Managing Zoom fatigue with students

A common problem experienced by both trainers and trainees during sessions in virtual classrooms is a phenomenon described as “Zoom fatigue.” Managing Zoom fatigue is an important skill that instructors need to learn in order to ensure that their students remain attentive and continue to engage with the learning material. One note is that this phenomenon related to all online learning platforms, so naming Zoom as the culprit is more than a little unfair.

What is Zoom fatigue?

Being on any kind of virtual platform for an extended period can be extremely taxing on our brains. Remote training requires us to spend long stretches on these platforms, increasing the chances of participants experiencing Zoom fatigue. The condition consists of tiredness, worry or burnout associated with the overuse of virtual communication platforms, particularly video conferencing. Participants can quickly lose interest and stamina and even start getting drowsy. Zoom fatigue looks and feels very similar to burnout or exhaustion, and should be easy to spot in your learners. Look out for the following:

  • Participants turning off their cameras periodically
  • Visible fidgeting or multi-tasking among participants
  • Participants rubbing their eyes or shifting their gaze away from their screens

Tell your learners to be aware of any of the following symptoms and to let you know if they arise:

  • Feeling tense, drained or just low in energy.
  • Sore eyes
  • Drowsiness
  • Distractedness and difficulty maintaining focus 

How to manage Zoom fatigue

The best way to avoid Zoom fatigue is to take frequent breaks, encouraging participants to walk away from their screens for a few minutes. Divide your presentation up into smaller parts to facilitate these frequent breaks and build in interaction and check-ins every four or five minutes. Get more tips in our blog post on moving from live to remote learning.

Learngistics specializes in facilitating and supporting both virtual and live training events and learning programs for corporations. Contact us for more information and to see how we can help you access and optimize your hybrid or virtual training, as well as managing Zoom fatigue.