Zoom is a full-featured video conferencing service that is available to all Pomona College faculty, staff, and students for online meetings, webinars, virtual teaching, and interactive sessions. Zoom enables communication across mobile devices, desktop computers and video-enabled classrooms and offers users features such as chat, screen sharing, a virtual whiteboard, polling, and split-screen video conferencing so you can see everyone at once, much like an in-person meeting. Learn more about Zoom features.
Activate Your Account
To create a Zoom account, open the Pomona College Zoom landing page, zoom.pomona.edu. Select “Sign In.” You will be directed to the Claremont Colleges Central Authentication Service. Login with your Pomona College email account and password. If you are currently enrolled in DUO, you may be prompted to authenticate your login.
Before using Zoom, we recommend installing Zoom software for your device. The Zoom Desktop Client and Mobile Apps offer additional features that Zoom web portal does not offer. The Zoom web portal is primarily used for changing your meeting settings and Zoom Phone settings. You can also use the web portal to customize your profile.
Zoom Desktop Client
While meetings can be started and scheduled from the Zoom web portal, you can also schedule/start meetings directly from the Zoom application. You can download the desktop client directly from Zoom. Once the app has downloaded, open and install it. To sign in, click “Sign In” and select the “Sign in with SSO” option. Enter “pomonacollege” as the Company Domain and select the “Continue” button. The CAS page will open, and you can enter your Pomona credentials. If you are currently enrolled in DUO, you may be prompted to authenticate your login. Once logged in, press “Launch Zoom” if it doesn’t automatically launch.
It is also important to access the Zoom application to set certain in-app settings, including Virtual Background, Audio/Video settings, as well as other options.
Zoom’s mobile apps are available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. To setup the app, download and launch the Zoom application on your mobile device. On the Sign In page, select the “Sign in with SSO” button. Enter “pomonacollege” as the Company Domain and select the “Continue” button. A webpage will open which will take you to The Claremont Colleges Central Authentication Service. Login with your Pomona College email account and password. If you are currently enrolled in DUO, you may be prompted to authenticate your login. Please note, Zoom offers a number of additional apps for your mobile device that you may find useful.
Once your Zoom account is activated, we suggest reviewing Zoom Help Center’s Quick Start Guide for New Users. Zoom also offers a number of video tutorials that are useful in acclimating yourself to Zoom. In particular, we recommend:
- Getting Started with Zoom Meetings
- Joining & Configuring Audio & Video
- Zoom’s quick introduction to the basic meeting controls
Zoom is configured by default to help reduce the possibility of unknown or unwelcome guests joining a meeting or webinar; however, there are additional security steps you can take to ensure your Zoom sessions are private.
The following security measures are in place by default:
- Phone number masked. When Zoom users join using a phone, only the first 3 digits (area code) and last 3 digits of the phone number will be displayed.
- All Zoom sessions are encrypted by default. This ensures that your session cannot be eavesdropped on or tampered with.
- Waiting room. As of March 31st 2020, Zoom has enabled the waiting room feature by default as a security measure. To learn how to turn waiting room off or on please visit: Zoom Waiting Room documentation.
How to Prepare for a Zoom Meeting
Here are some quick tips for preparing for your space for a Zoom meeting:
- Camera placement: higher (eye level) is better
- Location: check the background--avoid bright window, distracting clutter
- Lighting: gentle lighting behind your computer is best
- Experiment with location--you don’t have to be in an office - maybe try outside if lighting works!
- Think about noise both ambient (washing machine) or sudden (dogs barking)
We also suggest you test out the Zoom environment before using it:
- Test your mic and camera
- Get close to the mic. If you have headphones with mics, they can sound better that the laptop mic
- If you plan to share your screen, be aware of what’s on your desktop and close/clean up anything you don’t want shared
- Keep an eye on the chat (or consider assigning students to this)
- Be aware that audio can drop out--empower students to signal you if there are problems
- Likewise, if you are sharing from your computer, ask students if their view is clear and legible. Consider sharing the slides or materials in case it helps some students.
- A word about recording...practice!
How to Join a Meeting
You can join a meeting by clicking the meeting link or going to join.zoom.us and entering in the meeting ID. Learn more about joining a meeting.
How to Connect Audio
On most devices, you can join computer/device audio by clicking Join Audio, Join with Computer Audio, or Audio to access the audio settings. Learn more about connecting your audio.
We recommend testing your audio prior to a meeting. If you experience audio problems during a meeting, here tips for fixing the issue:
If you cannot hear
- Make sure participants are not muted.
- Make sure your computer speaker volume is turned up and unmuted.
- Make sure your speakers are selected for the active output in Zoom. To check while in a Zoom meeting, click on the up arrow next to the microphone or headset icon and select “Audio Settings.” Select the “Test Speaker” button. If you year audio, this is setup correctly. If you do not hear audio, use the output drop-down box and select a different output. Select “Test Speaker” again. Repeat this step until you hear audio.
Other participants can't hear you
- Make sure your mic is not muted in Zoom
- Make sure you have the correct internal/external microphone setup in Zoom. To determine this, click on the up arrow next to the microphone or headset icon in your zoom meeting and select “Audio Settings.” Select the “Test Mic” button; you should see blue bars in the volume meter, and your test message will be played through the speakers. If you don’t see the blue volume meter bars or hear the audio message you have recorded, use the drop-down box and select another mic and repeat the process.
Do the other participants hear echo when you talk? If so, there are three potential reasons. Learn how to fix audio echo in a meeting.
How to Improve your Zoom Connection
Sometimes the audio or video in Zoom becomes choppy or distorted. To prevent or address issues with Zoom connectivity:
- Check your connection speed. We recommend checking your connection with Speedtest.net or Fast.com before starting with Zoom web conferencing. To hold a Zoom video conference, you’ll need up to 3 Mbps of download and 3 Mbps of upload. See the Zoom bandwidth requirements.
- Test your audio or video connection. Before a Zoom meeting, test your audio or video connection on the Zoom test site at zoom.us/test.
- Plug in your laptop. If you are connecting from a laptop, plug the laptop into wall power. Battery use can adversely affect video quality.
- Turn off your video. The video portion of services such as Zoom takes up the majority of your bandwidth. If you are experiencing audio or video issues, turn off your Zoom video camera during a call. Sending only audio to meeting participants preserves bandwidth and improves audio quality. You’ll have to ask the host to send you the slide deck, but it’s the more polite and productive option versus surviving through choppy video on your end.
- Dial in. If audio issues persist after you turn off video, turn off your audio and connect to Zoom audio using your cell phone or landline.
Setup Bluetooth Headsets
Yes, as long as the Bluetooth device is compatible with the computer or mobile device that you are using.
Setup Pomona College Background
Pomona College has created a collection of campus images that users can download and set as their virtual background in Zoom to bring a touch of campus to their remote work locations. Download and setup a Pomona College background.
Join Zoom Without a Webcam
While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. You will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, share your screen, and view the webcam video of other participants.
- Make sure your camera is turned on, plugged in, and selected in Zoom.
- Make sure your camera is selected in the video section — In the Zoom meeting, click the arrow icon next to the Video Button and select “Video Settings.”
- If the camera is turned on, make sure nothing is blocking the camera view.
- If using an external web camera, try connecting it to a different USB port and repeat steps 1 and 2 above.
- If you continue to experience difficulties, try restarting your computer/device.
- For illustrated instructions, we recommend reading Zoom’s tips on troubleshooting a camera that won't start or show video.
Schedule a Meeting
You can schedule a meeting on the web, through the Zoom Desktop client or mobile app, or through one of our many integrations. Learn more about scheduling a Zoom meeting.
Invite Others to a Meeting
You can invite others to join your meeting by copying the join URL or meeting invitation and sending it out via email. There are many other ways to invite others to join your meeting.
Schedule a Meeting in Outlook
The Zoom Microsoft Outlook plugin is designed to make scheduling a meeting in Microsoft Outlook quick and convenient. The plugin allows you to schedule and start instant Zoom meetings, as well as make existing meeting events Zoom meetings. Learn more about the scheduling meetings with the Outlook plugin.
Allow Others to Schedule a Meeting on Your Behalf
Zoom’s scheduling privilege allows you to assign or delegate a user or multiple users in your account to schedule meetings on your behalf. Learn how to assign scheduling privileges.
Host Meeting Controls
Host controls allow you as the host to control various aspects of a Zoom meeting, such as managing the participants - learn how to use host controls.
Click Share in your meeting and choose the screen that you would like to share. Learn more about sharing your screen.
Record a Meeting
All Zoom hosts can record locally to their computer or to the Zoom cloud. We recommend keeping zoom recordings short (5-7 mins). To record a Zoom meeting, press Record to start the recording. Learn more about local recording and cloud recording.
Transcribe a Recording
Use the Audio transcript option (under Cloud Recording) to automatically transcribe the audio of a meeting or webinar that you record to the cloud. After this transcript is processed, it appears as a separate .vtt text file in the list of recorded meetings. In addition, you have the option to display the transcript text within the video itself, similar to a closed caption display. Learn more about transcribing your recording.
Join a Zoom Meeting in Sakai
To join a scheduled meeting in Sakai, open the Sakai course and click the Zoom link. Next to the scheduled meeting, instructors can click “Join” to launch Zoom and join the meeting. Follow the on-screen instructions to setup audio and video.
Faculty Applications of Zoom
For instructional continuity, Zoom could be used synchronously for real-time lectures or discussions with students, or virtual office hours. Or it could be used asynchronously (not real-time), with short recorded lectures, perhaps paired with Sakai tools like quizzing or forums. Learn tips and tricks for educating in Zoom, watch a live or recorded webinar on Zoom Meetings for Education, or visit our Instructional Continuity Sakai page for a complete set of instructions for faculty on Zoom.
Zoom Learning Environment Considerations
Consider checking with students about their technological situation in advance of any of your online teaching. We have a list of questions you are welcome to use. You can send it out e.g. via a Sakai survey so it is private. This will help you determine e.g. if they have a device and an environment in which to Zoom.
- Muting--direct students to mute if they are not speaking to avoid lots of audio feedback and distortion. You also control this as host.)
- Decide policies about live video for everyone or not
- Be aware that students will be tempted to play with the background and add interesting embellishments. This will probably pass...
How to Add Zoom to Sakai
To add Zoom to your Sakai course site follow these simple instructions:
- To add Zoom to Sakai, select the desired Course tab.
- Next, select the “Site Info” tab in the left column and then select “Manage Tools” at the top.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the tools list and click the “External Tools” bar.
- Scroll to the bottom and check the box next to Zoom Pomona.
- Click “Continue” then “Finish.”
- Once the tool is added a Zoom Pomona tab will appear in the left column.
For additional assistance, please refer to our visual instructions on adding Zoom to Sakai which include screen shots of each step.
Join/Start a Meeting in Sakai
To join a scheduled meeting in Sakai, open the Sakai course and click the Zoom link. Next to the scheduled meeting, instructors can click “Start” to launch Zoom and start the meeting. Follow the on-screen instructions to setup audio and video.
Office Hours Through Zoom
Zoom offers a waiting room feature that can be used for office hours and drop in visitors. Learn more about How to use Waiting Rooms to Manage Office Hours & Drop-In Visitor Times.
Small Group Discussions
Zoom offers breakout rooms that allow you to divide into smaller groups on a certain topic. You can either create them and assign students to them live during class or you can pre-assign participants to breakout rooms before class begins. You can use Zoom’s Breakout Room feature to either pre-assign or auto-assign students into groups for a short period of time so they may discuss things together. Watch a video tutorial on using Zoom’s breakout rooms in remote classrooms.
Zoom’s whiteboard and annotations of screen shares are effective tools for summarizing key points during discussions. Learn how to screen share and annotate in a classroom setting or how to share a whiteboard.
The polling feature for meetings allows you to create single choice or multiple-choice polling questions for your meetings. Learn how to use Zoom’s polling feature.
Limitations of Zoom in Education
Zoom is arguably one of the best web conferencing platforms available. But it was designed more for live, one-off meetings than for recurring classes or lectures. Some of the things that you might want to do in a teaching platform you simply won’t be able to do in Zoom.
- Notetaking: Unless students have large screens or external monitors, taking notes during a Zoom meeting requires that they frequently switch back and forth between Zoom and whatever program they use to take notes. There only work around is to connect to a Zoom meeting on a separate device than the one used to take notes. For example, students could connect to a meeting on the Zoom mobile app and take notes on their desktop.
- Pre-loading content: In a traditional learning management system like Sakai, you can access your course site before the semester begins, change the site’s layout and appearance, upload documents and assignments, and more. You cannot do any of those things in Zoom. Zoom is simply a live web conferencing platform that lets you share your web camera and screen with others.
- Testing/Exams: While Zoom has a polling tool, it does not have a testing or exam tool. If you want to give your students a graded assessment, you will need to use an external tool like Sakai.
- Attendance Reporting: Zoom can create a report showing who attended a particular Zoom meeting, but that report is hidden. Go to https://pomonacollege.zoom.us/account/my/report, search for a meeting within a one-month window, and then click on that meeting’s number of participants in the “Participants” column.
- Breakout Rooms: Unfortunately, there is no way to pre-populate your breakout rooms with content or instructions before class begins. In addition, when your class meeting ends the breakout rooms that you create in Zoom disappear and will not appear in your next class meeting. Unfortunately, we are not aware of any workaround.
- File-Sharing: While you can share files using the Chat box, Zoom meetings are not really meant to be file repositories. The largest file you can share is 512 MB. Tip: If you want to create a file repository for your course, use Box or Sakai.
- Polling: If a poll contains multiple questions, your students must answer all of the questions and then click submit before Zoom will record any of the students’ answers. In addition, only single choice or multiple-choice questions are allowed.
- Whiteboarding: Zoom’s Whiteboard (see Sharing a Whiteboard) is an effective tool for summarizing key points during discussions, but the button students click to download a screenshot of the whiteboard is hidden. While the whiteboard is on the screen, the students have to click the View Options pull-down list at the top of the whiteboard and then click Annotate. Only then will they see a Save button
If you have any problems logging in, or encounter any other issues using Zoom, please reach out to the support desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (909) 621-8061. In addition, Zoom provides free support, available 24/7 at (888) 799-8854. You can also submit a support ticket online or find answers to many questions on Zoom’s Help Center.