VIUOnline Rooms: Zoom Web Conferencing Tool

The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) supports VIUOnline Rooms (powered by Zoom) primarily to support teaching and learning.  

Zoom can also be used for administrative meetings and collaboration by employees for non-academic purposes, but support for such activity (requesting accounts, help with issues, training) comes after faculty and student needs have been met. CIEL’s priority is always students and teaching faculty members.

Note: Participants who are invited to join a Zoom virtual class or meeting do not need a Zoom account. Zoom Accounts are only required for people hosting, moderating or facilitating meetings and classes.

Zoom is relatively easy to use but there are some expectations (privacy related) and processes (running a class, meeting, managing technology) that we hope all users of VIUOnline Rooms will follow.

VIU rolled out a Zoom pilot program in January 2018 and fully launched Zoom as our institutional web conferencing tool in September 2018.

What can I do with VIUOnline Rooms? 

VIUOnline Rooms provides web-based video and audio conferencing system which allows real-time communication between instructors and students. Faculty members can create an online meeting room from within the Zoom app, or online at https://zoom.us and schedule meetings between the whole class or individual groups.

Your account can be used to deliver lectures, engage in class discussions, run virtual office hours, and share resources, multimedia, or any application that runs on the desktop.

Consider using VIUOnline Rooms to: 

  • Run synchronous online sessions with your students 
  • Bring in guest speakers to collaborate with your class 
  • Hold virtual office hours where students can drop in online 
  • Allow students to meet and conduct group work as required 

Complying with BC Privacy Laws

Zoom is a United States-based company that stores three pieces of information about your classes/meetings on a US server. To use VIUOnline Rooms (Zoom) at VIU and comply with BC privacy regulations (to have no personal identifiable information stored on US servers), you must adhere to the following regardless if you are hosting a class or a meeting:

  1. If you are scheduling a VIUOnline call (creating a link to send to people to join your class or meeting) do not name it with any identifying elements of your course code or course name (e.g., ENGL 115, Social Work Class). Instead name your meetings/online classes in a more generic way (Thursday Class, Susie’s Meeting). This prevents any identifiable connections between participants and course/meetings.
  2. Ask all participants to log in with only their first name, nickname or initials. If they are using the Zoom desktop or mobile app they need to change their name in the account settings. This should happen for both students and non-students in all situations because personal identifiable information includes anything that is not public information or found on VIU’s website. For those who do not have public details on the web, privacy must be respected – unless you have signed consent from everyone in your class or meeting.
  3. Ask all participants to not upload photographs of their true self in the account area. Instead suggest they use an avatar, image or leave blank if they are not enabling video. This is a personal identifiable piece of information that should not be saved on a US server.

Support for VIUOnline Rooms and Video Conferencing Spaces

VIU’s IT Department supports all video conferencing hardware and software. If you are teaching a class in a video-conferencing enabled room, please connect with IT Help Desk for training and support. If you wish to discuss teaching pedagogies for video-conferencing situations, please contact the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (learnsupport@viu.ca) or check out our website.

The Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning supports all web conferencing functionality, accounts and software related to VIUOnline Rooms (Zoom). However, Zoom has an excellent support site (https://support.zoom.us) with step-by-step guides to the latest versions and tools. We encourage people to go there first. All VIU employees with a Basic or Pro Account can freely connect with the Zoom support email, live chat or phone to report issues, ask questions and solve problems 24/7. Be sure to mention you are using a VIU account.

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