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Course Basics

Whether your course takes place online or face-to-face, take some time at the beginning of the semester to familiarize yourself with your course's website (Blackboard, Canvas, etc.) so that you'll know how to submit assignments, access the course calendar, know where to look for handouts (the syllabus, etc.) and other fundamental aspects of your course, as this will alleviate quite a lot of anxiety as your assignments begin to drop.

    • Consult your course calendar at least once a day.

    • If possible, set your preferences so that you receive emails of course "Announcements." Otherwise, be sure to check the "Announcements" board at least once a day because you are responsible for what's there.

Getting Started with Zoom

For both online class lectures and office (1:1) appointments, I use the Zoom application. It's important that you install the software before your course begins so that you're assured of its compatibility with your computer.

Then, it's as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Download the client software to your computer. (Do not use any browser extensions as they lack much of the functionality required to participate and interact virtually with the professor and your classmates.)

    • Remember that you must use the latest Zoom client, so even if you have already downloaded the software, launch it before your meeting begins and, if an update is available, follow the prompts to complete it. Click here to make sure that your software is set to automatically update, especially if it has been awhile since you've launched Zoom.

  2. When signing up for a Zoom account, you must use your name as it appears on your university record. Unrecognizable users will not be admitted into the Zoom meeting rooms, and, for purposes of policy, you will be considered absent until you rectify the issue.

  3. Click here to test your system. Be sure to turn on both your webcam and your microphone as you are required to use both when meeting.

Zoom Meetings (Lectures & Office Hours)

It is highly recommended that you download and test the Zoom software well before your first scheduled meeting as technology issues, as indicated in your syllabus (and here), are not valid excuses for missing classes, assignments, deadlines, etc.


  • The Zoom lecture meeting links are located on your university's Blackboard or Canvas course homepage.

    • The Zoom Office Hour Meeting link (Office Hour appointments) are located here.

  • When signing in for a lecture or appointment, your Zoom name must reflect exactly that which appears on the official course roster. Unrecognized users will not be admitted into the Zoom meeting rooms, and, for purposes of policy, you will be considered absent until you rectify the issue. Absolutely no policy exceptions will be made regarding missed coursework or classes because you were not admitted to the Zoom meetings due to your use of an unrecognized name.

  • The use of cellphones and tablets are strongly discouraged because they lack much of the necessary functionality to successfully participate in your online meetings.

  • You must use a webcam and microphone in order to participate in online meetings.

  • You must be in a quiet place without loud, disruptive background noise. If you become a disruption, you will be removed from the meeting. For purposes of policy, removal from a meeting is equivalent to removal from the classroom due to disruption.

  • Meetings are not the place to test your technology. Make sure that it operates properly before your meeting. Once you have your software installed, click here to join a test meeting.

  • Once the class begins, the meeting room is "locked," which means that you will not be able to gain entry. This is especially important to consider for any in-class assignments and courses where attendance is taken.

  • All meetings, including, but not limited to, intellectual property (shared and uploaded files, screencasted materials such as PowerPoint presentations), are owned and copyrighted under the copyright provision below, and may not be recorded, shared or accessed in any way without my written consent. By participating in the Zoom meetings, you give your consent to be recorded, both your video and audio feeds, in perpetuity.

Click here for Zoom's Support Portal

Downloading & Updating

It's important that you have the latest version of the software installed on your machine.

Joining a Meeting

While you'll almost always join a meeting from a posted URL, such as on the homepage of your course's Canvas or Blackboard website or herein, this video explains other ways of joining a Zoom session.

In-Meeting Navigation

The basics of using Zoom's features while attending meetings. This is particularly important if you're asked to complete something (like a poll), to use the chatroom, breakout rooms, etc.