Presenting a live online meeting can be tough. You have to think about clearly explaining your content as well as managing the technology, and sometimes, unfortunately, you have to manage the behaviour of meeting participants. Luckily, being the host of a Zoom meeting means you have a lot of control over how and when participants interact. Here are the LX.lab’s top tips for managing a Zoom class and ensuring that participants behave in a respectful way.
1. Mute participants’ audio and video
To prevent distractions, or unwanted and inappropriate behaviour, a host can easily mute participants’ audio and video feeds. Hosts can mute and unmute individual participants or all meeting participants at once. You can also enable Mute Upon Entry in your UTS Zoom account settings.
2. Control the chat
While the chat function can be a useful addition to any online meeting, it can also become the home to distracting and sometimes, unfortunately, inappropriate interactions. By default, private chats are disabled in UTS Zoom. As a meeting host, you have control over the chat function and can prevent participants from chatting with anyone, or allow them to chat with only the host or with everyone publicly.
3. Save the chat
To make sure that there’s a record of all chat interactions, you can automatically have the entire meeting chat saved. To ensure a positive influence on behaviour, make everyone aware that this is going to happen at the beginning of the meeting.
4. Disable annotations
The annotation function in Zoom allows you and your meeting participants to draw and type over a shared screen. You can disable this feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from providing unwanted additions to your learning materials.
5. Use the Zoom waiting room for non-UTS guests
By default, only people with UTS email addresses (ending in @UTS.edu.au, @student.uts.edu.au, or @alumni.uts.edu.au) will be able to join a meeting directly. Guest speakers and other outside participants will still be able to participate in your Zoom meeting, but they will first be directed to the Zoom waiting room. This function gives you more control over participants entering your meeting by keeping prospective participants in a safe holding area. The ‘Manage Participants’ button on your host tool bar will flash to let you know people are waiting to join your meeting. Once you’re happy they are who they say they are, click on ‘Admit’ to let them in.
6. Remove Participants
If you feel that your only option is to permanently stop someone from distracting the other meeting participants, your host controls allow you to remove them from your meeting. Using the ‘Manage Participants’ function, move your cursor over a participant’s name and click ‘More’. Several options will appear, including ‘Remove’. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to remove the participant. Click ‘OK’. The removed participant will not be able to re-join your meeting.
For more tips and guidance
We recommend keeping meeting numbers below 50 students to keep it manageable. And if this isn’t possible, then try to ask a tutor or colleague to co-host with you and help manage interactions.
Zoom’s own blog has loads of tips for how to keep the party crashers from crashing your Zoom event.
UTS is an environment where students and staff should always be able to study and work safely. Remember that in a Zoom teaching session – like any other class – students are bound by the UTS rules around student misconduct. Bullying, harassment or inappropriate behaviour should be reported and handled through the relevant channels.
Before you use Zoom, share this slide with your students to establish appropriate behaviour when using video conferencing: