LITS Resource Center
Last updated: January 5, 2021
Scheduling a Class
You can schedule your class by creating a recurring Zoom meeting through your Hamilton Zoom account. To begin, please visit hamilton.zoom.us and click the button to Sign In. You will then be prompted to enter your Hamilton username and password. Once you have logged into Zoom you can click the Schedule a Meeting link in the top right corner of the screen.
Classes as Recurring Meetings
To create one Zoom link for a class that will meet multiple times, make sure to check the box for Recurring Meeting while in the scheduling process. You will see this box under the date and time options. Next to Recurrence you can select Weekly, then check each day of the week that your class occurs. You can select the last day of classes for the semester as your meeting end date.
Zoom offers various settings that can be applied to your class to prevent unwanted guests from being able to join. Below is a brief description of each setting, which can be applied per meeting or to all of your meetings by adjusting your Zoom account settings. Keep in mind that as of September 27, 2020, you will need to have either a passcode or waiting room set for all of your classes and meetings.
By requiring a password for your meeting you will prevent users from entering your waiting room or meeting by typing in your meeting ID. By default, your passcode will be embedded into the invitation link that you will send to your students. That way students will be able to click that link and enter your class without needing to type in the passcode. You can disable the embedded passcode setting in your Zoom account settings if you would like.
Enabling a waiting room will allow you to see who is trying to enter your meeting before allowing them join. While in the waiting room participants cannot see or hear each other, but you as the host can send chat messages to them. To allow entry into the meeting simply hover over the person's name in your participant list and click Admit. If multiple people are in your waiting room there will be an Admit All button at the bottom of the participants list to allow everyone in at once.
Only Authenticated Users Can Join
Applying this setting to your class will make it so your students must sign in to their Zoom account before entering the meeting. Every student has access to a Basic Zoom account with their Hamilton credentials and can log in through hamilton.zoom.us. This setting will be especially helpful if you plan to pre-assign your breakout rooms in the scheduling process.
Audio & Video Settings
Video On or Off?
Host: You can choose if you would like your video on or off when you enter your class by selecting either option next to where it says Host. If you choose Off, you can turn your video on at any point in time during the class.
Participants: One reason to consider turning video Off for your students is if one or more of them will be using a poor internet connection. The fewer videos feeding into the meeting will reduce the amount of bandwidth used, which can improve the overall quality of the class for those without access to high-speed internet. Students will still be able to turn their videos on individually as needed throughout the class.
Telephone, Computer Audio, or Both
There is usually no need to change the audio setting for your class, which will be Both telephone and computer audio by default. This means that students can join with a computer or dial in to listen to the audio of your class on a cell phone or landline if necessary.
We recommend this setting for both classes and meetings, especially those with several participants. This will potentially eliminate background noise as people join in and get settled, and all participants will be able to unmute themselves when they are ready to be heard.
Pre-Assigning Breakout Rooms
You can set up breakout rooms for small groups in your class that need to continuously work together. If any of your students have not previously logged in to their Zoom accounts, then they cannot be pre-assigned to a breakout room.
For these rooms to work properly during class students must be logged in to their accounts through the Zoom website. To do this they will visit hamilton.zoom.us, click Sign In, then enter their Hamilton username and password. If they are not signed in to their account, or if they are logged in through the Zoom application only, you will need to manually place them into the correct breakout room.
There are two different ways to pre-assign your breakout rooms on the scheduling page:
- Create Rooms: You can manually as many rooms as you need, edit their titles, and add your students to a particular group. You will need to type in each student's name individually in this process. As long as the student has previously logged into their Zoom account, you can begin typing their name, then you can easily select them from the list of names that appears.
- Import from CSV: Enter all the necessary information for your breakout rooms into a spreadsheet following Zoom’s template. You should see a link to download this template after selecting the import option, but just in case you can access the CSV template here.
Recording Classes Automatically
With your licensed account you can choose to have your classes recorded automatically, either to your local computer or to the Zoom Cloud. You can also start recordings at any time during class by selecting the Record button in your Zoom controls. Every time a class or meeting is being recorded, all participants will receive a message on their screen to let them know the recording has begun. Prior to recording any classes, we ask that you please review Hamilton College’s information on Online Privacy Guidelines.
The most common reason to choose a local recording is for the fast processing speed of the video file. The file will normally available to watch within just a couple of minutes.
Recordings saved to the Zoom Cloud can be accessed from any device by logging into your account through hamilton.zoom.us. With this setting you may want to uncheck the Enable Join Before Host box in your class settings, since a recording would then start every time someone clicks your invitation link.
By default, cloud recordings come with an automatic audio transcription that is usually highly accurate, but can also be edited if necessary. The cloud processing times will always vary and may take longer during peak usage times.
How to Invite Your Students
Once you have scheduled your class you will be given an Invite Link to send to your students or post on your Blackboard page for your course. This link is what they will need to join your class from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In the event that a student may need to dial in to the class instead, you will need to share the full meeting invitation. To do so click the Copy the Invitation link on the right side of your screen while on the meeting details page.
before CLASS BEGINS
Test Your Audio
You can access your audio settings by clicking the arrow next to your microphone icon while in a Zoom meeting, or by clicking the Settings icon within your Zoom desktop application. On the settings page you will be able to select the correct speaker and microphone you plan to use as well as adjust or test the volume level for both.
Test Your Video
Video settings can be accessed in the same way as your audio settings, either during a meeting or through the desktop application. Within these settings you will be able to select which camera Zoom should connect to if there is more than one option. You may need to toggle back and forth between a webcam and a document camera, for example.
Prepare for Screen Share
Open all documents, websites, etc. that you plan to share with your class over Zoom. This will help to save time during the live class by allowing you to easily access and share your items. Unless you are using two monitors, you will want to make sure slideshows on PowerPoint are not displaying in Presenter View, since this view would be visible to the class over screen share.
CONDUCTING A CLASS
By clicking Participants in your Zoom meeting controls, you will be able to see a list of everyone who has entered your class, help manage their participation, and more.
With A Waiting Room
If you have a waiting room set up for your class you will need to admit everyone into your class through the participants window. Those in the waiting room can be admitted individually by hovering over their name and clicking the Admit button, or you can wait for multiple people to arrive then select the Admit All button.
Muting and Unmuting Students
As mentioned above, we recommend choosing to Mute Participants Upon Entry for all classes. If you forgot to select this setting while scheduling your class and would like to mute everyone at once, you can always hit the Mute All button at the bottom of your Participants window. If you want to hear from a particular student you can verbally ask them to unmute themselves, or you can hover over their name in the Participants list and click the Ask to Unmute button.
Interacting With Students
Much like with an in-person class, students will be able to “raise their hand” within Zoom to show that they would like to speak. The button is available to everyone within the Zoom meeting except for the hosts. The Raise Hand button is located at the bottom of the Participants window. Once clicked, a blue hand icon will appear next to that student’s name and their name will also move to the top of the list of participants. Once that student has finished they will need to click their Raise Hand button again to lower their hand, or you as the host can hover over their name and click Lower Hand.
Students can provide other types of non-verbal feedback in class as well by clicking the other icons at the bottom of the participants window. These icons include Yes, No, Go Slower or Faster, Thumps Up or Down, and more. Only one icon at a time can be selected. These feedback options provide an easy way to get a group census without needing to sort through numerous chat responses or ask your class to unmute their microphones to express their opinion.
Every Zoom meeting comes with a chat window that everyone has access to. There are different settings that you can apply for the chat within each class or for your account overall. For example, many faculty choose to disable the Private Chat setting for their account so that students cannot send private messages to each other within any of their classes. To change the chat settings while in class, you can click the ··· or More button in the bottom right corner of your chat window.
Creating and Using Polls
Once your class has been scheduled, you will be able to create polls that can be launched at any time during the live class. You can create single or multiple choice polling questions, and you can choose to conduct these anonymously or collect your students’ names with their responses. After class, you will be able to download a report of the polling results as a CSV file.
Sharing Your Screen
As mentioned above, you will want to make sure all the windows that you plan to share have already been opened on your computer before class begins. This will allow you to quickly and easily share the correct program, website, etc. with your students.
- Your Full Screen: This will allow you to navigate between different windows without needing to launch a new share each time.
- A Specific Window: This shows your students only one window at a time, such as PowerPoint or your Web browser, leaving the rest of your screen invisible to the class.
- Whiteboard: A virtual whiteboard that is provided automatically. Your entire class can collaborate, or annotate, on the whiteboard with you if you choose. Multiple pages can also be added if more room is needed by clicking the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the whiteboard screen, and you will be able to toggle back and forth.
- Smartphone or iPad: If your smartphone or iPad is connected to your computer, you will be able to share what is displayed on the screen of that device. Tip: If you are not able to connect your device with a cable, you can join your class on your device using the Zoom mobile application.
Playing Audio or Video Clips
If you plan to play any type of audio during your class, make sure to check the box labeled Share Computer Sound before launching your shared screen. This checkbox can be found at the bottom of the window where you choose which screen to share. Next to this option you will see another checkbox labeled Optimize Screen Sharing for Video Clip. Please note that though checking this box may improve the quality of the video playback, it still may not be adequate. You may want to instead send a link to a video and ask your students to watch it individually outside of Zoom, either before or during the class.
Annotation tools are available during any screen share, allowing you to draw or write on top the screen. By default, your students will be able to annotate on any screen share as well. To access the toolbar click the Annotate button in your Zoom meeting controls, which now may be found at the top of your screen. If you are sharing a Whiteboard you will need to click the Whiteboard button in the meeting controls to access the toolbar. Below is an example of what annotation options are available. Notice there is also a Save button, which allows you to save screenshots of a shared screen with the annotations included.
Advanced Screen Share Options
At the top of the share screen window you will see there are two different tabs. By clicking the Advanced tab, you will see three additional share screen options. Please read below to learn more about the functionality of each of these options.
Portion of Screen: Select only a portion of your screen to share with your students. A green border will appear allowing you to determine which part of the screen can be seen. The size of the border is adjustable by dragging the edges.
Music or Computer Sound Only: Play only the sound from your computer so that the video layout of your meeting is not affected by a shared screen.
Content from Second Camera: If your device has two different cameras connected, as almost every classroom computer does, you can use both at the same time. The image from the second camera will become the shared screen for all participants, making it the main focus of the class.
You can create separate meetings for small groups within your class by using the breakout rooms feature. The host and co-hosts of a meeting both have the ability to manage breakout rooms, however only the host will receive the notification when a participant asks for help from one of the rooms.
Creating Breakout Rooms
There are four different ways to create breakout rooms for your class:
- Pre-Assigning the Rooms: If you know in advance which students will need to work together, you can pre-assign your them to their rooms in the scheduling process. Please see the instructions above to learn more.
- Assign Automatically: You will decide how many rooms to create, then students will be assigned to a group randomly. There will still be an opportunity to move students into different groups before launching the breakout rooms.
- Assign Manually: You will decide how many rooms to create, then you will need to manually assign each student to their particular breakout room.
- Let Participants Choose Room: Students will be able to see the list of breakout rooms and place themselves into a room on their own. They can also move from that room to another if they choose. Please note: all students must sign in to the meeting using the Zoom desktop client on version 5.3 or higher in order for this feature to work properly. If a student do not sign in this way, the host or co-host can place them manually into a room.
Options for Breakout Rooms
There are a variety of options that you may want to adjust for your breakout rooms. To open these settings, click the Options button in the bottom left corner of the breakout rooms screen before the rooms have been opened. Below are a few examples of these options:
- Have the rooms close automatically after a specified amount of time.
- Set the countdown timer for the amount of seconds students have before the rooms close.
- Select whether students can return to the main session on their own.
Managing Breakout Rooms
- Opening the Rooms: When you are ready to launch the breakout rooms, you will click the red Open All Rooms button in the bottom right corner of your Breakout Rooms screen.
- Joining the Rooms: As a host or co-host you can join any of the rooms by clicking the blue Join link next to the name of the room on your Breakout Rooms screen.
- Sending a Message to the Class: To send a quick message to your class while they are in their breakout rooms, click the Broadcast a Message to All button at the bottom left of your Breakout Rooms screen. The message will appear on everyone's screen for a few seconds then disappears.
- How Students Ask You for Help: Every student will have an Ask for Help button at the bottom of their screen. When they click the button, you will receive a prompt on your screen to join their particular breakout room. Keep in mind that co-hosts do not receive these prompts.
- Closing the Rooms: When you are ready for everyone to return to the main meeting, you will click the red Close All Rooms button on your Breakout Rooms screen. If you set a countdown on the Options menu then the students will have a few seconds to remain in their room before they are sent back to the main meeting.
- Creating New Rooms: If you would like to launch a different set of breakout rooms during your class, click the Recreate button at the bottom of your Breakout Rooms screen. These will erase your pre-assigned breakout rooms for the duration of that class, however the rooms will be there the next time that class is started.
You can easily generate an attendance report for any class occurrence or meeting that you host through your account.
To access these reports, you will first log in to your account through hamilton.zoom.us. Once you're logged in, click Reports from the bottom of list on the left side of your screen. Select Usage reports, then enter the date range needed to find the specific class you are looking for. Find the title of your class in the list, then scroll to the right to make sure you have the correct date selected. Further to the right you will click the number that you see under the Participants column. Check the box next to Show Unique Users at the top of that window to remove duplicate users who may have gone in and out of class due to internet issues, etc.
Not only will you have a list of everyone that attended the class, but you will also know how many total minutes they each attended for. If you would like to save a copy of the report, click the box next to Export with Meeting Data, then click the blue Export button to create a CSV file that will download automatically.
Tip: If you would like to make sure your students' names are always displayed clearly in these reports, you should consider applying the Only Authenticated Users Can Join setting to your classes. This will require your students to log in to their Hamilton Zoom accounts before joining your class, which will make it so their names and email addresses display accurately in your report.
An easy way to hold virtual office hours is by using your Personal Meeting ID to meet with students. This ID will be a random number unless you choose to customize it, which many people do so that it matches their on-campus telephone number. You can also customize your Personal Meeting Link so that the link itself contains specific letters, such as your name. Both the Personal Meeting ID or the Personal Meeting Link will bring everyone to the same location, your Personal Meeting Room.
To access this room easily, you can either schedule your office hours as meetings using your ID, or you can set your account to automatically use this ID for new meetings. If you choose the latter, you can simply click the New Meeting button in the Zoom application every time you need to access your Personal Meeting Room.
We recommend looking through your Zoom account settings so that you can customize the software to function in a way that works best for you. To access these settings you will need to log in to your account through hamilton.zoom.us. Once you're logged in, click Settings in the list on the left side of the screen. You will have three tabs at the top of the Settings page, allowing you to adjust Meeting, Recording, or Telephone settings. Below we will cover suggestions for the first two pages since there are not many Telephone options to change.
Choose either an automatic Waiting Room or Passcode for your meetings. If you like the waiting room, you can even customize it with an image and message of your choice. Keep in mind the waiting room requires more management and can be distracting, especially while teaching. You may want to disable the waiting room altogether and enabled automatic passcodes instead. You can also disable the embedded passcode setting for your meeting links in this section.
In this section you can choose how your meetings will be scheduled by default. For example, if you always choose to Mute Participants Upon Entry, then you may want to just turn that setting on for your whole account. Then every meeting you host going forward will have that setting by default. Another helpful setting to enable is Use Personal Meeting ID when starting an instant meeting if you use your Personal Meeting ID often. This allows you to click the New Meeting button on the Zoom application at any time and go directly to your Personal Meeting Room.
In Meeting (Basic)
Many faculty members choose to disable the Private Chat setting that is found in this section. If this setting is enabled in your account, then students will be able to send each other direct, private messages using the Chat feature during your classes. Another popular choice is to enable the Auto saving chats feature so that all meeting chats are saved by default.
You may want to disable or change the Sound notification when someone joins or leaves setting, as this can be very irritating, especially in large meetings or classes. There are other settings that can be adjusted for Screen Sharing and Annotation that may be helpful as well.
In Meeting (Advanced)
In this section you can choose to disable Virtual Backgrounds and Video filters if you find them distracting. You can also manage your own Virtual Backgrounds here and add additional photos that will be available during your classes and meetings.
Email Notifications & Other
Determine which automatic notifications you would like Zoom to send you through email by toggling the different options on or off. Finally, under Other, you will find the Scheduling Privilege setting. This setting allows you to give another licensed Zoom user at Hamilton access to schedule and edit all of your meetings on your behalf.
There are different settings that you can select for your cloud recordings, including various video layout options. We recommend looking through and adjusting these settings to your liking if you plan to record your classes over Zoom. As mentioned above, we also ask that you review the college's Online Privacy Guidelines before recording any classes or meetings.
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