Setup your learning area
Attending an online class that makes heavy use of video conferencing tools such as Zoom is NOT as easy as simply dialing into a conference using your phone. Effective Scrum training requires a lot of human interaction. As such, you should plan to spend a lot of time with your webcam on and interacting with your instructor and classmates. So, here are some things to consider when setting up your learning environment:
- Let your family know that you’ll be on webcam a lot while you’re in class. This means they should likely have clothes on if they are going to walk in front of you (you laugh, but this is something that has been a problem in past classes and meetings I’ve facilitated) and ask them to be aware that you are learning and should not be disturbed.
- Have a comfortable chair. As nice as it might sound to take a class from the comfort of your bed, this will get old and painful in a hurry when you consider the length of time you’ll be in a class. Try to get a comfortable office chair, or set up your room so that you can sit in a variety of positions or even stand for parts of the class. You’ll be thankful that you did by the end of day 1, I promise.
- Try to find a place in your house that is quiet and distraction-free. Loud distractions in your environment can quickly become a problem for your fellow students (and your instructor to boot).
- Make sure you have a lot of lighting coming from overhead or in front of your camera. Heavy backlighting or low-light situations make you look like a Bond supervillain, not a future Scrum Master or Product Owner.
- If you have the ability for multiple monitors, that is ideal. If not, try to have at least a single monitor. Taking a Scrum class from your phone is simply not going to work.
In preparation for the video conference learning portion of the class, I recommend you find a nice, quiet area of your house with a relatively plain background (maybe facing a wall). You should have adequate space to take notes and interact with your fellow classmates. Finally, be sure you’re in a place that you can focus and have fun once the learning begins.