VIU Campus

Using Zoom in Your Course

Zoom is a 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://viu.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 Zoom 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 
  1. Create a recurring meeting for each of the courses you will be using Zoom for. This means you will have one link per semester for each course you teach. You can use this link for both class time and virtual office hours. When you are using it for office hours you will want to enable the Waiting Room so that you can have private conversations with your students.

  2. Schedule your class or meeting to start without a host present. This will allow people to join earlier and be there on time for when you arrive. Click here to learn more about enabling Join Before Host in your Zoom Settings.

  3. Do a tech check prior to your class or meeting. 
  4. Provide participants with the following information (as applicable) prior to the class or meeting. You can email this information and/or post it in your VIULearn course.
    • The meeting link along with time and date.
    • Information about privacy choices they can make. These include logging in with their first name only, using a pseudonym, keeping video turned off and not including a photograph as part of their Zoom profile.
    • A link to the Zoom support page on testing audio
    • If they are using video, give them some tips on lighting (lots of bright light on face), location (in a spot that is private, free from loud or distracting noises) and set up of the webcam (able to see face – not ceiling). 
    • Ask participants to close other applications that might steal bandwidth from the session and result in poorer quality audio and video. 
    • Schedule a practice connection session before your class or meeting to give participants time to connect.
  1. Before beginning the session, share a screen that has a welcome message and instructions. In this way participants will have something to look at and know they are in the correct location.

  2. Check in with participants as they come into the meeting. Ask them to speak, check that they can hear you and others and that they know where the controls are for muting audio and turning off video. This is a good way to connect with individual participants while also checking that they have what they need to participate in the meeting.

  3. Provide an agenda/plan for participants so that they know how the class or meeting will progress. This will help participants know what will be expected of them and when. Will they be working in breakout rooms? Will they be sharing their screens? When will there be time to ask questions? Will we be taking a break? 

  4. When it is the first time your class is meeting, or if you are hosting a meeting with new participants, begin with introductions. Ask each participant to say hello and have them answer a specific question. For example, what year of their studies they are in or which department they are from. Ensure they turn off their microphone/mute after they have spoken. This will help set a standard of what people do when talking and how you will manage the class or meeting. It also allows you to hear the volume and voice of everyone to make any necessary adjustments.
  5. Let your participants know how you’ll be running the class/meeting. For example: Are you using the chat feature to have back-channel conversations? Will you have anyone checking the chat while the session is going on? Are you using the ‘hand up’ feature to let people speak? Are you or someone else watching for hands or indications people want to speak? Are you taking notes offline? Are you recording the session? Dedicate a small amount of time at the beginning of your session to deal with these ‘housekeeping items’ so your participants know how to respond.

  6. Stop at various times throughout your class or meeting and let people ask any questions, catch up on any note taking or just take a break from listening.

  7. If you are facilitating a class, it is a good idea to use a variety of the tools available to you. This will make the class time more dynamic and address the learning needs of a wider variety of students.  For example:
  8. Watch the time. End earlier than expected to allow for questions, wrap up and end the meeting on time. Click on “End Meeting for All” to close the meeting off.

  9. Remind participants to make sure they are using the most up to date version of Zoom. There may be features you want to use with your participants that are not available to them if they do not have the latest version of the software.

Complying with BC Privacy Laws

Zoom is a United States-based company. As of June 11, 2020 all accounts under VIU's institutional licenses will have all of the data related to their meetings and accounts stored and processed within Canada. This means that using Zoom  at VIU complies with BC privacy regulations.

Please Note: This change only applies to meetings hosted by someone whose account is under VIU’s license for Zoom. If you are joining a meeting scheduled by someone outside of our VIU community, your data may be stored and processed outside of Canada.

Support for Zoom 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 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 Licensed Account can freely connect with the Zoom support email, live chat or phone to report issues, ask questions and solve problems 24/7.