Online Seminars at the University

Everything You Need to Know

About more than half of this unusual summer semester is already over. As we know from experience, digital teaching has certain advantages, but also disadvantages. Teachers decide for themselves how they want to design their courses. Some lecturers decide to record and upload videos in advance, which means that we as students can watch them flexibly. The second possibility that the lecture or seminar takes place synchronously. What is the best way to prepare for an online seminar? Here are a few tips that I would like to share with you from my own experience:

- Find a quiet spot for the duration of the event: If you live in a shared flat, it is best to avoid studying in the common rooms. Suddenly, a roommate might come in, so you will quickly be distracted ... and unfortunately, there is no repetition possible in synchronous seminars!

- Taking notes on paper: This may sound a bit oldschool, but even if the event takes place online, it is still helpful to note down the most important points concerning the topic. You are welcome to use a piece of paper for this purpose so that you are not overwhelmed with too many open windows on your screen. Also, working with paper can be seen as a little diversion from the constant staring at the screen.

- Mute your microphone, switch on your camera: It is best to mute your microphone so that any noise from your room is not transmitted. Keep your camera on instead - not only is it nice for the lecturers to see some faces, but it also brings you at least a little bit closer to the feeling of community you would have at university - at least when other students use their cameras as well.

- Use a headset instead of a built-in PC microphone: Muting the microphone is of course valid until the moment you want to say something. When speaking I recommend using a headset or an external microphone. This will solve the problem with the annoying echo that the other participants can hear from your PC.

- Dare to discuss: To a large extent, the success of this digital semester also depends on our commitment as students. Even if the atmosphere is different, dare to discuss and ask questions. The lecturers will certainly be looking forward to your active participation, which may even bring you additional points at the end of the semester. Other students may also feel more motivated to participate and the event will be more enjoyable and productive for everyone.  

From Mariya Hristova