Video Conferencing - Using Zoom in Canvas


Zoom is a versatile video conferencing tool that unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution into one easy-to-use platform. You can host and join Zoom video conferences from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

The Zoom Help Center has full instructions on using Zoom. The instructions below are specific to Virginia Tech. To see other Zoom topics, please see Video Conferencing - Holding Zoom Conferences on a PC or Mobile Device.

This article details how to use Zoom in Canvas. If you add a Zoom Meeting to your Canvas site:

  • Students need to log into Canvas to go to join the meeting. 
  • Scheduling class meetings through Canvas prevents unwanted participants. 
  • You can keep more course-related information in one place.
  • You can only add scheduled meetings to Canvas.



Enabling Zoom in your Canvas Site

The Zoom tool is automatically enabled for new Canvas sites, but if it has been hidden, you can reenable it by following these steps:

  1. Log in to Canvas.
  2. Go to the course site where you want to add the Zoom tool.
  3. Click Settings in the Course Navigation Menu.
  4. Click the Navigation tab.
  5. Click and drag Zoom from the area below Drag items here to hide them from students to the area above it.
  6. Scroll back down and click Save. The tool will be added to the Course Navigation Menu.

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Using the Zoom Canvas Tool

  1. Go to a Canvas site and, on the Course Navigation Menu, click Zoom
    • If you're a student and don't see Zoom, it's because the instructor hasn't made it available. 
    • If you're an instructor, you can change which tools appear on the Course Navigation Menu in Settings -> Navigation.
  2. The first time you go to Zoom from Canvas, click Authorize
    Zoom tab circled in course navigation. Authenticate circled in page
  3. You'll go to the Zoom tool in Canvas, which has some of the same functions as the Zoom Client. 
    Image of the above instructions
    • To start an instant meeting, click on the Personal Meeting Room tab, scroll to the bottom, then click Start this Meeting
    • To start a scheduled meeting, in the Upcoming Meetings tab, next to the scheduled meeting information, click Start
    • To schedule a new meeting, click Schedule a New Meeting.
      • On the Schedule a Meeting page, enter the topic, time, duration, and other meeting options and click Save
    • To see a list of past meetings, click Previous Meetings
    • To view and delete meeting recordings on the Zoom cloud, click Cloud Recordings
      • Meetings saved to the Zoom cloud appear in Kaltura's My Media tool in Canvas.
      • Zoom cloud recordings are removed after 90 days.

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Using Polling and Assignments with Canvas

Instructors can use Zoom Polls during their class meetings and have them be available for grading within their Canvas course gradebook. See restrictions for using polling and assignments service in Canvas.

Enable the assignment and polling integration with Canvas:

  1. Log into Canvas and navigate to your course site.
  2. Click Zoom on the course navigation menu.
  3. In the top right corner, click the three dots icon, and click Enable/Disable Zoom Polls to Gradebook.
  4. Click Enable.
  5. Click on Schedule a New Meeting or click on an already scheduled meeting on the Zoom page in Canvas.
  6. On the meeting details page, scroll to the bottom of the page to the Zoom Polls section. Here, you can import a poll or download a template for Zoom Polls. 
  7. After collecting poll results during your Zoom meeting, see How to view student submissions in Canvas.

Syncing Zoom Attendance Report with Canvas Gradebook

Instructors can sync the Zoom Meeting Attendance Report with their Canvas Gradebook. This allows instructors to quickly generate attendance grades based on the meeting attendance report.

  1. Configure the Attendance Report.
    1. In your Canvas course site, go to the Zoom tab on the course navigation menu.
    2. In the top right corner, click the three dots icon, and click Attendance Report Setting.
    3. Check the box for Enable Attendance Reports for meetings.
    4. Fill in the information - note that the field values are initially pre-populated with example values. A value must be entered in each field or the page will generate an error when trying to save the configuration.
      • Total points: The maximum amount of points a student can get for their attendance. This field is required.
      • Late deduction: The amount of percentage points deducted from the attendance score after a specific amount of minutes have passed after the start of the class.
      • Percentage of Time Spent in Class: Instructors can set multiple ranges for how many points a student will receive, based on the percentage of time they were in attendance for the class.
    5. Click Save.
  2. Review the Attendance Gradebook report.
    1. In your Canvas course site, go to the Zoom tab on the course navigation menu.
    2. Click on Previous Meetings and click on Reports for the meeting in question.
      • If your meeting is not displayed, you will need to wait till the meeting populates.
    3. Click on the Attendance Grade Report tab.
    4. Adjust the Final Grade if needed before clicking on Submit Grade.
    5. Click Submit.
  3. View the score in Canvas.
    • As an Instructor: If you need to adjust any grades, go to Assignments, open the Attendance Report, and click on Speedgrader. Regrade as necessary.
    • As a Student: In your Canvas course site, go to Assignments or Grades. Click on or scroll to the Attendance Report assignment to see your score.

Using Zoom Whiteboard in Canvas

See: How to access the Zoom Whiteboard in LTI Pro app.

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Adding a Zoom Meeting to a Module

  1.  In Zoom, create a meeting and copy the meeting's join URL.
    • If you don't know your meeting's join URL, go to meetings in the Zoom Web Portal and click on your meeting topic.
      • Next to Join URL under Invite Attendees, copy the meeting URL.
      • You cannot link instant meetings to Canvas.
  2. Log into Canvas and go to the site where you want to add the Zoom meeting.
  3. Create a new module (click Modules, then +Module) or scroll to an existing module where you want to add the Zoom link.
  4. To the right of the module, click the add (+) button to add a content item.
    Image of the above instructions
  5. From the Add drop-down list, select External Tool.
  6. Scroll to the bottom, and click Zoom.
    Image of the above instructions
  7. In the URL text box, enter the meeting's join URL that you copied in step 1.
  8. Change the Page Name to something descriptive.
  9. Click Add Item to save.
    Image of the above instructions
  10. Click the Publish icon to the right of the content item to make it a green check mark.
  11. If the module is not yet published, click the Publish icon to the right of the module title to make it a green check mark.
    Image of the above instructions
  12. Click the module link to test the integration.

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Adding Alternative Hosts

An alternative host allows you to choose someone to start meetings without you. As a teacher, you can assign your TA or another professor to start your class if you will be late or unable to attend. 

To add an alternative host to a scheduled meeting:

  1. In your Canvas site, click Zoom in your Course Navigation Menu.
  2. Click on the meeting topic.
    Image of the above instructions
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the information page and click Edit this Meeting.

    Image of the above instructions
  4. In the edit page, scroll down to Alternative Hosts, then type in the email of who you want to host for you and click Save.
    • Alternative hosts must have a licensed Zoom account with Virginia Tech (current faculty, staff, and students).
    • If a faculty, staff, or student isn't showing up on the list, their account may have been downgraded to a Basic account because they haven't logged in for 1+ year. Have them go to the Virginia Tech Zoom Web Portal and log in with SSO to upgrade their license. Then try to add them as an alternative host again.
      Image of the above instructions

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Getting Help

For instructions on resolving common issues with Zoom, see: Video Conferencing - Troubleshooting Zoom.

For problems logging into Zoom, contact Virginia Tech 4Help:
  • Go to 4Help, log in with your Virginia Tech Username (PID) and password, and click Get Help.
  • Call 540-231-4357.

For problems using Zoom, contact Zoom Support:

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