Mar 17 2021

7 Zoom Features For Online Learning Success

Learn these tips and tricks to increase student engagement on Zoom.

Millions of educators and students use Zoom for higher education instruction every day. But with new features popping up almost every month, professors and instructors may not be taking advantage of all the best features for education.

To help colleges and universities elevate online courses, here are some features on Zoom that may not be commonly known among faculty.

1. Screen-Share Video Files to Create an Interactive Online Classroom

Zoom has some interactive features that allows users to screen-share a video clip with native audio. This can be a fun way to engage college students who love to communicate through memes and GIFs on social media.

To enable this feature:

  • Click screen-share
  • Select desktop
  • Select optimize for full-screen video clip
  • Click share-screen
  • Show users a full screen of the video file

2. Get Higher Quality Audio by Enabling Original Sound

Zoom offers an “original sound” option, which disables various audio-enhancing features to preserve a microphone’s original sound.

This feature is beneficial for courses, such as music seminars, in which instructors and students are already using quality sound equipment. In this case, connecting through original sound results in a higher resolution audio stream.

To read the full instructions on how to enable this feature, see Zoom’s website.

MORE ON EDTECH: Here's 5 videoconferencing tools for student group projects.

3. Bring the Lecture Hall Environment Online with a Second Camera

Educators can connect a second device, such as a document camera, to share videos on Zoom. For example, a document camera can point toward a physical whiteboard to help re-create that in-person learning environment.

To enable this feature on Zoom, follow Northern Michigan University’s simple instructions on how to do so.

DIVE DEEPER: What are the hybrid classroom setups built for the future?

4. Use the Co-Annotation Feature to Engage with Students

One of the best ways to engage with students is to call on people to annotate the content shared on your screen. Students can use digital arrows, lines, highlighters, pens and erasers to engage with your lesson.

co-annotate on Zoom

A student co-annotates during a Zoom class. Photo credit: Zoom

For more information on how to enable this feature, see Zoom’s website.

5. Save Time by Automatically Scheduling Meetings

To better manage remote workloads, you can schedule meetings automatically. One way to do this is to create recurring meetings. You can set meetings to recur daily, weekly or monthly. Keep in mind that recurring meetings expire 356 days after the first meeting.

Alternatively, you can designate a teaching assistant to schedule meetings for you.

To learn more about scheduling recurring meetings, see Zoom’s website. For information on how to grant scheduler privileges, see Zoom’s instructions.

6. Use Class Time More Effectively with Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts

Spending less time on tedious tasks frees up more time for student engagement. Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that can help online lectures run more smoothly.

I is for Invite. Press Command+I (macOS) or Alt+I (Windows) to pop open the “Invite” window, where you can copy the meeting link or invite attendees via email.

M is for Mute. Press Command+Ctrl+M (macOS) or Alt+M (Windows) when you want to mute rambunctious students.

S is for Share. Press Command+Shift+S (macOS) or Alt+Shift+S (Windows) to share your screen with the class.

For a full list of hotkeys and shortcuts, see Zoom’s website.

7. Have Zoom Lectures Translated for ESL Students

In addition to closed captioning, Zoom also has an interpretation feature that can help English language learners stay on track. This feature allows designated interpreters to create separate audio channels, giving students the option to select their preferred language during class. Students can choose to listen to the original audio at a lower volume or mute it entirely during the lecture, and they can still listen to recordings of the original audio at a later time.

Keep in mind that this feature does not work with personal meeting IDs or instant meetings. For more information on how to maximize the interpretation feature, see Zoom’s website.

To stay up to date with all of the latest features for collaboration tools, talk to one of CDW•G’s unified communications inside solution architects (UCISA). When it comes to improving online learning experiences, a small change can go a long way.

   This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.


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