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Collaborating Etiquette

Page history last edited by Audra May 9 years, 3 months ago

Collaborating Etiquette


Collaborating with another classroom? Below are some tips, suggestions, and etiquette guides so that you can make the most out of your collaboration experience with your class! Please review the "Student Section" with your class so that they can be prepared as well.



When participating in a videoconference from a provider, the presenter (or specialized educator) is in control of the program. But when two classes are connecting to share a project or exchange, it is often easy to wonder "who's in control of this thing"?? The answer is YOU, the teacher. Both teachers are responsible for leading their class in a combined effort to create a successful collaboration with all participants involved. There are several tips listed below to guide you through a successful collaboration:


  • Plan with Partner - email or speak with the partner teacher (prior to connection date) to plan how you would like the connection to run. Decide what content will be shared first, second, etc... You can even decide which site will present first. This will take away some of the "connection jitters" when you have a plan.
  • Be prepared - several projects or collaborations have material to be completed, or researched prior to the connection.
  • Prepare for the "unplanned" - there are many things that could alter your plans during your connection. You or your partner could have an unexpected inclement weather day, or fire drill, or technical issue. Remember that the connection can be rescheduled. Be patient. A lot of small technical issues can be resolved during the first few minutes of the connection. If there is going to be time for questions, have students prepare questions in advance and write them down.
  • Have a Plan B - If there are technical issues to deal with, have something for the students to do while the technicians are working on the issue. You can review materials that relate to the project at hand, discuss questions that you would like to ask the partner class, or have a simple game ready (especially for elementary students) such as practicing something from class: rhyming, multiplication facts, etc...
  • Introductions - When the connection begins, properly introduce yourself and your class. You may not want to introduce every student, but telling them the school name and where you are located is appropriate.  
  • Review Videoconferencing Etiquette - It is the teacher's responsibility to maintain their class. If the partner class is presenting, mute your microphone to cancel out any background noises (coughing, papers rattling, etc...). Have students raise their hands to ask/answer questions. At the bottom of the page are some links to videoconferencing etiquette.
  • Practice - practice your presentation with the videoconference equipment. This will allow you to see what your students will look like on camera. If you will be panning the camera or zooming in and out for your presentation, setting presets can help this be an easy process. Contact your local technician to help you if needed. Create a presentation area with tape on the floor or a podium (or chair) for students to easily know where they need to stand. Have the microphone close to this area. 
  • Speak Clearly - with two classes, there is often lots of little background noise and it is important for the teacher to be heard to maintain control.
  • Be on Time - Make sure that your class is in the videoconference room and ready to begin at the starting time.  



Students also may feel "connection jitters" during a collaboration. Review with your class these tips to help them be prepared. Below are some tips to guide students to have the most fun out of their connection:


  • Be prepared - it is important to do the pre-connection material for the students. They will have a feeling of being prepared and lessen their jitters as well.
  • Practice makes perfect - practice using the equipment. Students may practice where they will stand to speak, asking questions, and their part during the connection.  
  • Go over etiquette - Students will be reflecting their school and community. Go over classroom rules and etiquette when using videoconference equipment.
  • Speak clearly - stand and speak clearly near the microphone. If there is a presentation area, make sure students know where it is.
  • Be courteous - make sure to give positive feedback to the partner class. They worked hard on their presentation and are excited to meet your class. Giving thumbs-up or mild applause is an encouragement.  Make sure to raise hands for questions and have teacher call on students.   


Links for Videoconferencing Etiquette:



Other helpful links:



Back to Collaboration Home 


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