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Teaching Tools

Best Practices for Participants

Welcome to the LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) Best Practices for Participants page. This page contains several categories of information, including a list of best practices for students in an online class. Each category listed below contains helpful hints and tips.

Having trouble signing into your Zoom session?

Sign in with your UT Zoom account at using your NetID and password. If you’re using the downloaded version of Zoom, choose “Sign in with SSO” and type tennessee (all lowercase) in the box and click continue.

Setting Up Zoom

Attend a Meeting or Online Class

To attend an online meeting, the instructor or leader of the meeting should provide you with one of two items. A link to the meeting or the meeting ID may be sent to you via email or appear in your course site.

Zoom Guides for Participants

Tips for Success

  • Visit the LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) support page and review the System Requirements section.
  • Be sure you have a robust internet connection. A fast LAN connection or excellent Wi-Fi signal strength are key. Avoid public Internet Wi-Fi hotspots. This is very important for all participants in a session that will be using the high-definition Audio and Video (webcam) tools available in a Zoom meeting.
  • Attend a Test Flight prior to your first class. For more information on Test Flights, review the System Requirements page and scroll down the page to the Test Flights section.
  • Review the Announcements section of our support site for the latest information on application updates and maintenance windows.
  • Be familiar with the technical support options:

A USB headset is recommended for best sound quality.

  • Before attending a live session, make sure the sound is working properly on your computer. You may test the sound by playing a media file.
  • Once you enter the online meeting environment, test your Audio device. Locate the microphone symbol on the meeting toolbar. Next to that symbol, locate a chevron, and select it one time. A list of available devices will appear. You may also choose to test your audio from this list of options.
  • If there is a red bar over the microphone symbol on the toolbar, your audio may be muted by the meeting leader. You may mute your own audio broadcast at any time by selecting the microphone symbol on the toolbar. Muting your audio when not speaking is a way to help minimize broadcasting background noise in the online classroom.
  • Keep in mind that your computer may have more than one sound device. If you plan to use a USB headset (recommended), select this device in the Audio Options.
  • Remember that the video (webcam) and mic are two separate features and may function separately. Participants may use the webcam but not the mic, and vice versa. Availability of mics and webcams in the online meeting environment is controlled by the meeting leader.
  • Be aware that access to online meeting tools and features is dependent on the discretion of the meeting leader. There may come a time in the session when participants do not have access to Audio, Video (webcam), Share Screen, etc. because the leader (or instructor) is no longer sharing access to these features.
  • Meeting leaders may remove permissions for Audio, Video, and Annotation tools in the online meeting.
  • Meeting leaders may allow students to use the Share Screen feature to display content in the meeting. Content items can include slide decks, applications, web pages, etc.
  • Annotation tools – The meeting leader may allow meeting participants access to Annotation Tools in the meeting. With Annotation Tools, attendees may markup and highlight information displayed during a Share Screen.
  • Breakout Rooms – Meeting leaders may create small-group Breakout Rooms within the main online meeting. The meeting leader is in charge of starting and stopping the Breakout Rooms.

There may come a time in the online classroom when a participant is asked to use the Share Screen tool. The Share Screen tool is available in the main meeting room, and each Breakout Room may have its own Share Screen activity.


  • Have the best possible connection for Share Screen activities. This is also very important for the best experience of the high-definition audio and video (webcam) tools available within a LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) meeting.

Share Screen and Mobile Apps:

  • We recommend attending a meeting via a desktop or a laptop for the best participant experience. However, there are mobile apps available for both iOS and Android devices. Please keep in mind that not all meeting features may be available for use via the mobile app, including some options for the Share Screen tool.