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Live Online Lectures

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Zoom is the University's primary solution for synchronous online video conferencing; delivering live, high-quality video, audio, and screen-sharing content in online courses. Zoom has versatile features useful for activities and engagement.

Determining how to use Zoom

Users who are hosting and scheduling a Zoom meeting for their course should consider whether they will schedule meetings from the Zoom app or web portal or from within Canvas. They may also consider a Zoom Webinar and explore other recommended settings. See our recommended settings for your Zoom sessions based on your situation and purpose.

Stay updated on Zoom features

Even experienced instructors can benefit from practicing with Zoom, as Zoom often updates with new features, and teaching practices are continuously adjusted to meet the needs of different students.

Prepare your students for Zoom

Since some students may be new to Zoom at Stanford, share this student Zoom guide along with your meeting link with your students (if you used Canvas to schedule a Zoom meeting, students can find meeting information in the Zoom tool for your course).

As you create and share your expectations, consider inclusive practices in how you set up and run Zoom meetings, and accessibility for students with disabilities, those who don't have access to reliable technology, or who may be attending Zoom sessions from countries with a high degree of surveillance.

Zoom whiteboard and annotation

Zoom's built-in whiteboard is simple to use and uncomplicated. A major benefit of the Zoom whiteboard is that both the presenter and Zoom participants can add text or draw on the whiteboard together at the same time. 

From within a screen-share in a meeting, the presenter and participants can also draw over whatever content is currently being shared, like a transparency layer, using Zoom's annotation feature. This is a convenient way to easily highlight content, either yourself or with the class. 

For more natural and controlled handwriting a tablet and stylus are recommended. The Center for Teaching and Learning has expanded its iPad lending program for instructors.

Mitigate fatigue with engagement and interactivity

Long periods of passive attention on instructional content in a Zoom meeting can be draining for students and instructors. There are a number of ways to mitigate Zoom fatigue that can also support student learning.

Benefits of recording a Zoom session

Recording your scheduled Zoom sessions benefits students' learning as it supports them to:

  • Review sections of the lecture that they are still unclear on (which is especially helpful for students who speak English as a second language).
  • Download a lecture to overcome connectivity issues with live streaming.
  • Catch up on a class session they could not attend.
  • Engage with the recorded content through integrated quizzes, commenting, and video submissions.

Consider these content reuse recommendations related to student privacy and intellectual property rights if your recordings are intended to be reused over multiple terms. Also follow these best practices if you want to share recordings beyond the end of the term.

Managing recordings in Canvas

Zoom sessions scheduled in Canvas and recorded to the cloud on Zoom automatically appear in the Course Videos section of your Canvas course for students to easily access.

The Course Videos tool (which utilizes an integration of Panopto) allows instructors to edit content, set a publishing schedule, and even add interactive quizzes, text commenting, and student video submissions. 

  • See Download of Course Recordings in Canvas for details about students' usage rights of downloaded recordings.
  • See Copyright Reminder from Stanford Libraries for details about copyright issues, intellectual property, and privacy. 
  • The Course Videos tool is available to all Canvas courses university-wide, with the exception of the Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine who operate their own video-capture systems and licenses.

Learn more