Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Use Zoom to support your course

Main content start

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.

If you are having difficulty logging in or getting set up, call 5-Help (650) 725-4357 (option 5) or visit for assistance with Zoom. UIT’s Teaching in Zoom FAQ may also help.

* 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

Here is a 4-minute video about your options for scheduling course meetings and why in most cases we recommend using the Canvas Zoom tool for scheduling course meetings over the Zoom app or Zoom web portal, even if you don’t use Canvas much.

Image of 2 zoom choices: outside Canvas (app or or inside Canvas (zoom tool)

Use Zoom app or Zoom web portal if:

  • not all students in the course will be joining in real-time.
  • 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 (e.g. in Canvas Announcement) 
  • you are hosting a Zoom webinar, not a Zoom meeting. 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:

  • not all students in the course will be joining in real-time.
  • you want all members of your Canvas course to see meetings in the Canvas Zoom tool and Canvas Calendar and get a Canvas event notifications, and see cloud recordings automatically in the Panopto Course Video within Canvas.
  • Notes:
    • Add meetings before publishing your Canvas course to avoid overnotifying your students
    • You may have to reduce restrictions in your browser’s  tracking and security settings if the Zoom tool doesn’t load in Canvas.
    • The host 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. However, recordings of these meetings will not move to Panopto Course Videos.

2. Change your Zoom settings

Section 4 below describes settings you can adjust as you schedule a particular meeting, but there are some settings you can only change in the meeting settings of the Zoom web portal

Meeting Settings

Go to Meeting Settings online at and adjust the following settings if applicable

  • 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. 

You can adjust the following after you start a meeting, but if you are not requiring authentication and/or you’re still concerned students or others who may have the passcode will disrupt your meeting, intentionally or unintentionally, consider these settings if you plan to allow students to join before host.

  • 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

Recording Settings

Go to Recording Settings online at and adjust the following:

  • Local recording*: Turn this off if you want 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.
  • Cloud Recording: leave on, and all checkboxes as is if students are viewing recordings in Zoom. However, if you are directing students to view recordings in Panopto Course Videos, you should:
    • Uncheck Record active speaker with shared screen
    • Check Record active speaker, gallery view and shared screen separately, then uncheck Gallery View
    • Check Optimize the recording for 3rd party video editor
  • Require passcode to access shared cloud recordings: turn this on to auto-generate a new (editable) passcode for every recording. See Access Recording to learn how to find the auto-generated passcode for distribution (Note that students who click to recordings from the Cloud recordings tab of the Canvas Zoom tool will be notified of your passcode by default.)

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. 

Alternative Host 

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 following defaults:

  • Topic to something specific (e.g. Sp20-AA-111-01 Class or Sp20-AA-111-01 Office Hours). 
  • Recurring meetings: select when appropriate so the Zoom meeting link and settings will remain the same. 
  • Waiting room: select only for small one-on-one office hours
  • Join before host: uncheck if you’d like to discourage users from entering outside of meeting times, if you are auto-recording meetings, haven’t prevented participants from sharing their screen, or aren’t requiring authentication.  
  • Mute participants upon entry: Depends. This is recommended for large live lectures, but not for small discussion groups. 
  • Personal Meeting ID: do not check, as these cannot be imported into Canvas
  • Only authenticated users can join; select; then select an option below 
    • Zoom users with Stanford University email: This recommended default setting will restrict meetings to the “*” domain (this includes subdomains such as 
    • 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 *, select this option and click the Edit link under the dropdown. Add their domain separated by a comma (e.g. * 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).
  • Breakout Room pre-assign: you can let students choose a breakout room, assign them during the meeting, or check this option to preassign them ahead of time. Canvas users can edit meetings at the webportal later, as this option isn’t visible within Canvas.
  • Alternative host: add colleagues or TAs so they can start the meeting

5. Send students your Zoom information

If you are using Canvas, share the Get to Know Zoom page from the Hub 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 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

7. Start and record your meeting

You can start your meeting from the Zoom app, the Zoom web portal or the Canvas Zoom Tool. 


See How to Protect Your Zoom Meetings for particular guidance on managing meetings and handling a disruptive participant. 

Image of the Stop Video button located on Zoom

If your students tell you your video or audio is breaking up, press Stop Video, especially when you screenshare, and try these tips from Stanford UIT to fix your bandwidth problems

Familiarize yourself with the special controls of hosts and alternative hosts. Here are some specific recommendations for instructors: 

  • Closed caption: Turn this on to allow 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). See also CTL's tips for successful break rooms.
  • Poll: we recommend Poll Everywhere, rather than Zoom polls.


Instructors' decision to record or not record a course session should factor in the needs of students who may need to watch or even download a video at a later time (due to connectivity issues or other hardships) against the nature of any student discussion that would be recorded. Some of the settings above will help to minimize students being on camera in the recording, such as capturing only active speakers, but you may also want to spotlight yourself and guest speakers who have agreed to be on camera in the recording. Note, that while students aren't on camera, cloud recordings will capture public chat (not private chats) and auto-generated transcripts that feature students, so these recordings cannot be reused in future quarters without taking additional steps. When a Zoom meeting is recorded, your students will see a consent to be recorded message. If you’ve taken the steps described in the settings section above, recording will be to the cloud and will only be accessible via passcode and with Stanford authentication. 

8. Access, edit and share your recordings

The location of your recordings depends on how the meeting was scheduled. Cloud recordings are usually available within a few hours of the end of the Zoom meeting in the following locations:

  • Recordings of Meetings scheduled in Zoom app or WebPortal will appear in Cloud Recordings to the host, where they can be managed and shared.
  • Recordings of meetings scheduled in the Canvas Zoom tool will appear in Canvas in two places during Fall 2020 and Winter 2021: on the Cloud Recordings tab of the Canvas Zoom tool and in Panopto Course Recordings. 

The recordings section of the Zoom web portal allows you to and Panopto Course Videos both allows you to delete, edit, view manage recordings and chat (not private chat), manage availability and allow download, but Panopto Course Videos is managable by the entire course staff, not just the scheduler. Students will consent to a quarterly download agreement before being able to access Panopto or Zoom so should you want to make recordings downloadable, you may but we recommend you enable downloads in Panopto.

Usage reports

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.

Additional Resources