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Zoom Tips for Teaching

I’ve been thinking about this for several months. Part of this post comes from my teaching experience and the other part from my students. That said, Zoom can do wonders in our pandemic pivot.

1. Avoid streaming a video in a Zoom session. Send the link prior and place the link in the chat, but streaming a video during a Zoom session will tax the bandwidth for the session and might go in and out or not even work. Don’t risk it.

2. Please do not demand students turn their cameras on during the Zoom session. Students might be in their car in their beds or wherever they can eek out a space to work and we should not demand that they be on camera. Their living spaces are private and we need to remember that and not make them feel uncomfortable.

3. Ask students to populate their Zoom profiles with a photo of themselves or an image that they have taken that is something that is significant to them. This could include a photo of a pet, plant, nature photo or something else.

4. Students do not have to consent to Breakout Rooms recording. They might say that they are uncomfortable with being recorded in a BreakoutRoom. You might have to set up a Breakout Room that will not be recorded.

5. Offer your students a primer on how to use Zoom. If you are not comfortable, connect with your teaching and learning centers or computer help colleagues for workshops or other “how-to” information.

6. Our students might be in lounge wear, sweats, or pajamas. Do not comment on their dress or require that they be dressed appropriately as they are home and we are in the midst of a global health crisis. I know that my students regular dress is sweats, jeans, hoodies, and at times pajama bottoms. They are not at work, I am.

7. Make sure that you record your lecture or lecture/discussion for students who have missed the lecture. Post the link in the learning management system or your website so that students can catch up accordingly.

8. Set up a Zoom Room for your Student Hours. Send the link to your students, and merely check in for the consultations.

9. Go into your Zoom sessions early and greet students as they check in to the session. Remember to set up polls beforehand and think about the first poll as a check in for them.

10. Don’t forget to save the chat! Students can post their questions in chat. If you have a Teaching Assistant, they can assist you with this. If you do not, have a student moderate the chat. And, review the chat later and follow up with any questions or discussion points for the next session or post your responses in the learning management system.

Patience. Be patient with your students and yourself. We are still in emergency teaching mode and need to remember the added stressors for all of us. You got this! Patience with your Zoom work and Zoom sessions will serve you well.

I hope that these brief ten points will help you. And, please share any Zoom tips!

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