Zoom Best Practices

Teaching a course using Zoom requires instructors to approach how they teach quite differently. You may find that you need to be more organized than you would be in a normal class due to the fact everyone is not in the same room.

Before your session:

  •  Define goals and objectives for the class before the meeting starts. Build out and share a detailed schedule.
  • Use DotED to support your teaching. Upload presentation files and handouts to DotED and link them in the course as a backup if needed.
  • Include both lecture and engaging discussion or activities.
  •  Plan to involve everyone throughout the session and to give all participants the opportunity to speak at some point, use names, and include presentations by students individually or in groups.
  • Determine how to structure when students are allowed to talk and share.
  • If you will be using slides, use simple, contrasting colors for your font and background, such as black lettering on a white or light-colored background and large font size. Consider how accessible your slides are for learners with accessibility needs.
  • Schedule some time to test the equipment and visuals out as well as time to practice before the first session.
  • Arrive early enough to each Zoom call to get everything prepared and work out technical difficulties.
  • Be creative in how you take advantage of the technology. Think of learning activities that would not be possible in a different delivery format.
  • Always have a backup plan in case of unexpected issues or difficulties. (I.e. know how to phone into the conference, using DotED to facilitate the class in the group discussions, or independent learning activities.). It may be best to inform students
    of the backup plan ahead of time so they can remain on task if technical issues occur.

During Sessions 

  • It is helpful if everyone knows who is who, so make time to introduce everyone.
  • Make eye contact with the camera (The camera is your class).
  • Design group activities around a challenging problem, case, or thought-provoking question connected to specific learning objectives of the course.
  • Use frequent and varied interaction. Use all of the tools at your disposal so that the interaction avoids becoming mundane.
  • Sharing your screen can be useful for providing examples, slides, and illustrations.
  • Consider integrating DotED discussion boards to have groups share in writing what they have come up with.
  • Always record. There are numerous benefits to recording your sessions: reach students who could not attend, provide a chance for attendees to review the content, and more. Typically, we recommend that you start recording just after delivering your housekeeping, taking attendance, or discussing updates.

After the sessions

  • Summarize key points and activities completed during the session. Share notes of the meeting and all group findings to reflect what was covered and what is to be expected for future meetings in your course in DotED.
  • Encourage students to use DotED to access slides and materials and to post questions about the session.
  • Make recordings available to those who may need it.