Zoom Student Guide

Zoom logo

Zoom is a video/audio web-conferencing and collaboration tool that lets you, your peers, and your instructor meet in real time. Through Zoom, you can attend lectures and meetings, present using whiteboards, share screens and resources, interact by voice or text chats, have group discussions, and take polls.

Zoom is an alternative to Collaborate Ultra at UBC because some instructors need a tool that can be used outside of Canvas and/or can accommodate higher numbers of participants and the ability to see more video feeds at once.

The lecture sessions may be recorded by your instructor and made available after the real-time event.

What will I use it for?

Your instructor may use Zoom for many types of real-time interactions:

  • Lectures
  • Office hours
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Oral exams
  • Proctored exams

What you need to know about Zoom

As of July 5, 2020, UBC’s Zoom account transitioned from U.S.-based hosting to Canadian-based hosting. This means no data about you will be stored on servers outside of Canada, so long as you do not create or use an account with Zoom. Additionally, UBC has conducted its own privacy assessment to confirm Zoom meets the university’s requirements for a teaching and learning tool.

To make sure your data is only stored in Canada:

  • Attend Zoom sessions without creating or using a Zoom account.
  • Join sessions only by clicking the Zoom links your instructors send or that you see in Canvas.

If you still have privacy concerns about Zoom:

  • Provide only your first name or a nickname when you join a session.
  • Keep your camera off and microphone muted, as much as you can.
  • Try to avoid sharing any identifying information for yourself or others (e.g., real names).

If you need to make a Zoom account for a course, your instructor will either create a UBC one for you or ask you to sign up for a free Zoom account yourself. To sign up, you can use any existing email address that does not end in “@student.ubc.ca”.

What do I need to use Zoom?

The Zoom application

You do not need a Zoom account to attend lectures, but you will need to install the Zoom application. You can do this ahead of time or follow the prompts when you join your first Zoom session.

Audio/visual equipment

Web-conferencing uses a microphone (for the best audio experience, use a headset with a microphone) and a webcam.

Tips

  • Join sessions through the Zoom application or by clicking the link, rather than dialing in, if you can. Fees may apply when joining a session by calling in on a phone, depending on where you are located, so please check your plan first to avoid incurring long-distance or international charges.

How do I use Zoom?

Click any bar below to find instructions and tips for using Zoom.

Install the Zoom application

  1. Go to zoom.us/download, and click Download under “Zoom Client for Meetings”.
  2. Open the Zoom installer that downloads, and follow the steps to install the application.

Join real-time sessions in Zoom

The most common way to join a session is from your Canvas course. If you must call in, please contact your instructor ahead of time to ensure you have the required dial-in information.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Zoom in the Course Navigation.
    • If you don't see the Zoom option in your Course Navigation, contact your instructor. This needs to be enabled in the Canvas course for you to see it.
  2. Click Join next to the session you want to join.
  3. If you haven’t yet downloaded Zoom, follow the prompts to install the application. If you have downloaded Zoom, allow your browser to access it.

Tips

  • Your instructor may send you a link to the session, and you can use this to join instead.
  • You can use your mobile device to join a session, either by clicking a link or navigating to the course in the Canvas Student app.
  • Close down all background programs before you join the session for a better connection.
  • Join the session a few minutes early to test your connection, microphone, and camera. Or visit zoom.us/test to test your setup ahead of time.

Participate during Zoom sessions

What you can do during a lecture depends on your instructor’s settings. As a participant, the bottom bar of the Zoom application will display the ways of engaging. These options may include any of the following:

  • Share your microphone audio by clicking the Microphone icon.
  • Share your webcam video by clicking the Video icon. Video will typically be disabled by default when you first join a meeting.
  • Chat by text with everyone in the room or with an individual by clicking the Chat icon.
  • Give basic reactions (e.g., giving thumbs-up or applause) by clicking the Reactions icon.
  • Send other non-verbal feedback by clicking the Participants icon and selecting from the options (e.g., raise your hand, answer yes or no, go slower, go faster, indicate that you are away).
  • Annotate (mark on) a shared whiteboard or screen by clicking the Whiteboard icon or Annotate icon in the toolbar that appears at the top.

Note that, if your instructor chooses to record a session, you will hear a voice alert you to when recording has started and stopped, and this is a cue to know your participation will be recorded.

Tips

  • If your Internet connectivity, time zone, or other remote issues make it hard to attend at the scheduled time, talk to your instructor ahead of time. You can figure out together how to best address these issues.
  • Keep your microphone muted unless you're talking, to reduce echoes and background noise from interfering with the class.
  • If you share your video, make sure there is nothing behind you that will be distracting or revealing for others to see. You can also enable a virtual background (which replaces your background with an image or video) by clicking the up arrow next to the video icon.
  • You may need to turn your video off, if you experience lag time when sharing your video.

Present your work during Zoom sessions

Instructors can temporarily make you the presenter for a session. As a presenter, you can share your screen:

  1. In the active Zoom session, click the Share Screen icon and select what you would like to share. Options include a blank whiteboard for group annotation or an application that’s open on your computer.
    • If you are sharing a video, make sure to click the Optimize Screen Sharing for Video Clip checkbox. This will share your screen at a better resolution and enable participants to hear your computer audio.
  2. Click Share.
  3. When you are done, click Stop Share at the top of the screen.

Tips

  • You can pause sharing your screen at any time. Click the "Pause Share" button at the top of the screen.
  • You can annotate (mark on) documents, presentations, or applications that you share. Click the "Annotate" icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • Send a copy of your presentation to your instructor or a fellow student as a back-up plan.

Participate in Zoom breakout rooms

Instructors can create breakout rooms for you during a session. In these rooms, you can share video, audio, slides, whiteboards, and screens with a smaller group of classmates.

  1. The instructor will invite you to a breakout room. Click Join, if prompted.
  2. Once you have joined, you can access room-specific controls that are similar to what you can do in the main session.
  3. If you need assistance in the breakout room, click Ask For Help to let your instructor know.
  4. You can leave the breakout room at any time and return to the main session. Click Leave Breakout Room.
  5. If your instructor ends the breakout room for you, you will be given the option to return to the main session immediately or after a short countdown.

Tips

  • Breakout groups may be used to encourage interaction in many ways, such as virtual office hours, private one-on-one meetings, or proctored exams.

Access recorded Zoom sessions

If your instructor records a session that you join from Canvas, it should automatically upload to the Zoom area of your Canvas course.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Zoom from the Course Navigation.
  2. Click the Cloud Recordings tab.
  3. Click the recording you want to play.

Tips

  • Your instructor may send a link to the recording instead, in which case you may not be able to see the recording in Canvas.
  • If you don’t see the session's recording in Canvas and expect to, contact your instructor. There may be an issue or another way to access.

Take exams during a Zoom session

Exams are typically monitored (also known as proctored or invigilated) with a breakout room, and it is similar to attending an in-person exam. You will be in a “room” with other students, and an invigilator (e.g., instructor or a teaching assistant) will be available to answer questions and make sure everyone is playing fair.

  1. Join the session using your first and last name that is on file with UBC, if you are comfortable doing so with Zoom. Joining with this information helps your invigilator quickly check exam attendance.
    • If you are not comfortable using your real name, use only your first name or nickname when you join the session. Register the name you will use with your instructor in advance.
  2. At the start of the exam, you may be asked to show your student ID card to verify your identity. To protect your privacy, cover the first four digits of your student number when you show it.
    • If you are uncomfortable doing this in a shared session with other students, ask the invigilator to create a separate breakout room where you can show your ID one-on-one.
  3. You will need to keep your camera on throughout the exam, but please keep your audio turned off unless the instructor explicitly requests you turn it on.

Tips

  • You may be asked to share your screen during an exam. You can follow the steps for presenting your work in the section above.
  • You can rejoin the session, if you are bumped out of the exam at any point (which may happen if you lose your Internet connection). You might rejoin the session in a virtual waiting room. From there, your instructor will be able to re-admit you.

Zoom FAQ

Find UBC-specific answers to frequently asked questions by clicking any bar below.

You do not need an account to attend Zoom sessions. You can simply click the links your instructors send to join lectures, office hours, or other meetings. However, if you want to schedule your own sessions through Zoom, you will need an account.

In either case, you will need to install the Zoom application.

You should not need a Zoom account to participate in most UBC courses. However, if you need to make a Zoom account for a course, your instructor will either create a UBC one for you or ask you to sign up for a free Zoom account yourself. To sign up, you can use any existing email address that does not end in "@student.ubc.ca".

As of July 5, 2020, UBC's institutional Zoom account transitioned from U.S.-based hosting to Canadian-based hosting. This means no data about you will be stored on servers outside of Canada for Zoom lectures or other academic sessions, so long as your instructor uses a UBC Zoom account to schedule the session and you do not attend the session while logged in to a free Zoom account.

If you still have privacy concerns about Zoom:

  • Provide ​only​ your first name or a nickname when you join a session.
  • Keep your camera off and microphone muted, as much as you can.
  • Try to avoid sharing any identifying information for yourself or others (e.g., real names).

To further protect your privacy during exams:

  • You can use a first name or nickname when you join the session, but you should register the name you will use with your instructor in advance.
  • If asked to show your Student ID card to verify your identity, cover the first four digits of your student number when you show your ID on camera.
  • If you are uncomfortable showing your ID in a shared session with other students, ask the invigilator to create a separate breakout room where you can show your ID one-on-one.

Talk to your instructor, if you still have concerns.

Where can I get more support with Zoom?

Technical support

If you have trouble accessing Zoom:

For support with online learning:

Learn more


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