Townsquare/Dstillery pixel


Planning on teaching via Zoom

By Lisa McFall

Lisa McFall
Lisa McFall
Tags general instructional strategies technology

Planning on teaching via Zoom? Here are some tips from Lisa McFall, Associate Director for Metadata and Digital Initiatives, who has taught online for more than ten years and currently telecommutes for her job at Hamilton College.

Consider configuring your default settings in Zoom ( to the following to optimize meetings for virtual synchronous class meetings:

  • On the “Meeting” tab:
    • Default to mute all participants upon entry. This cuts down on background noise and mic feedback. Participants will be able to manually unmute to speak or be unmuted by the professor.
    • Turn off “Play sound when participants join or leave” to prevent the “doorbell ding” anytime someone joins the meeting.
  • On the “Recording” tab: Check configurations for “Cloud recording” and make sure that “Save chat messages from the meeting / webinar” is selected to preserve chat messages sent while the session is being recorded.

Working on scheduling a recurring class meeting? Keep these tips in mind:

  • If using Google Calendar in Google Chrome, use the Zoom add-on (found here) to add the link to the meeting on everyone's calendar invite right from Google Calendar. 
    • After you have installed the add-on, click the blue and white camera icon that is now in your browser toolbar and be sure that “One-time Meeting ID” is selected for your “Meeting ID”. 
    • Once you schedule the meeting in Google Calendar, login to, click on "Meetings," select the meeting you just created, and customize meeting options from there. Suggested options for edit include muting all participants upon entry if this is not your default setting and potentially recording the meeting automatically in the cloud if you want the session to be recorded.
  • Want students to raise their hand before being called on to speak? Be sure those attending the meeting have the “Participants” window open to see the “Raise hand” option. Participants who raise their hand are bumped to the top of the list of participants for easy viewing.
  • Not all users may have a microphone. Let those participating in the meeting know that there is the ability to instant message via the “Chat” window. Click on the speech bubble at the bottom of the display to get this window to appear. If you’re screen sharing, please note that this tool panel moves to the top of the screen instead of the bottom.

Did you know?

  • Did you know that as a Licensed Zoom user, you can customize your Personal Link URL for Zoom? Just go to and click on “Customize” next to your Personal Link. Many users like to set their URL as their Hamilton email handle to make it easier to have people stop in their Zoom rooms.
  • Planning on using Zoom for online office hours? Double-check that “Waiting room” in your “In Meeting (Advanced)” settings is on so that you can approve student entry.
  • You can use Zoom on the go! Download the app to your phone via your app manager to join meetings from your smartphone.
  • Whether you have your meeting set to automatically record or you click to record during the session, users will be presented with a popup notification letting them know that the session is being recorded. We do also recommend letting your class know that the session will be recorded.
  • You can give attendees of your meeting the option to communicate non-verbally. To do so, go to “In Meeting (Basic)” and enable “Nonverbal feedback.” When your users have the “Participants” window open, they will now have the ability to give feedback to you including “thumbs-up”, “thumbs-down”, and other options that may help when surveying a class with yes or no questions to gauge how students are following along with the lecture.

For additional help with Zoom, reach out to Abbi Tushingham at

All Entries

Course Support

LITS staff are available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Email:  Phone: 315-859-4735  

The $400 million campaign to provide students with a life-altering education.

Learn More About the Campaign

Site Search