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Technology Enhanced Learning

Preparing to Teach via Zoom

The following provides some insights on utilising zoom to best serve your session. Though primarily used for synchronous live teaching, it can also be used to record full lectures, micro lectures, plenary feedback etc or to set up virtual meetings and groups. 

To begin we look at some practical ‘delivery’ considerations for the tool itself and how one might set up a Zoom session in Brightspace. This is followed by a focus on the pedagogy by highlighting some sound instructional design considerations when teaching (online, blended or face to face). You may also want to refer to the overview of web resources on Blended and Online Learning.

Session Outcomes/Objectives

In line with module design it is important to consider what specific learning outcomes may be addressed per teaching session e.g. if a module outcome may enable a learner to ‘Demonstrate an understanding of the integration of technology into teaching practice.’ Then a specific session might begin this journey by ‘Introducing educational technologies’ - this can be said to be a learning objective i.e. describing a small action or smaller quantity of knowledge than a learning outcome.

The concept of learning objectives is a means to clarify what a particular session shall involve in its teaching and learning approaches. This is obviously helpful to both faculty and students in signalling what each others’ roles and responsibilities may be, and may be considered good practice for face to face learning. However, when creating online learning opportunities, such as a zoom virtual class (live or recorded) it becomes key to highlight these learning objectives to ensure transparency and guidance for students.


Like any class/session scenario, zoom offers a number of opportunities for students to engage with different activities; that will break up a long session; offer a means for inclusive engagement; differing means of expression and to support and enhance their learning. The following table highlights some potential activities and the tools within Zoom you may use. Further details on the actual tools follow below.

Start of the session


  • Whiteboard Question
  • Poll
  • Chat tool

Introduction / Overview, (Micro/mini) Lecture

  • Slide share
  • Screen share
  • Annotation

Middle of the session

Group Work

  • Break out rooms
  • Whiteboard
  • Shared documents

Plenary / Debrief

  • Co-host
  • Screen share
  • Chat backchannel

End of the session

Summary / Guidance Feedback 

  • Whiteboard
  • Pre-Recorded content
  • Poll

After the session

Editing, collating, communicating

  • Download/edit video - distribute video
  • Download chat transcript
  • List of attendees(for staff use only)

Following on from the previous section above (re: Session Outcomes/Objectives) it is often the case that a learning objective will beget an action - and set up a potential learning activity.

To follow the example above ‘Introducing educational technologies’ the obvious first activity is for the faculty member to provide said introduction (via slides, video, talk etc). However, it may also elicit any number of student activities: 

  • Discuss what is meant by the term educational technology - Facilitate a break-out session, encourage students to express their opinions, come to a consensus, create a definition etc. Post the discussion question and any instructions into the chat for access by students while in the breakout group.
  • List technologies you have encountered - capture them on the whiteboard, brainstorm and share ideas, open and inclusive activity.
  • Identify educational technologies - utilising web search and shared screens, promote information literacy by directing students how to search, assure provenance and accurate information.
  • Find the most common tools - utilise a poll to capture usage, capture plenary data, use as a potential catalyst to interrogate data and define next steps. 

Roles and Etiquette

As with any teaching, it is important to consider how it shall run and what exactly is to be expected of all parties during the session and any subsequent sessions in the module for example roles and responsibilities, activities, support, guidance etc. You may want to review our additional guidance on Netiquette for Online Learning.

The use of the learning objectives shall provide some direction in respect of potential activities, however, it may be necessary to establish and discuss some ground rules with the cohort, even agree a form of learning contract (this in itself may constitute a nice ‘icebreaker activity').  Areas to consider include:

  • Notifying all a session shall be recorded - Clearly identifying the purpose of recording and where and how long it may be available.
  • Inviting people to remain muted (at particular points) - Clearly signposting the structure of a session.
  • Acknowledging not all may wish to turn on video in large group settings - Building in opportunities for small group / individual activity.
  • Encouraging use of synchronous feedback tools [and offering a guide to such] -chat tool, emoticons, poll etc.
  • Sharing documents via the chat - To support activities, provide resources etc.
  • Nominating select reportees to ‘share screens’ - Identifying processes to include learners in the session design/structure
  • Expectations of group participation etc. - Clear goals for activities and engagement, ideally mapped to specific objectives, and/or assessment (formative or summative).

The UCD Acceptable Use Policy offers oversight to one’s behaviour within the institutional confines “Users are expected to ensure usage of University IT Resources is carried out in an acceptable, safe, respectful and legally compliant manner.” And provides further details on themes ranging from GDPR, Copyright, devices use etc. It would also be important for you to consider UCD’s Virtual Classroom guidelines for both faculty and students.

Session Summary

Finally, the use of Zoom as a virtual classroom does offer something quite unique to face to face teaching - the ability to capture not only faculty presentations, but core activities shared on the main screen (via the recording), the poll results,  and a transcript of all chat conversations (including unanswered questions one may wish to follow-up).

There is a further benefit to this, the ability to edit and/or include a post-session summary. It offers a moment for faculty to review and reflect on a session and gather insight on the activities and contributions from learners. Using this to inform where the next session may take up or offering feed-forward to the learners in light of their contributions. 

This post editing can be captured in the virtual classroom either after the session has formally ended by simply carrying on the recording and/or creating a short micro-video using Zoom that is an addendum to the full session recording.