Hosting a Basic Online Meeting via Zoom
– Zoom versus Webex: UConn faculty members automatically have Webex account; Zoom is easier to use, and has better quality
– Zoom Basic (free) account versus Pro (paid) account. Zoom Pro is more advanced and has more functions available (for example, unlimited time for group meetings). Some members of our department have their own Zoom Pro accounts to teach classes. Our department has Zoom Pro account which can be used for “one off” events or committee type meetings if hosted on behalf of the department (as opposed to individual office hours). – Differences between Pro and Basic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02INJ66Fl-E&ab_channel=ChrisMenard
Things to consider/do before, during and after hosting a Zoom meeting:
– our department does not have a fully dedicated IT specialist to help us with online events
– preparing an online event (workshop, seminar), including via Zoom, is time consuming and requires technical skills, updated computer software and labor
– keep things simple
– read/watch Zoom tutorials and get familiar with functions you want to use (on Zoom.us or YouTube videos)
– practice basic Zoom functions by yourself and/or with another person
– if you have invited guest speakers (or have a panel), discuss technical details of your meeting with them, especially the “host” and “co-host” roles (intellectual vs. technical), time management, Q&A session, etc. Make sure guest speakers know how to share their screen and visuals. It helps to have two people (host and co-host) to manage complex meeting with large audience.
– No matter how well you are prepared to host a Zoom meeting, be patient and ready for unexpected technical “surprises” during the meeting.
– choose Zoom account (download Zoom App if first time) and sign up to make your own account
– schedule your meeting
– choose proper settings for managing audience (i.e waiting room, muting participants, etc.)
– send your Meeting ID to participants and include it in your poster and announcements
During the meeting:
– enter your meeting room 10-15 minutes before the meeting; ask key speakers to check their audio/video quality; enable “co-host” function for them; allow audience in from the “waiting room”
– if recording: press “recording” button and “stop recording” when the meeting is over
– mute participants during key speaker’s presentation, and ask them to unmute during Q& A session; background noise from participants can affect the presentation
– screen sharing: it helps if at least 2 people (host and co-host) have a copy of the images (PPP/video link) in case if a host or co-host have difficulty sharing their own images; if you share your screen, make sure that on your desktop you open only the document/file you want to share and close other documents and applications before starting the meeting.
– when you start sharing a video, make sure you click “share computer sound” or “optimize screen sharing for video clip”; video quality can be affected by your computer’s processing speed, wi-fi quality, audio/video controls. Video-sharing should be practiced beforehand to avoid last minute difficulties.
– Q&A session; for large audience, the Q&A session should be moderated; combine direct questions from the audience and invite written questions via chatroom.
After the meeting:
– if you recorded your meeting, the link will be saved either on your computer or on Cloud (Zoom Pro allows both options). The longer the meeting, the larger the recording file (MP4 format)
– before posting a recorded meeting online, watch it and make sure it is of adequate quality.
– thank everybody involved in helping to manage your meeting/event; it is stressful to be a “technical host” for large audience especially if the “intellectual host and co-hosts” are not familiar with technical aspects and expect the “technical host” to fix everything.
To get familiar with terminology and basic functions, read Zoom support materials and watch tutorials in https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us or watch YouTube tutorials like these ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QyiUAcE2MU&ab_channel=CreativeLifeCenter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwSo4GlFBck&ab_channel=SmartSimpleDigital
or this video for teaching a class via Zoom with useful technical tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvndgRlOH1w&ab_channel=RussellStannard%28TeacherTrainingVideos%29
For high (corporate) quality online events via Zoom or other platforms:
– ask for administrative assistance; request or hire an IT specialist