Create and Manage Zoom Meetings
Schedule a Meeting
To schedule a Zoom meeting, log into the portal at vcu.zoom.us and under the "Meetings" tab, click on "Schedule a Meeting."
This will create an event page where you can customize your meeting settings as desired.
First, you'll want to give your meeting a name to make it easier to keep track of. It could be a class name, like PSYCH 101, or something descriptive like "Interview with Dr Smith." If you're in a hurry, the default title "My Meeting" will do, but if you have a schedule full of meetings with that same name, things will quickly get confusing.
Next, enter the date and time for your event. Note that by default, the meeting duration is set to 1 hour, but this does NOT mean your meeting will be cut off at that point. This is just for the purposes of creating calendar entries and generating invitations that give your guests an idea of how long you expect the meeting to take.
The "recurring meeting" option is useful for scheduling a single Zoom meeting to support a semester-long class. Checking the box brings up multiple options:
You can set the meeting to recur on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, on as many days of the week as you need. For the end date, either plug in the calendar date when your class meets last, or choose to repeat for 18, 36 or however many class sessions you'll conduct. (If you want it to go on indefinitely, then instead of "Daily," "Weekly" or "Monthly," choose "No Fixed Time.")
This will generate a single link your students can use to find your class all semester long. On your "Meetings" tab, you'll see a listing for each meeting occurrence, but all of them will have the same Meeting ID number and "Join" link.
Also, note you have the choice of either assigning a unique ID number to your meeting or using your Personal Meeting Room number (which never changes). Unique numbers provide greater security, but doing everything on your PMR takes any guesswork out of where to find your meeting. It's up to you which option to take.
It's always good practice to apply a passcode to all your meetings, to protect against Zoombombers. Zoom will provide a randomly generated passcode, but you can create your own if you like. It just needs to be at least 10 characters long.
Students will find cloud recordings in your Canvas course in the Zoom tool under the 'Cloud Recordings' tab. You must manually publish cloud recordings before students can see them in Canvas.
To publish a cloud recording in Zoom, select the 'Zoom' tool link in the course menu, then click the 'Cloud Recordings' tab. Find the recording you'd like to publish, then click to toggle the 'Publish' button ON.
When you click to toggle the 'Publish' button ON, the recording will become visible to students when they go to the 'Cloud Recordings' tab. You can also unpublish recordings by toggling the button OFF, and you can delete recordings.
Integrate Zoom with Your Calendar
Zoom offers a Google Chrome Browser Extension that allows you to start a Zoom meeting with a single click from your browser, or to schedule a Zoom meeting through Google calendar. The extension is available as a free download from Google's "Chrome Web Store."
Zoom can also be integrated with your MS Outlook calendar using the MS Outlook Plugin.
The Zoom Chrome extension will install a Zoom button on to your Google Chrome browser in the top toolbar, to the right of the address field. Clicking on this button will activate the Zoom Chrome extension. Click on the Sign In with Google button to get started.
Once signed in, you'll remain signed in until and unless you load a new version of Zoom or Chrome (see "Important Note" at the bottom of this page). After this first instance, rolling over the Zoom toolbar icon gets you the scheduling menu, allowing you to start or schedule a meeting right from your browser, instead of having to use the desktop icon or type in the URL of the portal page.
You can also use the extension to make any Google Calendar entry a Zoom Meeting.
Start by creating a calendar event as you normally would, then look for the Make it a Zoom Meeting button, now added to your event options.
Choosing this button will assign a Zoom Meeting ID number to your Calendar event, and when you send out invitations to participate in the event, your guests will receive the information they need to join the call.
The Zoom Chrome Browser Extension is a third-party app that requires an ongoing connection to Google. Whenever you upgrade to a new version of Zoom, or to a new version of Chrome, you'll need to re-establish that connection by going back to the Zoom icon in the top toolbar of Chrome and choosing the "Sign in with Google" button again. This should only come up after a software upgrade, but it's an important step to remember.
Using Zoom in Canvas
Zoom is integrated with VCU's Canvas LMS via Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), allowing instructors to schedule, launch and conduct meetings from their Canvas course pages.
To take advantage of this feature, use these helpful links:
The above links and others will display when you access the Zoom integration from your VCU Canvas course pages. If you want to dive more deeply into what's possible through the Zoom/Canvas integration, additional resources can be found here:
"Co-Host" vs "Alternative Host"
When you start or schedule a meeting on your Zoom account, you are the owner of that meeting, and will act as its "Host," with the power to invite, admit or deny entry to participants, control who can be seen and heard and who can share, record, etc.
If you want or need assistance with hosting duties, you have a couple of options.
If you need to leave the meeting early, whoever you've made a Co-Host can remain in charge for the duration of the event. Note, however, that if you're recording to your local computer, your recording will end when you leave, so the Co-Host will need to start another recording to their device, to capture what remains of the meeting. If you're recording to the Cloud, that recording will continue even after you leave, and at the meeting's end it will be delivered to your account, not the Co-Host's.
Please note there are a few host powers that are not available to Co-Hosts. While the Host remains in attendance, a Co-Host cannot:
- Start closed captioning
- Start live streaming
- End the meeting for all participants
- Make another participant a co-host
- Start the waiting room (although a co-host can place participants into an existing waiting room or admit/remove participants from the waiting room)
A Co-Host is also unable to start a meeting, for the obvious reason that they didn't become a Co-Host until the meeting was already in progress. To start a meeting without you, you will need help from another role...
Like a Co-Host, an Alternative Host shares the powers of the Host when the Host is in attendance, and takes on the full Host role when the original Host is absent or has left. However, an Alternative Host also has the power to start a meeting, so the owner/host need not attend the meeting at all.
For this to work, the Alternative Host must be named prior to the start of the meeting, and they need to have a VCU Zoom account.
To name an Alternative Host, schedule your meeting on vcu.zoom.us, look for the section marked "Options" and click on "Show."
In the last field, enter the e-mail address of the Zoom user who will serve as your Alternative Host.
As with a Co-Host, your Alternative Host is still conducting the meeting on your account, so if a Cloud Recording is created, that recording will still be saved under your account. Likewise, only you as the meeting owner will be able to see and download Registration and/or Attendance Reports associated with your meeting.
Another Option: Share Your Host Key
So what happens if you really need to grant someone else hosting powers for a meeting you cannot attend, and that person is not affiliated with VCU?
This can be done by sharing your "Host Key." This is an identifier Zoom uses to recognize you as you, but by sharing it you can let someone else be "you" for the duration of a meeting.
To use this option, follow these steps:
- Log in at vcu.zoom.us and schedule your meeting as you normally would.
- Under "Options" click on "Show" and check the box that allows your attendees to arrive early (5, 10 or 15 minutes). This means the meeting will automatically start as soon as any guest shows up, whether the host is there or not.
- Save your meeting and go to the "Profile" tab. Look for your "Host Key." It will be hidden, but you can reveal it. Copy the Host Key and mail it to the colleague you want to fill in for you as host.
When your colleague uses the meeting link, they will arrive as a normal participant. If they click on the "Participants" icon, they'll see the option to "Claim Host." They need to click on that and type in the Host Key you provided, then they will become the host.
If you do end up attending, you'll take over host duties as soon as you arrive. Otherwise, your colleague will run the meeting for you, and if they opt to record to the Cloud, the recording will be saved to your account.
Obviously, this is an option you'll want to reserve for trusted colleagues. Normally you'll want to keep your Host Key private. If necessary, you can change your Host Key at any time.
Captions and Transcripts in Zoom
Closed captions are available for all VCU-hosted Zoom Meetings and Webinars through the "Live Transcription" feature. Users are encouraged to make use of this feature to create a more inclusive and accessible experience for participants.
By default, all VCU Zoom users have the "Live Transcription" feature enabled, but here's how to verify it's enabled for your account:
- Sign in to the VCU Zoom web portal (vcu.zoom.us).
- In the navigation menu, choose "Settings > Meeting > In Meeting (Advanced)."
- Verify that both "Manual captions" (including both boxes under it) and "Automated captions" are enabled.
- Go to "Settings > Recording > Local Recording" and check the box for "save closed caption as a VTT file" to have the file saved to your computer
- If your account allows for Cloud Recording, check the box for "save closed caption as a VTT file" to have your transcripts saved to the Cloud when using the "Record to Cloud" option.
The above settings will create your captions and transcripts on cue, but as the meeting host, you still need to trigger their creation during the meeting. Just choose "Live Transcript" from the Zoom toolbar and then click on "Enable Auto-Transcription".
This will begin the display of closed captions in your meeting or webinar. If your participants can't see the captions, ask them to click on "More" and choose "Display Subtitles".
If you want to change the size of the captions, you can do so by using the caret next to the "CC:Live Transcript" button to access "Subtitle Settings".
Use the slider control to see a preview of the font size and choose what works best for you.
You and your participants can also use the "CC: Live Transcription" controls to launch a window that displays the full transcript in a scrolling side panel (similar to "Chat") instead of, or in addition to, the captions scrolling across the bottom of the video window.
A Note About Streaming
Remember that when streaming your Zoom Meeting or Webinar via Facebook, YouTube, Twitch or a custom streaming service, you could be reaching a much larger audience, which increases the likely need for captions.
Whenever you launch captions in a Zoom meeting, they will be included in the live stream you send to these platforms, for the benefit of all viewers.
Zoom Meeting Controls
Once you've launched your meeting, you'll see a number of options on the bottom toolbar:
"Join Audio" lets you connect via your PC or telephone. Use the caret to the right of the audio icon to select your microphone and speaker, if you have more than one of either. You can also test your levels and apply noise suppression filters if you're joining from a noisy environment. Once you've joined, the "headphones" icon will change to a "microphone" icon and you'll be able to mute and unmute yourself as desired.
"Start (and Stop) Video" controls the image you're sending to the meeting. Use the caret next to the camera icon to select your desired camera, if you have more than one connected. These settings are also where you can apply virtual backgrounds and filters if you like.
"Security" provides quick links to all your security settings, including but not limited to removing participants, muting participants and locking the meeting to prevent intrusion.
"Participants" opens a window to show you a complete list of who's currently in your meeting. An "invite" button at the bottom of this window lets you invite additional guests via email or your Zoom Contacts list.
"Chat" opens a window to show the full chat history of your meeting as it unfolds. With this window closed, you will see new chat messages as "word balloons" that pop up at the bottom of the screen. In the Chat window, you can click on the "..." button for the option to save your chat as a text file.
"Share Screen" connects you with all your sharing options, including but not limited to: your full desktop or portions thereof, individual applications, video from a second camera, computer audio or playback of a recorded video clip.
Use "Record" to make an MP4 recording of your meeting. Note that the recording may take a little time to process after the end of your meeting, but when it's done Zoom will show you where on your hard drive it was saved. Depending on your departmental affiliation, you may see the option to record to the Cloud, as well. Cloud recordings can be found on your account page under the "Recordings" tab.
"Polls" provides access to pre-made polls you've attached to your meeting, or lets you create new polls with the meeting in progress, launch them, collect results and share those results with your participants.
"Live Transcript" lets you send out closed captions in real time to comply with ADA standards. You'll need to click on the "Live Transcript" icon, then choose "Enable auto-transcription" to send captions your participants can choose to view or not, depending on their needs.
"Breakout Rooms" lets you organize your participants into sub-groups and "send them off" for side discussions. As host, you can enter and leave any breakout room to see how things are going. You can also type in messages to send to all the rooms.
"Whiteboards" lets you start and share a new whiteboard or access an existing whiteboard from your library. Depending on your settings, participants can annotate on the boards in real time and save them.
"Reactions" provides participants with a way to send feedback in picture form, like a thumbs-up, smile, etc. This is where you can find the "Raise Hand" option.