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What is Zoom?

Zoom is one of UCL's supported web conferencing or online classroom platforms. 

UCL has acquired Zoom on a 12-month license as it provides greater reliability for staff and students in China. UCL's choice of platform for live teaching will be reviewed during 2020/21 and there is no guarantee that the Zoom license will be extended beyond the ‘remote teaching’ period.

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;
  • Polling;
  • 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.

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. For further information see the Zoom FAQS document.

Zoom Essentials

Setting up your Zoom account

UCL Zoom accounts will be available to all staff and students from Wednesday (2 September). To set up your account you will need to visit the UCL Zoom homepage. [We will share the URL once it is available.] Click on ‘configure your account’ and login with your UCL credentials. Follow the onscreen instructions that will prompt you to create an account. For more information see the Zoom SharePoint Site.

Digital Education's Zoom Participant Guidance for students.

Digital-education's guide for students participating in Zoom webinars.

Getting started with Zoom

Zoom guide that explains the basics of using Zoom.

Check your audio and video with a Zoom test call 

Zoom guide that explains how to schedule a test call on Zoom.

LinkedIn Learning course: Learning Zoom

This course demonstrates how to adjust your camera and audio and run a Zoom meeting.

Ideas for using Zoom

What do students think of online learning with Zoom?

A YouTube video from Western Sydney University, Australia which interviews students on their experience of online learning with Zoom.

Presenting with Zoom

Zoom guide on sharing your screen, application or a whiteboard.

Small Group discussion with Zoom Breakout Rooms

YouTube video guide on splitting up a session into smaller groups. 

Zoom for Teaching

Chris Evans, Senior Teaching Fellow in UCL’s Interaction Centre (UCLIC) has produced a series of videos on using Zoom. He provides helpful tips on setup, scheduling meetings, and making engaging educational videos. 

Tips and Tricks for teaching with Zoom

Zoom PDF guide on teaching with Zoom.

Getting Help

If you can't login...

You can reset your Zoom password.
If you are unable to do, contact the Service Desk: ISD - Help & Support

Other issues...

For other support issues please see UCL's Zoom guidance SharePoint Site and/or the Zoom help center


Find answers to the most common Zoom questions.

Want to talk about synchronous teaching?

If you're a member of staff and would like to discuss how you can use Zoom in your teaching practice, please contact the Digital Education team:  digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk

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