Best Practices for Teaching and Learning with Zoom

For Students

For Faculty

Improving your Zoom Connection

Securing your Virtual Classroom

For Students

Joining a Meeting

      1. Go to and log-in with your Emerson account to activate your Zoom account and download the Zoom desktop app.

      2. For best results, launch the desktop or mobile app and sign in via SSO with your Emerson credentials. 

      3. If your professor has sent you a Zoom link directly, follow that to join your scheduled class. Faculty may have also set up the Zoom link through Canvas. If so, click Zoom in the Canvas course's lefthand menu, find the meeting, and click Join.

      4. If you’re on a laptop or iMac, you will be prompted to allow your built-in camera and microphone to connect.

      5. Select Join With Computer Audio at the start of the call, but then mute your microphone by clicking the microphone icon.

  Audio Tips

  • Please use headphones or earbuds! This will make your voice clearer and any sounds of typing softer.
  • In general, keep your microphone Muted until it is your turn to speak.
    • Remember to unmute when you are called upon!

  • Use the Chat feature to type a text question.
  • Use the Raise Your Hand button to get the instructor’s attention.

If your instructor is recording your meeting, their video will include all chat messages visible to them, including those in private chats between you and the instructor. Please remember to be respectful to your peers and instructor while chatting, and save any sensitive questions or comments for email or a separate one-on-one meeting.

For Faculty

Using Zoom in Canvas

If you’re using Canvas and want to schedule a meeting for your entire class, the simplest way is to use Zoom within Canvas. Here’s how:

  1. The first time you use Zoom, you will need to go to, click Sign-In, and log-in with your Emerson account. This is a one-time step that activates your account. Close this window after signing in.
  2. Go to your Canvas course and click Zoom in the lefthand menu. Then click Schedule a New Meeting at top right:

    The Zoom button indicated in a Canvas course's lefthand menu.

  3. Fill out the form to specify the date, time, and duration of the meeting. We recommend the following setting selections:
    • Check the "Recurring meeting" box. Use the "Recurrence" dropdown menu to select "Weekly," which will reveal checkboxes that let you choose the days of the week your class meetings recur on:

      The interface for scheduling a meeting in the Zoom tool in Canvas, with the Recurring box checked and Weekly selected from the Recurrence dropdown menu.

    • Scroll down to continue choosing settings. For video, select on for both host and participant.
    • For audio, select both to allow telephone and computer audio.
    • Check the boxes for Enable join before host and Mute participants upon entry. Be sure to unmute your own microphone when you lecture. 

    Zoom meeting settings, with the boxes for Enable join before host and Mute participants upon entry checked.

  4. When you're ready, click the Save button at the bottom of the form to schedule your meeting. The meeting's shareable link and invitation info will be displayed. If the meeting is recurring, its link and meeting ID will be the same for each recurrence.

Additional Notes

  • Zoom meetings created in Canvas will be available to all your students via the Zoom button in the course menu, so no link-sharing is necessary. However, as a backup, we recommend sharing the meeting's link with students. This link is displayed on the page that appears after you schedule the meeting. You can also click on an existing meeting's title under the "Upcoming Meetings" tab to display its link (called the "Join URL").
  • When you’re ready to start the meeting, click Zoom in your course menu, then click Start to the right of the meeting.
  • Students can find upcoming meetings by clicking Zoom in the Canvas course menu, then clicking Join to the right of the meeting.

Meetings scheduled in Zoom via Canvas automatically appear on the course calendar and generate notifications for students! We recommend also making a Canvas Announcement including the following information:

  • When and where to join the meeting
  • The meeting link (as a back-up)
  • A reminder that they first need to activate their account by signing into

Office Hours

For office hours, you can check the box to enable Waiting Room when scheduling your meeting to create a holding space so that students will not accidentally intrude on private meetings. When a student enters the waiting room, the participants panel in your meeting will display their name and the option to allow them entry. Give office hours meetings a title like "Office Hours" to differentiate them from meetings for the whole class.

For details about using your Personal Meeting Room to hold virtual office hours, please refer to this guide: Tips for Holding Virtual Office Hours with Zoom

Attendance Reports

After a meeting ends, Zoom creates an attendance report that lists attendees in the meeting and their join/leave times. Instructors can find this by clicking the Previous Meetings tab, then clicking the Report button to the right of a listed meeting:

The Previous Meetings tab of the Zoom interface in Canvas, with the Report button indicated.


If Zoom meetings created in Canvas do not appear under Upcoming Meetings, please try the following steps. After each of these steps, go back to the Zoom tab in your Canvas course and refresh the page:

  • Go to, click Sign-In, then sign in with your Emerson account. You can then close this window and go back over to Canvas. This is a one-time step that activates your Zoom account.
  • If using Safari, go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy and uncheck the box for Prevent cross-site tracking.
  • Make sure your browser is updated to the latest version.
  • If using the Canvas Teacher mobile app, try using the web-based version of Canvas instead.
  • If none of these steps work, please contact for assistance.

Meetings that you schedule in Canvas will appear in your Zoom account at However, meetings that you schedule at or via the app will NOT appear in Canvas, nor will your students have access to these meetings unless you send them the join link. However, you can move those meetings into Canvas if you'd like. 

Using Zoom Outside of Canvas

Using your Personal Meeting Room

If you wish to hold a meeting for a smaller group of students or one-on-one, or you are not using Canvas, the easiest option is to use your Personal Meeting Room. This is a permanent meeting with you that anyone can join via its link. You can share this link with anyone you'd like, including all your students.

To find your Personal Meeting ID:

  1. Go to and click Sign In.
  2. Then click Meetings in the lefthand menu.
  3. Under Personal Room, look for the long link.

You can copy-and-paste this link into your browser's address bar to join your meeting. We recommend keeping this link in a safe and handy place.

The Zoom Meetings: Personal Room screen, with the personal meeting link indicated.

Using the Waiting Room

One catch with this option is that students with this link can join the meeting at any time. If you want to have private conversations, you need to either schedule separate meetings for those or turn on the Waiting Room in your Zoom settings. To turn on the Waiting Room:

  1. Click Settings in the lefthand Zoom menu (under where you found Meetings).
  2. Enable Waiting Room, which is a setting under "Security."
  3. When a student tries to join your meeting, you will see a notification in your room and a prompt to let them in.
  4. You may also want to disable the Allow participants to join before host setting on the same page, under "Schedule Meeting." That way your personal room won't be open until you join it. 

Passcode are only required for personal meeting rooms if Join Before Host is enabled. The link indicated above includes the passcode, so if students use that link, they won't need to enter the passcode. To learn more about how passcodes work in Zoom, please see Securing Your Virtual Classroom.

Other Scheduling Options

For more security, you could set up a unique Zoom link for each of your scheduled classes, and a separate link for 1:1 meetings, breakout groups, or office hours.

  1. For either option, go into Meeting settings and check off "Recurring meeting" so that the link doesn’t expire, and set the recurrence to "No Fixed Time":

    A screenshot of the Recurring Meeting setting in Zoom.

  2. For classes or large groups, allow "Enable join before host" and "Mute participants upon entry." Be sure to unmute your own microphone when you lecture. Ask students to individually unmute if you’d like them to share audio:

    Zoom meeting settings, with the boxes for Enable join before host and Mute participants upon entry checked.

  3. For private meetings and 1:1s, set your link to "Enable waiting room," which means you will have to accept participants who are trying to join. This will prevent someone from joining the room accidentally when you are in conversation with another individual:

    Zoom meeting settings, with the boxes for Enable join before host, Mute participants upon entry, and Enable Waiting Room checked.

The Zoom Meeting Interface

Spotlight Video
Makes your video the primary view.
Turn off for other view options.

Speaker View
Use for lecture and screen-sharing portions.

Gallery View
Use for discussion activities with all students.
Activate it using the 3x3 grid icon at the top right of the meeting window.
If you would like to ask a student to speak for an extended period of time, use the Pin Video feature to keep their video box the primary.

Manage Participants
A quick way to take attendance. You’ll see a list of all participants' names, as well as the status of their microphones and webcams.
Easily seeing when students "Raise Hands" to request to speak.

Use for discussions! You can message the whole group or just an individual.
Sending links to high-quality content that you’d like students to view. This will allow participants to view video in higher quality than if you streamed it and shared your screen.

Screen Sharing
Use to show the group your whole desktop or just a single window.
Be sure to check the Share Computer Audio and Optimize for fullscreen video clip boxes when sharing a video or other audio material via screen sharing.
Share Computer Audio will change your laptop’s audio output settings automatically, so you may need to change back depending on your audio setup.
When possible, send media content via Chat or Canvas instead of screen sharing.

Some things that you see in Zoom may not be seen by others in the meeting. Some controls are only available to and seen by hosts or co-hosts. Additionally, the order and view of participants in the Zoom meeting may be different for each meeting attendee, based on how they've chosen to organize their screen. However, the host can ask meeting participants to Follow the Host's Video Order.

For more information about the Zoom interface, please refer to this guide: Getting to Know the Zoom Interface

Recording Meetings

You can record your Zoom meetings so that students who cannot attend will be able to watch them later. Faculty members must obtain written consent (electronic documents are acceptable) from all students to make such recordings and must provide copies of such consents to Academic Affairs. Please review the Guidance for Faculty Interested in Recording Classes for more information and to download a copy of the student consent form.

When you record a meeting, you will have two options:

The bottom of the Zoom meeting settings, with the options for cloud and local recording indicated.

Record to your local computer
If you record meetings on your local computer, they will process for several minutes and then download to a folder called "Zoom" on your computer.
You can then upload your recording to Panopto and either share its link with your students or embed it in Canvas. This is the fastest way to get your videos to students.
Record to the cloud

If you record meetings to the cloud, they will automatically be made available to you and your students via the "Cloud Recordings" tab of the Zoom tool in your course; no other steps on your part are necessary. However, these recordings may take 24 hours or more to process due to the high traffic Zoom is experiencing.

The Zoom interface in Canvas with the Cloud Recordings tab indicated.

When you record meetings, please note:

  • If you’re recording, be sure to click the Stop Recording button in your meeting’s controls before ending the meeting. This ensures your recording will finish and process.
  • When people join a meeting you're recording, they will be notified and prompted to consent to join the meeting or leave. If you start recording during a meeting, attendees will also be notified and prompted to consent to stay or leave.

For more information on recording meetings, please refer to our guide: Zoom Recordings

For instructions on how to move recordings to Panopto for long-term storage, please refer to our guide: How to Move Your Zoom Recordings to Panopto

Guest Speakers

If you have a non-Emerson guest speaker, please refer to Inviting an external guest to a Zoom meeting. If your class meets in person but the guest speaker will be joining via Zoom, scheduling a meeting via or the Zoom app (rather than Zoom within Canvas) is recommended. 

Improving your Zoom connection

If you're experiencing choppiness or slow speeds during your Zoom call, review our Presentation and Conference Tips, and try the following:

  • If you are listening to a lecture and not being asked to participate, put your microphone on Mute.
  • If you don’t need to be seen on camera, stop your webcam video.

Students: always check with your instructor to make sure this is ok beforehand!

  • Try disabling HD video in your Zoom settings. Click on the up arrow next to Stop Video and select Video Settings.
  • Closeout of any other applications that may be running on your computer that you do not need.
  • Stop or pause any other actions that you may be running in the background such as downloads, uploads, data backups, or streaming.
  • To troubleshoot audio echo or feedback, mute all attendees and then unmute one at a time to isolate the issue.

Securing Your Virtual Classroom

Some instructors have reported experiencing "Zoombombing," where uninvited guests join online classes with the intention of causing disruptions to the session by taking over screen sharing or putting hateful comments in chat. 

We have put together a list of recommended settings to both help prevent and control situations like this as a meeting host. Zoom also has a blog post with additional guidance.

Passcode Protection

In an effort to improve security for our virtual classrooms and meetings, newly created Emerson Zoom meetings are now set to "require meeting passcode" by default.

Students will not be required to enter the passcode unless they join using the Meeting ID or via the browser-based version of Zoom, but we recommend communicating the passcode as an added precaution. Passcode will not apply to personal meeting links.

See Securing Your Virtual Classroom for more information about passcode protecting your meetings.

Security Button

There is now a "Security" button in the Zoom meetings' toolbar in the Zoom app for both Mac and PC. It offers the following features:

  1. Lock meeting
  2. Enable/disable waiting room (previously this could only be done when scheduling the meeting)
  3. Enable/disable participants' ability to screen share, chat, and rename themselves

For more information about the security button, please see this guide by Zoom.


Zoom Accessibility

See Hosting Accessible Remote Meetings for guidance on ensuring that all attendees, including those with disabilities, are able to participate and engage during your Zoom meeting or event.

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