Using Zoom As Your Classroom

A short while ago you had a carefully planned in-person or hybrid course, and now you have been asked once more to teach remotely. Don’t panic, you do not have to create an on a full-fledged online course, but you will need to use Zoom as your classroom.

Using Zoom as your classroom may never replace the joys, the values, the successes of working with students face-to-face. However, with a little planning, knowledge — some tips and tricks, you can use Zoom efficiently and effectively as a class space. And you may find new avenues to enhance student interaction in the digital space.

To this end, we will be presenting a webinar on teaching a synchronous course on zoom. Yuya Kiuchi will be your host (Link)

Part 1: 2:00 pm-3:00pm (August 28, 2020) (if video below does not work go here)

Target audience: Someone who has never hosted a Zoom call, who wants to know basic features of Zoom, and who feels unsure how to use Zoom for a synchronous class meeting.

Topics covered

  • How to schedule a course
    o Webinar vs. Meeting
    o Recurring vs. One time
  • How to hold office hours
  • Basic setting options to consider
  • How to use a waiting room (basics)
  • How to share your screen with your students
    o With PPT caption
  • How to record your class session
    o Recording disclaimer
  • How to take attendance
  • Basic technical matters
    o Webcam (Off for students as default; how to make yourself look good on a webcam)
    o Mic (mute; how to be heard better)
  • Basic interactions
    o Reactions
    o Chat box
    o Unmuting mic
  • Basic rules
    o Disruption caused by students joining a min late
    o Video off
    o Student behavior
  • Q and A  
  • Part 2: 3:30pm-4:30pm (August 28, 2020) (If the video does not work go here)

    Target audience: Someone who has hosted a Zoom meeting before, who wants to learn about a few extra features of Zoom, and who wants improve student engagement

    Topics Covered

    • Nonverbal feedback
    • Polling
    • Breakout rooms
    • Whiteboard
    • Annotation
    • Security concerns
    • Making your waiting room more personal
    • Combining screen share and Google Slide
    • Q and A

    We do have a more complete guide for teaching online (Link) that includes more tutorials on Zoom and its integration with other tools such as Using Zoom to record lectures/ppt lectures, the files produced, how to upload video and audio files to D2L (Link)

    Zoom Best Practices

    What Are Zoom Best Practices?
    • MSU Zoom Best Practices (Link)

    How do I create a Secure Classroom?
    • Creating a More Secure Zoom Meeting (Link)

    Do I Choose a Meeting or a Webinar?

    • People hold conflicting views about when to use the meeting or webinar mode for a class. Our advice is to use what makes you most comfortable.
      • Meeting Mode: This is a moderated mode where various levels of interaction are possible or can be allowed. Good for small to mid-size classes. Zoom designs meetings to be “highly collaborative, giving attendees the ability to use audio and video, share their screen, and annotate in a live, interactive environment.”(Blog)
      • Webinar Mode: This is broadcast or lecture mode where minimal interaction is expected (but possible). Good for lectures with minimal interaction and very large classes. Zoom designed the webinar as a way “to manage the audience. Instead of interacting over video and audio, webinar attendees interact with the host and each other via the Q&A and chat panel.” (Blog)

    The University of Minnesota has put together a nice comparison chart (Link)

    The one key to know is that while there are no lower limits, the is an upper limit at MSU is 300 participants for a Meeting, and 500 participants for a Webinar.

    Should I Require Students to Use Video (show their faces)?

    We highly recommend that you shut off video and audio for students when entering and allow them to turn it on if they wish. While it is nice to see faces, we do strongly encourage you not to force students to turn on video for a number of reasons: it can stall and slow down their access, it can chew up bandwidth (some student pay for data and it can cost hundreds more a month to keep their video on — it can be expensive enough to watch you) — but most important, during the pandemic, forcing video can enhance stress and mental health issues, and highlight social inequities and access issues. While it can be tough to talk to images and black boxes, remember to be kind an considerate during these trying pandemic times.

    Tabitha Moses at Wayne State has a nice article on further reasons not to force students to show their faces (Link)

    How do I record a lecture?

    The first step is to record your lecture in Zoom. The following video explains well how to use Zoom to record your synchronous and asynchronous lectures (Video). Once you have recorded your lectures and have them available –The next step is to upload to MSU MediaSpace — MediaSpace provides exceptional instructions for all facets of it use (Link). Here is a good step by sep visual guide to uploading to MediaSpace (Link). To share your video with students, you can either give your students the link to your Zoom lecture on MediaSpace or post your lecture on D2L (Link)

    Can I Change My Background?

    Yes, it is easy to do (Video) MSU Broad College offers instructions for doing so and some nice Spartan backgrounds (Link). More scenes can be found at MSU Background Scenes (Link). And offerings from Athletics (Link)

    How do I add Captions to my Zoom video?

    The best way to add captions is to use MSU MediaSpace (Video)

    Where can I find more information about Zoom at MSU?

    There is a lot of help out there — (so reach out if you need further assistance).

    Of Course Zoom Offers Comprehensive Tutorials.

    • How to get started with Zoom (Link)