Skip to content

Teaching Tools

Best Practices for Instructors and Meeting Leaders

Welcome to the LiveOnline@UT (Zoom) Best Practices for Instructors and Meeting Leaders page. Please explore the following information. A summary of each item is listed below.  Select a chevron to expand the section and review more information.

If you have any questions regarding LiveOnline@UT (Zoom), please contact the OIT HelpDesk online or by phone at 865-974-9900.

Getting Started – In this section you will find Best Practices for the online meeting tools and features.

Audio & Video – Review this section for information on the use of Audio (microphone) and Video (webcam) tools within the online meeting.

Breakout Rooms – Participants may be sent to Breakout Rooms from the Main Room. Review this section for suggestions on preparing participants for Breakout Rooms.

Online Communication Tools – This section includes suggestions for how to assist your participants in using the online classroom communication tools.

Meeting Permissions – Explore the meeting permissions available to leaders, including the Mute All icon.

Share Screen – Review this section for information on using the Share Screen tool to display content in the meeting.

  • 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 Share Screen​ tool.
  • ​​​Review the Resources for Instructors and Meeting Leaders page. Recommended guides include: Zoom Leader Guide and the Zoom Leaders’ Guide to Scheduling a meeting.
  • Review the Announcements section of our support site for the latest information on application updates and maintenance windows.
  • Practice! Create a meeting and practice by engaging your Audio and Video (webcam) devices. Use the Share Screen tool in the practice meeting and record your meeting.  In the MP4 recording, ensure that the your audio is recorded and plays back with optimal clarity and volume.
  • Be sure to click the Record icon at the beginning of your meeting. This icon is located on the meeting toolbar.
  • Be familiar with the technical support options:
    • OIT HelpDesk: 974-9900, or help.utk.edu​
    • For immediate assistance during an online classroom, call:
      • LiveOnline@UT Technical Support (local): 974-3117 
      • LiveOnline@UT Technical Support ​(toll free): 877-974-3117
  • A USB headset is recommended for best sound quality.
  • Before attending an online meeting, verify the sound works properly on your computer.  You may test the sound device on the computer by playing a media file.
  • Once you enter a live session, verify your Audio.  The Audio Options icon is available on the toolbar near the microphone icon.  Keep in mind that your computer may have more than one sound device.
    • If you plan to use a USB headset (recommended), be sure to select this device in the Audio Options.
    • If you are not using a USB headset, you may need to select another option from the devices list to confirm the sound settings for your computer.  The Audio Options window provides an opportunity to test the current selected device.
  • If you need to broadcast video, use a good quality webcam and ensure lighting is adequate.

If you hear an echo in the online meeting, ask participants to use headsets or to disengage external speakers. Meeting leaders may quickly Mute All participants on the Manage Participants screen, and then troubleshoot the audio as needed.

  • Set room permissions and tool availability before sending participants to Breakout Rooms. Keep in the mind, the Breakout Rooms will inherit the latest tool permissions set in the Main Room.
  • Before engaging the Breakout Rooms, prepare students for the tasks they will need to accomplish in the sessions. For example, should the group leader save the Whiteboard before the Breakout Room ends?
  • Meeting leaders may join any Breakout Room in progress.
  • In the beginning of class, define how you’d like for participants to use the Audio, Video (webcam), and online Chat. Prompt participants to raise their hands to indicate that they have a question or to respond to a verbal question.
  • Take a few moments to review the communication expectations for students. For example, is the Chat tool available for on-going question and answer?
  • Greet students via Audio (microphone) and Chat tools​.
  • As you (the meeting leader) enter the online meeting environment, some tools may already be available to meeting participants, such as the Audio, Video (webcam), and Chat tools.
  • Meeting leaders may access the Manage Participants icon on the meeting toolbar to change permissions in the meeting in real-time.
  • Permissions may be changed and applied to the entire room, such as engaging the Mute All option, or, the leader may mute one, or several, participants.
  • Meeting leaders may also allow participant(s) to record the meeting by engaging the options on the Manage Participants menu (select More by a participant’s name and then select Allow Record).
  • Have the best connection possible for Share Screen activities. This is important for conducting Share Screen and engaging the Video (webcam) tool.
  • If sharing a media file, be aware of two options on the Share Screen Options window.  These options are located on the bottom-left of that screen.  If you are also using a headset, you may wish to select the option to “Share Computer Sound.”  This will broadcast the sound of the media file through the meeting room.

Participants may have varying internet connections and signal strength, and therefore, content may stream faster for some connections and slower on other connections. Periodically check with meeting participants when sharing larger content items and verify what is displaying on their screen.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.