Zoom is a web conferencing tool used in the University of Oulu and Oamk. It can be used for remote meetings, webinars, remote education and one-to-one video calls. Zoom meeting attendees can use microphones and webcams to transmit audio and visual content to the other attendees. In addition, Zoom features a chat where participants can communicate with each other in writing. Chat messages can be sent to all participants, including private messages. Chat enables sharing links and using external surveys or interactive tools, for example, to facilitate teaching. In Zoom, you can share your screen (or an application window) with the other participants. The settings also allow sharing the audio from the computer, meaning that you can, for example, share a video with other viewers complete with sound.
What do you need to attend a Zoom meeting?
To hold a meeting (e.g. a lecture) in University of Oulu’s or Oamk’s Zoom, you need at least a
- browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Chromium Edge; for security reasons, we recommend enabling automatic browser updates.)
- sufficiently high-speed internet access (see requirements for internet access)
- headset (or a separate microphone + speaker).
In addition, it is recommended to have a
- webcam (see How to show my face in a Zoom meeting?)
- free Zoom app (the desktop version is the most versatile, but there is also a mobile app for iOS and Android devices.)
Note: if you plan to record a Zoom meeting on your own computer, you need to have enough space on your computer. (The size of a lecture recording varies, but it can be a few hundred megabytes. To play it safe, make sure you have at least a few GB of space on your computer if you are going to record a meeting.)
Your contact person will set up the meeting and send you the information you need to join in
As a visiting lecturer, you do not have an University of Oulu or an Oamk user account. In practice, this means that your contact person (e.g. the teacher of the course you have agreed on the lecture) is responsible for the invitations and meeting settings. The contact person (or other person from the university, nominated to host the meeting) must be present at least at the beginning of the meeting to give you the necessary rights to manage the meeting after it has started. If the contact person cannot be present for the entire lecture, determine together the quickest way to reach them if necessary. If the meeting is interrupted for any reason, you may need the contact person to give you host or co-host rights again.
You will join the meeting in the same way as the students: your contact person will send you an invitation to the meeting, indicating the address and time of the meeting (and any password). You should agree with the contact person to meet at the site 15 minutes or so before the start of the lecture. This way, you will have time to test the audio connection and screen sharing together before starting.
Test Zoom for proper operation before the meeting and install a separate Zoom app on your computer if possible
You can test Zoom for proper operation independently before the meeting:
- Join a Test Meeting, University of Oulu’s Zoom – oulu.zoom.us tai
- Join a Test Meeting, Oamk’s Zoom – oamk.zoom.us
If you do not already have the Zoom app on your computer, you will be prompted to install it at the beginning of the test: The installation is easy and worth doing. If you are not allowed to install software on the computer (e.g. due to workplace policy), you can access Zoom through your browser. However, the experience is not the same through the browser, and some Zoom features are not available in the browser version. If you only attend meetings organised by others, you do not necessarily need to have access to a Zoom account.
Make sure to set the required settings before the meeting
The meeting settings cannot be changed after the meeting has started so verify the settings with the meeting host in advance:
- If you have an external Zoom account (a free account or your organisation’s Zoom account), you can use that. It is also possible to join a meeting without signing in, provided that it is allowed in the meeting settings. Mention to your contact person if they need to enable joining without signing in, i.e., if you are not going to sign in to Zoom.
- Tell the contact person if you want to use the following Zoom features that must also be enabled in the meeting settings before the meeting:
- breakout rooms that allow you to split the participants into small groups in which they can only see and hear the other group members. Note: if the session is recorded, breakout room events will only end up in the recording from the view of the person who records the meeting. (See the breakout room instructions.)
- participants to have the option to add annotations in screen sharing/whiteboard (see Zoom’s instructions for annotations in English)
- participants to have the option to react using emojis during the lecture (see Zoom’s instructions on the reactions in English)
During and at the end of the Zoom meeting
- If you are going to share your screen with others, you should use a virtual desktop or clean your desktop view to keep emails or other private items from being displayed on the screen. You should disable any notifications during the sharing. You can open the programs, files and web pages you need ready for use. Read Zoom’s instructions for sharing your screen in English in advance.
- Make yourself available in good time.
- Your contact person assigns you the role of a co-host or host, allowing you to manage the meeting. (Hosts have more extensive permissions than co-hosts, for example, setting up team workspaces (breakout rooms) is only possible with host permissions.)
- Will the meeting be recorded, and if so, by whom? (See recording instructions if applicable)
- The host should end the meeting with the End meeting for all option so that no participant is left hung up in the meeting room unnecessarily.
If you encounter problems during the meeting
- If you cannot hear any sound, you can do a sound test by opening a YouTube video, for example.
- If there is no sound at all, try restarting the computer to see if it helps.
- If you can hear YouTube sound, change the audio source in Zoom: you can find the audio settings in the menu opened next to the microphone icon.
- If participants report that the sound of your voice is unclear, try turning the webcam off: if it helps, the transmission speed of your internet connection is insufficient. If you cannot adjust it, stop sharing your screen and send the presentation to someone who can share their screen instead of you. This way, you can use all the transmission capacity to share your voice.
Security, privacy, copyright and accessibility
Our online activities are guided by legislation and good manners. Below are some of the most important points for you to explore or recall:
Security in Zoom and how you can improve it
Do you remember the big controversy about Zoom’s security during the corona spring? Note that both University of Oulu’s and Oamk’s Zoom is actually Nordunet Zoom, which is a paid service provided by CSC for Finnish higher education institutions. Read more about Nordunet Zoom security.
Do your part to ensure security. The best way to do this is to keep your tools up-to-date:
- Install security updates regularly.
- Install any software updates also to any programs you have installed yourself.
- (If you use the mobile app, update your mobile device’s operating system and programs whenever updates become available.)
Verify privacy and copyright issues before the lecture
You should verify any questions related to privacy and copyrights in advance with your contact person.
- If you intend to include materials made by others in your lecture, make sure that you have the right to do so. If you want, you can also read the copyright instructions for Oamk teachers.
- Remember to ensure the privacy of all participants taking part in the meeting.
- The participants must be informed if the Zoom meeting is recorded. The method of distribution and publishing of the recording must also be disclosed in advance. Chat is not included in the video recording. It is stored in a separate text file that is usually not distributed to the participants afterwards. The video recording contains the recording person’s view, which may include any screen sharing, webcam images and the names of the participants. Participants without webcam feed will appear with their name and profile image if they are signed in as a user and have added a profile image in Zoom’s profile settings themselves.
Consider accessibility in online lectures and presentation materials
Finnish law obliges e. g. universities to provide accessible online services. It means that, for example, an online lecture and the associated shared electronic materials should be accessible to everyone.
Also, any lecture recording should be accessible if it is intended to be (a) published to the general public or (b) to a small audience with the intention to be used for more than a single course implementation. The lecturer must consider the diversity of the participants.
- Remember to ensure that your presentation is accessible.
For a presentation to be accessible, also the speech must be accessible: it can help if you think you are talking on the radio, i.e., if you are showing something, please describe it out loud. For example, if you are showing a graph, describe in words what is important about it.