The Power of the Voice in Facilitating and Maintaining Online Presence in the Era of Zoom and Teams

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With the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing popularity of video-conferencing software such as Zoom, the move to online and /or hybrid teaching has never been more rapid. With this change, however, maintaining presence in the classroom has become a great challenge simply because of the nature of online teaching. Presence is a teaching quality that enables the teacher to ‘own the room’ and create an atmosphere of focus and inspiration. With the loss of face-to-face contact and the diminution of body language that online teaching entails, the teacher has to rely more and more on their own voice to hold presence in the class. While voice has always been an important tool in the teacher’s expressive armoury, it takes on a more central role in online teaching and can be the only element that connects teachers to students. Yet many teachers still front classes where voice audio quality is severely restricted due in part to poor choice of microphone and setups on their behalf. In this article I will discuss the notion of presence in online classrooms with regard to voice, and show how teachers can maintain and manipulate this feature in order to retain appeal for students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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  • presence
  • voice
  • online teaching
  • VARS
  • hybrid teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Education


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