Video Conferencing - Applying Best Practices for Zoom Meetings


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 discusses best practices recommended during Virginia Tech Zoom Meetings



Making Sure Everyone Can See and Hear You

Before lecturing or presenting:

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Mitigating Bandwidth Issues

  • If there are issues with bandwidth (video halting, the meeting disconnecting, audio sounding distorted) ask participants to turn off their videos.
  • Tell participants to ask questions or make comments in the chat rather than speaking.
  • Have participants call into the meeting from their phones. 

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Setting Up Zoom for Instruction

Holding Q&A via Chat

  • In large meetings and courses, mute participants and students. Have them ask and answer questions using Zoom chat.
  • Consider having a delegate or TA as a co-host, so they can monitor the chat room during the meeting. They can either answer questions directly via chat or they can unmute themself and ask you during the meeting or lecture.  

Scheduling Class Meetings Through Canvas

If you add a Zoom Meeting to your Canvas site:

  • Students need to log into Canvas to join the meeting.
  • Scheduling class meetings through Canvas prevents unwanted participants. 

When scheduling: 

  • Do not use Personal Meeting ID so the Meeting ID will be randomly generated. 
  • Under Security (at least one must be checked):
    • Check Passcode and distribute a password to students through a Canvas Page or Home Page. 
    • Check Waiting Room.
    • Check Require authentication to join.
      • Need to be signed into Virginia Tech: only students signed in with their Virginia Tech Username (PID) can join. 
      • Need to be signed into Zoom: users will need to be signed into any Zoom account.
  • Under Meeting Options:
    • Uncheck Allow participants to join anytime. If you're recording the meeting, each time a student joins will create a separate video.
    • Uncheck Mute participants upon entry.
    • Consider checking Record the meeting automatically in the cloud. Students with bandwidth or technology issues can watch the recording or can read automatic captions of the recording. Recordings appear in your My Media area within a day of the meeting. They aren't visible to students unless you publish them in the course Media Gallery

      Image of the above instructions

Conveying Lecture Information in Writing

In case students have accommodations requiring written materials or don't have enough bandwidth, plan to convey your lecture content in writing. You can email or post teaching notes online and/or make captions for your recordings in My Media.

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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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