Using Zoom as your Classroom

A short while ago you had a carefully planned in-person or hybrid course, and now you have been asked once more to teach remotely. Don’t panic, you do not have to create an on a full-fledged online course, but you will need to use Zoom as your classroom.

Using Zoom as your classroom may never replace the joys, the values, the successes of working with students face-to-face. However, with a little planning, knowledge — some tips and tricks, you can use Zoom efficiently and effectively as a class space.

This is a brief guide for using Zoom for synchronous classes. We do have a more complete guide for teaching online ( but the following can help you to focus on using Zoom.

You can skip to the end where we have listed a number of more comprehensive tutorials on Zoom at MSU, but let’s get started with the basics

Scheduling your course room and time on Zoom (video)

Choosing a Meeting or a Webinar (video)

People hold conflicting views about when to use the meeting or webinar mode for a class. Our advice is to use what makes you most comfortable.
• Meeting Mode: This is a moderated mode where various levels of interaction are possible or can be allowed. Good for small to mid-size classes.
• Webinar Mode: This is broadcast or lecture mode where minimal interaction is expected (but possible). Good for lectures with minimal interaction and very large classes.
The one key to know is that while there is no lower limits, the is an upper limit at MSU is 300 participants for a Meeting, and 500 participants for a Webinar.

Setting the defaults for a Zoom classroom (video)

The video shows the defaults that you may want to set for you Zoom classes. Many of the security defaults have been set by university but it is good to review all the settings. We highly recommend that you shut off video and audio for students when entering and allow them to turn it on if they wish.**

**While it is nice to see faces, we do strongly encourage you not to force students to turn on video for a number of reasons: it can stall and slow down their access, it can chew up bandwidth (some student pay for data and it can cost hundreds more a month to keep their video on — it can be expensive enough to watch you) — but most important, during the pandemic, forcing video can enhance stress and mental health issues, and highlight social inequities and access issues.
Making a personal room for office hours (video)

Using a Waiting Room ( a waiting room can be great for your office hours but can be cumbersome to use for your class (use the proper default settings for security and waiting room will not be needed).

) a waiting room can be great for your office hours but can be cumbersome to use for your class (use the proper default settings for security and waiting room will not be needed).

Personalizing your background (video)

Enhancing sound and video (resource)

Taking Attendance (video at

Using Zoom to record lectures/ppt lectures, the files produced, how to upload video and audio files to D2L (

Setting Rules of the Room
• How to have student ask questions (video) remember to put a paragraph
• Recording (video) remember to remind student and put language in your syllabus that you will be recording the la

Zoom Drawbacks
• Reading the room: It can be harder to see facial expressions from students (we do stress the importance of optional use of video). So be intentional and ask more frequently if everyone is understanding the course material.
• Judging reactions: In the classroom, you and the students have you, other students, and the PowerPoint to get a sense of how the class is going — with screen sharing on, often the PowerPoint is the only focus – so add more slides for pauses and breaks and questions and humor.

More General Tutorials: You never know which one may be most helpful to you, but there is plenty of help out there — so reach out if you need further assistance).

• How to get started with Zoom (
• MSU LEADR Guide to Zoom (

• MSU Statewide Campus System for Osteopathic Medicine (

• MSU Extensions: Zoom and Media Space Resources (

• Technology at MSU (

• Spartans Learn Zoom (

• MSU Using Zoom for Instruction (

• MSU Background Scenes (

• MSU Zoom Best Practices (