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Recommended NYU-supported options for remote teaching in an emergency

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Testing options overview
Holding exams online during class time
Holding exams at other times
How to minimize cheating
Taking questions from students during the exam

Open discussions in Zoom
Discussion groups + share out
Cold calling
Polls in Zoom
Forums in NYU Classes

Do I need a webcam?
What to do if you need a webcam
Using Zoom from my office or home
Using Zoom from my classroom
What to do about slow or lagging connections
What to do about audio feedback
Getting help with equipment and classroom technology

Getting started
Help learning
The different places you’ll login to Zoom
Help for my students
Recording your class (also, remembering to do it & who can record)
Admitting attendees from the waiting room

Delegating scheduling ability
Inviting guests
Preventing uninvited guests
Removing uninvited guests and locking them out
Combining sections for review sessions
Holding office hours
More than one host (alternative hosts and co-hosts)
Joining more than one meeting

What's different about teaching with Zoom?
Taking attendance
Breakout rooms
Whiteboards (and approximations)
Sharing a video
Virtual backgrounds
Getting set up for class
See our Previous “Getting Ready to Teach with Zoom” Workshop

Screen recording with Zoom
Getting started with Kaltura Capture
See our Previous “Quickly Make Useful Screen Recordings” Workshops
Polish Your Screen Recordings

Editing in Mediasite

Getting started with NYU Classes


How to Deliver a Good Online Course Without Starting From Scratch

Several faculty asked for a straightforward recipe to use when deciding which activities should stay "live" in Zoom and which are better turned into asynchronous activities for students to do on their own time. The document at the link below is designed to be a reasonably concise set of instructions that we hope will simplify the process for faculty (who, of course, can still do their own thing).  It will also make clear recommendations about other things that can be hard to decide, like how to give tests, set up NYU Classes, etc.  (Now you don't have to read the first paragraph.)

Note that when we are designing courses expressly for online learning, we start with learning objectives and build courses around them, using the synchronous and asynchronous tools best suited for the objectives.  This guide is designed to shortcut that process, so we can be ready to deliver our courses to students more quickly. (Now you don’t have to read the first footnote.)

How to Deliver a Good Online Course Without Starting From Scratch


Virtual Classroom Etiquette

Set expectations and norms for your virtual classroom, just as you would on campus. It is reasonable to expect students to turn on their cameras, be lit well enough to be recognized, log in through NYU, join class on time, keep themselves muted when they aren't speaking, etc. But it's an uphill battle if we don't set expectations from the very beginning. 

How to establish norms for your classroom:

Use of Cameras: If you’d like to ask students to turn their cameras on, you can click on each picture and send a quick request to put cameras on. Instructors on Zoom have found almost all students were able to do so when asked. This is an important norm to enforce

How to participate: Encourage students to “raise their hand” when soliciting questions or feedback from the class. This is also helpful with group presentations. By inviting students to use this feature it creates a structure to Q&A and prevents chaos. The list of participants will also show the order in which they raised hands.
Click here for a downloadable document you can share with your students to establish course norms and help them as they adjust to remote learning.


Building Community

Encouraging social interaction in your first remote class

Before class (asynchronous): Invite students to introduce themselves in the Forum and include one thing they think they already know about the subject. Make sure there is a word limit and a due date (before your live class). Before your first Zoom session, skim through the responses and choose those that you’ll incorporate into class.

During Zoom class time (synchronous): A great way to encourage social interaction is to reference student work, especially when students have posted their comments in a shared environment such as Forums or the chat in Zoom. Personalize the class by incorporating 1-2 student comments from the Forum into your mini lecture.

Making a remote class as personal as an in-person class

Looking for ways to make your remote class feel personal and inclusive for your students? Here are four ways to start creating a virtual class community. 

1. Use the forums to get to know your students. Create a topic where students can introduce themselves, tell you where they’re based, why they’re taking this class, and what they’re interested in learning  more about. 
2. Reference students by name, especially in Zoom sessions. It’s never been easier to remember your students’ names as they're displayed below their video feed. 

3. Use a survey to set up working groups. If you’d like to have your students form groups for collaborative projects, consider putting together a survey to help identify shared interests or complementary skills. 

4. If you can manage a chat and the raise hand function (through participants and chat windows) at the same time, it’s nice to encourage people to sometimes participate through the chat (instead of by raising hands) when you ask a question or would like people to add color to a particular discussion. This encourages those students who are a bit shy (who might otherwise not participate in class) to engage.

Building community and humanizing the learning experience: When students feel connected to us and to each other, they learn better and persist more. If you are live and synchronous with your students, use at least some of the time to fuel their learning with humanity.

Tip: Show up to class at least 10 minutes early and greet students. Simply saying hi to students who are there early and open to conversation goes a long way toward making it feel more intimate and engaging.

Discussion Forums in NYU Classes

At the beginning of your course, create an Introductions topic, ask students to introduce themselves to the class and share something fun or topical, and request that they respond to at least two other student introductions. Start by introducing yourself to demonstrate the format and so your students can get to know their professor. 

Structure forum topics carefully and provide instructions on what each one is for.  You might want one for questions leading up to a Zoom meeting, others with discussion prompts related to assignments, another for things they read about or experience that are related in some way to class, etc.  Require that students post and respond or include contributions in class participation. 

Short on time? Nominate a different student each week to pose a question in the Forum and be responsible for facilitating the discussion. Alternatively, ask your TF to take an active monitoring role. 

Incorporating video

Instead of having students write responses in the Forum, you could ask them to upload 2 minute videos. They can make their recordings via the NYU-supported Kaltura Capture tool and add their clips directly to their Forum posts. Set the tone by uploading a video yourself. 

Utilizing small groups

Incorporate Breakout Rooms into your live classes for small group discussions, problem solving, idea generation, etc. You can create random groups or design them based on teams or some other criterion.  

Assigning group projects

Encourage students to work in teams and collaborate on projects. Your students are able to organize their own meetings outside of class time with their NYU Zoom accounts. They can also collaborate using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Incorporate a confidential peer-feedback survey (here’s one you can copy) for students to rate how each member of the team contributed.

How Students Will Know You're There

Office hours

Schedule a Zoom session in NYU Classes, name it Office Hours, and invite students to join. Be clear about the purpose of your office hours and how you’ll run them. Will they be a group Q+A session? An opportunity to give personalized feedback? Or a chance to discuss proposed topics for an upcoming assignment? If you use your office hours for 1:1 conversations, specify time slots within your office hours that students can sign up for in advance. If you check the “Enable Waiting Room” setting when you schedule your office hour, students will be held in a waiting room and won’t join the meeting until you admit them which is a good option for individual meetings.  (Learn more about the waiting room here.

Weekly announcements

Announcements can be written in advance and scheduled to go out to the class at a specific day/time. We recommend drafting a weekly announcement to students to build your presence remotely. Use your announcements to welcome students to the week and get them excited about what’s coming up. 

Participating in discussion forums

Visit discussion forums to encourage and facilitate asynchronous discussions in your class. Visit the forums for a few minutes every day or two and write some personal replies to discussion threads or pose follow-up questions. Reading what students are contributing and signalling that you are present can help motivate students to engage in the forum in a thoughtful and meaningful way. 

Regular and rapid feedback

Providing feedback as regularly and quickly as possible is especially valuable in a remote environment. Here are some options to quickly and effectively provide ongoing feedback in your class:

  • Use the Assignments or Gradebook tool to provide written feedback to students.
  • Set up office hours with time slots for individual feedback.
  • Dedicate 15 minutes of class time to give generalized feedback to the group.
  • Create short feedback videos in Kaltura. Record your screen and your voice. You can display the student’s work on the screen to help visually indicate which part of the submission you’re talking about. This is fast and can be an effective way to provide personalized feedback and connection.
  • Not so much about your presence, but good for helping students know what they know are instantly graded self-tests in NYU Classes.  In a Lesson, click Add Content and, near the bottom of the list, click Add Question. 

Reflections on what happened in class

Send an announcement or post in the forum after a live class to recap some of the things you discussed, provide links to content mentioned, or pose questions for further discussion. 

Watch "Structuring a Week Online" Workshop

In this workshop we explored ideas for designing a week online. We discuss how to use NYU Classes as an organizational tool and ideas for structuring your remote class to take advantage of activities that work best asynchronously (student-paced, instructor guided) and synchronously (in a live Zoom environment). 

See our Previous “Structuring a Week Online” Workshops



Testing options overview

Testing remote students creates new challenges and makes some of the old ones worse. The biggest new one is how to accommodate students in different time zones, so we aren't asking them to take exams in the middle of their night. An older worse one is how to minimize cheating.  

You can find a list of testing options here. They are organized around the basic mechanism used and each includes an indication of how well each method is likely to achieve our accommodation and cheating objectives. Below that, you will see a list of things to watch out for.  

This is not exhaustive and some of it is quite subjective! However, it may give you some ideas.  Please let us know if you can think of other methods or have suggestions. 

Important reminder: No method can eliminate cheating. But we can reduce the incentive and increase both the effort required and risk of being caught.  Some steps are easy; others require more effort.  Students who feel respected, trusted, and fairly treated are more likely to stick with an ethical frame. Please reinforce the importance of ethics and communicate that we value fairness and have taken steps to ensure the integrity of our exams.

Holding exams online during class time

Have your students log in to Zoom, so you can keep an eye on them and take questions easily in Chat.  Be sure to set your Chat so participants can chat privately only with you or you are inviting collaboration!  (In the chat window, click three dots at the bottom and select Host Only.  If you are afraid you will forget, you can change the default in the Zoom web interface under Settings.)  For longer interactions, you can send them to a breakout room and join them there.

The Assignments tool in NYU Classes is a good option for giving exams online during class time. You can attach your exam document to the assignment and set it to open when the class would usually begin and then set it to close when the class would usually end, plus a short grace period to allow time for scanning, uploading, technical challenges, etc. If your students will need to write or draw (vs. type), they can take a photo of their work or scan it and insert it in the document or upload it separately. A good recommendation for them to scan their document with their phone is the Adobe Scan app.

Another option is to create your exam as a Google Form and share the Google Form link with your students when the exam starts in an Assignments, in chat, or by email.  The advantage of this approach is that the Google Form puts all the data (including name, response, time and date stamps) into a spreadsheet, making it easy for you and/or your TF to review the answers in one place. 


Tests & Quizzes, another NYU Classes tool, is more powerful and has several advantages, but it’s more complicated to learn and use. The four key advantages of Tests & Quizzes are that you can (1) automatically grade exams with quantitative, true/false, and multiple choice questions, (2) compare student answers by question, and (3) create pools of questions that are reusable across courses, which can be randomized so no two students in a class get the same questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  You will not see Tests & Quizzes as a tool in your course.  You must request that it be added using the NYU Classes Test & Quizzes Request Form

Holding exams at other times

If you are giving a standard take home exam with one start and end time for all, the Assignment tool will work for you and is the easiest.  

If you want to provide a larger window, but limit the time during which a student can work on the exam, use Tests & Quizzes. (See previous section for other features.) Under settings you will see the option “and has a time limit of…”  If you don’t want to insert each of your questions into Tests & Quizzes, select the File Upload question type. There you can add your exam as an attachment which students can complete and upload when they are done. 

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up this type of exam in Tests + Quizzes

Click here for instructions you can share with students on how to complete a file upload exam in Tests + Quizzes

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should be able to add Tests & Quizzes to your course site by navigating to Settings > Add/Edit Tools. If you don't see Tests + Quizzes as an option in the Add/Edit Tools menu you might need to request access. You must request that it be added using the NYU Classes Test & Quizzes Request Form



How to minimize cheating

When students are able to cheat they learn less, we can’t tell how much they have learned, and it’s not fair to students who don’t.  So it’s important to show we care and do what we can. Giving exams online opens avenues to cheating typically only available to students when they are completing take home exams and other assignments. That means much of the advice is similar. 

  • Reduce the incentive to cheat by lowering the stakes. Don’t make your exam a large fraction of the final grade, a maximum of 30% and ideally less.  Give multiple smaller midterms or add other deliverables throughout the course.  Not only does it reduce the motivation to cheat, it’s better for learning. 
  • If you are giving an exam during class time, asking students to log in to Zoom and keep their cameras on may help.
  • Don’t reuse past exams. Assume that answers to most exams given in the past at Stern are already posted online in CourseHero, Chegg, etc. and have been shared in other ways. 
  • Even if you are teaching a more technical course, use Turnitin (built into the Assignment tool) in with questions that require the following:
    • Examples
    • Connections to students’ own experiences
    • Connections to current events
    • Explanations, interpretations & justifications
    • Other kinds of prose answers
    • Answers that draw specifically on content unique to your course
    • Answers that draw on your speakers, class discussions, original cases, etc.
  • Give each student or group of students a different test.  (In NYU Classes. create groups of students in Settings.)
    • Draw questions randomly from a pool.  (If you are using a publisher’s test bank, alter the question wordings slightly.  Assume that all test bank questions are posted online in CourseHero, Chegg and others, so make the answers harder to find.)
    • Alter the questions by changing a digit in each or using random multipliers.
    • Include N numbers or NetIDs in the questions, so the answers will be specific to each student.
    • Change a key digit in each problem
    • Vary the question order (generally not enough by itself).
  • Make each exam question or set of questions a different test and don’t make the subsequent set of questions available until answers to the prior subtest has been submitted.  This limits Googling for answers and collaboration, while allowing for the interruptions that are more likely when students aren’t sitting in a classroom.  (You can set that up in Assignments or, if you want a larger window for each subtest or the whole set, in Tests & Quizzes.)
  • If you are giving your exam during class time, require that students keep their cameras on and add a grace period at the end, after which the exam is considered late. 
  • If you are allowing students a larger window within which they have a shorter elapsed time limit to provide some latitude in when they work on the exam, make it a modest window of, say, 12 hours. (See section above on Holding exams at other times.)


Discussions | In Class & Asynchronous

When you have online discussions with your class, in Zoom or asynchronously using threaded discussion, there will be some differences. Below are some things to consider and tools that may help things run smoothly.

Open discussions in Zoom

You may find that at least initially your students need more of a prompt to know when you expect them to jump in with a response. And then it may take them more time to say something. If you are asking them to raise their hands, they may be navigating from taking notes to the hand raise button. You can also ask them to comment in Chat. You may be surprised by how much more willing some students are to use chat than they were to speak up in class.

Tip: Ask students to generate ideas in the Chat. As they are doing so, acknowledge what you’re seeing and point out themes.

Group discussions + share out

You can use the breakout groups tool in Zoom to create small discussion groups for in-depth conversations about a particular question you pose. Then bring the groups back to the main session to share with the entire class what they discussed or concluded. Be very clear about how much time each group will have to speak and stick to this time (almost everything seems to take longer in the virtual space).

Consider only having students in these sessions for a short time, say 15 minutes. After they share out, you can send them back into groups with the next discussion prompt. Zoom will retain your breakout room structure, but you can also reset the rooms if you want to mix it up.

Tip: Because of pre-planned polling and time in break out rooms, remote case discussions need to be structured a bit more rigidly than they would in a classroom. It’s advisable to create new case teaching notes with rough times when you will ask certain questions, how long students will spend in breakouts rooms, the amount of time each group has to talk when reporting back, and again, plan for everything to take longer than you think.

Cold calling

Ask the entire group a question, then give them a few minutes to think about their answer. If you ask them to put their responses in the chat, you can scan them to find students you would like to call on to elaborate, or just cold call on a random student and ask for their thoughts. If they are confused or unable to answer, see if another student can improve on their answer before answering yourself. 

Polls in Zoom

Create a poll asking students how they view a particular issue or question and share the poll results with the group before starting your discussion. 

The easiest way to do it on the fly is to ask a Yes/No question aloud and have students click Yes or No under Manage Participants.

If you want questions that have other kinds of answers, go to the Control Panel, click Polls, and then Add a Question.  A browser window will open to allow you to create a poll in the Zoom web interface.  

If you know how you will want to use polls before the class begins, it’s easiest to set them up in advance.  

  1. Click on your scheduled meeting in the Zoom web interface (nyu.zoom.us).  
  2. At the bottom of the page you will see where you can create a poll by clicking Add.  
Pre-plan as many polls as possible before class. But, don’t be afraid to quickly make a poll on the spot if an interesting question gets raised by a student. When setting up your poll you’ll notice that it can be anonymous.

When you are in class and ready to give students your poll, click Polls in the control panel and then Launch Polling.

Tip: For case discussions you can leave the poll open and see how answers change (encourage them to do so) on key questions - for example, should company A buy company B?

Note: Students who join through their browsers, rather than the (downloaded and installed) Zoom application, will not see polls.

Breakout Rooms + Polling: Master Advanced Zoom Features Workshop

In this workshop we’ll cover how the breakout rooms and polling functionality works in Zoom and explore how these features can be most effectively utilized in your class. 

See our Previous “Breakout Rooms + Polling: Master Advanced Zoom Features Workshop”

Forums in NYU Classes

You can ask your students to have an entire discussion using NYU Classes forums. This works best if they are responding to specific prompts provided by you. Alternatively, ask students to use a forum to respond to your question(s) before they join your Zoom session. Now you have many of their responses to look at and structure your lecture around before they arrive. 

Watch “Online Discussion: Synchronous and Asynchronous” Workshop

In this workshop we’ll share ideas for building community virtually. We’ll share some strategies and tools for helping to spark discourse during your Zoom classes (synchronously) and ways to keep the conversation flowing outside of live class time (asynchronously). 

See our Previous “Online Discussion: Synchronous and Asynchronous” Workshop


Equipment & Logistics for Zoom

Do I need a webcam?

If you are using a laptop to teach a class...
Your laptop probably has a camera built in! If you’re not sure, launch a Zoom meeting and turn on the video. If you have an internal camera you’ll see your face on the screen.

If you are using a desktop computer to teach a class...
Some monitors have cameras built in, but many do not, so you will need a camera. 
If you are teaching from one of the Zoom-enabled classrooms...
You’re all set, these classrooms have cameras enabled in the back of the room. (See below for what’s possible from those rooms.)
If you want to record yourself lecturing, giving a demo, etc., so you can give the link to your students to watch at a different time...
You’ll need a laptop with a camera, or a webcam

TIP: Click the up arrow next to the video icon in your Zoom control panel and click Video Settings. Then check Enable HD for a clearer video picture. 

Using Zoom from my classroom

If you will have remote students joining your in-person class via Zoom, this is for you.

Zoom-enabled classrooms

Over the summer, IT upgraded most classrooms and our multi-purpose rooms to allow remote students to hear what is going on in the classroom and so faculty can easily see remote students.

In those rooms, your in-room camera and audio are integrated with Zoom, so you will not need a webcam or a laptop. When you start a Zoom session, the camera at the back of the room will capture you at the front of the room (the same as the video part of a Mediasite recording) and microphones will capture the sound of you and your students speaking. We recommend adjusting your video settings if you use this option. Click the up arrow next to the video icon in your Zoom control panel and click Video Settings. Then check Enable HD. 

In most classrooms, ceiling mics have been configured to amplify and record the voices of both students in the classroom and those Zooming in.  

If you are teaching in KMC 1-70, 3-120, or 4-90: These classrooms have audience (push-to-talk) mics, which students should use whenever they wish to speak. For students Zooming in and for the Mediasite recording to pick up their voices, they must use the mics at their seats.

If you are teaching in Gardner Commons, Paulson: These classrooms have ceilings too high for ceiling mics to work well.  The CETG team has set up these rooms with a technology that allows students to use their phones to amplify their voices.  Information coming on how to instruct students in its use.

We recommend adjusting your video settings. Click the up arrow next to the video icon in your Zoom control panel and click Video Settings. Then check Enable HD. 

Important note: If you project something on the screen or write on the center whiteboard it will capture that as well, but not well enough for students to see. So, don’t project on the screens or write on the whiteboards.

If you want to show a PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet, video, or something else on the computer, use Zoom to Share that window.

Instead of writing on the whiteboard (which remote students and those watching the recording won’t be able to see), you have a few options:
  1. Choose the Zoom Whiteboard function after clicking Share and use the stylus attached to the monitor to write on the screen. (If you can’t find the stylus, it’s probably dangling behind the monitor.) You can also annotate presentations and other documents using the stylus after you share those windows.
  2. If you are using PowerPoint, insert a blank slide and use the stylus to write on it. 
  3. Use the document camera to project a blank piece of paper and write on that.  If you find the stylus uncomfortable because of the monitor angle, this may be your best option.
For a quick-start guide to setting up your classroom to accommodate both in-person and remote, Zoom-based students please reference the tutorial linked below. 

GUIDE: How to Set up your Blended Classroom

What to do if you need a webcam
We recommend buying this model. For hardware emergencies, please contact the Help Desk (212-998-0180, helpdesk@stern.nyu.edu).

Using Zoom from my office or home

You will need a laptop or desktop with an integrated camera or a desktop with a webcam. Zoom's capabilities and your experience with it will vary based on the processing power of the computer you are using and your monitor size. If you have a bigger monitor, for example, it will be easier to use screen-sharing and you will be able to see more of your students at the same time in the Gallery View. 

What to do about slow or lagging connections

It’s so much easier to use Zoom with a strong internet connection. Video doesn’t freeze, speech doesn’t break up, and we don’t get disconnected. But it may not always be possible to find one, especially for our students.  

If you find your connection is slow or lagging or see that a student’s image is freezing or they disappear, temporarily turning off the video and using only audio can solve the problem.  

What to do about audio feedback

If you hear audio echo or audio feedback during your meeting, the most likely reason is a participant who has both the computer and telephone audio active. We recommend wearing a headset to reduce audio feedback. There's also the option to mute all participants if the feedback is coming from another user. To do this click Manage Participants from your control panel. 

If you join from a computer and call in from the telephone, use the Audio Settings caret to the right of the microphone icon to manually Leave Computer Audio.

The source of echo can also be speakers that are too loud or a faulty microphone.


Getting help with equipment and classroom technology

If you need assistance right away, have trouble logging in, or need help with equipment, contact the Stern Help Desk, 212-998-0180, helpdesk@stern.nyu.edu.


Getting Started with Zoom

Zoom is the video conferencing tool supported by NYU and integrated with NYU Classes.

Getting started

You can use Zoom to hold your class in real time, present slides to your students, and have synchronous discussions with your class. Instructors and students can join from anywhere. 


Help learning


The different places you’ll login to Zoom

1. The NYU Zoom Web Portal (nyu.zoom.us)

Think of this as "home base" for your NYU Zoom account. You can change your profile information and access many of your global Zoom account settings here.  Note that some settings can only be changed in the Zoom application software that lives on your device (computer, phone, or tablet). This is because some settings are associated with the way Zoom functions on a specific device.

Meetings you schedule in the web portal will NOT appear in NYU Classes. The web portal is designed to capture all of your Zoom meetings, not just meetings for particular classes. Think of this as the top level of your Zoom account, it includes all of your meetings, your global settings that don't change across devices, and your user profile information for your NYU Zoom account. 

2. NYU Classes Zoom Integration

When you are logged into classes, you don't need to log into Zoom separately to be able to schedule and edit meetings. Hooray!

When you schedule a meeting through the Zoom integration in NYU Classes, it automatically becomes available to all of the members of that class. This is exactly why the integration exists, to make scheduling, sharing, and joining meetings easy for you and your students.

Anything you schedule or change in NYU Classes will ALSO be reflected when you sign into the web portal at https://nyu.zoom.us

Think of the NYU Classes Zoom tool as a course-specific part of your overall Zoom account. You can't change any of your global settings or profile information, but you can change settings for individual class meetings as you schedule them.

When launching a meeting from NYU Classes, your web browser will try and launch the meeting by looking for the Zoom software on your device, either your Zoom Desktop Client (an application on your computer) or the Zoom Mobile App on your mobile device (an "app" on your phone or tablet).  

3. Zoom Desktop Application 

The Zoom Desktop Application is the software that is used by your computer to join and host meetings. 

Sometimes, even when you are logged into your NYU Zoom account, the Zoom Application on your device will ask you to login. When this  happens, you just need to sign in on your Zoom Application.

Click Sign in with SSO and input nyu as the domain

1) Choose the SSO Option (Always choose this option. You won't be able to sign in otherwise)
2) Type "NYU" as the domain name
3) Log in with your NYU NetID and password

When you are logged in it looks like this:


Screen displaying NYU login to Zoom application

There are some settings here that you won't see in the NYU Zoom web portal (nyu.zoom.us) because they are specific to your computer. But there are also settings that exist both here AND in the Zoom web portal! If you change those settings in one place, they will sync up at the other place. 

4. Zoom Mobile App

This is a special Zoom application built specifically for smaller touch screens that are on phones and tablets. Things look a bit different here, but all of the same functions are present.  

On your mobile device tap the settings icon.  If you are signed in it will look like this:

Side by side view of Zoom settings on ios and android device

Help for my students

Looking for something to share with your students?  The Learning Science Lab put together a guide for your students who may be using Zoom for the first time. In your Stern SP20 course site(s) you’ll see a Zoom Guide in the left menu. Click on it and you'll find a step-by-step resource for students which explains how they join class remotely with Zoom. If your students have questions about using Zoom, or how to join class online, you can direct them here.


Recording your class (and remembering to do it)

When you are in your meeting, find the Record button on the control panel and click. You may need to click the More option if you do not see Record in your control panel. Everyone in the meeting will hear an announcement that the session is being recorded. It is surprisingly easy to forget to start recording. Some things that help are a prominently placed sticky note on your camera, asking your TF or a student to remind you, or adding a slide at the beginning of your presentation.

Zoom recordings made through NYU’s Zoom account can be viewed only by those logged into NYU’s Zoom, either through NYU Classes or the web portal. 

Recordings are saved automatically to your Zoom account for 120 days. If you scheduled your meeting through NYU Classes, they can be accessed by you and your students in NYU Classes. If you want to save a recording for longer than 120 days, you will need to download it.


Who can record & how to get exceptions

To be able to record, you must be a) a faculty member (not a student), b) the host or a co-host of the meeting, and c) logged into the account that created the meeting (or for which the meeting was created by someone to whom you gave scheduling privilege).  You can tell whether you are the host by clicking Manage Participants and noting whether it says “host” after your name.

By default, Teaching Fellows and other students cannot record.  However, anyone at NYU can request permission to record by completing this ServiceLink form.

Making your recordings available to only some students

If you don’t want your class recordings available to all your students, you can require a password to access each one. Go to the Zoom web portal and login. Select Settings, click on Recording, scroll down until you see Require password to access shared cloud recordings, and toggle it on.

To password protect an individual recording click Recordings from the left menu when you are logged into the Zoom web portal. Here you’ll see a list of all your recordings. Click Share next to the recording you want to protect, then toggle on Password Protect and set your password. 

Admitting attendees from the waiting room

If your students are not logged into their NYU Zoom account they will automatically be put into a waiting room and you will need to admit them to your meeting.


How do you know if someone is in the waiting room and how do you admit them to the main session?

You will see a popup notification on your Zoom toolbar (see below). Click Admit to let that person into the meeting. Or click See Waiting Room to see everyone who's waiting. 



Worried you missed a waiting room notification? Don't recognize the person's name?

Click Participants on your toolbar. A panel of meeting participants will appear on the right. At the top of the list you'll see everyone in the waiting room. From here you can Admit people who are waiting or send them a Message (a good idea if you don't recognize their name). If there are multiple people in the waiting room you will see an option to Admit All. 



Advanced Zoom Scheduling, Hosting & Joining

Delegating scheduling ability

If you like, you can give someone else at NYU the ability to schedule Zoom meetings for you. In the web portal, go to Settings, and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will see the place to assign Schedule Privilege to someone else. (See below.)


Inviting guests

You can invite guest speakers to your Zoom meeting by sharing the Join URL with them via email. You can find it by navigating to your scheduled Zoom meeting in NYU Classes and clicking on the Topic of the scheduled meeting. On the next page you’ll see an option to Invite Attendees. Send your guests the Join URL or click Copy the Invitation and follow the prompts to share more detailed joining options including dial-in information. 

Note that anyone who isn’t logged into an NYU Zoom account may be automatically put into a waiting room. Keep in mind that any external guest speakers who will be joining your Zoom classes will likely be held in the waiting room and you will need to admit them to your meeting. 


Preventing uninvited guests

If we don’t take precautions, anyone can join your meeting/class who has the URL.  Here are some of the things you can do.  In most cases doing just one will be enough:

  1. Don’t share your meeting URLs publicly (e.g., on a website) and do generate a unique meeting ID for each one  This means you shouldn’t use your Personal Meeting ID (which is always the same) or schedule your classes as recurring meetings, as they will all have the same ID.
  2. Tell your students that they shouldn’t share your meeting URLs with their friends.
  3. Lock your meeting after it starts (like closing the door to the classroom).  Select Manage Participants, click on the More dropdown (not the three dots), and click Lock Meeting. Note that if you lock your meeting, you won't know if someone tries to join, which is a problem for students who left due to connection issues.  A way around that is to make sure all students find themselves a buddy or two and share mobile numbers.  That way if they are joining late or rejoining, they can text their buddies, who can let you know, so you can unlock the meeting long enough for them to (re)enter.
  4. Not a perfect solution, but you can discourage unwanted visitors by allowing only those who have logged into a Zoom account (any Zoom account) to join. To do this, login to the Zoom Web portal, go to the Schedule Meeting menu, scroll down to “Only authenticated users can join meetings” and enable. Then create or edit your meeting making sure that “Only authenticated users can join” is selected (under Meeting Options).
  5. Set a password for the Zoom session and select the option to "embed password in meeting link for one click join."  (Note that this only keeps out the random guessers who are happy to crash any meeting.)
  6. See a name or number you don’t recognize in your list of participants? It may simply be a student having audio problems who is logged in twice. Regardless, ask the person to identify themself if you don’t recognize a name or number. 
  7. Specifically to prevent outsiders from using private chat to harass your students, you can disable private chat. To do this, click Chat in the control panel, then click More, and under “Allow attendees to chat with” choose “No one” or “Host only.” Click the Security icon in your toolbar to disable chat completely.

Review your meeting security settings from the toolbar in your Zoom session

Click the Security button in your Zoom toolbar to secure your meeting

The security icon in your toolbar allows you to easily configure the security settings for your meeting. Click on this button after you launch your Zoom meeting to quickly:
  1. Lock the meeting 
  2. Enable the waiting room
  3. Allow or prevent your participants from: Sharing their screens, using chat, or renaming themselves
We recommend clicking the security icon before students start joining your meeting to make sure your session is configured for your needs/preferences.

How to lock a meeting if you’re using an iPad
  • Click More at the bottom right
  • Choose Meeting Settings from the menu
  • Toggle Lock Meeting so that it turns green and click Done
Click more, click meeting settings, toggle on lock meeting


Removing uninvited guests & locking them out

To remove a participant, click Manage Participants in the control panel. In the Participants panel that appears, hover over the name of the desired participant, select More, and click Remove. 

Click manage participants, click more next to participant and choose Remove

You can also put participants on hold, which will disable their video and audio transmissions.  First, toggle Attendee on Hold to the on position in your Zoom web portal Settings.  To put someone on hold in a meeting, under Manage Participants, hover over the name of the attendee you want to put on old, click More, and then click “Put on hold.” The participant will see a screen that says “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon” (which may not be true!).  If you change your mind, select “Take off hold” in the Participants list. 

To ensure removed participants are unable to rejoin, log into the Zoom web portal, click Settings, and in the In Meeting (Basic) section, make sure that “Allow removed participants to rejoin” is toggled off.

Combining sections for review sessions

If you want to hold an optional review session in Zoom for two or more sections, here’s one way to approach it. 

  1. Go to one section in NYU Classes and create the meeting.
  2. Send the link to the students in the other section(s).
  3. After the review session, go to Zoom, then Cloud Recordings, and click on the meeting. One of the options will be to Share it using a link. Copy and email to the other section.

Note that any students who join using the link may not have roster names associated with them during the meeting and in the meeting report. If that matters, you can ask them to enter their full names when they join.


Holding office hours

You can set up virtual office hours for your students in Zoom. If you want to see them one at a time or in small groups, when you schedule your meeting select Enable Waiting Room under Meeting Options.  When students connect, they will see “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon” and you will be able to admit them when you are ready through Manage Participants.

During office hours, encourage students to share their screens with you, so you can see their work. If it’s handwritten, suggest that they take a photo and email it to you.



More than one host (alternative hosts and co-hosts)

If you are co-teaching or someone else will be starting your meeting/class, consider assigning an alternative host.  When you schedule your meeting in NYU Classes, assign an Alternative Host at the bottom of the page.  Be sure to use their NYU (not Stern) email address. Your alternative host will receive an email with a link to the meeting (which will not appear in their upcoming meetings).  You and the alternative host will be able to switch off host powers via Manage Participants. See below for what alternative hosts can and cannot do.

If you are teaching and want some help managing the meeting after it has begun, you can assign one or more co-hosts. To assign a co-host, hover over the user’s video, click on the three dots, and choose Make Co-Host. Or click on Manage Participants (in the control panel), hover over the name, and choose More. Then click Make Co-Host. Co-hosts can record the meeting and manage participants. However, they cannot start or end the meeting and cannot launch and manage breakout rooms. (See below for other limitations.)

Table showing what hosts, alternative hosts, and co-hosts have permission to do in a meeting.

* Student co-hosts need special permission to record. See Who can record & how to get exceptions for details.

Joining more than one meeting

You can’t host more than one meeting at a time, but you can join more than one meeting as a participant. To enable that ability (if it isn’t already) log in to the Zoom web portal, go to Settings, and click the Meeting tab. Under In Meeting (Basic), verify that the setting is enabled to Join different meetings simultaneously on desktop. If not, toggle it on.


Using Zoom for Teaching

What’s different about teaching with Zoom?

Even if you lead an engaging Zoom session with plenty of variety, it  is easier for students to get distracted and harder for them to get caught up when they start paying attention again. Do multiple real-time summaries, recapping what you have said and done so far in class. Double (at least) the number of recaps you might do in a physical classroom so people have easy ramps to re-engage.

There are more opportunities for long, awkward silences. Ask for volunteers to speak from the full group sparingly. It tends to be more effective to call on a smaller subset of the class (e.g., “could someone from Learning Team 3” or “someone whose name has an A in it” share an example).

Taking attendance

Even if you lead an engaging Zoom session with plenty of variety, it  is easier for students to get distracted and harder for them to get caught up when they start paying attention again. Do multiple real-time summaries, recapping what you have said and done so far in class. Double (at least) the number of recaps you might do in a physical classroom so people have easy ramps to re-engage.

There are more opportunities for long, awkward silences. Ask for volunteers to speak from the full group sparingly. It tends to be more effective to call on a smaller subset of the class (e.g., “could someone from Learning Team 3” or “someone whose name has an A in it” share an example).

Taking attendance

You can see a report of everyone who attended your Zoom class after it has ended. Navigate to Previous Meetings in the Zoom tool in NYU Classes and then click Report. (You may have to wait a little while for it to be generated.) 

Note that if students join your meeting using a meeting link rather than through NYU Classes, the names that appear on the report will be however they have chosen to identify themselves. If they all join through NYU Classes the names and IDs will all come from your roster.


Breakout rooms

Breakout rooms are a great option for small group discussions and small group work. Click on the Breakout Rooms button in your control panel to randomize groups, manually assign people to groups, or have your students self-select (move themselves into) groups. As the instructor you have the ability to visit groups. You can also broadcast a typed message to all the groups.  

Note: Students who join through their browsers, rather than the (downloaded and installed) Zoom application, cannot participate in breakout rooms. A workaround is to leave browser users in the main room as a group. Or you can tell students in advance that they must use a device on which they can install the application.

(If the video below looks fuzzy, click on the settings cog in the bottom right of the video pane and choose 720HD. The playback quality depends on your internet connection.) 

How to use self-selected breakout rooms

Zoom's self-select breakout room option enables you to create a number of empty breakout rooms and allow your students to select which breakout room they'll join.

Note: To utilize this feature you and your students will need to have updated your Zoom software and be running Zoom version 5.3.0 or later.

  1. Click "Breakout Rooms" from your Zoom toolbar.
  2. Indicate how many rooms you want to create, and select "Let participants choose room."
  3. You'll now see a list of your empty rooms. Click the "Open All Rooms" button to enable students to choose their rooms.
  4. A list of your students will appear and you can watch as they move themselves into their breakout rooms. 

What happens if a student doesn't join a breakout room?
They'll still be with you in the main session. This may occur if a student hasn't updated their Zoom software. You'll still be able to manually assign a student to a room by clicking "Assign to" and choosing a room number. 

What if someone goes to the wrong room?
You can move them into another room by clicking "Move to" next to their name and choosing the correct room. Alternatively, you can instruct students to move themselves into the correct room (see below). 

Make a copy of our template which you can edit and share with students ahead of class so they know which breakout room to join. It also contains instructions for students on moving themselves into their breakout rooms. 


Pre-assigning breakout rooms

It is possible to pre-assign breakout rooms, which is especially useful if you want to place students in specific groups during the Zoom meeting. Please note that this feature is unreliable and will not always work, even if you follow the instructions exactly. Click here for instructions on how to pre-assign breakout rooms.  

Recommendations for using Breakout Rooms during class

  • Breakout rooms can be pre-assigned, but some have found that tricky.  A good alternative is to assign group numbers to students before the meeting and then choose the option to “Let participants choose room”. Students can then move themselves into the room that corresponds with their group number. 
  • Give students a concrete charge/assignment to work on or discuss and a time limit before sending them off.  Visit a room or two quickly if you want to engage them.  Then return to the class and ask someone from each room to summarize what they found. Be very clear about how much time each group will have to speak and stick to this time (almost everything seems to take longer in the virtual space).
  • Use the broadcast function in breakout rooms to remind students of the question or task. In some circumstances it can be valuable to let them discuss one question, then broadcast a logical next question a few minutes later, while keeping them in rooms.
  • Make it a point to visit as many breakout rooms as you can during class, reference what you heard in those rooms during debrief. This lets students know that you’re involved and listening.
  • Sorting students into new breakout rooms at logical points during class can reenergize discussion by allowing students to interact with others -- for example, if you’re doing an exercise in the first half of class and a case in the second half, resorting the break out rooms in the middle can add interest.
  • When budgeting time for breakout rooms, include time for students to reconnect and chat with each other. Explicitly state “when you get to your breakouts, be sure to reconnect with each other and check in before you get to to work”. You think this will cost you time but it will save you time -- go slow to go fast.  

Whiteboards (and approximations)

You have a few options to approximate a whiteboard.

  1. Low-tech option: Mirror your camera on Zoom and write on a whiteboard or flipchart that is visible in the video display. You may need to change your video mirror settings in Zoom so that the text is legible and move the camera or laptop closer. Watch this video to learn how to mirror your video display. Click the up arrow next to the video icon in your Zoom control panel and click Video Settings. Then check Enable HD for a clearer picture.
  2. iPad and Stylus: If you have access to an iPad and stylus you can use blank Powerpoint slides as your whiteboard via Zoom. To use this feature you should connect your iPad to your computer with a cable. Join Zoom as you usually would from your computer. When you click Share select iPad via cable. You’ll be prompted to trust the device on your iPad. After that you should be able to see what you are showing on your iPad on your computer display. Sharing your iPad will work with Apple products (e.g., Macbook to iPad) it may not work with a PC to iPad. This video shows how you can use Zoom in this way with an iPad. 
  3. Graphics Tablet: a good low-cost alternative to an iPad. Watch this video for a step-by-step walkthrough of how to whiteboard with a tablet using the Zoom Whiteboard tool or PowerPoint. The graphics tablet we’re using in this tutorial is the Wacom Intuos S Black CTL4100. We're using the small tablet, but larger sizes are also available. 
  4. Microsoft Surface (or other computer with a touch screen): If you have access to a Surface device you can join your Zoom meeting there. You can use blank Powerpoint slides as your whiteboard via Zoom or select Whiteboard after clicking Share and draw directly on the screen. 

Sharing a video 

If you are screen sharing a video in your Zoom session, follow this process to make sure your participants can hear the audio. After clicking Share, find Optimize Share for Full-screen Video Clip at the bottom of the share panel and click to enable it. Then, just start playing your video while sharing your screen. 


Virtual backgrounds

Virtual backgrounds make it so whatever is more than 12 inches behind you cannot be seen (e.g., children, pets, and unmade beds) and offer the opportunity to do some branding, emphasize the theme of your class, and inject some humor. (Note that they don’t work well with older processors.)

Before a meeting.  Sign into the Zoom desktop client, click on your profile picture, and then Settings. Select Virtual Background. You will probably see a selection of pre-loaded images. To add your own, click Add Image and browse your computer for alternatives.

After the meeting has started.  In the Control Panel, click on the caret to the right of the video icon and select Choose a Virtual Background.  

Recommended are images with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1280x720 resolution, but you will be able to see how it looks as you experiment. Search for something like “Zoom backgrounds” and you will find many. You can also use MP4 and MOV videos as backgrounds.  (If you don’t see that option, make sure your desktop client is up to date.)  

Virtual backgrounds look best when your real background is a solid color and whatever you are wearing isn’t the same color as the image you choose.




Getting setup for class

Have backups for everything (e.g., anything being shared through Zoom like videos or slides). You can also distribute Google Drive links and let people click and view items on their own. Assume you will have tech problems. When you do, you will have a backup and when you don’t, stay calm and carry on.

Practice. For example, if you have access to multiple devices (e.g., kids' devices), set up a practice Zoom class. Log each device into your Zoom class as a student and visit each device to see what they are seeing. You can put a family member or household item in the camera frame of each device to give you a visual of what it will look like with students.

During class, login as a student on a separate device (e.g., your phone). Instead of saying "can you see my screen" a million times, just glance at your phone to confirm that they can see what you want them to see.

Watch “Getting Ready to Teach with Zoom” Workshop

We cover how to set up and use Zoom through NYU Classes, ways to make the most of Zoom’s interactive features to support learning, and ideas for organizing meetings and content for an online format. 

 See our Previous “Getting Ready to Teach with Zoom” Workshop


Making a screen recording

You can use screen recording to capture content displayed on your computer screen, along with your narration. It's a good option if you'd like to record some mini lectures and share the recordings with your students. 

Screen recordings with Zoom

If you are familiar with Zoom, it is the easiest way to pre-record something for your students. All you need to do is schedule a meeting, start it, hit record, and do your thing. We recommend planning ahead for short (5-10 minute) segments, since you won’t be able to edit your recording extensively in Zoom. (The Zoom recording formats, MP4 and M4A, can be edited in other applications, like Quicktime, ScreenFLow, Camtasia, and iMovie, if you want to give it a try.)

You do have an option to trim the start/end of a Zoom recording via NYU Classes. To do this:

1. Navigate to Zoom in your course site
2. Click Cloud Recordings and then click the blue files text next to the class recording you want to edit
3. Click on the recording's play icon
4. Next you should be able to use the scissors icon at the bottom right to trim the playback range

Screen recordings with Kaltura Capture

You can use Kaltura to record content from your computer screen. It's a good option if you'd like to record some mini lectures and share the recordings with your students. Not many features, but easy to learn and uploads automatically to NYU Stream.


Watch “Quickly Make Useful Screen Recordings” Workshop

Screen recordings are narrated videos you can take of your screen. In this workshop we explore the tools you can use to create screen recordings and discuss how to incorporate them into your course to support student learning.

See our Previous “Quickly Make Useful Screen Recordings” Workshops

Polish Your Screen Recordings

Learn how to give your videos a professional finish by utilizing some simple editing techniques, such as trimming the beginning/ending of your video, cutting out a section in the middle, or adding a cross-fade.



Making Use of Old Class Recordings

If you have recordings of classes you have taught in the past year and think it would be useful to make parts of them available to your students -- maybe a guest speaker or a good worked example -- Mediasite has an editor that is reasonably easy to learn and use.  

If you would like to give it a try, write to the Stern Help Desk (HelpDesk@stern.nyu.edu) and request access to My Mediasite and the ability to edit your recordings. Tell them the semester, course number, and section number of every course with recordings you would like to be able to edit, and they will put them in a shared Mediasite folder for you.  

Use these guides for help learning how to use My Mediasite and edit your recordings:




NYU Classes

NYU Classes can be a good option for delivering content asynchronously.

Use NYU Classes to organize content, link to resources, and gather information in one place. It's also a good way to communicate with students and set up assignments. 



Workshop: Learning from Anywhere

Watch this video of the Learning Science Lab's "Learning from Anywhere" workshop to explore options for remote teaching and learning while maintaining the continuity of your class.

In this video we look at strategies for taking your class online and discuss how to effectively utilize tools like Zoom and Kaltura.