Zoom Video Communications
The advantage of Zoom is that it allows faculty to interact with their students. Thus, we strongly recommend the use of Zoom to meet and interact with the students. Despite heavy use, we have found that Zoom worked pretty well. There were a few cases where some issues arose during meetings. Furthermore, additional issues arise when we require that the videos get uploaded. We provide a list of best practices to minimize issues.
First, we recommend that faculty get a Zoom Pro account that allows them to run meetings that last more than forty minutes. Then, to avoid bandwidth issues, we provide the following guidelines:
- Zoom recordings of students can only be used in the current semester due to FERPA (legal constraint).
- Zoom recordings require large space on your computer.
- Zoom recordings can take a relatively long time to upload to UNM learn.
- Zoom audio may have issues, depending on available bandwidth.
To address these problems, the faculty recommendations are:
- Turn off all student videos.
- Mute all of the students until they ask questions.
- Make sure you are at a high bandwidth connection.
- Record your video locally on your device as backup (recommended by Zoom).
Alternatively, instead of using Zoom to record the screen, you can use a screen capture software. Active Presenter for desktop is free
In Active Presenter, you can edit the videos to remove the student images and their names. In this way, you can extract portions of the videos and use them in another course without any legal issues.
Best Practices for Online Courses
The basic recommendation is to upload short videos online and then use Zoom for interacting with the students during lectures or office hours. In a flipped classroom setting, you can ask students to review the lectures and answer questions in class. Alternatively, you can use Zoom in an online-synchronous mode where you upload the videos when done. In this case, you can go back and de-identify the videos for later use. Refer to Zoom support for this case.
In summary, when developing video content, the recommendations are:
• Record short videos that are less than 10 minutes.
• Upload the videos online.
• Add short quizzes that force students to watch them.
This is basically the standard recommendation for developing online courses (e.g., MOP).
Zoom Meeting Guidelines For Students
1. Test your audio and video before joining the meeting.
2. Echo issues: Echo happens when your computer speaker audio is transmitted back through your microphone. It is suggested that you buy a USB based headset with a microphone. In this case, you should not experience any echo issues. If you do use your laptop and you hear echo, lower the audio from your computer speakers or simply mute your microphone.
3. Disable video until and unless you want to be seen. This option saves bandwidth. So it should be your default. It also addresses privacy issues.
4. Mute your audio until you want to ask a question. You should always stay mute until you are ready to get the attention of the instructor. If you are in a quiet room in your house, you can unmute the audio.
5. Use raise hand if you are in a big meeting. You can also lower your hand at any time. If the speaker does not see that you raised your hand, you can unmute your audio and ask a question directly. Mute your microphone when you finish with your question.
6. Use text chat unless you have a complicated question that requires audio. If you need to use your hands or communicate with a picture, you can enable video. After you are done, you can stop sharing your video to save bandwidth.
These Reflections about Zoom are from Dr. Marios Pattichis: Hi All,
I have spent two days running the IEEE SSIAI 2020 using 10 hours per day. Zoom quality was excellent on Monday but had real issues for some of Tuesday.
For some presentations, we had to use the phone numbers for the audio and Zoom share screen for the video.
At some times, there was nothing we could do to make it work. Please be ready to use Skype if needed.
If you get an unwanted user login, please click on “Manage users” and use “Remove” to get them out of the call.
Zoom will not allow you to have two meetings at the same time, even if one is scheduled and not being used. In this case, deleting the meeting worked.
If you need any help using Zoom, let me know 😊.
All the best,
We just received this message from The Chair regarding Zoom:
— Regarding Zoom, please be aware of reports of “Zoombombing” and other inappropriate things going on, including outright hacks and relay or man-in-the-middle attacks. Zoom has been issuing security patches, please make sure your Apps are up to date frequently.
— Also apparently when you set the schedule and permissions for your Zoom meetings, it is preferable to do that from the unm.zoom.us site which provides more advanced settings for privacy and authentication. If random outside people can join your classes, you risk disruptions and violating privacy/FERPA regarding our students. Zoom allows authenticated meetings, e.g., participants joining with their UNM accounts.