Zoom Settings for Remote Classroom Use

Updated August 2020

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Go to https://psu.zoom.us and Sign In using your PSU access account.

Login page for Zoom

In the left-hand menu, click on Settings.

Zoom Settings

Recommended Settings

There are many settings in Zoom. Some may be set however you like, but we recommend that the following settings are toggled to "on" (so that the toggle appears blue).

Look for the three tabs at the top of the page: Meeting, Recording, and Telephone.

decorative image: Meeting, Recording, Telephone

Under the Meeting Tab:

  • Waiting Room (On): Optional: click Edit Options and choose "Users not in your account." Those who have authenticated with Penn State Web Access credentials will bypass the waiting room while unauthenticated users will be held in the waiting room. 
  • Require passcode for participants joining by phone (On): This can be turned on and off when scheduling individual meetings, but participants joining by phone will need the password to enter (Host must provide).
  • Only authenticated users can join meeting (On): This will allow you to force students to use their PSU Zoom accounts (with PSU email address) when logging in. See Setting up a Meeting Using PSU Authentication for more information. Students will first need 'Sign In' to activate their accounts at https://psu.zoom.us/, if they haven't already.

    click edit to change default authentication wording

  • Host video (On): This will allow the students to see you; faculty presence is helpful during this time, unless you are concerned about bandwidth where you are working. In that case, make sure you add an image in your Profile in Zoom (see below-- text will say "Add" or "Change"). That image will show when your video is off.
  • Participants video (Off): This saves bandwidth, so we recommend you choose "off;" however, there are sound reasons to encourage video use -- like to build community. If your class is large, you may need to save bandwidth and cannot consider using video, but if your class is small, encourage students to use their cameras, if they have them, in order to develop a virtual face-to-face environment. If video use is prohibitive, encourage students to upload a friendly, appropriate, photo to their Zoom profile.   
  • Audio Type: Telephone and Computer Audio selected.
  • Join before Host (Off): This prevents students from joining before you arrive to class.
  • Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting (Off): For classes, create a unique zoom room. Some preferences for optimal classroom usage do not work with PMI. 
  • Chat (On): This is useful for students to send questions to you during class.
  • Private Chat (Off): You can have it on, but this prevents students from chatting without your seeing it.
  • Mute Participants upon Entry: Enable/disable based on preference. It is suggested that you enable this for large classes. 
  • Chat (On): Can be enabled/disabled from within the meeting). 
    • Prevent participants from saving chat - uncheck this so that links and text can be copied and pasted.
  • Private Chat: Enable/disable based on preference. Instructor and students can exchange private messages, but students cannot send private messages to each other.
  • Co-host (On): This allows you to add TAs, etc., as co-hosts to a meeting.
  • Polling (On): This allows you to give your students brief polls for interaction and formative assessment purposes. If requiring registration, you can get reports of what participants answered, but if you need to give credit for correct answers, consider looking into other polling options, such as iClicker Reef, or add a short Canvas quiz(s) that is open during class.
  • Show Zoom windows during screen share (On): By default, Zoom windows and toolbars are not included in screen sharing. For example, if you share your desktop and it contains a PowerPoint presentation and the Zoom chat and the participants window, only the PowerPoint will broadcast in the Zoom meeting or webinar. If you are using the Zoom Client for Meetings desktop application, you can show your Zoom windows and toolbars while sharing your screen.
  • Screen Sharing (On): You can decide based on your class whether you or everyone can share and who can share while someone else is sharing. If you allow everyone to share, you may want to limit "sharing when someone else is sharing" to the host only.
  • Annotation (Off unless necessary): This prevents students from annotating over anything that is being shared.
  • Whiteboard: Enable/disable based on need.
  • Nonverbal Feedback (On): This allows students to indicate whether they'd like the session to move faster or slower, answer Yes or No, etc.
  • Meeting Reactions (On): This allows quick emoji feedback during meetings. Can be used for informal polling. 
  • Allow removed participants to rejoin (Off If you are concerned about disruptive behaviors).
  • Allow participants to rename themselves (Off): Can be changed from within the meeting.
  • Breakout room (On): In addition, choose (check the box) to allow the host to assign participants to breakout rooms when scheduling.
  • Remote Support (On if you are working in a software package where you may need to help students 1:1) If you select this, note that breakout rooms access will turn off. You cannot have both on at the same time. You can switch settings between sessions.
  • Virtual Background (On): This may encourage students to turn on video if they can mask their surroundings. 

Under the Recording Tab:

  • Local Recording (On if you will ask students to record breakout rooms): Enabling this setting still requires the instructor to grant students permission to record.
  • Cloud Recording (On):
    • Record active speaker: check if you want recording to show one speaker at a time.
    • Record gallery view: check if you want recording to show grid view of participants.
    • Other settings are up to personal preference.

Zoom settings that can be changed during a meeting: please see the Security at Penn State resource: Change Individual Meeting Settings While Hosting.