This Resource Centre links to Zoom's own support guidance where relevant. Zoom's guidance is mostly applicable to UCL's installation of Zoom, but there may be some minor differences. For example, UCL has switched off Zoom's file sharing functionality due to security risks. You can see a high level summary of features enabled in UCL's installation of Zoom on the webpage: Choosing the right platform for live teaching webpage.
Digital Education recommends that you conduct a test run using your UCL Zoom account to make sure you have all the features available to you that you are expecting. When in doubt, please check the UCL's Zoom guidance SharePoint Site, and or contact email@example.com.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is one of UCL's supported web conferencing or online classroom platforms.
Zoom can be used for a variety of teaching and learning activities, including seminars and interactive group study, Q&A discussions, guest lectures, and tutorials. It provides a range of different functions in a live, or synchronous, learning environment. These features include:
- Audio and video conferencing;
- Presentation and whiteboard facilities;
- Application sharing;
- Text chat for student discussion and questions;
- Tools for hand-raising and reactions;
- Breakout rooms for small group activities.
It can also act as an informal course meeting space and be used with participants from outside of UCL.
The maximum number of participants for a given session (including moderators and presenters) is 300. If you expect to have more than 300 participants, you will need to request a Large Meeting licence.
Should I use Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate or Teams for synchronous teaching?
There is no easy answer. The teaching platform you choose will depend on a variety of factors including teaching requirements, the course subject, and – critically – whether your live sessions include students who are based in China. To help you understand which platform is best suited for you, we have outlined the core functionality, benefits and considerations of Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom and MS Teams on the Choosing the right platform for live teaching webpage.
What about the privacy concerns with regards to using Zoom?
The Information Security Group have looked closely into the privacy and data security of Zoom. Zoom needs to be treated as an open platform with no guarantee of privacy for call participants. UCL has no verifiable knowledge of, or influence over, Zoom's worldwide infrastructure agreements with national authorities. We advise all staff to use care and discretion when sharing sensitive content or research data with participants or when discussing potentially politically sensitive matters with call participants.