Academic Technology GuidesZoom Zoom BasicsHow do instructors use Zoom?

How do instructors use Zoom?

In this tutorial you will learn how to schedule and prepare for a meeting, how to interact with features in the Zoom Menu, your capabilities as a meeting's Host, and the capabilities of non-host participants.

What can Zoom be used for?

Zoom can be used to do many things outside of a regular classroom. Try using Zoom to...

  • Have a full classroom meeting, with access to a digital whiteboard and screensharing capabilities
  • Set up recurring meetings without an end date or start time, which allows participants to join at any time to work or study in groups
  • Meet individually with students or groups
  • Record a lecture in advance
  • Schedule online tutoring
  • Host a meeting for a club or organization
  • Coordinate and communicate with other staff members
What devices can I use to access Zoom?
  • Laptop/computer (PC/Mac) -- recommended
  • Tablet (Apple iOS, Android)
  • Smartphone (Apple iOS, Android)

Scheduling a Zoom Meeting

Using Zoom Scheduler from the Zoom program's main menu, assign the date, time, and general settings for your upcoming meeting. General settings include meeting duration, audio/video options, and options designed to give you more control over who enters the meeting. You can also schedule meetings from the Zoom web portal as well as from supported browser plugins. For more information on how to schedule a meeting from various devices, click here.

1.    Click Schedule.

2.    Choose your settings.

3.    Click Advanced Options to further restrict access to your meeting.

4.    Be sure to add the meeting to your calendar of choice.

5.    Schedule the meeting using the button found at the bottom right of the Zoom Schedule window.

Preparing for a Zoom Meeting

Days Before
  • Remember to download and install the Zoom launcher (PC/Mac) or the app (iOS/Android) in advance, as it can take several minutes to complete.
  • Review Zoom instructions here or via the external Zoom link found in your Moodle or Canvas course. More information can also be found at Zoom's Getting Started page.
  • Join a Zoom Test Meeting (found by clicking here) to confirm your computer or device's capabilities. 
    • In your test meeting, practice using the Zoom features listed below under "Views to Choose From" and "The Zoom Menu."
  • Contact HSU's IT Help Desk to resolve any technical issues if your test meeting fails.
  • If you have a disability and need an accommodation such as captioning, contact HSU's Disability Resource Center here. Be sure to connect with them several days prior to your meeting to schedule the appropriate accommodation or service. It may also be helpful to encourage students with disabilities to contact the Disability Resource Center several days before your planned meeting so that they can also be adequately be accommodated for.
15 Minutes Before
  • Find a quiet space with strong WiFi that is free of distractions. You can test your internet connection speed by visiting Zoom's suggested third party bandwidth tester, Speedtest
  • Open Zoom via the downloaded program, app, or through the Zoom module link in Moodle or Canvas.
  • Test your headphones, microphone, and camera to ensure your meeting participants can hear and see you (and vice versa).
    • To test your microphone, click "Test Computer Mic & Speakers" in the pop-up window that appears when first opening a test meeting or beginning your scheduled meeting. More information on audio testing can be found here.
    • To test your camera, simply look at the Zoom window to see that you are clearly visible, non-pixellated, and can move and speak without visible delays. Click here for more video testing tips.
    • You may need to give Zoom permission to access your camera and microphone beforehand. Typically, the request for permission will appear in a pop-up window the first time you open a Zoom Meeting, and will carry over to future meetings. If you declined permissions in the past, you will need to go into your PC or Mac's settings to allow Zoom to access to your camera and microphone. You can contact the Help Desk to assist you in this process, or find information on the internet for your specific device.
  • Close any windows or programs open on your device that are unrelated to your meeting. This focuses your device's power to provide the best Zoom meeting experience possible, and prevents potential embarrassing moments if you happen to share your screen.
During the Zoom Meeting
  • Click Start Video to begin broadcasting from your webcam. 
  • Click the Chat bubble to ask questions via text, share links to websites, and keep up with the class's back-channel discussion. Be aware that some students may not have access to a functional microphone (or prefer not to use it) and will ask their questions soley via chat.
  • Know which of your students are in attendance by clicking Participants.
  • Be prepared to share your screen with the class.
  • At the end of the class, click Leave Meeting.

Don't get caught snacking while someone else is talking! For sound clarity, it's best to ask each participant to mute their microphone when not speaking. Listening to an entire class's worth of microphone feedback, breathing, or chewing while lecturing can heavily detract from the intent of your meeting.

Views to Choose From

Views can be changed by hovering the mouse at the top right of the Zoom Meeting window and clicking the desired view. There are three views in Zoom:

  • Speaker View: Focuses on speaker
  • Gallery View: Shows all participants (up to 25 people)
  • Fullscreen: Maximizes screen

When currently in Speaker View, Gallery View will be accessible by clicking this button:

When currently in Gallery View, Speaker View will be accessible by clicking this button:

To make the Zoom Meeting take up your entire screen, regardless of view mode, click:

The Zoom Menu

The Zoom menu contains several features that can be used at any time throughout class meetings.  For laptops, PCs, and Macs the menu can be found by hovering over the bottom of the Zoom window. In the Zoom app, the menu can be accessed by tapping the bottom of the app window.

  • Mute: Allows the user to mute/unmute their microphone.
  • Invite: Allows both students and Hosts to add participants to the meeting.
  • Manage Participants: Allows the Host to view the list of participants, designate additional Hosts, mute specific (or all) participants, and various other features. The superscripted number beside the icon denotes how many participants are currently in the meeting. For more information about the controllable aspects of Zoom Meetings, click here.
  • Share Screen: Allows both students and Hosts to share a variety of windows and applications. Participants can share views of their desktops and specific windows currently open on their computer, write on a digital whiteboard, and even share a screen directly from their iPhone or iPad. These features (and more) are outlined thoroughly here.
  • Chat: Allows meeting participants to communicate via text chats. Messages can be sent to individuals, groups, or to every participant present in the meeting. By clicking "More" in the chat window, a Host can change the settings so that participants are only able to message the Host(s), or message anyone currently in the meeting.
  • Record: Hosts have several options for recording meetings, including recording all participants, specific participants, or screen shares. More information on recording can be found here.
  • Breakout Rooms: Allows the host to split the meeting into up to 50 separate sessions. Groups can be personally selected by participant or automatically generated. To enable or disable this feature, Hosts can visit "My Settings" under their My Profile page. For more information on Breakout Rooms, click here.
  • End Meeting: Allows the host to either leave the session and assign a new Host, or finishes the session for all participants and closes the Zoom Meeting window.
  • More (on the Zoom app): Allows participants to raise their hand.

Participant Capabilities

Non-Host participants share a similar Zoom Menu.

Depending on what permissions you have allowed, participants may be able to invite others to the meeting, share their screen with you or the entire class, chat via text, and/or record all or part of the meeting.

To get your attention, participants can choose to "raise their hand" during a meeting. This action will result in the following notification, which will appear directly above your "Manage Participants" button:

Zoom Etiquette and On-Camera Tips

To have a successful Zoom Meeting, it's important for all participants to act responsibly and courteously. Listed below are tips you can share with your students to ensure a smooth and functional meeting.

  • Lighting your face more brightly than the background makes it easier to see you.
  • Keeping your head high in the picture frame conveys confidence.
  • Dress appropriately -- you are being seen.
  • Physical movement and facial expressions mattter, just as in a face-to-face context.
  • Microphones pick up ambient noise, so it's best to keep your microphone muted until you're ready to speak.
  • Remember that when on-camera, other activities such as eating, drinking, shuffling papers, etc are extremely distracting (and sometimes unflattering).
  • If you can't use video, upload a nice profile image of your face to your Zoom Account. Give your classmates or students something to look at while you speak.
  • Keep meetings a stress-free zone, and have fun participating in a class from the comfort of wherever you choose!

Need More Help?

Don't panic! There are many resources available to help you operate Zoom.

  1. View Zoom Support Center's Getting Started Resources here.
  2. Contact the HSU Help Desk by phone at +1.707.826.4357, by email at help@humboldt.edu, or on a walk-in basis in Library 101. Click here for current operating hours.
  3. Chat with Zoom Support online by going here and clicking "Chat live" underneath "Support Process."
  4. Call Zoom Support at +1.888.799.9666 ext 2 or +1.650.397.6096 ext 2.