Using Zoom for Remote Teaching

Preparing to Teach

1. Once you’ve scheduled your Zoom meeting, share the Zoom information and class expectations with your students.

a. You may post an announcement in Canvas so students know when and where to meet. In your announcement, let students know what to prepare and expect to do during the Zoom class. 

b. You may also email your students the information.

c. If you students are or may be unfamiliar with Zoom, you should share with them this Zoom participant guide.

2. Plan and share your agenda and remote teaching guidelines so students know when and how they will participate during the session. 

a. Will they use text chat or audio to communicate? Will they submit something before or after the class? What do they have to do to prepare for the class? All this should be communicated to students before the class begins. 

b. Do you want to create and launch polling questions

c. If you want to enable breakout rooms, plan what you want students to do while they are in the small group, and how they will know when you want to call them back to the main meeting room.

d. Zoom offers tips for students participating in remote teaching

e. Zoom offers tips for instructors using Zoom for remote teaching

During Class

We’ve highlighted some simple ways to make your remote classroom a vibrant and engaging learning environment.

1. Turn on your video so students see you. It makes for a more personal remote teaching experience. In seminar courses of less than 30 students, you can ask students to turn on their videos as well.

2. To record your session so that it may be posted to students later,  click the Record button on the lower right of the Zoom screen, and select Record to the Cloud.

3. Make sure students know when the class will end and what to expect after this class.

4. Use the text chat or audio to discuss datasets, formulas, a video, an article, etc.

5. Use the Share Screen tool to share documents, websites, images, or slides, etc., and provide different means for representing the information.

6. Breakout Rooms allow instructors to split a Zoom meeting into small group rooms. Instructors can choose to split students into breakout rooms automatically or manually. Instructors may enter any breakout room at any time and switch between them.

a.If using breakout rooms, explain what students are expected to do in the breakout room.

Note: Remote teaching in Zoom may feel awkward at first, but you will get more comfortable with it after practicing. Remember that students are not used to learning in this way, either. The key is to communicate expectations and center your teaching on the students– engage them in the process of teaching and learning.

After Class

As much as possible, consider what would most benefit your teaching goals and your students before the class begins so you know what to do when it ends.

1. If you recorded the session, you will receive an automated email from Zoom once the recording has processed, which will contain links to view and download your recording. (These links remain active until the end of the semester). You can then upload the Zoom recording to your Canvas site (see here, here, and here for the three steps in this process). Once you have uploaded the recording, share the link and let students know it is ready.

a. If some students were unable to attend the class, you may ask them to watch the recording and complete an alternative assignment so they get a similar learning opportunity as the students who attended. 

2. Assess students based on your set learning goal. If you didn’t get to hear or assess the students during the session, provide an assessment after the session to allow students to demonstrate their learning.

3. You may send out a survey to collect feedback from students or invite students to connect with you during virtual office hours or via email, if they have questions.

Top Tips for Teaching with Zoom

  1. Find a quiet well lit location. Ensure there is no background noise – fans, washing machines, loud music, etc. Ensure there is adequate lighting if you are using the webcam video. 
  2. Use earbuds with a microphone or headphones.
  3. Test your audio and webcam before your conference begins: 
  4. Notify students of Zoom classes or meetings: Share your Zoom URL via email or Canvas (calendar event, announcement), or any other shared digital space that everyone can access.
  5. Establish guidelines and make students aware of your expectations for class (e.g., after I lecture for 15 minutes, we will discuss your questions; the TA will monitor the text chat and respond to questions at 10:45; etc.).

Adapted from Brown University.