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Setting expectations and following good practices can help transform your Zoom classes into engaging, collaborative, and memorable experiences.

Zoom (Video Conferencing)

Class Recordings and FERPA

Please remember that recordings of one section may not be used in another section without obtaining a release from the students in the original group.  The Marriott School and CTL have devised an easy way to use Learning Suite to secure these releases.

Learning Suite FERPA Release Procedure (PDF)
Canvas FERPA Release Procedure (PDF)
Non-LMS FERPA Release Form (PDF)

How to Use Zoom

Your BYU Account gives you full access to all of Zoom’s features. To set up your account, visit This site also has a large source of training materials at

Zoom for BYU Instructors

Additional Training and Frequently Asked Questions

Zoom Good Practices

Using Zoom can be more effective when you consider the pedagogical, logistical, and technological affordances of the technology.

Pedagogical Recommendations

Zoom can be used in many ways that actually facilitates good pedagogical practices. Here are a few recommendations that can help. Also see the references and resources below for additional ideas.

  • Set expectations: Let students know what you expect of them in Zoom sessions (e.g., come to class prepared, be safe and don’t attend class while driving, come dressed and ready to turn on your camera as appropriate, arrive on time, stay the whole time, treat each other with dignity and respect, etc.).
  • Orient your students: Make sure if you are going to poll, use breakout rooms, use the chat feature, etc., that you practice these things yourself and with your students (especially at the beginning of the semester) so that when you are in the flow of your learning activity you and the students don’t waste time and lessen the experience by trying to figure things out in the moment.
  • Get to know each other: Come early and stay late to ask and take questions. Get to know your students and be available to them to answer their questions about course topics and you personally. Learn and use your students’ names.
  • Be together: Bandwidth permitting and depending on the type of activity, turn on your web camera and encourage your students to do the same. That little bit of social presence can help you feel a sense of community.
  • Encourage preparation: Providing student with something to do to prepare for class (beyond just traditional readings) can help live session to be more effective. Ask students to solve problems, apply their learning, create something, have a discussion, generate questions, etc. This can help prepare our minds for learning together.
  • Use effective whole class interactions: Rather than just throwing out questions to the whole group for discussion (which can present challenges especially the larger the group), use polling, chat feature, and collaborative documents (like a Google Document), and so forth to engage the whole group in discussion/participation.
  • Use Breakout Rooms effectively: Typically, it is helpful to give students a specific task or two as they move into breakout rooms, give a specific amount of time to work on it, assign roles for the group as needed, assign a specific report back task, and you and your TAs should visit as many of the breakout rooms as possible (let the students know you may show up, see Set Expectations above). Consider approaches like Think-Pair-Share, Peer Instruction, Jigsaw, Team-Based Learning, etc.
  • Collaborate: Use screen sharing, whiteboards, annotations, and collaborative documents, Google Documents, Padlet, or Jamboard, etc., to help students collaborate either in the main meeting or in breakout rooms.
  • Pause Periodically: When presenting or lecturing, make sure to pause every once in a while, to check-in on students and find out if they are they with you. Engage them with questions, check for understanding, allow them to process what you’ve taught them, and/or to just fill in the gaps in their notes.
  • Other Ways to Engage: Have students present, invite guest speakers, create a space for group project meeting time, conduct Q&A Sessions, conduct office hours, conduct exam reviews, hold tutoring sessions, and even record lectures for asynchronous portions of your course.
Engage Students Effectively in Live Online Class Sessions (Teach Anywhere Series)

References and Resources
Synchronous Online Classrooms: 10 Tips for Engaging Students (Faculty Focus)
Tips for Teaching Engaging Classes on Zoom (Linda Evans on LinkedIn)
Pedagogical Considerations for Teaching with Zoom (Carnegie Mellon University)
Synchronous Online Lectures (Lumen Learning, Teaching in the Digital Age, Chapter 7 – Section 3)

Logistical Recommendations

Trying to teach and manage the technology can be difficult. Here are a few recommendations that can make your Zoom classes run more smoothly for you and your students:

  • Use a co-host: Use a TAs, Peers, or rotating students to help you manage the sessions
  • Remember audio quality really matters. Consider getting a decent microphone and experiment with gain/other settings to make sure that your signal (your voice) to noise (other background noises) ratio is good.
  • Use multiple screens (if possible). You can continue to use whatever presentation software you are comfortable with.
    • Try using one screen for the "presenter view". This allows you to use notes, prompts, a preview of upcoming content, timer, etc. as you present, while students just see the slides.
      • “I used Google Slides to present material. It worked well. You can put the presenter-view panel on a separate monitor with the presentation on screen you are sharing with students.”
    • Try moving your Zoom controls and other materials to a second monitor.
      • “I presented from my office... and having LOTS of screen-estate was a big help so I could have presentation, notes, Zoom window, student view, and chat view all up at once.”
  • Share videos more effectively. Tips for more effectively sharing/showing Video in a Zoom Meeting:
    1. Share your screen and be sure to enable sharing of computer sound.
    2. Stop your web camera and ask your students/participants to stop their web cameras while you watch the video clip together.
    3. Let your students know that the sound might be loud, so they may want to adjust their audio before playing the video.
    4. It’s optimal to have the video file on your local computer. If possible, select just the media player your using to play the video when you share your screen.
    5. If you are streaming video, then just share the web browser you are using to share the video (through YouTube, Vimeo, or other streaming service). It is especially important to conserve as much bandwidth as possible when sharing streaming videos by having everyone stop their web cameras.
  • Practice, practice, practice: As much as you can, get on Zoom with others and practice hosting a meeting and playing around with the tool. You’ll feel more confident going into class and you will likely find new functionality/features that you can leverage to improve your students’ experience!