Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Zoom Fatigue: A Severe Risk For On-line Learners

Everything about zoom fatigue

While Zoom has been an excellent platform that has enabled thousands or even millions of learners and teachers to connect through the platform, it is taking its toll. With more than a year imprisonment and continuous online training, learners are sure to experience quite a bit of stress.

What is zoom fatigue?

When building an online team or managing a training program for multiple remote workers, it is essential to rely on a video conferencing platform like Zoom.

But, according to Hogle (2021), the pressure of constant eye contact with both the teacher and students online puts undue pressure on both sides.

In addition, the fact that the online learners constantly have to see their own face during the process makes them more self-aware and thus increases the stress factor.

Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) argue that students do not need to see themselves all the time during a traditional physical class. Therefore they are not aware of it for the entire duration of the lecture. Of course, in Zoom sessions, students can turn off the camera and microphone, but this may not always be advisable.

Even with Zoom, the probability that the teacher’s voice and statement will be muted is higher and all individual students have to be more careful than usual.

So Hogle (2021) believes long zoom calls tire learners as they have to be more careful than usual. It is nerve-wracking and exhausting for both the students and the teachers, as they lose focus and concentration in the middle of the online lecture and also get really tired.

Causes of Zoom Fatigue

Micro-learning advocates have always advised against long training sessions. According to them, hours of online courses do not fully exploit the potential of online teaching platforms.

Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) imply that teachers resorted to online teaching during the sudden closure of schools and institutions. But what they did was replicate the offline teaching habits and broadcast them online. This is where the problem started.

Hogle (2021) points out that teachers around the world saw online teaching as a temporary solution. So they continued with the same routine, creating a lot of stress for the students and themselves.

Shea (2021) reports statistics in his Washington Post article that indicate that women are generally more likely to be victims of zoom fatigue than men. However, the article indicates that the results will depend on the time gap between the two consecutive sessions. If the gap is more than half an hour, the level of fatigue will be less.

This brings us to our next section on reducing learner fatigue. So how can we make sure learners don’t get stressed?

Zoom fatigue relief

Toney, Light, and Urbaczewski (2021) believe that online academies and individual online teachers can take certain measures to ensure students don’t get tired.

Asynchronous online lecturers

Synchronous online lecturers supported by live video courses often create a sense of coercion in online students. The mandate to get online at a specific date and time and at regular intervals puts pressure on learners. Asynchronous lecturers can give them the freedom they want in case they feel suffocated.

Recorded video lectures

We know that video is by far the most popular form of digital content and that’s why many teachers give live classes in the first place. However, studies have shown that well-edited video presentations that are pre-recorded are in many cases more effective at delivering content. It has been shown that the small videos teaching one thing at a time are more effective in attracting learners’ attention.

Small quiz questions

There is no better way to ensure student engagement than by taking on a little challenge every now and then. Small quizzes placed between long lectures can help them stay on their toes and focus on small sections of the lectures.

Online teachers are also required to take appropriate breaks after the quizzes so that students have enough energy to continue the course.

Active dashboard

Zoom has a chat system, but most of the time teachers can’t really tell if a particular student has asked a non-verbal question. However, if your online courses are hosted on an LMS platform, in that case you can use an active dashboard to encourage students to communicate non-verbally as well. This puts less of a burden on online students.


Long lessons are exhausting for both students and teachers in the physical world. It becomes even more difficult when the same habit is transmitted online. However, with focused strategies and a basic understanding of how online education works, teachers can actually reduce the ominous zoom fatigue to a great extent.


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