitting in online sessions experience stress by being unable to move around. For children to discharge some of the energy they accumulate while sitting, it is recommended that they have recess periods.
Playing with their pets or taking a short walk can help children relax and improve their concentration.
For children to feel comfortable in their classes, it is important to create a space that is conducive to learning while also providing them with a place to relax. Children should be able to use the computer without extra effort, sitting at eye level with the screen at a reasonable viewing distance.
A child’s space should also be free of distractions but contain items that they consider their own and make them feel comfortable.
The creation of a schedule that considers the timelines necessary to meet school obligations but allows the child to be flexible according to their needs will help keep Zoom fatigue to a minimum. In addition, children must be given a sense of responsibility and control over their schedules. It is possible to work with children who have difficulty waking up early or need more breaks during the school day with a 100% online scheme, in addition to being essential to keep them highly attentive and motivated.