Setting Up Class Sessions with a Free Zoom Account
Zoom is an online meeting application that allows you to host video and audio meetings online. This article will help you get started setting up your account and your first meetings/sessions.
Zoom has both paid and free accounts, with some features -- like recording sessions for sharing online -- only available for paid accounts. These instructions are for a free account.
Sign in to your zoom account. If you don't have the zoom app installed on your local machine, go to zoom.us and click Sign In.
On the sign in page click Sign in with Google. If you have -- or prefer to create -- a Zoom account that isn't connected to your work email, choose a different option.
You'll be taken to the Google sign in page. If you see your school account listed, click on it and sign in using your school password. If you don't see your school account listed, click on Use another account and add it before signing in.
Setting up your sessions
Now logged in, you'll see your account page. You can start a session immediately by clicking Host a meeting and selecting one of the options there.
A better practice for classes, however, is to schedule your session ahead of time and send invitations to your students. Select Schedule a New Meeting to do this.
On the meeting scheduling page, fill out all the appropriate fields: Topic, Description, When, etc.
Please note -- as shown in the image above -- that a free "Basic" account has a 40-minute limit for individual sessions with 3 or more participants. Plan your sessions accordingly.
Decide whether you will reuse this meeting for multiple class sessions or just use a new meeting invitation for each session. One compromise is to use a single recurring meeting for a single week.
For a recurring class, first select Recurring meeting. Then set the start day and time ("When") and an end date ("End date"). As well, for a class that meets every week set Recurrence to Weekly, and select the days of the week that the class Occurs on.
You can also choose a variety of other options for your meeting. For a typical class, you could, for example, set your Participants video set to off, set Audio to both Computer audio and Telephone (so students with low bandwidth can call in and listen), Mute participants upon entry, and select Record the meeting automatically on the local computer to give yourself a video file you can upload to a video sharing site for students later.
Many of these settings can be changed from within the live session.
Click Save when you are ready.
Note that this session has been set up with a waiting room so that if students join before you've arrived, they will have a place to go until the session starts. With a waiting room you can admit students all at once or one at a time (making it also ideal for holding office hours). This session is also set up to automatically record so that a video file can be uploaded to YouTube or another sharing service later. Also, students will be muted upon entry with these settings, although they can easily be un-muted during the session if discussion is desired.
Adding to your calendar and inviting students
You'll be taken to the meeting page. Before exiting, be sure to add your sessions to your Google calendar. Click the Google Calendar button below Time.
To invite your students to your class session(s), click copy the invitation next to Join URL.
In the meeting invitation popup, click the Copy Meeting Invitation button.
With the meeting invitation in your computer's clipboard, simply create an email to your students and paste (ctrl+v) the invitation into the body of the email.