Use Zoom to support your course
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Stanford University IT (UIT) offers free Zoom accounts to all Stanford faculty, staff, and students with a valid SUNet ID.* When you and your students are unable to meet in person, you can use Zoom meetings for synchronous, interactive meetings with chat and whiteboarding with up to 500 people and record this meeting to the cloud for later viewing. You can also use Zoom individually to pre-record your lecture. There is no quota to the size or number of recordings you can make.
This page will walk you through the recommended settings for your meetings, your options for scheduling Zoom meetings, and how you can share these meetings and recordings with your class. For more ideas for how to use Zoom in a teaching context, see these ideas from the Center for Teaching & Learning.
Before you can use Zoom, you must install the Zoom software for your device and log in for the first time from your Mac, PC, mobile, or tablet device. Note that security updates to Zoom continue at a rapid pace, so please make sure you are using the latest release. Users must update to version 5.0 before May 30 or they will not be able to join meetings.
* If you are a guest lecturer, ask your sponsor to request a full account, not just a base account, so you can host meetings. If you are an invited speaker for a single meeting, your host can invite you as a participant and allow you to share your screen if needed.
1. Determine where to schedule your Zoom Meeting from
You have three options for scheduling Zoom meetings: The Zoom app, the Zoom web portal and the Canvas Zoom Tool in your Canvas course.
Canvas Zoom Tool
Use Zoom app or Zoom web portal if:
- you have many sections in your course and they have separate meetings for each individual section. You’ll need to advertise your meetings to sections (Canvas Announcement or Assignments or email)
- you are using Zoom to pre-record a video, not host a meeting; use New Meeting button in the app.
- you will manually share recordings with your students and will do so in a way that is only available to your students or to select students (i.e. upload your Zoom meeting recording in Panopto, add cloud recording link to a Canvas Page or Module, or email to students who missed your class).
- you are hosting a Zoom webinar, not a Zoom meeting. You can learn about the difference between meetings and webinars, but webinars are for public events and keep student names anonymous to other viewers, but not to you. Webinars can only be scheduled from the web portal; if you don’t have this capability, request the webinar feature from UIT for your Zoom account.
Use Zoom tool in your Canvas course if:
- you want all members of your Canvas course to see meetings and cloud recordings automatically in the Canvas Zoom tool and Canvas Calendar and get a Canvas event notification.
- you are aware that you will need to add certain settings to your Canvas meetings later if desired (see Settings section below)
- Note: You may have to reduce restrictions in your browser’s tracking and security settings if the Zoom tool doesn’t load in Canvas.
- Note: You can always bring a meeting into the Canvas Zoom tool later by clicking in the top right, selecting Import meeting, then entering the 9 digit meeting code. A meeting can only be imported into one Canvas course’s Zoom tool.
- Authentication and password requirements for a meeting will carry over if you create a Zoom meeting outside of Canvas and import it into the Canvas Zoom tool.
2. Change your Zoom settings
If you will be using Zoom only for class meetings and recordings, you can change your Zoom settings in the web portal now to apply to all meetings and recordings. In fact, there are some settings you can only change in the Zoom web portal, as indicated by an asterisk.
If not, be sure to change settings as you schedule a particular meeting or recurring meetings to match the settings below.
While some settings are listed for your convenience, pay particular attention to the settings for passwords and authentication in the meeting and recording settings to ensure the privacy of your students and your content.
Go to Meeting Settings online at https://stanford.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=meeting and adjust the following settings
- Join before host: Turn this off to discourage users from entering outside of meeting times, especially if you are auto-recording meetings, haven’t prevented participants from sharing their screen, or haven’t required authentication.
- Require a password when scheduling new meetings: Turn this on. This is required to guard student privacy. While Stanford students should not share meeting information with each other regardless of whether there is a password associated with it, it’s easier to change a password than to create a new meeting should it become necessary. Passwords can be embedded in the URL (see below) so they don’t require separate entry. Turning this setting on will auto-generate a password for each future meeting.
- Embed password in meeting link for one-click join*: Leave this on. If you change the password, a new meeting link will be generated and the old one becomes invalid. Note: this is how the Canvas Zoom tool links to password-protected meetings, even if you turn this setting off.
- Mute participants upon entry: Depends. This is recommended for large live lectures, but not for small discussion groups.
- Restrict to authenticated users: Turn this on for an additional layer of protection for future meetings. These options were recently changed; click Reset if you do not see these three option as shown:
- Zoom users with Stanford University (Default)
- Zoom users anywhere (not recommended)
- Zoom users with Stanford community
- Closed captioning* (under Advanced): this setting must be turned on if you have a student who requires a live transcriptionist to provide captioning for the meeting.
*Setting can only be changed in https://stanford.zoom.us/profile/setting, not in a particular meeting
Additional Settings to consider
If you’re still concerned students or others who may have the password will disrupt your meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, consider these settings.
- Sharing > Who can share? Select host only.
- Waiting Room: turn on if you, or a co-host, want to let students in one by one. This may make the most sense for office hours.
- Annotation: turn off
- Whiteboard: turn off
- Chat: turn off
- Prevent participants from saving chat: turn on
- Private Chat: turn off
Go to Recording Settings online at https://stanford.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=recording and turn the following settings on or off.
- Local recording**: Turn this off to ensure all of your recordings and meeting chat (but not private chats) are saved to Zoom’s cloud where they can be more easily shared (Zoom has unlimited quota).
- Cloud Recording: leave on, and all checkboxes as is, except for the following
- Display participants' names in the recording: uncheck this so student names do not appear in recording
- Automatic recording: this can be turned on for particular class meetings if you think you will forget to start recording. However, recording will be triggered by the first person to enter the meeting, so be sure to turn off Join before host in meeting settings.
- Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings: While this is a good idea, if you turn this on in the Zoom web portal, it will affect future and past recordings. If you don’t want that, change individual recordings at and click Share to change the settings.
- Require password to access shared cloud recordings: turn this on to auto-generate a new (editable) password for every recording. See Access Recording to learn how to find the auto-generated password for distribution (Note that students who click to recordings from the Cloud recordings tab of the Canvas Zoom tool will be notified of your password by default.)
**Setting can only be changed in https://stanford.zoom.us/profile/setting?tab=recording, not in a particular meeting
Note that these recording settings have already been locked for privacy or security:
- File transfer in chat: While the settings above should help you avoid “Zoombombing”, file transfer has been locked due to reports of malware being transferred during such incidents. Links in chat have been restored in the latest versions of Zoom but are not accessible to keyboard-only users.
- Require password for participants joining by phone: Participants who call in to a meeting will need to enter a numeric password if a password is required for the meeting; however, if they enter the meeting first, they can ask Zoom to Call My Phone instead (not available in China). If participants must call in before they join using the app, this password is included in the Outlook invite, which hosts access as they schedule a meeting; hosts using the Canvas Zoom tool can find the Outlook invite by viewing the meeting in the webportal.
- Recording consent is always required on and will ensure that if recording has started, participants hear an audible warning on entry.
3. Decide if you need help during your meeting
A host is the person who schedules a meeting and has control over all functions in the meeting. There can only be one host per meeting. See details on what a host can do.
If you want to allow someone else to start a meeting that you scheduled, assign an alternative host(s) by using their SUNet email, not alias email. This is a good idea in the event that you are unable to attend or are running late to your meeting. Note that guest speakers do not need to be hosts; as participants, they can have sharing rights.
Users designated as alternative hosts will receive an email with a link to start the meeting. The first alternative host to join before the meeting scheduler will be granted host controls. The scheduler can reclaim host controls by going to Manage Participants and selecting Reclaim Host.
If you want to make someone an alternative host for all of your meetings and allow them to schedule meetings for you, you can give them scheduling privilege over your Zoom account.
Alternative hosts have all the rights of the host, but cannot edit polls that the host created or download recordings of the meeting.
If a host needs assistance with managing the meeting such as monitoring chats, muting participants, or starting/stopping the recording, they can assign a co-host. Co-hosts are assigned during a meeting and have useful but limited capabilities. For instance, they cannot start a meeting or create, move, or start breakout rooms.
4. Schedule meeting
Regardless of whether you use the Zoom tool in your Canvas course, the web portal, or the app, when you schedule a new meeting, we recommend you
- change the name of your meetings to something specific (e.g. Sp20-AA-111-01 Class or Sp20-AA-111-01 Office Hours).
- do not use your Personal Meeting ID, as these cannot be imported into Canvas
- choose recurring meetings when appropriate so the Zoom meeting link and settings will remain the same.
- add colleagues or TAs as alternative host so they can start the meeting
- use the settings described in section 2 above if you didn’t default to them
- select Only authenticated users can join, then select an option below
- Zoom users with Stanford University email: This recommended default setting will restrict meetings to the “*.stanford.edu” domain (this includes subdomains such as cs.stanford.edu).
- Zoom users anywhere (not recommended): Selecting this means any Zoom user who creates an account can join your meeting. It would be better to use the option described in the bullet below for guest speakers. If you want to advertise and invite members of the public while protecting your enrolled students’ identities, create a webinar. If you don't have the ability to schedule a webinar already, please request webinar feature from UIT.
- Zoom users with Stanford Community: If you are expecting a guest with an email domain outside *.stanford.edu, select this option and click the Edit link under the dropdown. Add their domain separated by a comma (e.g. *.berkeley.edu) and save. (however, if this guest has a free, commonly available email domain and will be a recurring guest, you should sponsor them for a SUNet).
5. Send students your Zoom information
If you are using Canvas, share the Zoom Canvas Tool information for Students with your class so they know how to join your meetings. Use the Canvas Zoom tool to create and share meetings, or share it somewhere within Canvas. It is important not to share Zoom meeting information publicly; if you need to do that, then host a webinar (if you don’t have it, request Zoom webinar feature from UIT).
Students should not share resources shared within a class outside the class, including links to meetings and recordings.
If you think students will have bandwidth issues, consider sharing your slides so they can follow on audio on the phone.
6. Prepare before your first meeting
Visit the Zoom test meeting at https://zoom.us/test to make sure your setup is working. Rehearse before your first meeting with a TA or colleague so you are familiar with the controls described in the section below and have time to ask for assistance if needed. The Center for Teaching & Learning has some ideas for using Zoom to manage various types of meetings, such as office hours, code review, large interactive sessions or just recording at your desk. You can connect to Zoom with an iPad if you want to do whiteboarding.
Other things to note while planning
- Students who have returned to countries with a higher degree of surveillance may not wish to participate in a video conference where they have to speak out loud and be overheard, or where others in their family may be captured on a webcam or mic. Please be flexible in how you ask them to participate by keeping their environments in mind.
- Think about students who have physical or cognitive disabilities. SOAP has a guide to inclusive teaching in Zoom and UIT has a video on hosting productive and inclusive Zoom meetings.
- If someone gets past your settings, have this printable guide to Managing a Disruptive or Unwelcome Zoom Participant at the ready.
- Zoom Polls are not accessible to screen readers and Zoom poll reports are anonymous at Stanford. If you need to know how particular students responded or need an accessible polling tool, you can login to pollev.stanford.edu with your SUNet ID and password to access your Stanford Poll Everywhere account to share during class. If you just want attendance, you can find a list of participants and their email in the Zoom webportal under Reports.
- UIT’s Teaching in Zoom FAQ may help anticipate questions you may have.
7. Start and record your meeting
You can start your meeting from the Zoom app, the Zoom web portal or the Canvas Zoom Tool. If you use the webportal or Canvas Zoom tool to launch a meeting, it should open a webpage, then open the app, but if there is a failure, just open the app directly, make sure you are logged in via SSO with your SUNet, and enter the meeting number. The meeting start and end are just an aid to adding them to your calendar; the host will start and end meetings, provided you changed your settings to prevent participants from joining before the host. See How to Protect Your Zoom Meetings for particular guidance on managing meetings and handling a disruptive participant.
If your students tell you your video or audio is breaking up, press Stop Video, especially when you screenshare, to reduce your bandwidth usage, and try these tips from Stanford UIT to fix your bandwidth problems.
The host or alternative host have special controls:
- Security (NEW version 4.6.10!): Lock meeting, enable waiting room and control the ability of participants to share screen, chat, and rename themselves
- Manage participants: Hosts can Mute/Unmute All, which is helpful if there is too much background noise during a lecture. You can also lock meeting or move certain participants to the waiting room or assign host or cohost here.
- Share screen: The host can both share and control who can share (by default, participants can share)
- Chat: Chat to your students and control who may chat to each other.
- Record: You should record the Zoom meetings for your course for several reasons and when you do, you should record to the cloud. (Note: We recommend that you do not record office hours.)
- Zoom Cloud recordings are automatically posted to the Zoom web portal for you to manually share or to the Canvas Zoom tool which is available to your class as links within the Cloud recordings tab. Zoom has an unlimited quota, and these links will not affect your Canvas quota
- You can use the Scissors tool in Zoom to trim the beginning and/or end of your recorded meeting video.
- If you plan to edit your recording beyond trimming the start and end, the meeting host can download cloud recordings as mpeg4 file later (download by others has been locked by the administrator). However, since Zoom doesn’t allow upload of outside files, it’s better to upload video to Panopto in Canvas. Panopto file upload speed is faster, it has unlimited file storage, and also includes better editing capability for recorded video.
- Note: Some schools are recommending setting their meetings to autorecord so that instructors don’t forget. If you decide to do that, let your students know so they can adjust their audio/video to not be on (they will receive an automated warning).
- Closed caption: Turn this on if you have a student who requires live transcription; it allows you to assign a transcriptionist who has joined as a participant to type captions during the meeting.
- Breakout rooms: The host can assign students (and any co-hosts) automatically or manually for smaller discussions in breakout rooms during the meeting. Hosts can pre-assign students to breakout rooms created before the Zoom meeting. Note that you can preassign students to Breakout Rooms, but only while scheduling in the Zoom webportal (not visible in Canvas).
- Poll: Hosts can create up to 25 Zoom Polls to engage their participants. However, see note in section 6, Prepare for your first Zoom meeting above about Poll Everywhere.
Other than office hours, you should record all class meetings. When a Zoom meeting is recorded, either by pressing Record or automatically based on your settings, your students will see a consent to be recorded message (this setting is now automatic and locked). If you’ve taken the steps described in the settings section above, recording will be to the cloud and will only be accessible via password and with Stanford authentication.
- Turn on your video and your mic and ask if everyone can hear or see you (if they are muted, they can thumbs up or chat).
- Check your chat or make sure a TA is monitoring it.
- If you are recording this for download and offline editing, go to Recording Settings and, under Cloud Recording, check “Optimize the recording for 3rd party video editor.”
8. Access, edit and share your recordings
The length of time it takes for a cloud recording to process and appear is in proportion to the duration of the video. Cloud recordings are usually available within a couple hours of the end of the Zoom meeting in the following locations:
- To the host in Zoom App under Meetings > Recordings and Zoom web portal. If you are not using the Canvas Zoom tool, you can find the password for each recording at the Zoom web portal by clicking Share next to a recording. Copy the invite to share with your class (you can edit and save a new password before sharing)
- To the entire class in the Canvas Zoom tool on the Cloud Recordings tab, if that’s where the meeting was originally scheduled from. This is true even if you followed the recording settings recommendations above to add an auto-generated password; students clicking a recording through Canvas Zoom tool will get the password pasted into their clipboard automatically so they can paste them when prompted.
Note that if you want to allow downloads of the recordings participants cannot download recordings by default. To enable this, you must visit the Zoom web portal (see below).
The recordings section of the Zoom web portal allows you to:
- delete recordings you might have accidentally created
- set the playback range of the video by clicking the scissors icon to remove unwanted video at the beginning and/or end of the recording
- see analytics for your video
- find a chat transcript next to your recording, but no private chats
- click Share to see or create/edit password and get the recording link by clicking “Copy sharing information to clipboard.”
- If you also activate “Viewers can download” while in the “Share this cloud recording” dialog, then students who receive that link will be able to do so. However, if you are using the Canvas Zoom tool, all students would also be able to then download the video (Students will consent to a download agreement before being able to access Zoom).
You can find a list of participants and their email in the Zoom web portal under Reports, if you scroll to the far right of your meeting, and click the number of participants.
Ideas for Zoom from the Center for Teaching and Learning
Best practices for using Zoom
- Host in a quiet place with a strong, stable internet connection.
- Do a dry run to ensure your microphone and speakers are working.
- Ask attendees to follow conference call etiquette - muting themselves and speaking in turns.
- Request that students submit their questions or their desire to ask a question via text-based chat so that you know whom to call on to speak next.
- Prepare a few items or problems to discuss for those times when there are no student questions.
Zoom for Office Hours/Small Group/Discussion
- Office Hours: Managing office hours in Zoom has details on using Waiting Room to manage a queue as well as reserving timeslots in Canvas.
- Code review: You can meet with an individual or group of students to review code via screen sharing. Authorizing remote screen control enables you to take control of another person’s shared application and allows for navigation, text entry, etc. on the remote computer.
- Collaborative problem solving/Brainstorming: Use the shared whiteboard feature to digitally annotate a whiteboard. Allow others in the session to annotate on the same whiteboard to share ideas and problem-solving methods. A tablet is useful for handwriting.
- Discussion: You can use Zoom’s high-quality audio and video to simply have a discussion with an individual or group of students. Easily share documents or anything else on your computer via screen sharing. The waiting room allows you to provide a single Zoom session ID and the ability to invite only selected individuals into the discussion. The person at the top of the participant list is the first to join the meeting, if you want to admit in order of appearance.
Zoom to pre-record video
Mini-explanation: You can present a slide presentation to further explain a topic that was only touched upon in class or if several students ask the same question. Sessions can be recorded and shared for later viewing.
Zoom for lecture or an interactive review session
Zoom meetings accommodate up to 500 concurrent attendees so you can host online review sessions leading up to a midterm or exam or an entire lecture. Before starting the review session, we advise muting all remote students and asking a TA to monitor questions in chat. You can use Zoom’s polling feature to gather feedback on which problems or topics students would like to discuss. You can also create private breakout rooms for smaller group discussion. Be sure to record the session and share it for students to view later.
- UIT: How to Protect your Zoom meetings, Teaching in Zoom FAQ
- Human Biology: How to use Zoom in Canvas to Lecture
- PWR and Stanford Introductory Studies: Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption
- Stanford Online Accessibility Program: Inclusive Teaching in Zoom
- Graduate School of Business: Recommended Zoom Settings for GSB