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Zoom Tips for Teaching Live Class Sessions

Zoom will work best if you make some key decisions and develop Zoom fluency before using it with students in a real-time session. Online meetings and classes present a number of unique challenges from managing the participation of remote participants to making efforts to maintain the privacy of student interactions.

ways to prepare

Tips for managing large classes (All classes)


Building a Secure Class Community

Clarion's sense of community is one of our best assets. Incorporating this sense of community into your online classes will make your students more successful. In order to protect this community, you will need to take measures to keep it safe from intrusion and disruption. Here are a few options to achieve a safe community for you and your students:

  • Familiarize yourself with the settings and options in Clarion Zoom Security Notes
  • Encourage camera use when possible.
    • Ask your students to show their face if possible to facilitate the sense of community. NOTE: Do not require students to turn on their webcams, as some may not have a strong enough internet connection to sustain this. They may also need to join the meeting by phone.
  • Include all learners by presenting accessibly.


Recommended Settings

You will have the following options when creating a meeting: 

  •  Video

The "Host" and "Participant" on/off toggles determine if the video will be initialized automatically upon joining a room. We recommend leaving these in the "OFF" position to give attendees time to prepare their environment before enabling their video during the session.

  • Audio

Select Both to allow users to choose to use their computer or call in on the phone to connect to the audio. The phone number will be listed in the invitation copied from the meeting summary page, or you can provide it from the session.

  • Meeting Options
    • Meeting ID – Always use the automatically -generated meeting ID. For security reasons, do not use your Personal Meeting ID for real-time sessions with students.
    • DO 'Require meeting passcode - When scheduling a meeting, select 'Require meeting passcode. Participants will be asked to enter this passcode in order to join your meeting. This setting will keep random people from typing in your meeting ID and joining. Note: This is not a full proof security measure. Remember, the meeting can still be accessed by anyone that has the meeting id and password, so control sharing of the meeting invite accordingly.
    • DO NOT allow 'Join before host' - We recommend leaving this setting disabled. Participants will see a pop-up that reads, "Please wait for the host to start this meeting." This feature is useful if you don't want participants to join/interact before the host enters and also helps prevent unintended 'guests' from joining your session.
    • DO 'Mute participant upon entry' - This setting mutes participants as they join the meeting. We recommend keeping this setting enabled to prevent interference. Without this setting enable, participants will join the session with a live microphone.
    • DO 'Enable waiting room' - The waiting room is a virtual area where participants are held outside the meeting room. When enabled, the host (instructor) controls when participants join the meeting and can admit attendees individually, or hold all attendees in the virtual waiting room and admit all when ready to begin.
    • DO allow 'Only authenticated users' to join (only available in Web portal meeting settings) if your participants should log into Zoom to access the meeting. This adds an extra layer of security allowing only or users to log in.
    • DO NOT 'Record the meeting automatically' - Enabling this setting will automatically start the recording immediately upon meeting start. This may not be ideal because it will capture any wait time before the meeting actually begins. Manually begin and end the recording inside the Zoom room.


Preparing for Technical Issues

The 3 most common technical issues users reported with Zoom are:

  1. Participants can't see - Learn to troubleshoot video issues
  2. Participants can't hear -  Learn to troubleshoot audio issues
  3. Background noise and microphone feedback
    • This can be caused by connection speed, multiple participants talking at once, a bad microphone, having the speakers and microphone too close together, multiple computers with active audio in the same physical room, and a participant that has joined via computer and phone incorrectly. Learn to troubleshoot audio echoing and feedback.


recording and privacy considerations

While synchronous courses may be your preferred way to have class. Not all students will be able to attend. They may be limited by schedule, internet service, connection speed, or many other factors outside of their control. Recording your classes will make this content available to them at their convenience.

  • Computer (Local) Recording
    • Recording to the computer will save a file to your computer after the meeting is ended. If the file is smaller than 1GB it can be uploaded to your D2L course. If they are larger than 1GB contact the LTC for other video hosting options. – Learn more about local recordings.
  • Cloud Recording
  • Spotlight Video
  • Offer students the option to stop their video during the recording.




define the ground rules

 Establish guidelines and set clear expectations for how participation will be managed. For example: 

  • How will the host address questions and comments? 
    • Will you ask participants to use the “raise hand” button before participating? Let users know questions/comments will be addressed in the order raised.

    • Will questions be posted to the chat first and addressed later?

  • Discuss online etiquette and expectations. You may need to model, and coach your students on, basic online meeting etiquette. Such as:

    • Ask people to turn on their cameras briefly (see technical section below)

    • Look at the camera in order to make eye contact when they’re talking

    • Mute their mics when they aren’t contributing. (Clarion’s recommended meeting setting is ‘Mute participants upon entry’)

    • Use the Chat field for constructive comments only

  • Notify students before the class begins if you will be recording the class. Students who do not want to be recorded may choose not to participate. If you are recording the class, be clear with the students about who will have access to the recording and under what circumstances. Let participants know when the class/meeting will end.

  • Acknowledge potential challenges including the possibility that students don’t have ideal connections and aren’t able to hear and see everything perfectly.


engage students with zoom tools

  • Polling: The polling feature allows you to create single or multiple-choice polling questions. Launch the poll during your session and gather the responses from your attendees. Download a report of polling after the meeting. Polls can also be conducted anonymously if you do not wish to collect participant information with the poll results.
  • Breakout Rooms: Divide into smaller groups for a discussion on a certain topic. You can either pre-assign or auto-assign students into groups for a short period of time so they may discuss things together.
  • Non-verbal Feedback: Encourage participants to use the indicators in the participant panel to provide non-verbal feedback such as speed up/slow down or thumbs up/down, hand raise, or simple yes/no answers for example.  
  • Sharing my Screen: consider sharing a PowerPoint, or other files to make the session visually engaging while delivering a mini lecture.
  • Chat: Muddiest Point - Ask students to contribute to chat where they are still confused.

feedback - verbal/non-verbal

Take time to promote questions, comments, and reactions from your class.

  • Provide non-verbal feedback using the indicators in the participant panel. For example: Yes/No, Speed Up/Down, Thumbs up/down, etc.
  • Ask students to write questions in the chat and pause at regular intervals to answer. 
  • Implement 'hand raising' through the participant panel and allow students to take turns unmuting to ask questions
  • Use polling


presenting accessibly

Students can access your Zoom class from a number of interfaces and devices. If you are presenting your shared screen there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Students with low connection speed or no internet service may be joining via phone and are only experiencing the audio portion. Also, students could be joining via the Zoom smartphone application, and screens can be very small.

    • You should share your notes, presentations, links, and other class materials to your D2L course page. This will give them the opportunity to follow along without relying solely on your screen share.

    • For these reasons, it is also good to get in the habit of being verbally explicit. It will make it easier for students to follow along and understand what you are explaining.

    • Repeat questions for clarity, audio quality issues, mobile screen size, and re-focusing attention.
  • If you record to the cloud, you will have access to an automatic transcription after the recording processes. This is another tool that you can share with students to make your Zoom classes more accessible. Learn more about automatically transcribing cloud recordings. NOTE: Transcription not available when recording to local computer. 


Last Updated 8/22/22