It’s almost one year since the day that the UG closed its doors due to the pandemic and we switched to an online environment. For students and staff equally, our world was turned upside down, and we had to learn how to learn in a completely new manner! Since then, we’ve encountered numerous awkward, hilarious, and eye-opening situations as we all adjusted to our online platforms; but even more importantly, we gained a new perspective into everyone’s lives. We were invited into professors’ and students’ homes via their cameras, and we realized that yes, they’re human too!
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A couple of weeks ago we asked our students what their favourite online lecture moments were via our Instagram (@universityofgroningen), and today we’ve compiled a list of these in the official UG Online Lecture Bingo. Check how many of these have happened to you down below:
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1.Someone forgot their mic was on
It happens! Sometimes, mid-lecture, someone forgets that their mic was on and it’s… just incredibly awkward. If it’s not the professor openly calling out the person, it’s the countless messages in the chat-box going “what was that” or “lol whose mic is on”. For the sake of everyone in the room, please remember to double-check that your mic is turned off.
2. The professor talked with their mic off
Even worse than someone forgetting their mic is on, is a professor who forgets to actually turn on Spin to win money online. the mic to speak. Nothing like 10 minutes of awkward silence while the students try to make their professor aware of this, and they still don’t notice.
3. Someone’s camera “didn’t work”
Yeah sure, sometimes people actually do have problems with their computers. However, there’s probably been a time where someone in your class said “sorry, my camera doesn’t work” as an excuse. Who knows? Maybe even you did it once!
4. A pet made a cameo
Arguably one of the best, if not THE BEST situation that could happen in an online lecture is when someone’s pet makes a guest appearance. Sometimes all you’ll see is a little tail wagging in the background, and sometimes you’ll hear a full-on bark or meow. Regardless, whenever a pet interrupts the classroom, it fills the air with happy vibes. Bonus points if your professor actually introduced their own pet!
5. Your professor’s kid(s) made a cameo!
Equally as fun as a pet interrupting a class, is a baby interrupting the class! If your professor’s child (no matter what age) has made a surprise appearance mid-lecture, consider yourself one of the lucky ones! It’s nice to take a break and see everyone type “awww” in the chat.
6. Someone ate a snack… or a full meal
Ever wanted to snack, but were forbidden to by a “no food allowed” sign in the classroom wall? Gone are the days of starving in class! Now that we take classes from the comfort of our home, some people take the liberty of eating a snack (or sometimes even their whole breakfast or lunch) while on camera. Bonus points if this snack was something super Dutch… like bread with pindakaas or a broodje kroket.
7. Someone took a nap
It’s especially common for students who have to take lessons in a different timezone, but sometimes the laziness even kicks in for those of us in Groningen. If you or your friends have ever snoozed during a lecture, this is for you! Bonus points if someone forgot their camera was on and everyone could see themcatching some z’s.
8. A parent made an appearance
“Sorry guys, that was my mom”. For those students who live with their parents, it’s not uncommon that their mom or dad may enter the room and walk through the background. Otherwise, there’s always the possibility that you might hear a parent speaking. It’s always a bit embarrassing for that person, but a fun moment nevertheless!
9. A roommate made an appearance
Even more common than parents are roommates who pass through the background in the middle of a class, or even worse, a presentation. We’ve heard stories of people’s roommates talking, using a blender, vacuuming, or even undressing in the background. All we can say is… yikes!
10. The professor asks a question and there’s a 5-minute awkward silence while people type their responses in the chat box.
Sometimes no one wants to raise their hand and speak through the microphone. That’s okay, because that’s what the chat box is for. However, sometimes people take their time typing loooong responses in the chat box, and the whole class is left wondering if anyone’s actually going to respond.
11. Your professor did something super random
Did your professor ever ask for dinner recipe recommendations? Maybe show you their book collection, or show off one of their favorite items? Sometimes professors like to socialize with their students a little bit, and it’s a great way to create a connection and start a conversation. Whether they play the piano for you or make great jokes, we certainly love professors who show us a side of their life other than the academic one!
12. The wifi connection was terrible
It’s extremely stressful when you’re trying to participate in a class, and your wifi connection simply won’t cooperate. Will you get an audio lag? Will BB Collaborate completely drop you out of the session? Who knows.
13. “Can everyone hear me?”
This phrase is a classic for every online student. Whether you’ve just opened your mic to answer a question, or you’re about to give a presentation, the first thing you’ll say is “can you hear me?” – no doubt. This will, of course, be followed by an endless stream of “yes” in the chat box.
14. Someone joined the class late
Just like in onsite classes, there’s no sneaking in late into your seminar in Blackboard Collaborate – you’ll most definitely be noticed. The ‘John Smith has entered the session’ notification is the equivalent of a door squeaking or someone laughing while you’re trying to sneak into a lecture. If your professor is nice, though, they’ll let it slide without commenting on it.
15. Two people talk at the same time
I like to call this the microphone tango. It goes like this: two people unmute themselves at the same time and say something, both of them realize at the same time and then the dance begins. “Oh sorry you go”, “no you go”, “oh no it’s okay you go”, “no you”, and then they both speak at the same time again, and the circle repeats.
16. Professor forgot to press ‘start recording’
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as nearing the end of a crucially important lecture and hearing: “oops it appears that I forgot to press start recording after the first break”. Good luck in the exam if you didn’t take good notes.
17. No one spoke in the breakout rooms
It’s almost always the case that as soon as you’re put into a breakout room, there’s an awkward silence where no one knows what to do or say. Luckily there’s always some brave soul who breaks the ice by saying something along the lines of “soooo… what are we supposed to do?”
18. Someone told a joke and no one laughed
It could be your professor, it could be your classmate, it could even have been you. Telling a joke in an online seminar and having no one laugh is the equivalent of being left on seen in a group chat. If your professor is the one who makes the joke, maybe type a “haha” in the chat for the sake of making their day a bit better.
19. Professor tries to play a video and Youtube plays an ad
It’s especially funny if the video was supposed to be about a serious matter, and suddenly you get a bright and flashy food ad with the jingle “Dat is het lekkere van Albert Heijn”.
20. Someone took a lecture from an unusual location
Sometimes you’ll notice that someone’s sound is a bit noisy, or that their background is… unusual. There’s always someone who’s traveling on the train, walking through the city, or taking their meeting from a garden. We can’t do anything else except feel a bit jealous, we wish we were somewhere nicer too.
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