In this video, Sharley Kurtz and the Learning and Applied Innovation Center team covers tips and tricks to effectively use Zoom as a classroom platform. Whether you are a seasoned Zoom instructor or still learning your way around the Zoom interface, this video is for all levels of experience.
Something new to the 2020 Fall Semester is the integration of Zoom into the Blackboard platform. If you would like students to access Zoom sessions by using their Blackboard accounts, that option is now available. To do so, just click the Add Tool Link in your Blackboard account, name your Zoom session (however you would like), and under TYPE, select ZoomNDSU from the dropdown list. This will create a link on the left menu bar for students to click and join the Zoom meeting. Go to minute marker 14:04 of the instructional video for step-by-step instructions on how to set up Zoom in Blackboard.
A big thing to remember, and to remind your first-year students, is that you need to go to https://ndsu.zoom.us first to access your account. This will ensure that you are using the NDSU account and credentials and not a personal account. It’s very important to access your Zoom account this way before using Zoom with Blackboard.
Setting up Zoom meetings in Blackboard is similar to setting up meetings using the Zoom platform. One downside to using the Blackboard platform, however, is that you cannot pre-set groups which might be important for some instructors with larger class sizes. For instructions on how to pre-set breakout groups, skip ahead to 9:42 on the instructional video.
Additional tip: If you have a TA or a GA, you’ll want to enter their email address in the Alternative Hosts space. This way, if you are unable to attend the class for any reason, your assistant could host the Zoom session in your absence.
Scheduling a Meeting
Once you log in to Zoom using your NDSU credentials, you will see at the top right hand of your screen the SCHEDULE A MEETING icon. Click on that icon and you will be able to choose the date, time, reoccurrence, and other options for your meeting. You might consider making the meeting a reoccurring meeting, especially if your class is meeting at the same time each week. This will save you time as you will not have to create a new meeting each week for your class. It’s also more convenient for your students, as they will only have one meeting ID for the entire semester.
As an instructor, you will most likely be the HOST of your Zoom sessions. That is unless you have a GA or TA hosting the sessions instead. The host’s menu bar is different from the general Zoom participant’s menu bar in a few ways.
The biggest difference is that as the host, you control the security settings. With security settings you can enable your waiting room, lock the meeting, and control what participants can and can’t share.
The Participants feature shows the number of people participating in your live Zoom session. You can use the participants’ feature to take attendance by clicking on the participants button and viewing the names of students attending the Zoom session.
In both Blackboard and Zoom there is a way to look at Previous Meetings where you will be able to view a report with the names and email address of all that attended the specific Zoom session. This is a way that you can take attendance of your remote students after your class is over. Minute marker 37:15 of the instructional video will show you how to access the attendance report on Zoom.
Polls are a great option for asking your class questions quickly. When you click on the polls icon, a window will pop up that prompts you to add a question. Once you type in your question, you can send it out to your class and their responses will be saved automatically by Zoom. As the host, you will see in real-time, the percentage of participants who have responded. When you end the polling, you (the host) will see the results and also have the option of sharing those results with the rest of the Zoom participants.
If polls are something that you are going to be using frequently, you will have to set up individual sessions instead of a reoccurring Zoom session for your class. There is currently a glitch in the Zoom software that does not allow the collecting of polling information until the meetings have ended. Since Zoom considers a reoccurring meeting as not being ended, the data from those polls do not get collected until the very last session you host.
If you are specifically interested in polling, and want to include your entire class, both in-person and remote, we recommend using Turning Point which students can access from their mobile devices. This will ensure that you are polling your entire class, not just your remote students. Turning Point is also great for generating classroom attendance. For more information on how to use Turning Point in your classroom environment watch this instructional video.
The chat feature of Zoom is helpful when communicating with students. Whether you want to insert a link to an article you would like them to look at, or if you want to share a website or link, there are many benefits to using the chat tool. Students can also communicate with each other using the chat feature if you enable this option for them.
The share screen is where you can share and show content with your class. We will touch more on this below.
When you select the record icon, you are going to be given two recording options. Select whether you want to record on this computer or record it to the Cloud.[image of screenshot] If you select record on this computer, you will be prompted after the session on where you would like to save the recording on your computer. Should you select record to the Cloud, you will receive an email with the video after the session.
Additional tip: The record to cloud option of session recording makes the session available to your class via Blackboard. For more information on how this works, visit minute marker 8:05 of the instructional video.
Breakout groups are a great way to engage students in discussion. When you select the breakout room icon, a screen will pop up that will guide you in creating your specific rooms.
This is where you will be able to choose how many participants you would like in each room and whether you want to select participants manually or have the rooms automatically generate themselves. Once you have selected what you would like, you will click CREATE ROOMS and a new window will pop up with a list of your rooms. You can now, click on a room in your list and you will be able to enter that room with the participants.
Additional tip: There is a way for you, as an instructor, to preset your breakout groups. For more information and instruction on this feature go to minute marker 10:57 of the training video.
One way you can use the Reactions feature is if before the class begins you have your remote students give you a thumbs up if they can hear you. This way you can visually see whether or not your technology is working correctly.
When you click on the content sharing icon, a window will pop up with different screens that you have available to share from your computer. If you have a PowerPoint prepared, you will see it available and will click on that screen to share it with your class. Under content sharing is the option of using the Whiteboard feature. The Whiteboard is particularly useful if you are doing math equations or some type of activity where you need to quickly draw. Instructors who like to use the Whiteboard feature often use some type of touchpad with a stylus for drawing.
Additional tip: When you’re sharing a video over Zoom that requires sound, you will need to click the icon at the bottom of the content sharing window that says SHARE COMPUTER SOUND.
We hope that this Blog has clarified any questions you may be having about using the Zoom platform. Please, look to our other featured Blogs and instructional videos on teaching with the HyFlex model to assist you in your new teaching environment. If there are any areas of HyFlex that you would like the Office of Teaching and Learning to cover, please leave a comment below or email email@example.com.
About the Authors:
Sharley Kurtz is the assistant manager of NDSU’s Learning and Applied Innovation Center. Kurtz holds a Master of Science degree in instructional design and technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from the University of North Dakota. Kurtz has 12 years of experience in instructional design and higher education. Currently, she supervises the LAI Center staff and operations, facilitates processes and solutions and provides technical support. Prior to her arrival at NDSU in 2018, Kurtz worked as an instructional designer at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the University of North Dakota. Her passion is assisting instructors in designing instruction and integrating technology into their courses to enhance student learning.
Holly DeVries is a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Teaching and Learning and is in the second year of pursuing her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at NDSU. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and has worked in the music industry on both East and West Coasts before returning to the Midwest. Holly is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is specifically interested in LGBTQ+ advocacy.