Note: Please use the table of contents on the right-hand side to advance to the section you need.
Zoom is a video conferencing platform for virtual meetings and classes.
Setting Up Your Account
As a faculty member, you already have an account through Umass Lowell but you'll need to login on to the website before hosting a class or meeting for the first time to activate it. Go to the Umass Lowell Zoom Video Conferencing page and click "Sign In". Once you've done this, you'll have full access to your account. You do not need to do this again once it has been set initially.
Scheduling and Starting a single Zoom Session
Once you've downloaded the Zoom app to your desktop, log in with your UML credentials.
Click on "Schedule" to schedule a new meeting. This can be a one-time meeting or recurring. Click the "Recurring Meeting" checkbox to repeatedly schedule the class on the same day of the week and time each time it occurs. Choose the title of your zoom meeting (i.e. "Fashion Design 101") and then you can choose to create a new meeting ID (this number will be generated at random) or use your personal meeting room (this room number never changes). You have the option of adding a passcode of your choosing or a generated one (or not using one at all), having a waiting room or not, and only allowing UML accounts to enter the room. Be careful using the UML accounts only feature. If a student is trying to log in to the class but happens to be logged into their personal gmail account with Zoom, they will not be allowed to enter at all. Only use this feature if necessary.
Under calendar, choosing one of the first three choices will open that program to save it once you've set up your meeting. If you do not want it to automatically open another app, click "Other Calendars".
There are additional options under "Advanced Options". You may choose to add a TA or secondary instructor as an "Alternative Host" (you will need to use their UML email for this option. It will not allow personal emails to be added) which will give them full access to record the class, create breakout rooms, and share their screen and sound.
Once you've selected all of your options, click "Save" and a meeting invitation will be created. Click "Copy Invitation" and the entire invitation will be available for you to send in a calendar invite, email, or Teams message.
Once your meeting has been scheduled, it will appear on your main screen, if the meeting is that day. If you have no scheduled meetings on a given day, nothing will appear here (see the image at the top of this section).
Meetings that are in the future, as well as your personal meeting room, will appear when you click on "Meetings" at the top of the app. Simply click "Start" next to the meetings to activate the meetings. If you are in the menu shown below, be sure to have the correct meeting highlighted in blue before clicking "Start". If you have a future meeting highlighted, it will still start the meeting, but no one else will be there.
Basic Features and Options
Along the bottom of your screen is your menu bar. The bottom left corner has your video and audio off/on options. If there is a red line through the microphone, your sound is off and if there is a red line through the video camera, your video is off. It's important to keep these in mind not only when you are hosting a meeting but also when attending one. Keeping an eye on that "Mute/Unmute" icon will let you know if you are broadcasting the sounds around you to everyone else.
Selecting the up arrow next to the microphone will give you your audio options. You may want to change your audio to a headphone set, use the built-in options, or another external device.
If you notice that the audio and video are not in sync with each other, click on "Leave Computer Audio" in this pop-up. Then, rejoin the computer audio and this should sync up the audio and video again.
Clicking the up arrow next to the video camera will give you your video options. You may want to blur your background or add a virtual background or choose a camera other than your computer's built-in camera.
The menu bar when hosting a meeting looks like this.
You and your students have the option to use reactions throughout the class. This is an easy way for students to participate without interrupting the flow of the class. They can also raise their hand to avoid unmuting and interrupting the lecture. When a student "raises their hand", their video screen will pop up to the top of your gallery view to make it more visible. When their question is answered, they will click "Lower Hand" and it will remove the hand from their video and bring their video back to their spot in the gallery. As the instructor, you can also use these reactions when students are giving presentations or when you are attending other meetings. If none of the most used icons are appropriate for the reaction that you want to express, click on the three horizontal dots and a variety of icons and emojis will appear for you to choose from.
On the far right of the menu bar, when you click on "End" it will give you two options. By clicking "End Meeting for All", it will end the meeting and kick everyone off the call. They will receive a notification that the meeting has been ended by the host.
Let's say, for example, you're having a problem with your computer and you need to restart your computer. Because you're in class, you don't want to end the meeting or have everyone sign off, you'll choose "Leave Meeting" instead. This will then prompt you to select someone to be a host temporarily until you come back. That person will have full host privileges until you return. Upon your return, you'll be asked if you'd like to resume host privileges and your host privileges will be given back to you.
When you set up your meeting, you will have the option to have a "Waiting Room". This means that anyone coming into your meeting will have to wait for you to admit them. If you do not want to admit each person entering, make sure that the "Waiting Room" option is not selected when you set up the meeting. With this option not checked, anyone with the link will immediately be allowed in the room. The image below shows what it will look like when someone is in the waiting room. They will also be listed in the "Participants" column with the admit button shown until they are admitted to the room. You must click "Admit" for them to enter.
The Participants column will pop out of the right side of the screen when selected. You can close this column again by clicking the button again. This will show if their microphone and videos are off. If you are hearing noises and aren't sure who is unmuted, this list will show you who does not have the red slash. You can also quickly scroll through to see who is in the room, request that someone turn on their video, mute an individual, put them in the waiting room, or report them.
At the bottom of the Participants column is a "More" button. The image below shows what options you have when that button is selected.
Individual students have a menu as well. Using the "More" drop-down button, you may request a student start their video, they can be made host or co-host, or remove them from the room.
Recording a Zoom Session
If you are recording a one-time class or meeting, simply hit the record button on the menu bar. A pop-up will appear that says "Record this meeting to this computer?". Click "Continue" and start your session. When you start a recording, all participants will be notified that the meeting is being recorded and will have to acknowledge that a recording is taking place.
For those courses that are taught online or have permission to broadcast live classes on Zoom, you may want to have your meeting automatically recorded and uploaded directly into your Echo 360 account. To request this, go to Make a Lecture Capture Request. You will then need to have your Echo 360 link set up in your Blackboard course. For more information on how to do that, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing Your Screen, Sounds, and Files
During your class or meeting, you may want to share your screen, sound, or a file. Screen and sound sharing can be done separately or simultaneously (this is a particularly good option if you are planning to show a video or share music). To share something that is on your desktop, first make sure that that item is open (whether it's a document, a website, etc). Then click the bright green "Share Screen" button on the menu bar. The screenshot below shows an example of options that can be selected based on what's open on the computer. If you have more items, browsers, and documents open, all of those items will appear here. Select the item you want to share and hit "Share".
The menu bar will pop to the top of your screen, giving you these options. You will still have control of the chat, Participants, polling, etc. To stop sharing your screen at any time, click the red "Stop Share" button that is attached to the bottom of the menu bar.
While in Screen Share mode, the last option on the right is "More". By clicking on this button, you can record, go into Breakout Rooms, and "Share Computer Sound". If you are choosing to share your screen and sound, share your screen first, then use the "More" button to share sound.
If you only want to share your computer sound, click on Advanced at the top and click on Computer Audio. There are other options for sharing here as well.
If you want to share a file, click the "Files" tab and you'll be given options of where to select the file from. Be aware that some of these will open a tab in a browser and will pop up the last browser you used. If you plan to use one of these and don't want anyone to see what tabs are currently open, close all browser windows first or have this open and prepared before the class starts.
When a host is sharing their screen, the videos of the Participants will pop out and separate from the video. It may overlap with the Zoom meeting or appear on another monitor, depending on how many screens you are using. The four options at the top will allow you to change how you view these. The smallest line will collapse all of the videos. The second option will show you one video (whoever is speaking at the time), the third option (shown here) will show only a few people, and the fourth option will show a gallery view.
When viewing a screen shared by someone else, the Participant videos will pop to the right-hand side. The small grey vertical bar shown between the Screen Share and the participant videos will allow you to make the Participant side larger and the screen share side smaller as you desire by clicking and dragging it left or right. The "View" tab in the upper right corner gives more options to change your view of the Screen Share, Participant videos, and those who are speaking.
Using the Whiteboard
If you'd like to use the "Whiteboard" option in Zoom, click on "Share Screen" in the menu bar. Staying in the "Basic" option, instead of selecting something on your desktop, select Whiteboard. This option may be listed in a different location depending on how many items you have open on your computer.
The Whiteboard will then allow you to draw as you would on a physical Whiteboard in the classroom using your mouse or trackpad.
Using Breakout Rooms
Breakout Rooms are separate Zoom meetings within a meeting. It's similar to having your class split up to work at different tables in the same room for a project during an in-person class. As the instructor, you can pop into each of these meetings, as if you were circling the room to check in with the groups. Here is a great video to demonstrate how to use Breakout Rooms. This video is chaptered so that you can skip to sections of the video that you are most interested in.
Tips for Using Zoom Breakout Rooms (Demo Included)
Adding Zoom to Your Blackboard Course and Setting Up a Recurring Session
Zoom will need to be integrated into your Blackboard course for those courses taught online. At the top of the page, click on "Tools", then "More Tools", then "Zoom Meeting".
On the next page, you will name your link. By default it will name it "Zoom Meeting". Then hit "Submit."
Return to the page where you placed the link and click on it.
On the next screen, click on "Schedule a New Meeting".
On the following page, you will set up the recurring meeting. Under "Topic", you will probably want to leave this as the course name. Anything you put here will be listed as the name for all of the meetings. You can put a description for the semester but this is optional. Then set the first meeting date, time, and duration. If you are setting up a recurring meeting for the semester, click on "Recurring Meeting" under the time zone selection and select how many courses or when they will be ending. You can choose whether or not you require the students to register. Most students will already be signed in because they will be going in through Blackboard. You may or may not want to add an "Alternative Host" to the meeting. This would be another person who has full host access to the meetings every time. This would be a secondary instructor, TA, etc but this is not required. Choose the rest of your settings and hit "Save".