IEC Teachers and Staff International Student Life

Tips for Using Zoom for Online Learning

May 2, 2020

Does your teacher use Zoom for online classes? 

Zoom has quickly become the #1 choice for many online courses. For most, Zoom is simply a way to connect with video chat. However, Zoom also offers many features that will make your online learning experience more enjoyable. Check out some of these tips for using Zoom for online learning. 

Tips for Using Zoom for Online Learning

Tip #1: You do not need an account to use Zoom 

You do not need to register for Zoom in order to join a meeting. However, it is useful to make a Zoom account because it will help you keep track of meetings.  

Tip #2: You can use Zoom for mobile or desktop

Zoom has an app that you can download for your smartphone. It also has software that you can download for your desktop. We recommend downloading both so that you have options when it comes to video conferencing. 

Tip #3: You can access a Zoom meeting with a link or a phone number

When you receive an invite for a Zoom meeting, it will include a link you can click on to join the meeting. It will also include a number you can call. If you are out of the office or home and do not have WiFi, use this phone number to call in to the meeting. 

Tip #4: Set your space

Make sure you have a comfortable, quiet space to work. Need help setting up a space? Follow our tips for studying at home.

Tip #5: Test your video and audio settings

It is a good idea to test your speaker and microphone and join a Zoom test session to check your settings. 

Tip #6: Use a virtual background 

A virtual background is an image of your choice. Everyone in the meeting will see your face and then this image as your background. This is a great way to keep your privacy. (It’s also a great way to hide your room or office if it’s a bit messy!)

When choosing a background, remember that natural light may affect how it shows up on the screen. Therefore, it is a good idea to lower your curtains on any windows in the room and use artificial light. Here are some more tips from Zoom for how to use a virtual background:

Download IEC’s Virtual Backgrounds at the end of this article!

Tip #7: Record your meeting 

If your host allows it, you can record your meeting. This helps with note-taking! Here are some tips for recording your meeting:

Tip #8: Mute yourself if needed 

Sometimes we do not have any control over the noise that is in our homes or neighborhoods. While others are speaking, it is a good idea to mute yourself. That way, there are no distractions while another person is speaking. 

Tip #9: Use the chat or raise-your-hand function to ask questions

You have two options for asking questions in Zoom: write a question using the chat function, or use the “raise your hand” function. 

Asking a question with chat will allow the class to continue without interruption. The teacher can then answer your question when he or she completes their thought. The “raise your hand’ function, on the other hand, works just like when you raise your hand in face-to-face classes: the teacher will feel obligated to stop speaking and respond. Use whichever function is most appropriate for your question and situation!

Tip #10: Follow your teacher’s policies about online learning

Each class will be different, and each teacher may have different policies for his or her online course. Be sure that you read your teacher’s policies and follow them. 

IEC Virtual Backgrounds

IEC@DVC uses Zoom for online learning. Would you like to join one of our engaging online English classes? Contact us to learn more about enrolling in our online courses. 

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