What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing software program which is used for a variety of online learning and teaching sessions at Monash; including large-scale information and orientation sessions, as well as regular learning activities like online lectures and tutorials.
- Many lecturers and tutors will also use Zoom to host information sessions and consultations for students.
- As a student, you may also use Zoom to access some student support services. You can also use Zoom to meet with your fellow classmates outside of your scheduled class time, which can be especially helpful for teamwork or study group situations.
Tips for using Zoom View
1. Sign in and join early
Zoom works a little better if you sign in to your Monash account before the scheduled time for the session (see the instructions on the getting started with Zoom page), but like all technology, things can go wrong sometimes. Therefore, in addition to signing in, it is helpful to join each Zoom session a couple of minutes early so that you have time for troubleshooting if needed, without missing out on anything.
2. Be actively present
The benefit of Zoom over other kinds of video-based learning, is that it is live, which means you can ask questions and take part in activities. The downside is that you cannot pause or rewind the video, so it is important to be fully present and engaged.
3. Mind your mute setting
In medium to large Zoom sessions, you should stay muted most of the time, and only unmute when you are speaking. This reduces background noise for everyone, which is especially important in a large group. For small discussion groups in which you are all taking frequent turns speaking, you may not need to keep muting and unmuting unless there is unavoidable background noise at your location.
Visual elements can also result in a kind of background ‘noise' or distraction, so be mindful of your background, and check your lighting to ensure that you are not backlit. Aim for a muted, uncluttered, and professional image, so that people can see you and communicate with you clearly.
4. Communicate with each other
Zoom is a communication tool that is designed to be interactive. You will get the most out of the learning experience by actively interacting with the host and your fellow students. It is good to ask questions and contribute to the discussion as much as possible.
5. Participate in every activity
The more effort you put into any learning experience, the more you will learn.
The interactive aspects of Zoom sessions are your chance to apply your knowledge and receive immediate feedback from your lecturers and tutors, as well as to meet, collaborate with and learn from your fellow students.
Make sure you take the opportunity to participate in every poll, Q&A, whiteboard, and discussion activity - especially breakout room activities because they are designed with a focus on student participation and collaboration.
Getting started with Zoom
Minimum technology requirements
The recommendations for best participation experience are to use a device with a webcam, speakers/headphones, and a microphone/headset.
The minimum requirement is speakers and a microphone – you must be able to listen and join the discussion.
You can use Zoom as an application on your computer or as an app on a mobile device. We recommend that you install Zoom on your computer.
Download the app from the official Zoom website.
For more information and support visit the following sites:
- Zoom Help Center: Install Zoom on your devices
- Zoom Help Center: Desktop client and mobile app comparison
- Monash eSolutions: Zoom conferencing
Signing in to Zoom
Before you start using Zoom, make sure you:
- Sign in to your Monash account
- Choose the “Sign In with SSO” option
Enter “monash” to fill in the SSO domain, then click “Continue”
Single Sign On (SSO) lets you sign into multiple systems such as your emails, Moodle, and Zoom using your single Monash account.
Visit Signing in with SSO for more information on using SSO for the Zoom portal, desktop and mobile app.
When you have the software installed and signed in, you will be able to see the Zoom home tab:
The most commonly used functions are on the home tab are:
- New Meeting: This starts an instant meeting. This is particularly useful if you want to test something out, or use Zoom to record a video presentation. You can also invite others to the meeting once you have started it, by clicking on the “participants” menu.
- Join: This lets you join a scheduled session by inputting the meeting ID and passcode.
- Schedule: This lets you schedule a Zoom session in advance - such as when you are arranging a time for teamwork or study group sessions.
To make it clear who you are in the session, ensure your display name is accurate. By default, your display name may be your student email prefix, but it is much easier for people to communicate with you over Zoom if it is your actual name.
You also have the option to choose a profile image to display when your camera is off, and further personalise your profile by adding and sharing your pronouns, as well as setting your interface language and time zone, etc.
To access your profile, you need to sign into the Zoom web portal.
- Go to monash.zoom.au
- Click “sign in”. If you are not already logged into Monash through OKTA, you may be redirected to a Monash login screen before seeing your Zoom profile.
- Click “edit” next to any profile settings that you wish to update.
For more information visit the Zoom Help Center page on Customising your profile.
Changing your name during a Zoom session
In most cases (unless the option is turned off by the host) you can also change your name during a session by clicking/tapping on the “participants” list, then clicking “more” next to your name in the desktop app or tapping on your name in the mobile app, and then selecting “rename”.
This can be helpful in Zoom Webinars where your display name is controlled by your registration information and may not always match your profile name.
To join a Zoom session, you will need:
- the meeting link or the meeting ID
- the meeting passcode.
To join a Zoom session at the scheduled time click on the link or enter the ID and passcode directly into the app.
For Zoom sessions hosted by Monash, both the ID and passcode are coded into the link, so you usually just need to use the link. However, sometimes you may still need to enter the passcode separately.
For regularly scheduled learning activities such as online classes, you will find the information you need on Moodle. For one-off sessions, you may receive an invitation through Google Calendar, or it may be directly communicated to you by email or in a forum post.
If you are not sure where to find the link, ID and passcode, ask in your unit forums or by getting in touch with the person who is in charge of the Zoom session. Always check your schedule and ask in advance if needed. Trying to find the Zoom access information at the last minute can be very stressful, and could result in you missing out on the session!