We asked Newcastle students the funniest things that have happened in online lectures

From Zoom pranks to crawling wives, it’s safe to say uni can get weird when it goes online

Online lectures – whether you love them or hate them – can provide some hilarious moments. From the sheer awkwardness of breakout rooms to your housemates unknowingly interrupting your seminar, a lot of weird things have happened since the start of online uni which you just wouldn’t get in a good old-fashioned lecture hall. We asked Newcastle students for their best online lecture stories, and they didn’t disappoint.

The time-travelling lecturer

Second-year Geography students were treated by their lecturer creating a ‘time-travelling potion’ from random kitchen ingredients. After the lecturer drank it, he went off-screen and popped back up dressed in ancient Greek attire. He gave the next section of the lecture pretending to be Aristotle and put on a voice the whole time. We’re not sure what this has got to do with Geography, but at least he’s living his best life.


Recap mishap

Considering that pre-recorded lectures don’t involve the same extent of interaction, you’d think that things would go smoothly – however, this wasn’t the case in a second-year English Literature Recap. Sources tell us that the end of the lecture featured a massive argument happening between the lecturer and her boyfriend on the phone. Probably should’ve made sure Recap had stopped recording and deffo should’ve watched it back before uploading it for all students to hear.

The intention was there…

This picture tells a thousand words. During a first-year Marketing lecture, this lecturer’s wife needed to come into the room – a common occurrence these days. The lecturer told her he was recording, so instead of apologising and walking out quietly, she decided to crawl out of the room on her way back out. She thought she wouldn’t be seen on camera this way, but she most definitely was: “He apologised in the next seminar but said he told her it would entertain us, which he was right about.”

“Coco plops”

According to a second-year Medicine student, it was a “very weird start of the year”, as a student gave out the details to their Zoom induction meeting. A mystery user named “coco plops” joined the call and proceeded to blast “football videos and Bollywood songs” down the microphone. When the lecturer tried to handle the situation, this mysterious joker told them to “shut the fuck up”. After this occurrence, the Med school cancelled the whole induction – probably wise as there’s no coming back from that.

Taking awkward silences to a whole new level

Technology definitely failed us on this one, as this English Language lecturer played an audio clip for over two minutes, without anyone being able to hear it. Students kept trying to tell her that they couldn’t hear and additionally sent messages via the Zoom chat, but she couldn’t hear anyone over the audio she was playing: “When the clip ended she went ‘I think you’ve heard enough from that’ and got about 20 people at once telling her they hadn’t heard anything. She looked so disappointed as well.” Excruciating.

The politest pet

This one is just too cute not to include. We’ve all seen a pet turn up on the screen during an online lecture, but this one has to be the most adorable. Third-year English Literature students had the joy of their lecturer’s cat coming in and meowing during an online session, to which their lecturer said that “now wasn’t a good time” and “to come back later”. Not only did the cat leave when it was told to, it then came back in 15 minutes later and started meowing again. This cat definitely wins the title of the most respectful student at Newcastle University.

Singing in seminars

During a second-year Geography seminar, someone sang football songs into the microphone, which – let’s be honest – is pretty weird and quite annoying for everyone else. But instead of handling it calmly the seminar leader got angry and decided to leave ten minutes into the session. Respect where respect is due, most of us barely speak in seminars… let alone sing.

Students may be outraged about having to pay 9k a year for a glorified PowerPoint this year (and rightly so). But we can all agree that online learning provides so many opportunities for hilarious (and painfully awkward) moments that we’ve never witnessed in an in-person lecture.

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