Zoom is a web-based video conferencing service for collaborating with others online. It is available across multiple platforms such as desktop and mobile. Your instructor may be using Zoom to hold classes online. You can also use Zoom to meet with your classmates for group projects or study groups. Here is some information to help you get started with Zoom.

Get Started:

1. Create a Zoom account. It’s possible to join a Zoom meeting without an account, but your instructor may require you to have an account to join in class activities, so we suggest creating one. Students can sign up for a free Zoom account. We suggest using your Carleton email address.

IMPORTANT: Do not reuse your MC1 password if you create a Zoom account with your Carleton email address.

2. Download Zoom. Visit Zoom’s download center to download the Zoom client, the Zoom plugin for Microsoft Outlook, Zoom mobile apps, and more!

3. Test your set-up. Although it’s possible to test your audio and video during a Zoom call, it’s ideal to test these out ahead of time with the Zoom test meeting.

Join a Meeting:

  1. Open the Zoom application or join via browser.
  2. Enter the meeting ID provided by your instructor.
  3. Enter the password provided by your instructor, if one has been assigned.
  4. After these steps, you may find yourself in a waiting room. Your instructor will let participants into the Zoom classroom when they are ready.

It’s also possible to join a Zoom session with a meeting link, which may be sent by email or posted in Brightspace. This video tutorial shows you how to join a Zoom meeting using a meeting link.

During a Meeting:

1. In-Meeting Tools

When you enter a Zoom meeting, you will have the ability to interact with others in the meeting using a variety of different tools located in the toolbar at the bottom of the application. To learn more about these tools, click on the drop down, and watch this video on how to navigate the Zoom application.

2. Screen Views

If your instructor has given you control over the view settings, you can toggle between the active speaker view and the gallery view, which changes the way that videos are arranged in the Zoom display.

Active Speaker View

Gallery View

In a session with 3 or more participants, this view will switch the large video window between who is speaking. In a session with just you and one other participant, your video will be smaller at the top and their video will appear below. Use the speaker view button to select this view.

This view shows thumbnails of participants in a grid pattern, The grid adjusts as participants join and leave the meeting. Depending on your CPU, you can display up to 49 participants in a single screen of the gallery view.

Button on Zoom screen to switch to speaker view

Button on Zoom screen to switch to gallery view

3. Additional Features Instructors May Use

You may see the following features used by instructors during Zoom sessions:

  • Breakout rooms: smaller sessions in the meeting allowing participants to meet in smaller groups, assigned by the host.
  • Whiteboard: annotate and brainstorm on a shared screen or digital whiteboard.
  • Polling: answer single choice or multiple choice questions provided by the instructor.

4. Conduct during a Zoom Session

Employ our web conferencing guidelines for students during Zoom sessions and be sure to follow proper netiquette. Because Zoom offers the ability to edit your screen name, ensure that you use your name when joining a Zoom session; do not use a false name.

5. Privacy

When using Zoom, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) is essentially one continuous meeting. Do NOT use your PMI to host public events. Once people know the ID number, they can join the meeting at any time.
  • If using a web browser to access a Zoom meeting, use a private/incognito browser. As a standard practice, Zoom data mines all information provided on their service.
  • Do NOT share sensitive/secure/confidential information and files on Zoom.
  • Zoom meetings, including lectures and classroom discussions, might be recorded without the instructor or other participants being aware using screen capture and/or external recording devices. Please note that Carleton University’s policy prohibits students from recording class sessions and distributing any class recordings. Instructors may choose to record synchronous remote class sessions but must follow specific guidelines set out by the university.

Participants may be able to join Zoom meetings without the host’s permission and/or using a false identity. Your instructors may do the following to keep uninvited guests out of the Zoom meeting:

  • Refrain from posting Zoom meeting links on publicly accessible forums or syllabi.
  • Share Zoom link details through Brightspace so that only enrolled students can access the virtual classroom.
  • Use a unique password for each Zoom meeting, even if it is a recurring meeting such as a virtual class.
  • Share the password for a Zoom meeting shortly before it is scheduled.

Additional Information

Check out Zoom’s excellent collection of resources at support.zoom.us. Much of this information has been condensed into our Zoom Guide for Students and FAQ (below). If you’re still having trouble, contact online@carleton.ca.


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