Participant Guide

What You Need To Know For Your First Class

Yay! You’re taking your first class with ConfettiHeads! The first time experiencing anything new is often accompanied by nerves and excitement. It’s important for you to prepare, so everything can go as smoothly as possible. This way you can spend more time showcasing your awesome personality, and less time figuring out the logistics of it all. Here are the most important things to do before your first class with ConfettiHeads:

Choose a device. We encourage our Participants to use a laptop or desktop if that is available to them, but our classes can be streamed from tablets or smartphones. You can join our classes with any device equipped with a working microphone and camera. Ideally, we recommend you choose a device you can use hands-freeThis will ensure your ability to fully participate during the learning experience.

Read our Community Guidelines. It is very important to us at ConfettiHeads that everyone feels safe and welcome in our community. 

Check Your Internet Connection. This is the most important aspect of your preparation. Make sure you’re in a location with a trusted and strong internet connection. Ethernet cables work wonders!

Find A Quiet Room. A communal room in a house with others or even coffee shops can get busy and loud at times. Finding a quiet location to go during your class will help remove the distraction of public space. 

Download Zoom. All classes at ConfettiHeads are run through Zoom. The app only takes a few seconds to download, but doing this in advance can prevent possible time-consuming issues during the time that you should be enjoying your class! Click here to download Zoom.

Now that you have the main things sorted, check out the rest of our guides for helpful tips and tricks!

Choosing A Class

Here are a few tips to help you choose the best class for you!

Read The Class Description.  Be sure to read the entire description before signing up for a class. Here at ConfettiHeads we want you to have the best experience possible, enjoying the content of the class plays a huge role in that. 

Check The Class Material List.  Some classes require you to have certain materials on hand. For example, an art class may require paints, scissors, glue,… etc. Reading the class material list before making a decision can help you avoid signing up for a class for which you lack the necessary tools.

Read The Reviews.  Have a quick look at the review section under the class you are thinking of taking. These reviews are created by fellow ConfettiHeads Participants who have already taken the class. Reading what others enjoyed about the class can give you a better idea of what to anticipate if you do decide to take the class.

Scheduling A Class

At ConfettiHeads, we strive to create an inclusive, after school club-style atmosphere. To make this experience as authentic as possible, our classes are performed in a live setting. This style gives all users the ability to participate in class discussions simultaneously while having the opportunity to create new relationships!

It’s important to schedule your classes at an appropriate time that you know you’ll be available and free from outside distractions. Find a time of day where you know you’ll have free time, and search for classes going on during that time span. Every user has varying schedules and outside commitments, which is why we encourage our Instructors to provide varying class times, so you can get your hands on that class you’ve been dreaming about!

Zoom Set Up

Five minutes before the class begins, go into your ConfettiHeads profile page,  find the class that you are participating in, then click the Class Link. You can join on any device, but we strongly recommend our Participants use a laptop or desktop. Some functions that will be used in our classes do not work easily from a tablet or phone. 

Note: If joining from a tablet, iPad or phone, you’ll need to download the Zoom app first. 

The link will take you here:

If you already have the Zoom app on your computer, click the box that says “Open zoom.us.app”. This will load the app. 

If you have not downloaded Zoom yet, click “Download & run zoom”. This will download the Zoom app on your computer and run it. 

You will then be asked to provide a name. Please enter the name of the person participating in the class, not the name of the account owner or parent. You will then be placed in the Waiting Room for your class, and your Instructor will admit you shortly.

General Principles For Participating In Zoom

Now that you’re familiar with how to enter your class through our Zoom portal, let’s go over some general principles to get the most out of your Zoom class.

Arrive On Time. Be sure to always come to class on time, ready to participate. There is a general five minute rule that allows Instructors to lock the class five minutes after the start time. Entering classes late can be distracting to your fellow Participants and to the Instructor, so please be aware that you may not be able to get into the class if you are over five minutes late.

Be Respectful. This may sound like a no-brainer for the most part, but sometimes we act or say certain things without being fully aware of the impact they may have on others.  Here are some general rules to follow to make sure you are acting in a respectful manner during your classes:

  • • Create a safe space for your classmates. You can do so by allowing everyone to express their opinions and feelings without fear of judgment or ridicule. Keep negative and/or mean comments to yourself in order to keep the class atmosphere as positive as possible. Remember that you’re all here for the same reason, to have fun and build new relationships
  • • If you would like to provide feedback to your Instructor and/or fellow Participants, do so in a constructive and helpful manner.

Don’t Distract Others. ConfettiHeads is a great platform for you to create new friendships and meet new people, but it is important to know when to chat with your classmates and when to listen to those speaking. Distracting others will take away from their learning experience.

A great practice on Zoom is to mute yourself when others are speaking. This will ensure that any background noise on your end doesn’t distract your fellow listeners.

Don’t Interrupt Those Who Are Speaking. We are all excited, eager to participate. But it is important to wait until others are finished speaking before voicing your thoughts. 

Participate, Participate, Participate! Your Instructor and your classmates want to hear your input! Your unique talents, ideas, and experiences come to ConfettiHeads to be celebrated. No Instructor wants to talk forever without any type of engagement. After all, this isn’t school, it’s a club! Enjoy yourself. This is an opportunity to discuss your interests with others, you can’t do that if you don’t participate.

Basic Functions Of Zoom

We want you to get the most out of your ConfettiHeads experience. In this section, we are going to walk you through the basics of Zoom. This guide will help you to become a Zoom rockstar in just a few easy steps! Learning these tips will help you to flourish on your ConfettiHeads journey.

Screen Layout. On the top right corner of your screen, you will see a small icon that lets you choose the layout of your screen during a class. You will have two display options to choose from;

  • • Gallery. This format will allow you to see up to 49 Participants video feeds simultaneously, with the one speaking highlighted. If there are more than 49 Participants, you will see an arrow to scroll through to see the remaining Participants.  
    Note: To enable this setting, go into your video settings and click the box labeled “Display up to 49    participants per screen in gallery view”.
  • • Speaker. In this view, the person speaking will appear in a large box on your screen, with all the other Participants in smaller boxes along the top.

Zoom Chat. On the bottom functions bar of your zoom meeting, there is an icon labeled Chat. Clicking this will open up your class group chat, in which your class can hold discussions throughout the class. This function allows you to send a message for the whole class to see, or send a message directly to one of your fellow Participants or your Instructor.

You can choose who your message will be sent to when you click on the To: option in the message bar.

Audio/Video. Before entering a class on Zoom, you will be prompted with the option to enable the video and audio on your device. ConfettiHeads is intended to be an interactive learning experience so we strongly encourage you to turn these features on upon entry.

Throughout the class, you have the option to mute/unmute your microphone. You can do so by;

  • • Clicking On The Microphone Option to unmute, then clicking it again after speaking to mute yourself. 
  • Holding The Space Bar on your keyboard if you wish to unmute yourself temporarily. When your account is muted, you can hold the space bar while you are speaking to unmute yourself. When you let go of the key, your microphone will go back to being muted.

This is very useful when you have distracting background noise during the periods of the class where it isn’t necessary for you to speak. You can find the microphone icon in the bottom left of your toolbar.

Next to the microphone icon, you will see a small video camera icon. By clicking on this feature, you can turn on and off your video, although we encourage all Participants to keep their video cameras on throughout the entire class. Be sure to have a look at this icon upon entering the class to make sure your video is on.

Instructor Shared Screen. During your class, the Instructor may want to share their screen with you. This will allow you to see their computer screen as they use it, which can help reinforce certain concepts during a class. As a Participant, you can also share your screen, but the Instructor must grant you permission. If your Instructor lets you share your screen, simply click the Share Screen button in the toolbar.

White Board. This feature is enabled through the shared screen function. When your Instructor creates a whiteboard, all Participants are able to annotate, add ideas, and use the tools provided through the whiteboard collaboratively. This is a great opportunity for the whole class to get involved in the discussion!

Extra Zoom Features

Nonverbal Feedback. The nonverbal feedback tool is very handy in large classes. In some cases, it can be overwhelming when an Instructor asks the class a simple yes or no question and everyone speaks at once. A great way to simplify this process is through the nonverbal feedback toolbar.

Using these tools you have the option to;

  • Raise your hand 
  • • Give your Instructor a quick Yes/No
  • • Let them know if you need them to Speed Up/Slow Down 

By clicking the More button, you are given access to additional icons such as;

  • Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
  • Clap
  • Need A Break
  • Away From Device

Note: Each user can only have one active icon at a time.

You can use this feature by clicking on the Participants icon on the bottom bar of your screen.

Pin Video. At any point during your class, you have the option to pin the video feed of anyone in the room. This can be done by right-clicking on the video you wish to be the focus and clicking Pin Video. Doing so will allow that video to enlarge and be formatted into the speaker’s view style, even when they are not the one speaking. This action can be removed by right-clicking the video again and clicking Unpin Video

Note: Pinning a video will only affect the layout on your screen, not the rest of the class.

Troubleshooting On Zoom

Video. If during your class you come to realize that your video isn’t being displayed, start by pressing the arrow on the right side of the video icon. The issue could be as simple as having the wrong camera selected.

If the issue continues, make sure all other apps that use your camera, such as Photobooth, Skype, Facetime, etc. are closed. If you have another app running, your camera is already in use which will disable access to your camera on Zoom. 

If all else fails, restart your system. 

Audio. If during your class, other Participants are unable to hear you, be sure to check that your microphone is enabled on the bottom left of the toolbar. 

You may notice an icon labeled Join Audio. In this case, Zoom doesn’t have access to your microphone as of yet, be sure to click this icon to allow audio.

The best way to figure out if something is wrong is to Test Speaker & Microphone. You do this by pressing the arrow beside your mute button and clicking that option. This will do a quick test and help you figure out what is not working.

If all else fails, restart your system.

Video or Audio Freezing During Class. Sometimes if there is an unstable internet connection, the video or audio will stutter or freeze. Usually, the connection will resume on its own, but turning off your video for even a minute can help the connection restabilize. Because we are dependent on Zoom for our classes to run, unfortunately, this is something that may occur from time to time. Just give it a minute and things should run smoothly again!

For all other Zoom troubleshooting information, please visit Zooms Guide to Troubleshooting.

Leaving Class Reviews

Leaving a review after taking a class is very helpful to both future Participants and the Instructor. Providing a brief summary of your experience with the classroom atmosphere, the Instructor, and the content presented can really help other Participants who are still deciding if this is the right class for them. This is also a great opportunity to tell your Instructor what you liked about the experience and maybe even some constructive criticism if need be. Letting us know what could have made your experience even better is a great way for us to improve to give an even more legenday experience in classes going forward!

Contacting Your Instructor

If you have any questions regarding the contents of a specific course offered on ConfettiHeads, feel free to contact the Instructor directly by emailing them. Just go onto their Instructor Profile on the site and their contact info is right there. After all, they’re the go-to person when it comes to a class they created! 

Instructors use ConfettiHeads to provide you with the most immersive and inclusive experience possible. Contacting them directly with any questions or concerns can help them create the best possible atmosphere for you.