Faculty: How to Use Zoom (Video Conferencing)

Zoom allows you to set up a virtual classroom where you and your students can see and speak with each other in real time. Resources on this page help you Log into Zoom for the first time.

For information on the differences and how to manage Zoom vs. Zoom HIPAA please see this guide.

Create Your Zoom Account

To log into Zoom for the first time, please follow these steps to create your account:

  1. Navigate to the Yale Zoom website. 
  2. Select the “Sign In” button. 
  3. Test your Zoom connection by joining a sample meeting. 
  4. Enter your Yale NetID and NetID Password. 
  5. Download and install the Zoom Client for Meetings software. 
  6. When the application launches, select the “Sign in with SSO” button (demonstrated in the video below). 

If you need to convert your personal Zoom account to a Yale Zoom account, you can follow our guide.

Best practices for using Zoom 

To help everyone get the most out of class sessions in a virtual classroom, we suggest the following practices for instructors and students: 

  1. Use earbuds or headphones to avoid feedback and echoes. 
  2. Mute yourself when you are not speaking. “Mute audio” is in the bottom left corner of your Zoom screen. 
  3. You can turn off your video temporarily using the “Stop video” feature in the bottom left corner of your Zoom screen. 
  4. Wireless networks can lose signal and result in Zoom temporarily freezing. For a more stable connection, consider using a wired internet connection with an ethernet cable. This involves plugging an Ethernet cable into your computer. In many cases an adapter may be required to connect. Please contact the ITS help desk if you need further assistance

Enable Zoom within a Canvas course 

Instructors need to take a few steps to enable Zoom within a Canvas course site. When Zoom is enabled, you can schedule and display class meetings within your Canvas course pages. Students can view upcoming Zoom sessions and join them directly from your course site. Learn how to enable Zoom within your Canvas course site

Schedule course meetings with Zoom in Canvas 

Now that Zoom is enabled in your Canvas course site, learn how to schedule course meetings.

Record your Zoom session 

You can use Zoom to record lectures and share recordings on Canvas or use Panopto (known as Media Library) to record lectures. The Poorvu Center recommends that faculty members record class sessions to ensure that students in distant time zones can access course materials asynchronously. 

Share your screen with Zoom 

Instructors can share their computer screen so every student can view the material (slides, documents, etc.). Learn more about screen sharing with Zoom. 

Enable the Closed Captions Feature

Enable the Closed Captions feature (link is external) on your account for any meetings that will require closed captions. Closed captioning CART (Communications Access Realtime Translation) services will be identified based on accommodation requests. In addition, please be familiar with how to assign a participant to type closed captions (link is external) should a request arise.

Automatic captions using Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also available in Zoom. These captions should be enabled for your account for use regardless of accommodation requests. Note that automatic captions do not meet ADA standards but are an important accessibility tool more generally. To enable Automatic captions:

  1. Log into the zoom web portal (https://yale.zoom.us) and access Settings–> In Meeting (Advanced)–> Closed captioning

  2. Click the toggle button to enable Closed captioning then check the box next to Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting

  3. At the start of a meeting, the host can click the Live Transcript button and Enable Auto-Transcription

Use the “Waiting Room” feature in Zoom

Use the “White Board” feature in Zoom

Use the “Breakout Rooms” feature in Zoom

The breakout room feature in Zoom allows you to split your Zoom meeting in to smaller groups, and allows the host and co-host to move between breakout rooms as desired. Breakout rooms can be created automatically (random room assignment), manually, or with the ability for participants to select which room they would like to join. Zoom also provides a feature to pre-assign participants to breakout rooms in advance by adding the breakout room information to your meeting.

Zoom Guides on using Breakout Rooms

Zoom Guide on Managing Breakout Rooms

This guide covers:

  • Creating breakout rooms
  • Option for breakout room behavior
  • Joining breakout rooms as a host or co-host
  • Broadcasting messages to breakout rooms
  • Responding to requests for help from participants in breakout rooms

Zoom Guide on Participating in Breakout Rooms

This guide covers:

  • Joining a breakout room as a participant
  • Requesting permission to record in a breakout room
  • Leaving a breakout room

Zoom Guide on Pre-assigning Participants to Breakout Rooms

This guide covers:

  • Pre-requisites and limitations for pre-assigning breakout rooms
  • Pre-assigning participants using the web portal
  • Starting a meeting with pre-assigned breakout rooms
  • Recovering to pre-assigned breakout rooms

User limit on Zoom 

Each of your individual live course sessions in Zoom can handle up to 300 simultaneous viewers. For courses with more than 250 students, we suggest including about half of your students in the live course session and asking the remaining students to view the recording of the session.  

Additional support for students 

Students with additional questions about Zoom should visit the support section on the Zoom website. 

Faculty support

To ask questions or consult with a Poorvu Center staff member, please contact us. You can submit a consultation request on the Poorvu Center website.