Even when you’re familiar with the tools, you may find yourself managing disruptions during your Zoom session. Whether they’re technical issues like sound quality or behavioural ‘netiquette’ challenges from a few participants, here are some tips and techniques to help you prepare for the unexpected.
The default security settings for all UTS Zoom accounts have been adjusted to minimise the risk of unwanted disruption, including:
- UTS account access – participants must be signed in to a UTS staff, student or alumni account to access your meeting. Guests not signed into a UTS account are automatically placed into a waiting room, and you approve their entry to your meeting
- Screen sharing permissions – sharing is only allowed for hosts and co-hosts. To allow a participant to share their screen, follow the instructions in communicating with students during a Zoom meeting.
- Chat permissions – private chats between participants are disabled in UTS Zoom accounts, and hosts now decide whether participants can chat publicly with all meeting participants, only with the host, or with no-one. Follow the instructions under chatting with students to manage your chat settings.
As a Zoom meeting host there are also a few techniques you can use to encourage respectful behaviour and manage disruptions before, during and after your class.
Before the class:
- Meeting link – don’t post your meeting link on any public website or social media page to avoid attempts to join from people outside your class
- Managing expectations – before your Zoom session, download and share this slide on creating a respectful online environment with your students when using video conferencing tools
- Annotation setting – the annotation function in Zoom allows you and your participants to draw and type over a shared screen. You can disable this feature in your Zoom settings to prevent unwanted additions to your learning materials.
During the class:
- Mute audio/video – to prevent distractions or inappropriate behaviour, you 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
- Save chat – to keep a record of all chat interactions, you can automatically have the entire meeting chat saved. To encourage a positive influence on behaviour, let everyone know that this is going to happen at the beginning of the meeting.
- Remove participants – if you need to permanently stop an individual from distracting 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.
- Privacy settings – use the ‘Security’ menu tab during your Zoom meeting to quickly change settings for that meeting. You can lock the meeting and allow or suspend participant activities while the meeting is in progress.
If an incident occurred in your class, there are a few options you can follow up with after the class:
In Zoom sessions, 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.
If you are having problems connecting or with audio/ video quality in your Zoom meeting, there may be a technical issue. The points below address some of the key technical issues you may come across:
- Reduce bandwidth – try turning off video sharing and microphones for all participants other than yourself.
- Internet/WiFi – to maximise your WiFi connection strength at home, position yourself near your WiFi router. Close unnecessary applications on your computer. If possible, ask anyone who shares your WiFi to avoid activities that will use lots of bandwidth during your session. For further WiFi troubleshooting, read the Zoom help page on WiFi connection issues.
- Camera – if your camera isn’t working – take a look at the Zoom camera troubleshooting help page.