Skip to content
RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Making a good impression online


Communicating clearly and having positive interactions with your classmates and teachers is just as important in online classes as it is in person.

Most people are used to talking to their friends and family online, but they might have less experience interacting in an online academic space. Do you know how to make a good impression in online classes?

Play the video to get some tips on:

  • positioning your camera
  • engaging with group members
  • communicating with your peers
  • writing posts and chat messages
  • finding online support.

G’day, I’m Tull! In this video I’m going to give you some tips on how to make a good impression online. It’s important to remember that university is an academic and professional space. You could be studying among future employers or colleagues. 

So how can you put your best foot forward online? When you’re speaking, it’s nice to turn your camera on if you can, so that your classmates and teacher can get to know you. Position the camera so that you are facing straight on, it might help to prop your laptop or computer up with a stand or some books. Try sitting in front of a window so that the natural sunlight lights your face. Think about your background. What’s behind you? Can you angle yourself so that you have a neutral background? Of course, it’s not always possible to turn your camera on or sit in front of a window or have a nice background but just do your best and don’t let this stop you from contributing in class. 

It’s also helpful to mute your microphone when you aren’t speaking. This minimises the background noise for everyone else. If your teacher puts you in a breakout room, it can help you to engage with your group members if you switch your camera on. If you can’t switch your camera on, that’s OK! Just let your group members know that you’re still there, you’re listening, and you’re ready to talk. 

Always try to be culturally sensitive and use inclusive language when you speak to your classmates and teachers. Be aware of making jokes and using sarcasm as humour can easily be misinterpreted online. Avoid using slang words as not everyone may understand these. And never use offensive language! Proofread what you type before you press send. And remember, the main class chat is not a place to have private discussions! Whether you are typing a message in the class chat, giving a presentation, responding on a discussion board, or speaking aloud in an online class, remember to be polite and respect others’ points of view. Show people the same courtesy online that you would in person. 

So, use these tips. Make the most of your online classes and join in! Contribute your ideas and listen to others. Ask questions and remember there are lots of places in the university where you can ask for support such as the Library, IT, and Student Connect. 

I hope these tips have been helpful. See you later!