Tips for Using Zoom

AOI | Learning Innovations
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Tips for Using Zoom

Remote delivery can be challenging, but it is even more difficult if your students are disengaged.  Here are a few strategies and ideas for engaging your students during Zoom class sessions. 

Student Engagement

  • Provide digital copies of all course materials (e.g. handouts, in-class readings, etc.) through the course LMS in advance of the class meeting.
  • Create small groups for class activities using breakout rooms.
  • Allow all learners to have an equal amount of time to respond to questions by using quick response tools like Zoom Polls, Microsoft Forms, Google Forms, and Kahoot! To name a few.  
  • Incorporate collaborative tools, like Perusall, to allow students to interact with and comment on the same in-class reading.
  • Annotate over PowerPoint to help draw students’ attention to important content. Use the annotation feature in PowerPoint to create simple annotations that will engage students in person and at a distance.
  • Create a back-channel for students to submit questions using tools like Google Docs and Padlet. Questions can be addressed during or after class.

Take advantage of supplementary tools such as Blackboard to…keep [students engaged] between class periods.

—Mark Beattie, WSU—Everett

For specific activities and strategies visit the LI Student Engagement Strategies page.

Resource: Weekly Tip: Zoom is the New Tool for Collaborating with Your Students

Best Practices

Implementing just a few best practices can help you create an engaging and positive student experience when using Zoom.  Check out Meeting and Webinar Best Practices.

  • Make sure you have a fast and reliable network connection.
  • Be aware of the content you are sharing with students.
  • Be aware of your background (use digital backgrounds if needed).
  • Pause after a question to give students an opportunity to answer.
  • Ensure “mute participants upon entry” is selected for each meeting you create.
  • Practice before your class so you are comfortable with the technology.

There’s no substitute for preparation.

—Mark Beattie, WSU—Everett

This series of videos and teaching tips is presented by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI). We invite you to join the conversation. Share your tips and ask questions through this blog. If you would like these posts to be sent directly to your email each week, subscribe to the listserv by emailing

For more information or to schedule time with an instructional designer or emerging technologist, contact or request training on demand. You can also visit the Spark Faculty Innovation Studio in room 102 any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the academic year.