In order to best take advantage of Zoom's features in your virtual classroom and limit distractions for your students, there are a number of settings we recommend changing from the defaults. We'll walk you through each of these settings below, explaining what they are and why we recommend changing them.
To adjust these settings, click the Settings link on your Zoom dashboard.
Let's get started! First, turn on the Host Video setting so that your virtual classes will start with your camera turned on. For this setting (and each one following, click the toggle button to turn it on or off).
Next, turn on the Participants Video setting so that your students' videos will appear when they sign in to your virtual classroom.
Scroll down to and turn on the Mute participants upon entry setting to require that student microphones will be muted when they enter your virtual classroom. We recommend keeping student microphones muted at all times unless your are asking a specific student to talk or holding a class discussion. This way each participant will not hear unwanted background noise or things like shuffling papers, tapping pencils, etc.
Scroll down to and turn off the Private chat setting. We recommend turning this off so that students are not using the chat feature to communicate with each other during class. You will still be able to use (and control) the ability for students to chat with you and the entire class simultaneously using Zoom's chat feature.
Next, scroll down under Screen Sharing and set Who can share? to Host Only, then choose Save. This helps ensure that students will not share distracting or inappropriate content from their screens during a virtual class.
Next, scroll down to and turn on the Nonverbal feedback setting. This enables students to do things like raise their hands, mimicking the sorts of non-verbal interactions you would have in a physical classroom.
Scroll down to and turn on the Breakout room setting. This enables you to split your class into smaller groups for discussion during class if needed (if this isn't something you do, you can leave this turned off).
Scroll down to and turn on the Attention Tracking setting. This gives you as the teacher some indication of how well the student is focusing on your lecture.
Finally, scroll down to and turn on the Show a "Join from your browser" link setting. This provides another method students can use to join your class as a backup in case they can't join through the Zoom app for some reason.