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Creating a Contingency Plan for Zoom Meetings

Zoom has provided reliable performance to date. However, it is a good idea to have a backup plan in the event you lose your Internet connection before or during your synchronous (real-time) Zoom class sessions. Consider providing guidelines for your students so that they know what to do should either you OR they lose connectivity before or during a Zoom session. Here are some recommendations:

  • Tell students, in the event that you do not show up in the Zoom room at the appointed class time, to check their email for further instructions.
  • Adjust your meeting settings to allow students to “Join before host” in case you lose internet connectivity before the meeting.
    1. Go to
    2. Select Create or Edit Account
    3. Select Settings from the left menu
    4. Check the Join before host box
  • Pair up with a colleague. If you have an Internet failure, call the colleague and ask them to enter your Zoom room to enter a message in the Chat to tell students about your Internet failure and to remind them to check their email for instructions. (Send your colleague the same meeting link you send your students.) Alternatively, when you set up your meeting you can make your colleague a co-presenter so that they can override the “Mute participants upon entry” setting, and can tell students audibly that you have had Internet difficulties (they will automatically receive an email with a link).
  • Call 865-974-9110 if you experience technical difficulties during class. This is the same OIT HelpDesk number that you use in a classroom when you need immediate technology help. For non-emergency requests, you may continue to contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900.
  • Instruct students that, if THEIR connection fails, they should:
    1. Email you about that fact right away. Let them know you may not respond immediately but that this will give you a time stamp to both confirm their connectivity issues and to identify what they missed.
    2. Leave the Zoom room (if it hasn’t already bumped them out) and try to reconnect.
    3. Contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900.
  • Remember, that if you lose internet connectivity, you CAN call into Zoom via phone and speak with your class by using any of the phone numbers below (This information is also generated for your students in the Zoom meeting invitation, should any of them need to call in by phone.):
    • +1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)
    • +1 646 876 9923 (US Toll)
    • +1 253 215 8782 (US Toll)
    • +1 301 715 8592 (US Toll)
    • +1 346 248 7799 (US Toll)
    • +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
    • 855 880 1246 (US Toll Free)
    • 877 853 5257 (US Toll Free)
    • Meeting ID: (This will be your meeting’s 10 digit number)
    • International numbers available: