Zoom Guide for Yale Students

Zoom is an online video conferencing and recording tool that can be used within Canvas. Yale ITS provides Zoom Pro accounts for all students. Read the guide below if you need to use Zoom to attend an participate in class:

Create an account and test your settings:

  1. Navigate to Zoom 
  2. Select the “Sign In” button 
  3. Enter your Yale NetID and password 
  4. Download and install the Zoom Client for Meetings 
  5. Edit your profile and customize your personal meeting ID, this will help professors and teaching fellows identify you in a Zoom session (e.g. your desired name, optional profile photo, etc.) 
  6. After installing the Zoom app, open it and sign in using the “Sign in with SSO” button 
  7. You may join or host meetings by navigating to the Zoom website or launching the app 
  8. Join a Test Meeting to ensure your software and audio are properly set up 

Find your class session’s Zoom link:

  • If your professor has scheduled class via Zoom in Canvas, the Zoom meeting link is in your Canvas course site under the Zoom navigation heading or in the Canvas calendar, as an event. If your professor is not using Canvas, they might send you a Zoom link by email.
  • Some professors and teaching fellows may adopt teaching approaches other than Zoom. Ask your professor what their plan is for your seminar, lecture, lab, section, or office hours.

Join your class session: 

  • Click the Zoom meeting link before class starts
  • You may receive a prompt to download Zoom to your computer, tablet, or phone
  • Follow the instructions to join with computer audio and mute your computer’s microphone; this prevents sound feedback throughout the Zoom session — or use your phone and mute your audio
  • Unmute your microphone when you want to contribute to class
  • Some faculty members might mute all participants by default in large classes; others may restrict participation to the Chat function — each class will vary

Helpful tips: 

The following tips are meant to replicate a classroom experience. However, Yale leaders have asked professors and teaching fellows across the University to recognize that some students will not have equal access to quiet or private spaces, housing security, or reliable technology. You are not alone!

  • If your WiFi is not stable or you have other technical issues, you can join Zoom meetings by phone with audio only
  • If you can use your computer or phone’s camera, use lighting pointed toward your face so your peers and instructors can see you
  • Look at your camera when speaking: this will replicate eye contact with your peers
  • If possible, choose an environment free from distractions
  • If possible, sit at a table during Zoom class sessions to replicate the experience of sitting at a desk in class
  • Learn how to share your screen 
  • Explore Zoom’s “Attendee Controls” guide to learn how you can mute/unmute your audio, stop/start your video, join a Chat within a session, and use the “Raise Hand” feature
  • Note that the Chat feature is visible to everyone else in the class, including your professor and the host of a meeting has the ability to save the chat.

Additional guidelines:

  • If you have concerns, please reach out to your professor or residential college dean for support
  • Reach out to your professors if you don’t think you can participate during scheduled class times due to time zone differences or technical issues
  • To support students who cannot participate live, professors and teaching fellows will record lecture sessions
  • Like your classmates, professors and teaching fellows will have varied levels of comfort with Zoom and will count on your consideration

We recognize this situation is out of your control and we are all adjusting to this experience. Our community will work together to understand how the learning experience changes when we spend more time online and less time in person. 

Seek technical support with Yale ITS: 

Visit the Yale ITS website or call 203-432-9000. If possible, please troubleshoot your internet connection in advance. 

Please download the PDF version of this guide by clicking this link.