To Sit or to Stand when Teaching Online

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

It’s easy to assume that sitting is the best way of teaching online – all your students will be sitting down. However, there are some advantages to consider standing up when delivering your class. This article will explore the benefits of both options. 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Why consider standing?

While standing to deliver online classes may be the exception, it is actually more consistent with in-person delivery of content. Some of the possible advantages of standing to deliver the material include:

  • Greater ability to convey energy: It may be harder easier when standing to convey energy – a chair forces you to remain somewhat rigid. 
  • More focus on the material: Connected to the above point, it if by standing you feel you have more energy, you may be more focused on the material and students in the class. Sitting down, it is easier to relax, and you may find that impacts your ability to remain focused on the material. 
  • Increased authority over the class: A lot of signals of authority conveyed in-person teaching are lost when transitioning on-line. While in-person teaching you can rely on the seating arrangement to signal your authority over the class, in the online setting some of these signals are lost – you now have the same-size webcam box as students in the room. Standing helps return some of this authority, returning to a situation more similar to in-person teaching. 
  • More consistent experience: The final reason why standing may make more sense is to maintain consistency with the in-person experience. While online teaching may be just as, if not more, challenging than in-person teaching, it is possible for students to assume that being sat down is easier. While this may not 

Some considerations in favor of sitting

While some people will prefer standing when teaching, the ability to present while sitting down maybe one of the things that you find best about on-line teaching:

  • Creating a more equal and relaxed atmosphere: While there are advantages to increasing your authority over students by standing, this may also make the atmosphere in the class less relaxed as a result. It can feel like you are always looking over the students, or attempting to exert your authority. This may be particularly true given standing tends to be the exception rather than the norm when presenting online. Also joining 
  • Less stressful: Presenting in the online format can be taxing – there are a lot of things to learn and use at the same time. Sitting down can help preserve some energy – particularly important if you are teaching multiple classes back to back.

Mix it up!

One of the great benefits of online teaching is that there is not the same ‘rule book’ as teaching in-person; you can adjust your style, and try out new approaches. You may find that standing is the best change that you can make to your presentation style, or you may find sitting down much more natural. If you want to try standing, there is no need to buy a standing desk – just place your screen on top of a box and see whether you like the format or not.

Either way, there is no commitment – you can experiment and find what works; everyone is going through their own ‘learning process’ with online teaching, and so it is best to try many permutations and to find what works best for you. 

Related articles

Maintaining Privacy in Online Teaching

Respecting the privacy of others is important, and maybe especially so when teaching online. There are multiple ways of inadvertently sharing personal details that you did not mean to share. This article considers ways of reducing the likelihood of oversharing when teaching online and using Zoom.

Personalizing Zoom

Although Zoom does not allow many opportunities for customization, there are several small adjustments to make Zoom slightly more personalized. This article will explain changing your profile picture, waiting room interface, and other personalization opportunities.

Hide the Zoom Control Bar When Screen Sharing

The Zoom control bar is normally useful to have at hand (and for teaching it can be useful to always have it displayed). However, if you are sharing your entire screen it can be useful to disable it so that viewers can see your entire screen.

Effective Use of Zoom Polls

A quick way of engaging with students on Zoom is through the use of polls. In this article, we will explain how to set up polls in Zoom and effective opportunities for integrating them into your class.

Keeping your Zoom Call Secure

The security of your online class is important – not only would an instant of Zoombombing disrupt your class, but a security breach could easily overshadow your entire semester. This article explores some of the built-in security features of Zoom that it is important to be aware of.

Sharing a PowerPoint via Zoom

One of the most common ways of presenting on Zoom is to share a PowerPoint Presentation. In this article, we will explore how to set PowerPoint presentations to open as a separate Windows that can then be shared from within Zoom.

Related articles

Display 49 Participants in Zoom Gallery View

Although the default settings in Zoom limits the number of thumbnails displayed in the gallery view to 25, this can be increased to 49. This article explains how to increase the number of participants displayed and the technical requirements to do.

Read More »

Bringing Energy to your Online Class

One of the most important considerations when teaching online is how to maintain student energy and engagement. This article explores ways of bringing some energy to the class, with a specific focus on online teaching environments.

Read More »

Scheduling a Zoom Meeting

If you are new to Zoom, there are a lot of settings that are useful to be aware of when setting up a meeting. This article explores those settings, with guidance on what may be useful for your class.

Read More »

Contingency Planning your Online Classes

Online teaching presents some new difficulties that have the potential of derailing a class. This article explores some possible sources of disruption and considers ways of reducing the likelihood of issues arising, or dealing with such problems should they occur in the class.

Read More »

Sharing a PowerPoint via Zoom

One of the most common ways of presenting on Zoom is to share a PowerPoint Presentation. In this article, we will explore how to set PowerPoint presentations to open as a separate Windows that can then be shared from within Zoom.

Read More »

Downloading Attendance from Zoom

If your class incorporates attendance as part of its grading structure, it is useful to be able to download a list of class attendance, rather than have to manually record participation levels – this article describes how to download attendance for each class.

Read More »

Establishing Online Class Norms

Establishing clear norms and expectations around online learning is important for ensuring a smooth and successful class delivery. This article explores some of the important expectations to establish to help deliver a smooth and successful class.

Read More »

Resolving Technical Issues with Zoom

From connection and internet issues to microphone and webcam problems, there will inevitably be at least some technology issues during your Zoom classes. This article and its accompanying student-companion, is intended to help you to provide support to students who are having issues connecting to your Zoom call.

Read More »

To Sit or to Stand when Teaching Online

It’s easy to assume that sitting is the best way of teaching on-line – all your students will be sitting down. However, there are some advantages to consider of standing up when delivering your class. This article will explore the benefits of both options.

Read More »

See a Participant View of Zoom

It can be useful to see Zoom as your students do – this makes it easier to know what they are likely seeing at there end and provide guidance and instructions. This article shows how Zooms looks from the student perspective.

Read More »