Following an increase in reports of low-participation Zoom calls, the popular video-conferencing application Zoom is rolling out a new update that will allow video hosts to ask attendees to use a mouse to confirm that they are still watching the Zoom call.
A team of researchers began to develop the pilot program in early January. They cited inspiration from the popular video streaming service Netflix, who had already found great success with adding the function to their site.
Leaders in the field of higher education noted the need for this update following reports from students and teachers. Students and teachers alike commented on the struggle of attending back to back classes, and attending class up to the hour.
“I would often finish teaching and notice that a few students would stick around in the Zoom call, but not respond after I said “Hello.” I realized these were students who, like me, wanted credit for attending class, but would much rather spend the time opening and closing their curtains, building forts, or literally any other activity that wasn’t online,” noted Dr. Dana Franklin, an astrophysics professor. “With this new feature, I can ask students if they’re still watching, and when no one responds, I know that I can end class early and get back to working on my stamp collection,” reported Franklin.
At press time, researchers are working to eliminate the possibility that users are able to schedule their mouse to move, even when they are not watching.