student studying on central campus in the fall

Guidelines to Thrive During Virtual Meetings

Whether to facilitate teaching and learning, working remotely, or social connections with friends, video conference technologies have become a fixture in our daily lives. The following guidelines can help us T.H.R.I.V.E. during these virtual interactions.

Talk to improve transparency.

  • When signing into a meeting, use your first and last name (no initials, first name only, or random word).
  • In larger groups (5 or more people), be sure to introduce yourself before commenting.
  • Consider using a headset or earbuds with a built-in microphone to help with communication.
  • Learn how to mute and unmute your microphone; leave it on mute unless you are contributing.

Health and safety must remain a top priority for our entire campus community.

  • Be careful with where you share links and login details for virtual meetings and events.
  • Keep track of your screen time and plan breaks accordingly.

Re-imagine and reconsider what is possible.

  • Our hybrid teaching/learning/working environment challenges the traditional ways in which we connect with one another and build community. Video conferencing technologies can be a useful tool to help us connect with and enjoy our friends, family, and loved ones.
  • Reconsider the length of your meetings. If you met for an hour in-person, try 45-minutes in a video conference format. Distractions and screen fatigue are real.

Inclusion requires flexibility.

  • Video conferencing technology may present unique accessibility challenges. If you’re the moderator of the class/meeting/gathering, acknowledge this and engage the proper resources to help everyone participate and/or make the content accessible afterwards.
  • Sharing your camera is encouraged! Seeing one another helps foster communication, establish social connectedness, and facilitates lip reading for those who have difficulty hearing.
  • If the meeting will be recorded and shared, make sure it meets accessibility standards (e.g., closed captioning).
  • Some individuals may be uncomfortable using their camera for a host of reasons, and that’s okay too.

Value all experiences of vulnerability.

  • There will be interruptions. A pet, child, roommate, sibling, partner, or other may make an unplanned appearance during a video conference call. Life happens. Embrace the humanity, extend grace, and carry on.
  • There will be occasions when you need to decline a meeting, or a meeting must be cancelled or rescheduled. It happens. Roll with it.

Empathy requires all of us — and especially leaders — to be aware, sensitive, and responsive.

  • Conflicts happen. If you are going to miss a meeting, communicate with the appropriate individuals as soon as possible.
  • Technology fails us on occasion. Computers freeze up and our internet goes out. Don’t sweat it.
  • Resist the temptation to multi-task. That text or email can wait. Focus on those with whom you’re meeting.

Other Tips

Are you hosting the meeting?

  • Provide an agenda in advance that includes goals for the meeting.
  • Try to start the meeting 5 minutes before the official start-time, providing individuals time to get signed in and to test their connections (if needed).
  • Be sure to set ground rules and instructions on how the meeting will run. If a “chat” feature is present, how should it be used? How should participants express a desire to contribute?

Do any participants need accommodations?

  • Be sure to ask your invitees to share if they need any assistance with accessibility.

Are you planning to share content?

  • If so, have it ready to go before the meeting starts.

Are you connecting via a wireless or wired connection?

  • WiFi is great, but Ethernet connections are frequently a better option for video conferencing (particularly with a group).

What’s behind you?

  • Video conference meetings may put aspects of our personal lives on display. You can manage that by selecting a quiet space with a plain background accompanied by good lighting. Additionally, the less movement, pattern, and texture, the less your camera has to work to focus and re-focus.


We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and how to opt out, please refer to our website privacy policy.