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19.0 - Updated on 2023-08-17 by Justin Howell

18.0 - Updated on 2022-08-02 by Kael Kanczuzewski

17.0 - Updated on 2021-07-30 by Matthew McGuire

16.0 - Updated on 2020-07-13 by Kael Kanczuzewski

15.0 - Updated on 2020-07-08 by Crystal DeJaegher

14.0 - Updated on 2020-06-17 by Matthew McGuire

13.0 - Updated on 2020-04-01 by Laura Cira

12.0 - Updated on 2020-03-22 by Kael Kanczuzewski

11.0 - Updated on 2020-03-18 by Kael Kanczuzewski

10.0 - Updated on 2020-03-15 by Chris Corrente

9.0 - Updated on 2020-03-14 by Chris Corrente

8.0 - Updated on 2020-03-13 by Kael Kanczuzewski

7.0 - Updated on 2020-03-13 by Kael Kanczuzewski

6.0 - Updated on 2020-03-11 by Jack O'Brien

5.0 - Updated on 2020-03-10 by Kael Kanczuzewski

4.0 - Updated on 2020-03-09 by Kael Kanczuzewski

3.0 - Updated on 2020-03-06 by Charles Barbour

2.0 - Updated on 2020-03-04 by Kael Kanczuzewski

1.0 - Authored on 2020-03-04 by Kael Kanczuzewski

Table of Contents

Before You Begin

There are many circumstances where you might need to temporarily teach online. The resources below provide one option for moving your course via internet delivery. 

Determine priorities: Teaching online will not be the same as teaching face to face. Consider what are the most important aspects of the course that are best served for meeting synchronously online. What aspects of the course can be “flipped” and done asynchronously? For example, if you normally have discussions in class, can the Discussions tool in Canvas be used versus carrying out the discussions in Zoom?

Pick tools you’re comfortable using: If there are tools you are already comfortable using, favor those. Only introduce something new if needed or you feel comfortable working through a new tool on your own. Zoom is easy to use, but if you’re already familiar with Skype, Hangouts etc, those could be a better option as long as you can clearly articulate how students join and participate.

Communicate with students immediately: If the format of class will change communicate with students as soon as you are able. Tools such as Canvas Announcements or the Canvas Inbox are easy ways to reach all students. Most importantly, tell students where they should expect to hear updates from you. If you use Email, tell them email will be the primary place to check. Notify students of how the course structure will change.

Using Zoom to Teach Online

Zoom works well in your office or any other quiet place, allowing you to use your device’s camera and microphone to connect to other users using their device’s cameras and microphones. Most portable computers have built-in cameras and mics. But many desktop computers will need a separate microphone and camera. Logitech is generally a good choice if you or your department need to purchase a webcam with an included microphone.

The Basics of a Zoom Meeting

Before you use Zoom to teach, take some time to practice. The link you created in the previous step can be used for this. Paste the link into your browser and your meeting should begin. Alternatively, you can join this Test Meeting.

If you haven’t used Zoom before, you will be prompted to install Zoom as soon as you click on your Zoom URL for the first time. You can also obtain it anytime from Zoom’s Download Center.

When you test the Zoom meeting, try the following:

  1. Test microphone and speaker connection: When you join the meeting, you will see a button to “Join computer audio”. Right below this button is a link to Test speaker and microphone. Once you confirm your microphone is working and you can hear audio, click Join computer audio.
  2. Mute/unmute microphone: Once you join the meeting, to mute/unmute press the microphone icon in the bottom left navigation. When unmuted, you can test your microphone. Speak, and make sure you see a green bar jumping up and down within the microphone icon.
  3. Turn your camera on/off: Turn video on/off is the camera icon directly to the right of mute. Make sure your camera turns on successfully. During the class, your camera should be on as much as possible.
  4. Mute all participants: If you are teaching a large course, it will almost certainly be necessary to mute all students. Students are allowed to unmute if needed but keeping the focus on the instructor is a good default.
  5. Share your screen: This will be used so students can see what is on your screen, whether it be a PowerPoint, your Sakai course, or a website.
  6. Record your meeting: Press the record button and choose Record in the cloud. After the recording begins, you can pause as needed by using the same button. 

    If you intend to record your meeting, you must first make sure you are logged in to Zoom before you start your meeting. If not, you may receive an error message when you click the record button indicating "Please request recording permission from the meeting host." After the meeting has ended, a link to the recording will automatically be processed and an email sent to you with a shareable link. It may take 2-3 hours for the recording to process based on increased usage of Zoom, so don’t worry if you don’t see the email immediately.

    Zoom Cloud recordings are processing normally at this time. We recommend making a short (<5 minute) test recording to ensure it's processing in a time that is acceptable for you.

    There will be two links in the email. The link below Share recording with viewers: is what can be shared with students who were not able to attend or need to review.

    You can also use Zoom as a way to pre-record your lectures if meeting in-person is not required or not possible. Join the meeting, press record, teach, and then send the link to your students after you receive the email from Zoom.

Advanced Features for Teaching in Zoom

Zoom has many features which can help create a more engaging and active learning environment for students. Don’t focus on using this at first: get comfortable with the basics of using Zoom. However, if you are comfortable using Zoom consider using:

Breakout Rooms: Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions for students. Great for think-pair-share activities or smaller group work.

Annotating the Screen: The annotation tool has been enabled across all accounts so you will not need to enable it yourself. There are simple annotating tools for drawing on a shared screen or Zoom's whiteboard. You can also use the "Spotlight" tool as a laser pointer so students can more easily track your mouse movements.

Polling: Ask simple multiple choice questions within the Zoom meeting to keep students engaged and participating. This must be enabled by the Zoom Meeting creator (typically, you!)

Non-Verbal Feedback: Students can place an icon beside their name to communicate with the host and other participants without disrupting the flow of the course. For example, clicking Raise Hand places the raise hand icon beside your name to simulate a hand raise. This can be enabled by the Zoom Meeting creator.

Sharing Zoom Best Practices with Students

Most of your students have used video chat software such as Facetime, Google Duo, Zoom, WhatsApp, Hangouts, or Skype to communicate with friends and relations. That’s different than using web conferencing for scholarly purposes. Do not assume that your students know how to use or learn in Zoom. You will have to help them. In particular: