Zoom Classroom Management and Best Practices
There are many ways that faculty can help prepare students to be successful in a virtual learning environment. This page includes tips for preparing for virtual class sessions and best practices for classroom management and security when using Zoom.
Preparing for Virtual Class Sessions
Clearly establish expectations from the beginning
- Include information about virtual class attendance in your syllabus.
- Be sure to indicate whether students are required to join the session live or if watching the recording is acceptable.
- Include information on student participation and whether or not cameras/microphones will be required.
- Remind students that the Code of Student Life expectations do not change with online or hybrid teaching and learning. If a violation occurs, appropriate actions will be taken as they would with inappropriate behavior in the classroom.
- Use the Zoom Blackboard integration to add Zoom to the Blackboard course site.
- Make sure students are aware of how and when to join the Zoom session and provide a link to the Zoom Getting Started knowledge article.
Before the First Class Session
Download the Zoom Client
Create your Zoom account and download the Zoom client and make sure you are signing into your account using SSO (single sign on).
In general, Zoom is quite easy to use, but you may want to practice a couple times prior to your first class session. Test your audio/video and become familiar with how to share your screen, etc. For assistance, review our Zoom instructor help information.
Check your Bandwidth and Signal
Wired internet is better than wireless for Zoom. If you must use wireless, try to remain close to the wireless router to better improve your connection when possible. Please use the internet speed test to make sure your internet is optimized.
Use a USB Headset
If you will be joining the session from your office or home, a USB headset will provide better audio than your computer’s built-in system. Try to hold sessions in quiet, indoor locations to control ambient noise. UND (University of North Dakota) recommends this model: Logitech H390
Test the Audio
This will ensure your speakers and mic are working properly before class begins. Here is how to test your device audio.
Have your Content Ready to Share
If you are sharing documents or content, have this ready before class begins. You should also check with everyone to make sure they are seeing what is being shared. If you do not want your emails or other private content visible to your participants, you should also close these prior to your meeting/class.
Review Zoom Tips and Tricks
Learn more about helpful tips and tricks to use in Zoom.
Best Practices for Classroom Management
We recommend you have your session open 10 minutes early to allow students to join before the class starts. Students who do not log in with their UND credentials will be brought into a waiting room. You may need to admit these students into the room.
Practice with Zoom Tools
Use time during the first class session to have students practice using Chat, Raise Hands, Mute, etc.
The Manage Participants panel will help you to do the following:
- View a list of all participants (students)
- Show who is speaking and who has their microphone and camera turned on
- Mute or unmute participants and turn a participant cameras on/off
- Remove disruptive students, or put them on Hold
Have students use the thumbs up emoji or type "here" in the chat window.
Remind Students of Class Etiquette
Virtual classrooms are just like in person meetings and classrooms. Remind students that everyone can see and hear each other, so it is important to make sure they are properly dressed and avoid behavior that would not be acceptable in the classroom.
Record Meetings and Save Chat Logs
- At the beginning of the Zoom session, notify students if the sessions will be recorded. Students who do not wish to be included in the recording should leave their camera/microphone off and not participate in the chat
- Chat logs can be saved manually or automatically based on settings
Use the Chat Function
You can send questions or statements to everyone or privately. Here is how to use in-meeting chat
- Designate a student or TA to monitor chat to track questions
- Stop periodically to address questions in the chat. Don't try to monitor chat continuously
Remove Offending Students from the Meeting
This function is found in the Participants Window (See the Managing participants in a meeting tutorial for more information)
Escalate Offensive Behavior
Use appropriate procedures to address concerning behavior, just as you would in the classroom
Security Best Practices
Lock the meeting Locking a Zoom meeting that is in progress prevents new participants from joining, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if you have required one). In the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of the window, then click the Lock Meeting button in the pop-up window.
Set a meeting password It is recommended that all UND Zoom sessions require a passcode (this is the default setting). This option requires attendees to enter a password before they can join the meeting. The passcode can be automatically added into the Zoom URL.
Remove unwanted or disruptive participants Navigate to the Participants menu, mouse over a participant’s name, and click Remove. They will not be able to rejoin unless you allow them to do so (see below).
Allow removed participants to rejoin If you remove the wrong person from a meeting, you can allow them to rejoin. Sign in to und.zoom.us with single sign on (SSO) and click Settings. On the Meetings tab, ensure Allow removed participants to rejoin is toggled on.
Place participants on hold You can put everyone else on hold, and the attendees’ video and audio connections will be disabled momentarily. Click on someone’s video thumbnail and select Start Attendee On Hold to activate this feature. Click Take Off Hold in the Participants list when you are ready to resume the meeting.
Disable video As a meeting host, you can turn off someone’s video. This will allow hosts to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate gestures on video.
Mute participants You can mute/unmute individual participants or all participants at once. This allows you to block unwanted, distracting, or inappropriate noise. To mute everyone, click Manage Participants and select Mute All. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your settings to keep noise at a minimum during large classes or meetings.
Turn off file transfer In-meeting file transfer allows people to share files through the in-meeting chat. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited pics, GIFs, memes, and other content.
Turn off annotation You and your attendees can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. You can disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.
Disable private chat Zoom has in-meeting chat for everyone, or participants can message each other privately. To cut back on distractions, you can restrict participants’ ability to chat amongst one another while your event is in progress. This also helps prevent anyone from receiving unwanted messages during the meeting.
Review Additional Zoom Security best practices The University has enabled many Zoom security settings by default and has compiled a list of pre-meeting and in-meeting settings you can use to protect your class sessions, Zoom office hours or meetings.