Supporting your students

How to support your students

There are a number of ways that you can support your students in using Zoom effectively and also in creating an engaging online learning experience for your students.

Provide students new to Zoom with helpful resources

Provide students with resources to familiarise themselves with the platform so that they know how to share their screen, annotate using the Zoom tools, use the chat feature, use reactions, mute themselves and join a breakout session. By providing this information in advance, students will feel more confident in the session. See links below for resources you can share.

Provide clear instructions in Moodle for the Zoom session(s)

It is not enough to simply place a link to the Zoom session and expect students to know what to do. Use Moodle as a space to provide clear instructions and guidelines for the Zoom session.

  • State the date and time of the session and whether it is repeated
  • Include the hyperlink to the Zoom meeting (make sure the passcode is included)
  • State the agenda, objectives of the session
  • Provide information on Zoom etiquette or house rules (muting, video use, how to ask questions, etc.)
  • Provide troubleshooting tips if they can’t login
  • Information about whether it will be recorded or not
  • If it is recorded, let them know where they can access the recording

Create a safe and inclusive online environment

Learning online can feel very isolating for students. Take advantage of Zoom’s two way communication and breakout room features to get students involved in the session. It is recommended that you start the session with a short icebreaker, this can be as simple as having them answer a polling question to get them to breakout in groups and discuss a relevant topic. Find ways to get all students involved and get their feedback early on to improve their online experience.

Encourage webcam use in breakout sessions

It is hard to get students to turn on their webcams in a large session and may not be the best use of bandwidth. Therefore, the focus should be more on encouraging them to turn on their webcams in the breakout sessions so that they can have more meaningful discussions. This is especially helpful in a hybrid format where some students are in class. This shouldn’t be made mandatory though as there might be valid reasons for them not having their cameras on. Simply ask students why they have their webcams off. It could be because of bandwidth, they are in a shared space or they may not be feeling well that day. The key is to make them feel comfortable to share their video and explain why they should use their webcams in the breakout room.

Engage student in the session

Find ways of making the session more interactive and engaging for students, whether it is by integrating polling throughout the session, having group work in breakout rooms or having scaffolded discussions on the topic. For more tips on how to use Zoom to create engaging sessions, see the Quick start section. You can also see the MEA module on Increasing interactive learning with technology.

What resources and services are available to students

Here are some useful resources that you can share with your students:

Learning and teaching tools: Zoom

This Monash Library guide provides students with helpful information on how to use Zoom.

Zoom orientation slides for students

Give your students a brief induction to the Zoom platform, including microphone, text chat, and non-verbal communication tools. These slides can either be integrated into your slides or shared on Moodle to help them familiarise themselves with the basic settings and features in Zoom.

Zoom download link in China

Participants in China can download the Zoom app using this link and can join a Zoom meeting as usual by simply clicking the meeting invitation link as normal.

House rules

You can share these house rules to get students to understand how an online session functions very similarly to an face-to-face one but with slight modifications.

Zoom etiquette

This netiquette guide adapted from Monash College provides students some useful tips on how to prepare and participate in a virtual class.

Record group presentations using Zoom

You can get students to use Zoom if they need to do a group video recorded presentation. This guide provides them with the necessary steps to record a group video in Zoom.

Draw inspiration

Increasing interactive learning with technology

This MEA module provides examples and strategies about how to create more interactive learning activities using technologies.

Learn more