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Zoom Web Conferencing: Ideas for Zoom in Instruction


List of Ideas for Engaging Learners in Zoom Meetings

Initial Zoom Meeting

Initial Zoom Meeting



Personalize the Zoom meeting: Welcome learners to your space, whether at home, in your office, or in a local classroom. In your home introduce learners to the sights and sounds of family, pets, neighborhood activities. In your classroom give learners a walking tour. This helps learners feel like they belong.


One Word

Ask students to state one word that describes their life or who they are today, followed by sharing why they chose that word.

Picture This

Direct students to, Creative Commons Openverse Search or similar sources to find an image that represents their life or why they are participating in this course.  Alternatively, students could choose to verbally describe a scene.

Introduce the Syllabus

Work through the syllabus with your students. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your level of investment and how you care about the learners by giving background on your course decisions:

  • Why I selected these sources for reading

  • Why I designed this project

  • How I will assess and how my regular feedback will help you succeed

Set the Stage for the Learning Community

Guide a discussion in the Zoom meeting that focuses on topics that help learners succeed in the course.


Course Discussions

Have a discussion on how to get the most out of online discussions Learners may need to overcome misconceptions or personal experience with ineffective online discussions. Guide learners in establishing a reliable and authentic pattern of communication that will give opportunity for deeper critical thinking and transformation.


Assignment Deadlines

Review assignment deadlines so that learners recognize the predictable pattern you use. This reduces anxiety and builds confidence.


Project Overview

Guide learners through project learning outcomes, types of assessment you will use, milestone deadlines and how these deadlines facilitate progress and provide strategic points for feedback. This encourages learners to establish a personal schedule that helps them succeed.


Draft a Contract or Covenant

Invite students to collaboratively write a contract on how they will conduct themselves in Zoom meetings, online discussions, and in project groups. Initiate this activity with a framework that outlines basic elements. Collaboratively authoring a group covenant gives the learners agency and ownership. You can share a Google Doc with your learners where they can collaboratively work.

Ideas for Ongoing Instruction in Zoom

Ideas for Ongoing Instruction in Zoom


As you continue to host Zoom meetings throughout the semester, consider some of these ideas.

Deeper Engagement


If you are transferring knowledge to learners, consider this strategy, which takes advantage of asynchronous (flexible time) and synchronous (specific time) engagement.


In the course site (flexible time)

Introduce the concept to students in multiple modes that are readily available and can be reviewed repeatedly. Place the content in the course site and guide the learner in selecting the mode that works best for them:

  • Short video lecture

  • Transcript from the video lecture

  • Audio podcast

  • Outline of the lecture in a downloadable file

  • Study guide with question prompts in a downloadable file

Invite learners into an activity that helps them prepare for deeper engagement in the Zoom meeting

  • Online discussion where students post critical questions

  • Check Your Understanding quiz


In the Zoom meeting (specific time)

Now learners are ready to engage in the Zoom meeting where you can

  • Address the muddiest points revealed in the online discussion or quiz

  • Work whole class or in Breakout Rooms to discuss critical questions

Jigsaw Activity in Zoom Breakout Meeting

Break down a  complex problem into 3 or 4 substantive areas.

  • Assign each Breakout Room group one of the areas in which to develop expertise.

  • Give the Breakout Room groups time to analyze the text/object/concept in-depth from their respective angles of expertise.

  •  Re-assign the Breakout Room groups so that there is one member from each of the original groups in each new group.

  • Have each Breakout Room group solve a problem concerning the text/object/concept with their area experts weighing in with each angle of analysis
  • In the Main Room have each group present their results and discuss the differences.


Introduce a question or problem that learners will consider individually, and then with a partner. The exercise ends with all pairs sharing their results with the class.

  • Present the question or problem visually and orally (e.g., screenshare a slide or shared Google doc and read aloud). Include a description of the procedure they will follow.

  • Give all learners time to think about the question or problem individually. 

  • Place pairs of learners in Breakout Rooms to share, explore each other’s thinking, and prepare to share with the whole class

  • Return all learners to the main room and guide pairs in sharing their results, observations, takeaways with the whole class

Minute Paper

Author a prompt that will guide learners in reflecting on a concept learned, the relevance of a skill developed, or critical questions that are emerging from their learning.

  • Present the prompt visually and orally (e.g., screenshare a slide or shared Google doc and read aloud) Include a description of the procedure they will follow.

  • Give learners five minutes to write their responses.

  • Direct students to submit their responses 

  • If sharing with peers, in a designated forum in the FoxTALE course site.

  • If sharing with the faculty privately, in an online text assignment in the FoxTALE course site.


Present multiple choice questions during the Zoom meeting to engage learners in an icebreaker, check group prior knowledge, uncover group misconceptions, solicit anonymous feedback on a debatable topic, assist learners in selecting new topics,

  • Set up your Zoom Poll questions. A series of poll questions can be set up in advance in a scheduled meeting. Poll questions can also be made during a meeting in progress.

  • Poll results can be downloaded to your computer.

Technical Tips

Technical Tips


Muting Attendee Audio

Enter the Manage Participants panel to mute an individual or Mute All.
Once you have muted attendees, the attendee must give permission to be unmuted.
Click on More to select:

  • Ask All to Unmute: Display a pop-up notification to all muted participants with option to unmute themselves or stay muted.
  • Mute Participants upon Entry: Automatically mute participants as they join the meeting.
  • Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves: Participants can unmute themselves if they want to speak to others in the meeting.

Troubleshooting Connection

The guide, Troubleshooting Connection, shares tips such as muting your audio and video to improve your connection to the Zoom meeting.

Sharing Your PowerPoint Presentation

The guide, Sharing Your Screen, demonstrates how to share your screen in a Zoom meeting, including three methods for displaying your PowerPoint presentation.

Recording and Sharing the Zoom Meeting

Record your Zoom meeting and share it with your students in your Canvas course site.