A Faculty Guide

  • Zoom is KGI’s easy-to-use video conferencing platform that provides high definition, interactive collaboration tools, and telephone conferencing to use for communication and collaboration. If you need more information beyond this online Faculty Guide, you can also access Zoom’s 30-page “Getting Started with Zoom” PDF guide.

    Teaching with Zoom you can:

  • Zoom makes holding live (synchronous) classes and meetings online possible. As KGI’s easy-to-use video conferencing platform, Zoom provides high-definition, interactive collaboration tools and telephone conferencing to use for hosting your classes.

    Access and launch Zoom directly from https://kgi.zoom.us/. If you do not have a Zoom account, contact KGI’s IT team at helpdesk@kgi.edu so they can set up one for you.

    When communicating with your students through email about the online class, you’ll need to send out the Zoom URL that is associated with your profile. Once logged in, go to profile and look for the URL that has a 10-digit number at the end (for example: kgi.zoom.us/j/2248234548). This is the URL that you will send to students via email. You should also add this URL to your course Sakai page and in the course syllabus.

    Securing your Personal Meeting Link

    It’s recommended that you set your Personal Meeting ID to not allow students to join the class before you and/or to create a waiting room for them. This also will prevent students from accessing your class link while you’re using it for another class. Login to your Zoom account, select the Meetings > Personal Meeting Room from the menu on the left to disable the “Join before host” setting and “Enable waiting room.”

  • At the most basic level, all you and your students need to use Zoom is a laptop or mobile device with Wi-Fi and built-in webcam and microphone.

    The following equipment will enhance your experience but is not necessary:

    • USB Web camera (Turn it on!)
      • A camera will increase your connection with your students by allowing you to see each other face-to-face. You will still be able to participate in the other features of the Zoom class.
      • Don’t want your background to show? Download and use one of KGI’s branded images for your virtual background. In your Zoom settings, click on ‘Virtual Background’ and then upload the image of your choice. Be sure to uncheck the box ‘Mirror my video’ for the image to display properly.
    • Headset with a microphone
      • This will let you hear and be heard more clearly. This does not need to be fancy equipment, it can be the same as the headphones you might use with your phone.
    • Dual monitors
      • If you have two monitors you can have your video feed on one screen and your shared screen on the other. If not, it will look similar to picture-in-picture on your TV.
    • Charger
      • Charging your device during your class will ensure you do not have an unexpected power outage interrupting your instruction.
  • Below is a sample message that can be sent to students who contact you directly with questions about accessing the course:

    “Our class is currently meeting on Zoom at the regularly scheduled time. You can access the Zoom course here: [insert your Zoom URL here]. Further instructions are available in KGI’s online Zoom guide for students.”

    To find your Zoom URL: Once logged in, go to profile and look for the URL that has a 10-digit number at the end (for example: kgi.zoom.us/j/2248234548). 

  • It might.

    And it’s going to be okay.

    Here are the top three problems that make up the majority of Zoom issues and how you can address them before they happen:

    Your best first stop for tech support? 

    Your students.

    Let’s put that critical thinking to work. 

    If you’re still experiencing trouble, KGI’s IT team is available to assist you. You may reach them at: helpdesk@kgi.edu.



    • Test your audio, video and equipment well before the start of class and do not conduct these tests from a classroom. If you experience a low bandwidth signal, shutting off your video will help. If you experience connectivity issues, you can use the call-in number options (including international).
    • Share your screen to show slides or other materials and ask students to share their screens to present.
    • Annotate and mark on the screen, or draw on a whiteboard.
    • Break your class into groups for discussions or projects using the breakout rooms feature.
    • Use the chat feature to answer questions or share learning resources.
    • Record your class so students can review materials.
    • Poll your students to check for understanding.
    • Host virtual office hours. meet with students and engage with small groups/project teams
  • Just as in an in-person class, it is important to have procedures to get started and set expectations with your students.

    At the beginning of class, remind your students of basic Zoom etiquette:

    • ask them to turn on their cameras
    • look at the camera in order to make eye contact when they’re talking
    • mute their mics when they aren’t contributing
      How to mute all participants at once

    Assign students roles to help you host the meeting so you can focus on teaching such as:

    • Technology Troubleshooter – Help others with their technology
    • Chat Monitor – Monitor the chat window for questions or shared resources
    • Note Taker – You can have a student typing closed captions for the class if there are students that need that accommodation. Getting Started with Closed Captioning
    • Note Taker’s Note Taker – If you are having a student do live closed captioning, ask another student to share their notes with the Note Taker so they don’t miss out on learning.

    Select a Video Layout that is best suited for your class. The more students can see you and each other, the more connected they feel as a class and the more likely they are to stay on task. You can view up to 25 students at a time in Gallery view.

    Consider recording your class so that students can rewatch and review what they learned after class. First, confirm with your students that they have your permission to record the class session. Guide for Recording in Zoom

  • Credit to the University of Minnesota Information Technology Department

    No one wants to sit through a straight lecture session for 60 minutes, and in fact, such a class session design doesn’t leverage the fact that you have all your students there and present. You can use the features of Zoom to guide different types of interactive activities. These activities offer variety to break up a long class session, and they offer different means of expression, a universal design principle.


    Draw on the whiteboard, or ask students to contribute to a whiteboard as a means of engaging them differently in the discussion.

    Note: whiteboard activity is completely inaccessible to people who use screen readers. If you use this feature, be prepared to read aloud all the contributions so that everyone can see and /or hear them. And, you’ll need to take a screenshot of each whiteboard if you want to save it.

    Screen Annotation

    Zoom has basic annotation tools (text box, free form draw/pen, shapes, and highlighter) that you can use to guide students around a visual display (such as a website) or explain a concept. Access these from the Share Desktop function.

    Note: screen annotations are not accessible for screen reader users. If you use this feature, be sure to use accessible presentation best practices: say exactly what you’re doing while you’re doing it, e.g., “I’m drawing a big red circle around the login button on this web page.”


    Set up polls in advance and launch them at specific times during your class session, the same way you’d use clicker questions to introduce a new section of a lecture.

    Chat as Backchannel

    Backchanneling refers to having a synchronous conversation while something else is happening. For example, people sometimes live-tweet their reactions to a presidential debate as it is being broadcast. Using the chat tool as a backchannel can give students agency and encourage engagement by allowing more students to interact with the live activity, rather than just listening.

    Some uses of backchannel:

    • Emulate live-tweeting of guest lectures as a way to collect questions, which you then answer at the end of the session. Elect 1 student to monitor the chat and curate questions as they come in.
    • Host a virtual fishbowl, in which a small group of students interact around solving a problem or discussing an issue. The other students react to their classmates’ contributions via the chat backchannel.
    • During your lectures, encourage students to log questions as small groups and elect 1 student to bring them forward for group conversation.


    • Backchannel activities can be overwhelming for some students, and are thus an accessibility concern. Therefore, it is recommended you offer this type of interaction as an option for students who thrive on this level of stimulation, but do not require it from all students.
    • Backchannel can also be overwhelming for you to monitor while you’re also trying to teach. Consider deputizing a student or TA to monitor the chat if you use this feature, to make it easier for you to focus on teaching.
    • You can download the full chat history at the end of class, if you want to keep this record.

    Breakout Rooms

    You can use Zoom’s breakout rooms functionality to have students do group work. As the instructor, you can “travel” from one breakout room to the next, broadcast messages to various rooms, and end the breakout sessions when it is time to regroup.

    Sample Class Agenda

    Plan for a synchronous course session just as you would plan for an in-person class. Here is a sample agenda for a 60-minute synchronous course session. You might want to share your agenda with students ahead of time, so they know what to expect. 

    5 min
    Intro: Whiteboard activity
    On entry into the virtual classroom, have students think about a question and write their contribution on the whiteboard.
    Launch a whiteboard at start of class so it’s the first thing students see, and add visible instructions.
    2 min
    Use the polling tool to ask a question that engages and determines personal relevance for the topic of the mini-lecture.
    10 min
    Share screen, launch PowerPoint, and deliver mini-lecture. Use Annotation features in Zoom to mark up your PowerPoint slides.
    Learn about screen-sharing a PowerPoint presentation. Have the PowerPoint file launched already so you can get to it seamlessly. Practice annotating slides in advance to add visual interactivity.
    2 min
    Ask 1 or more questions for understanding.
    10 min
    Breakout Room Activity
    Assign students into individual breakout rooms, discuss for 10 minutes, and create a collaborative Google doc (which you could then post in Sakai).
    Practice hosting breakout rooms, both manual and machine-assigned.
    10 min
    Ask each group to appoint a representative to summarize the main points of their discussion. Post these in the chat field, which you then read.
    Ask a TA or student to monitor the chat field for you, and bring the most relevant points to the fore. Consider assigning that person co-host privileges.
    2 min
    Chat: Muddiest Point
    Ask students to contribute to chat where they are still confused.
    5 min
    Clear up misconceptions that were unearthed in the muddiest point chat.
    5 min
    Summarize the activity of the session, set up expectations for follow-up activities, and dismiss.
  • Yes, the first step is to enable “Automatic Recording”

    • Login to https://kgi.zoom.us
    • Go to “My Account”
    • Go to “Settings”
    • Select the “Recording” tab
    • Scroll down and enable “Automatic Recording”
    • Select “Record on the local computer” or “Record in the cloud”

    To watch the recording, select “Recordings” on the left navigation

    The KGI Marketing team is also interested in watching the classes and pulling audio/video higlights to share on social media and in admissions email campaigns so that prospective students can get a sample of KGI course content. 

    If you are open to this, add the class recording to this Box folder and the KGI Marketing team will edit highlight clips and then send those to you for final approval before posting anything publicly.