Tips on Teaching with Zoom

Learn how to manage Zoom meeting rooms efficiently and effectively.  

Along with offering technical support for Zoom, this page offers you ideas on how to use some of the features of Zoom in your courses and academic life.

1. Suggestions to Improve Your Zoom Connection

Suggestions to help improve your connection when you are within a Zoom meeting.

You might at some point experience the audio or video in Zoom become choppy or distorted. What can you do to improve your Zoom experience?

  1. Use the best Internet connection you can.

    Plan ahead for your Zoom meetings, and as often as possible, join Zoom meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable, wired Internet connection. Zoom recommends an internet speed of 1.5 mbps (megabits per second). You can test your internet speed by going to http://www.speedtest.net. The more devices you have using your internet at home the slower your speed will become. So if possible, limit the amount of other activity on your internet connection during your Zoom meetings. 

    In general:
     
    1. Wired connections are better than wireless (WiFi or cellular) connections.
    2. WiFi connections are better than cellular (3G/4G/LTE) connections.
       
  2. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking. 

    When your microphone is on, Zoom will devote part of your Internet connection to an audio stream for you, even if you are not speaking. Mute your microphone when you do not need it, and you will allow Zoom to use your internet connection more effectively. 
     
  3. Stop your webcam video when you don't need it.

    Start your video only when you need to show yourself on the webcam, and stop your video when it isn't needed. Instructors may want to use the camera feed the whole time and that is fine but for students it may not be as necessary to have their video feeds turned on the entire time. 
     
  4. Disable HD webcam video.

    Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth than sending non-HD video. Disabling HD video will free up your internet connection for other parts of your Zoom meeting. Here is how to disable your HD video:
     
    1. When you are within a Zoom meeting select the up arrow ^ next to the video icon and then select Video Settings...Zoom Video Settings option
    2. Ensure that the Enable HD checkbox is unchecked. Enable HD checkbox
  5. Close other, unnecessary applications on your computer.

    Zoom meetings can demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications, ones you do not need during the session, will help Zoom run better. 
     
  6. Avoid other activities that will take up bandwidth.

    Don't start other bandwidth-intensive activities just before, or during, a Zoom meeting. On your Zoom device and on other computers and devices that share your internet connection avoid:
     
    1. large downloads
    2. large uploads
    3. streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
    4. cloud backups
    5. cloud file syncronizations
    6. other high-bandwidth activities
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2. Using Touch Screen Devices to Annotate on Shared Content or Whiteboard

This section covers tips on using touch screen devices for annotation on shared content or whiteboard in Zoom.

If you weren't aware, you can share your screen or a share a whiteboard within your Zoom meeting and annotate on top of that shared screen or whiteboard. 

Often times it can be difficult to annotate or draw using a regular computer and a mouse. Unless you are extremely talented, drawing or writing with a computer mouse is very difficult and not ideal. This is where having a touch screen device can come in very handy. Devices such as iPads, Android phones or tablets, or 2-in-1 computer touch screen devices can make annotating and drawing on a screen much easier within a Zoom meeting. 

Essentially, if you have a touch screen device and you can install the Zoom application on it then you are good to go! What can be even more beneficial is to have a stylus for your device that you can use to draw or write with instead of your finger.

Here are the basic steps to sharing specifically a whiteboard during a Zoom meeting and annotating on that whiteboard. 

  1. If not already installed, install the Zoom application on your device by visiting https://zoom.us/download. Locate the appropriate download file for your device and download and install it. 
  2. Start or Join a Zoom meeting. 
  3. Once in the meeting, select the Share button in the Zoom toolbar. On various device platforms it may say "Share Screen" or "Share Content".  
  4. Select Whiteboard to share a blank whiteboard.
  5. Then to annotate, select the pencil icon to show/hide the annotation tools. 
  6. Use either your finger or stylus to begin drawing on your device's screen and on the whiteboard.
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3. Setting Up Virtual Office Hours

Use the Personal Meeting Room to set up Virtual Office Hours.

Scheduling lots of meetings in Zoom for regular office hours can be tedious and will clutter up your D2L calendar.  The better way to set up Office Hours is to set up your Zoom Personal Meeting Room to mirror the way students access you during regular face to face time and then just provide a link to that Room. Just as with a physical office, once your Zoom Personal Meeting Room is set up correctly, you can use the same room for multiple courses.

  1. Access the UA Zoom Portal with this URL:  https://arizona.zoom.us.
  2. Click Meetings on the left-hand side of the screen.Choose Meetings from the left pane

     

  3. Click Personal Meeting Room at the top of the screen.Select Personal meeting room from top tab

     

  4. Locate the button Edit this Meeting at the bottom of the screen and click on it.click edit this meeting button

     

  5. We’ll be making some changes to the Meeting Options.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the Meeting Options on the left.Find the meeting options section

     

  6. You’ll first want to CHECK the box to the left of Enable waiting room.  Think of this as the door to your office.  You want it closed until you are ready to let the person outside in.  This protects both your privacy and the privacy of any student you might be working with.  When you are ready for the student, you can admit them to your Meeting.
  7. The second option you’ll need to check is the last.  Ensure that Record the meeting automatically is UNCHECKED, again to protect privacy.  You could always start recording in a meeting if you felt a need to, but this should be off by default.meeting options to check

     

  8. Save your changes which will return you to your Personal Meeting Room page.
  9. Now that your room is ready to use, you just need to share the access information with students.  Find the line that starts with Join URL: and then use either of two options.how to share with students

     

  1. Click the Copy the Invitation link and email this to individual students with whom you are setting up personal time.
  2. Copy the URL and create a link in your course Content to direct students to the room during your regularly scheduled office hours.  With the Waiting Room option selected, you don’t have to worry that they’ll crash in if you are already with another student.  Using this option you also don’t have to email students with the URL all the time, either.
  1.  Now all that is left to do is to start your meeting at the time you had scheduled.  Simply open the UA Zoom Portal (http://arizona.zoom.us), click Meetings → Personal Meeting, and click the button to Start the Meeting.Where to start your meeting each time

     

 

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4. Using the Waiting Room in Zoom

Use the Waiting Room option as a virtual door to your Zoom meeting room.

Waiting rooms allow you to hold a student outside your Zoom meeting room until you are ready to let them in.  This is especially useful for office hour type meetings where you only want one student at a time but you don’t want to schedule students.

To enable office hours, edit your meeting in Zoom. Scroll down to the Security area and check the box to the left of Enable waiting room.

Enable the waiting room in Zoom settings

 

To use the waiting room, simply start the meeting as usual and be ready for the first person to join your meeting. You’ll know when a person is in your meeting’s Waiting Room because you’ll hear a chime and a message will pop up in the lower portion of your Zoom meeting room window.

alert that lets you know someone is in the waiting room

If you are ready to let the person into your room, simply click Admit.  If, however, you are already with someone and want the person to continue waiting, click See waiting room.

This will open a side pane next to your regular Zoom meeting with all the people in the waiting room.

side pane view showing people in waiting room />

The person in the waiting room will see this message on their computer screen while you are waiting.

message says please wait host will admit you soon />

If you would like to send the person a message to let them know you see them, or giving them an approximate wait time, click the word Message to the right of their name.

Click the Message link to start sending the message/>

This opens up a chat box at the bottom-right area of the Zoom window where you can send a message out to the people in the Waiting Room.

Message typed in the chat box at bottom of the right side pane />

The message from the instructor in the view of the person in the waiting room/>

This makes it easy for the person who is waiting to plan their time as well.

When you are ready to admit the person to your meeting, just move the cursor over their name.  Two options will appear to the right. Click Admit and they be allowed to enter the room.

Click the admit button to let the person into the meeting room

 

 

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5. How to Manage a Zoom Meeting Like a Webinar

Learn how to run a Zoom meeting to replicate the features of a webinar.

Our campus Zoom account comes with a minimal supply of Zoom webinar licenses and thus we cannot grant every request for use of a webinar. There are ways that you can manage your Zoom meetings to replicate that of a webinar while also providing security from your meeting getting overrun by unwanted attendees. For more security recommendations, visit our Zoom Security and Privacy help page.

Additionally, there are many that believe to use breakout rooms you need to use a webinar. That is not the case. The breakout room feature is only available in regular Zoom meetings and not webinars. To learn more about breakout rooms, please review Zoom’s support page on Managing Breakout Rooms.

Security Options for Meeting Access

Learn what security settings to apply to your meetings to ensure your meetings are as secure as possible.

Password protect your meetings

This feature requires participants to enter a password before being allowed access to your meeting.

Step 1 - Changing your default password settings

  1. In an internet browser navigate to the UA Zoom web portal at https://arizona.zoom.us.
  2. Select the Sign In button and sign in with your UA NetID and password. 
  3. Select the Settings button in the navigation panel on the left hand side.

    Zoom Settings Link 
     
  4. Toggle Embed password in meeting for one-click join to OFF.

    Zoom Embed Password Option

Step 2 - Password protect your meetings during scheduling

  1. When scheduling your meeting select Require meeting password.

    Zoom Meeting Password Option

     
  2. Enter a password or use the password generated automatically.

Use the waiting room feature

Waiting rooms allow the host to control who enters their current meeting. By default this feature is off for UA campus Zoom users but can be enabled for meetings.

  1. To enable a waiting room for your meeting select the Enable waiting room option in the Security section when scheduling your meeting.

    Zoom Enable Waiting Room Option

Use the registration feature

This feature will require your students to register to attend your class meeting.

Step 1 - Enable require registration for your meeting

  1. When scheduling your meeting locate Registration and select Required.

    Zoom Registration Required Option
     
  2. Save your meeting.

Step 2 - Manage meeting registration

  1. Once your meeting is saved, you can edit registration options at the bottom of the page.

    Registration Options Location
     
  2. It is recommended that you select Manually Approve and deselect Show social share buttons on registration page

    Zoom Registration Options
     
  3. Your meeting registration link will be found under Invite Attendees.

    Zoom Registration Link

Remove problem participants during meeting

If a participant of your Zoom meeting is being disruptive, you can remove them from the meeting.

  1. Within the Zoom toolbar, select the Participants button.

    Zoom Participants Button
     
  2. Locate the participant from within the participant list and select the More button for that participant. Select Remove.

    Zoom Participants More Button
     
  3. You will see a window prompt asking if you are sure you want to remove the participant. Select Remove.

    Zoom Participants Remove Button

Prevent removed participants from rejoining your meeting

You can prevent participants who have been removed from your meeting from rejoining your meeting. This will only affect users who are removed by the host or co-host. Users who lose connection will be able to rejoin as normal. To change this setting, follow these steps:

  1. In an internet browser navigate to the UA Zoom web portal at https://arizona.zoom.us.
  2. Select the Sign In button and sign in with your UA NetID and password. 
  3. Select the Settings button in the navigation panel on the left hand side. 

    Zoom Settings Link
     
  4. Under Allow removed participants to rejoin, toggle the feature to OFF.

    Zoom Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin option
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Limit Participant Interactions - Pre Meeting

Learn about what settings you can adjust prior to your meeting to limit participant interactions. 

The following settings can be adjusted prior to your meeting from within your account profile in the UA Zoom Web Portal at https://arizona.zoom.us/profile/setting. You will need to sign in with your UA NetID and password.

Disable File transfer

This will prevent participants from posting inappropriate images or files into the Chat section, which can be very disruptive.

  1. Disable the File transfer option.

    Zoom File Transfer option

Screen sharing for Host Only

This will prevent participants from sharing their screen at any time during the meeting. Hosts and Co-Hosts will be able to share their screen when this is enabled. This will prevent unwanted attendees from sharing inappropriate content in the event that they gain access to your meeting.

  1. Enable the Screen sharing option and then select Host Only for Who can share? Select Save.

    Zoom Screen Sharing option

Disable Annotation

This will prevent participants from interacting with anything that is being shared by a Host or Co-Host. This is important as it also prevents unwanted attendees from drawing or writing inappropriate things on your shared screen in the event that they gain access to your meeting.

  1. Disable the Annotation option.

    Disable Zoom Annotation Setting

    (Optional) If you want to leave the Annotation enabled, you can select the checkbox to allow Only the user who is sharing can annotate.

    Enable Zoom Annotation Setting
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Limit Participant Interactions - In Meeting

Learn about what settings you can adjust during your meeting to limit participant interactions.

Once you are inside your Zoom meeting, you should change these settings to provide better control over the participants.

Mute All, Uncheck Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves

When you select the Mute All button, which can be access when the Participants button is selected in the Zoom toolbar, you can mute all of the participants that are in the meeting and those that might join later. 

  1. Within the Zoom toolbar, select the Participants button.

    Zoom Participants Button
     
  2. When the Participants window appears, select the Mute All button.

    Zoom Mute All Button
     
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, deselect the Allow participants to unmute themselves option and select Yes. Note: This option is important to deselect as it prevents participants from unmuting at any time

    Mute All - Allow Participants to Unmute window

Any co-host will be able to unmute themselves and the host and/or co-hosts can unmute any participant that they would like to permit to speak in the meeting. 

Set Chat to Host Only

This is meant to replicate the Q&A feature of a webinar, as well as provide a more secure chat during your meeting. Quite often in a webinar the Q&A is private, and participant questions are only viewable to the host. Adjusting your chat settings in the meeting to "Host Only" will prevent all chat messages from being public to replicate the Q&A capability. Additionally, for meeting security, the chat can be used inappropriately by unwanted attendees to display foul and disrespectful language that would be visible to everyone. This would be more likely to occur in a publicly accessible meeting, however, it is always relevant. 

  1. Within the Zoom toolbar, select the Chat button.

    Zoom Chat button
     
  2. In the bottom right corner of the chat window, select the three dots (...) and select Host Only

    Zoom Chat Host Only Option

Messages from participants will be sent to the host and nobody else. If there are co-hosts in the meeting, participants will be able to select whether to send their message privately to either the host or co-host and not both. 

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Limitations on Video Control

Learn about what limitations you have for controlling participant's video feeds during your meeting.

Here is where the Zoom meeting format has control limitations. You aren't able to forcibly disable ALL participant video feeds at once and keep them disabled like you can with microphones. If video from participants needs to be managed, here is what we suggest:

  • In the meeting invitations you send out, or wherever you post your meeting link for people to access, clarify that participants should have their video feed turned off when they are in the meeting. 
  • Set Participant Video to OFF when scheduling the meeting. This means that when a participant joins your meeting, their video feed will be OFF by default but they are still able to manually turn it on once they are in the meeting. 

    Zoom Participant Video Off option during scheduling
     
  • Announce at the beginning of the meeting that everyone should have their video feed turned off.
  • Hosts and Co-Hosts can disable video for individual participants as needed from within the participant list by selecting the More button for a particular participant and selecting Stop Video. For large meetings this can be challenging so this is where having multiple co-hosts to help you manage the participant list is recommended. 

    Zoom Participants Stop Video option

 

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6. Proctoring Exams via Zoom

Learn about recommended ways to utilize Zoom meetings to proctor exams online.

Before we describe ways that you can proctor exams via Zoom, we do feel the need to mention that there are times when proctored exams are not always an appropriate solution. This is especially true during hard times and emergencies, much like the COVID-19 pandemic, that force education into remote environments. Please keep in mind that not all students have access to internet, computers, webcams, or quiet environments, which make proctored exams nearly impossible when teaching in a remote environment. 

Before you commit to conducting proctored exams via Zoom, please strongly consider alternatives to proctored exams, or employing Universal Design for Learning Strategies. There is a really great resource provided by the Kentucky Community & Technical College System that addresses the topic of Alternatives to Proctored Exams

If you do decide to use Zoom for live online proctoring of exams, please consider using recommended techniques to keep your proctored Zoom sessions accessible for students with disabilities. Visit the Zoom Accessibility Techniques website for these specific techniques and recommendations. 

Below, we will address different scenarios and key suggestions for each scenario that should make the meetings run smoothly. But first, we would like to provide some general advice to faculty about proctoring exams with Zoom. Keep in mind that everything listed here in the advice section as well as the different scenarios below are suggested guidelines to follow. You can adjust as you feel necessary. 

General Zoom Proctoring Advice to Faculty

Learn about general advice that we have for faculty about proctoring exams with Zoom.

  • Faculty and students will have to adapt to the live proctoring via Zoom exam format. It will be new and different for everyone so keep that in mind. 
  • If possible, complete a practice proctoring session with students via Zoom to ensure the process works well.
  • Schedule the exam proctoring Zoom session at least 30 minutes before the exam and ends at least 30 minutes after the exam is complete to accommodate and address any technical issues or other difficulties that may arise. Please be aware that extended time and/or separate Zoom sessions may be needed to provide access for disabled students. DRC staff are available to consult at drc-testing@arizona.edu if you have any questions or concerns on how you can provide such accommodations. 
  • Evaluate each technology chosen to be implemented into the exam proctoring process to mirror a student's experience and overcome any technical or accessibility issues before they arise. 
  • Visit the DRC website for instructions on accessing your list of disabled students and reasonable accommodations. Please make sure to access your student list before each exam as accommodations may change throughout the semester. 
  • Utilize the chat tool for most of your communication back and forth with students. Don't have them use the "Reactions" button or the "Nonverbal feedback icons" as those aren't accessible for disabled students. If you have to use any links in the chat just make sure you provide clear instructions to copy/paste the link into a new browser window as links in the chat are not very accessible either. 
  • Each proctor can access a report of their session that shows those that attended, when they joined, when they left, and the duration of when they were present in the meeting. That report can be accessed via the UA Zoom Web Portal by selecting Reports on the left-hand side navigation once signed in.  
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Basic Zoom Meeting Settings (Regardless of Scenario)

Learn how to apply basic settings to your Zoom meetings regardless of your scenario. 

The following settings you can apply specifically to your meetings when you are scheduling them. 

Meeting Specific Settings to Adjust

  • Make your meeting title and/or description very specific and descriptive, especially if you have different meetings for different sections. Make it very clear to the student what meeting they are joining.
  • Enable the Waiting Room feature. You may also want to edit the waiting room message to include specific instructions or announcements about the proctored exam. Visit Zoom's support page on Customizing Waiting Room.
  • Enable Video for Participants and Host (although participant video cannot be required due to privacy and equity reasons which is mentioned in the FAQ at https://covid19.arizona.edu/instructor-faq
  • Enable Authenticated users can join and choose University of Arizona Only
  • Enable Recording to Cloud* (see last section for more information on this)

The following settings you can apply to your UA Zoom account so that they carry across all meetings.

Account Specific Settings to Adjust on Proctor's Zoom Account

  • Disable Private chat (no 1:1 messaging between participants)
  • Enable Auto save chat (this will save a .txt file of the chat to the host's computer)
  • Enable Sound notification when someone joins or leaves and set to Host and co-hosts only
  • Disable File transfer
  • Enable Screen sharing but set it to Host Only
  • Disable Annotation
  • Disable Allow removed participants to rejoin
  • Disable Allow participants to rename themselves
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Scenario #1: Large Lecture Class (100+ students)

Learn about suggested ways to proctor a large lecture class via Zoom.

While we aren't going to go in depth on each of the suggestions below, please feel free to reach out to acadtech@arizona.edu to schedule a consult to properly get all of your settings correct.

  • Will need multiple Zoom meetings
  • Will need multiple proctors (Instructors, TAs, GAs, Preceptors, etc.)
  • Each proctor would create/schedule their own Zoom meeting
    • This can be done via D2L or web portal (TAs who have a TA role in D2L can schedule Zoom meetings within the D2L course)
  • Require registration so that students get registered to the appropriate proctoring session and that they don't accidentally register and attempt to access multiple proctoring sessions. Some key settings to adjust regarding registration would include:
    • Close registration after meeting date
    • Turn off social media share buttons
    • Turn off "allow access from multiple devices"
  • At most, try to limit each proctoring session to 45 participants including the host and co-hosts.
  • (Optional) At the beginning of the proctored exam, upon entrance to the meeting take the student into a breakout room to have them verify their identification as well as show you via their video camera feed their workspace and environment. This is often done to verify that nobody else is in the room and that they don't have any prohibited materials out during the exam. The reason this is listed as optional is due to privacy concerns. Please note that this may pose as a barrier for students with physical disabilities. 
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Scenario #2: Medium Lecture Class (25-99 students)

Learn about suggested ways to proctor a medium size lecture class.

While we aren't going to go in depth on each of the suggestions below, please feel free to reach out to acadtech@arizona.edu to schedule a consult to properly get all of your settings correct.

  • Will need multiple Zoom meetings
  • Will need multiple proctors (Instructors, TAs, GAs, Preceptors, etc.)
  • Each proctor would create/schedule their own Zoom meeting
    • This can be done via D2L or web portal (TAs who have a TA role in D2L can schedule Zoom meetings within the D2L course)
  • At most, try to limit each proctoring session to 15-20 participants including the host and co-hosts.
  • (Optional) Consider registration so that students get registered to the appropriate proctoring session and that they don't accidentally register and attempt to access multiple proctoring sessions. Some key settings to adjust regarding registration would include:
    • Close registration after meeting date
    • Turn off social media share buttons
    • Turn off "allow access from multiple devices"
  • (Optional) At the beginning of the proctored exam, upon entrance to the meeting take the student into a breakout room to have them verify their identification as well as show you via their video camera feed their workspace and environment. This is often done to verify that nobody else is in the room and that they don't have any prohibited materials out during the exam. The reason this is listed as optional is due to privacy concerns. Please note that this may pose as a barrier for students with physical disabilities. 
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Scenario #3: Small Lecture Class (under 25 students)

Learn about suggested ways to proctor a small lecture class. 

While we aren't going to go in depth on each of the suggestions below, please feel free to reach out to acadtech@arizona.edu to schedule a consult to properly get all of your settings correct.

  • Will only need one Zoom meeting to be created and likely only one proctor.
    • You can still utilize a TA or another instructor as a co-host as another pair of eyes in the meeting.
  • (Optional) At the beginning of the proctored exam, upon entrance to the meeting take the student into a breakout room to have them verify their identification as well as show you via their video camera feed their workspace and environment. This is often done to verify that nobody else is in the room and that they don't have any prohibited materials out during the exam. The reason this is listed as optional is due to privacy concerns. Please note that this may pose as a barrier for students with physical disabilities. 
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*Recommendations When Recording Students for Live Online Proctoring

Learn about specific recommendations regarding recording live online proctor sessions.

  • It is recommended that faculty add verbiage to exam guidelines that are distributed to students ahead of the exam to disclose that the proctored exams will be recorded.
  • This information should be repeated at the start of the exam once the recording has been turned on.
  • Additionally, when students register for the exam, faculty may add a disclaimer that the session will be recorded.
  • If the students are recorded and they can be identified, the portion that shows the student(s) are considered to be an educational record under FERPA.
  • Only the instructor or proctors should have access to the recording. 
  • Recordings should be retained for one year from the date of the exam. 

Any class recordings that include students are considered education records and thereby subject to FERPA. Recordings that show students may only be kept and used by the instructor of record for the current class and section in which the student participates. These recordings may not be used in subsequent semesters and, under record retention policy, should be retained for one year after the course completion. 

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