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Technology Enhanced Learning

Getting Started

The following highlights some of the key functionalities of zoom and offers some insights into the most effective setup for teaching and learning.

Alternative Host/Co-host

Zoom allows for multiple presenters, enabling them to have full access to the main screen and the tools. When creating a zoom session consider whether you might wish to add one or more alternative hosts. This is ideal if you have a tutor supporting you with the session, a guest lecturer or intend inviting the learners to share content and screens.

Consider how you might agree and utilise the co-host role to best support your session and arrange and agree in advance their role during the session e.g. to monitor chat, bring questions to the attention of speaker, post links/files to chat, create breakout rooms etc. Note, you may find that this is not practical for your session if you do not have the additional support.

Waiting Room

When creating a zoom session you have the option to set up a waiting room, this allows you to manage the entry into the live session. Once started you can admit students all at once (or individually if required). The host/co host will need to allow latecomers into the session, it is recommended to minimise potential disruption to remove the waiting room (via security icon) once the session has started. You may also want to consider turning off sound notifications (i.e the doorbell) when someone joins /leaves the room, this can be done at settings level by the host.

Zoom View

It is useful to understand the different view options in zoom and to advise your students how to best use them in your session. 

  • Speaker view - The speaker alone is spotlighted and is ideal for presentations/sharing slides and other learning materials. 
  • Gallery view - The screen is filled with the individual participants' video (default to 25 screens), this is ideal for interactive discussions, and offers an opportunity to engage with the cohort as one might do in a face to face environment. [Note, for this to work the host/speaker/presenter will need to stop sharing their screen]
  • Immersive view - This feature allows a host the option to place learners into a virtual scene. This is ideal to differentiate a panel of speakers or student presentations from the general cohort.
  • Focus mode (enabled only by host/co host) - This feature allows students in online sessions to concentrate as it allows them to see the lecturer’s/tutor’s video only and not one anothers. Depending on class activity focus mode can be toggled on and off by the host/co host during a session. The host may need to enable focus mode in your online ‘In Meeting’ advanced settings.

Schedule and Session Duration

Zoom is integrated into the virtual learning environment Brightspace as the bespoke virtual classroom. This means that it can be scheduled in line with the designated lectures, tutorials (or other teaching sessions) and may be linked to from learning materials/units and/or simply timed to open at a specific time. See here steps from IT Services on how to create a virtual classroom session in Brightspace a video (25.39) on Using Zoom in Brightspace

It is always worth considering opening any such session a little early, to enable participants to check in and test connectivity, audio and video. And in so doing to put up a welcome message (via the whiteboard) or to share a holding slide.

Recording a Session

One of the many advantages of using the virtual classroom is that the sessions may be recorded for use after - whether for review, revision, or as a resource. Decide in advance if you are going to record a session and inform the participants. Remember breakout sessions are not recorded, only what occurs in the ‘main room’ e.g. your lecture, whiteboard activity, screen sharing etc.

Having decided to record a session, the file is sent to the ‘cloud’ for storage. On session end you will receive an email to inform you that the file is ready and available for access by your students through the Zoom page in Brightspace. For additional information on recording and their use review UCD’s Guidelines for Faculty Using the Virtual Classroom.