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Using Zoom: Account Settings Best Practices

Several settings are available to control the environment for your Zoom class. To access these settings, sign into your Zoom account on the Zoom website and navigate to the Settings tab found on the left side of the screen. There are a few settings below that you may choose to adjust depending upon how you are using Zoom within your course. 

Please note, the settings listed below are updated by Zoom on a regular basis. The order and language may change over time. 

Security Settings 

1. Waiting Room: On 

2. Waiting Room Options: For larger classes and/or those without TA support, or users who are not in your account and not part of the allowed domains, it may be beneficial to update the waiting room options to allow students to bypass the waiting room and access the class meeting from CourseLink (through the Zoom integration or link in Content)This option requires students to have a Zoom account.

Instructions to set this up are below: 

  • Select Edit Options.
  • From the list, select Users who are not in your account and not part of the allowed domains
  • In the text box, type in uoguelph.ca as the domain. Press Continue to save these settings. 

3. Require a Passcode when scheduling new meetings: On 

  • This setting should remain enabled. Students entering the meeting through the Zoom integration in CourseLink will not be required to enter the password. This option helps to prevent unwanted participants from entering by guessing the Zoom Meeting ID alone. 

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4. Require a passcode for Personal Meeting ID (PMI): On, all meetings using PMI 

5. Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join: On 

  • This allows students to join the meeting with one click. 

6. Require passcode for participants joining by phone: On 

7. Only authenticated users can join meetings: Off 

  • This setting requires students to have a Zoom account and be logged in when accessing your class meeting. If students are unaware of this setting, it can cause them to be unable to join. If you have enabled this setting for your course meetings, it is recommended that you let students know that they should create a free Zoom account with their University of Guelph email address. 

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Schedule Meeting Settings 

1. Host video: On 

2. Participants video: Off 

3. Audio type: Telephone and Computer Audio 

  • By enabling both, students who may have poor internet connectivity can connect to the meeting audio with their telephone. 

4. Join before hostOff 

  • To prevent students from entering the meeting before you, and having unmonitored conversations, leave this setting turned off. 

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5. Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI) when scheduling a meeting: Off 

  • Always generate a new meeting ID when scheduling a meeting. This helps to increase the security of the meeting. 

6. Mute participants upon entry: On 

  • To prevent disruptions as students enter the Zoom class, turn this setting on. Please note that by default, students will be able to unmute themselves. This setting can be updated within the meeting once it is running. (See Adjust Settings In-Meeting). 

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In-Meeting (Basic) Settings 

1. Chat: On or Off 

  • The Chat function can be a powerful tool for collecting student questions; however, it can also be misused. Depending upon your class, you may wish to disable the chat function. Additionally, there are more detailed settings available in-meeting. 
  • Prevent participants from saving chat: You may wish to enabled this setting to prevent attendees from saving the chat.  

2. Private Chat: Off 

  • When turned off, students are unable to send private messages to one another, or the hosts, during the meeting. 

3. Auto saving chatsOff or On 

  • You may wish to automatically save all chats from your meetings. This file will include all public chats and any private chats in which you are involved. The file will be automatically saved to your computer when the meeting has ended. 

4. Sound notification when someone joins or leaves: Off or On 

  • If you have a waiting room enabled, you may wish to have this setting on to alert you when attendees are waiting to be admitted. If not, you may wish to have this setting off to avoid distractions from attendees entering and leaving the meeting. This setting can also be adjusted in-meeting, as needed. 

5. File transfer: Off 

  • This will prevent participants from sharing pictures, GIFS, memes, or other content that might be distracting or inappropriate through the in-meeting chat. 

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6. Co-host: On 

  • Enabling this setting can be useful if you wish for teaching assistants to have meeting controls. Also, if you wish for students to engage or present during the meeting, this can be done using this function. 

7. Polling: On  

8. Always show meeting control toolbar: Off or On 

  • This setting may be useful to assist with moving between different tools within Zoom during a meeting. 

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9. Show Zoom window during screen share: Off 

  • This setting may be useful for hosts who need to demonstrate how to use a certain function in Zoom; otherwise, this option is best left turned off. 

10. Screen sharing - Who can share?: Host Only 

  • This setting can be adjusted within the meeting if you need to allow a student to share their screen (i.e., presentation, office hours, etc.) (See Adjust Settings In-Meeting.) 

11. Who can start sharing when someone else is sharing?: Host Only 

12. Annotation: Off or On 

  • If you do not intend to use the annotation tool, turn this setting off. If you would like to be able to annotate while screen sharing, you can turn off participant annotations within the meeting. (See Adjust Settings In-Meeting.) 
  • Allow saving of shared screens with annotations: Off or On 
  • Only the user who is sharing can annotate: On 

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13. Whiteboard: On or Off 

  • If you do not intend to use the whiteboard tool, turn this setting off. If you would like to be able to use the whiteboard tool, you can turn off participant annotations within the meeting. (See Adjust Settings In-Meeting.) 

14. Remote Control: Off

  • This setting may be pedagogically useful in some cases where you or your TA wants to be able to assist a student with a problem during office hours or similar.

15. Nonverbal feedback: On or Off 

  • This option allows for quick and easy non-verbal feedback from students; however, this feature does require monitoring to be useful. Only enable it if you plan to use it. 

16. Meeting reactions: On or Off 


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17. Allow removed participants to rejoin: Off 

18. Allow participants to rename themselves: Off 

  • If this ability is required, this setting can be enabled for short periods of time within a meeting. 

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In-Meeting (Advanced) Settings 

1. Breakout rooms: O 

  • Enabling this feature allows students to be sub-divided into smaller groups to facilitate discussion. This is a great way to enable students to actively learn and develop a sense of community. 

2. Remote support: On or Off 

  • If you wish to support students directly, this option can be enabled. 

3. Closed CaptioningOn 

  • This allows you, a designated person, or a paid virtual service to type closed captioning to aid students with accessibility issues.  

4. Save Captions: On 


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5. Far end camera control: Off 

6. Virtual background: On 

  • You and many of your students may be working in an environment with an undesirable background. This option allows for changing it to an image of your choice. 
  • You may choose to allow or prevent video from being used as a virtual background 

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Recording Settings 

Many recording settings can be configured in advance and will correspond to any future recordings. These settings relate to what is recorded, automatic recording, and some sharing permissions. Sharing of recordings can be configured further for each recording within the Recordings section of the Zoom website by selecting Share beside the name of the recording you wish to update. 

Before configuring this section, ensure that you review and understand the University's statement on Privacy & Recording Virtual Lectures.

1. Local Recording: On 

  • This will allow you to record to your computer. Participants will still need to request permission before they are able to record. 

2. Cloud Recording: On 

  • Recording to the Cloud is recommended as it allows you to easily share the recordings with your students through the CourseLink Zoom integration or by placing a link to the recording in a Content module. 
  • Record active speaker with shared screen: This is the default setting for recordings. This will capture your screen share and place a small thumbnail in the top right corner of the active speaker. More information on Recording Layouts can be found on the Zoom website. 
  • Record audio only file: When enabled, this produces an m4a file as part of the recording. When viewed within Zoom, it will display with the transcription, if enabled. 
  • Save chat message from the meeting/webinar: When enabled, this will make available a copy of all public chat with the recording. Please note that names of attendees will be available here. 
  • Add a timestamp to the recording: This option allows you to embed the actual date and time of the meeting into the video recording.
  • Display participant’s names in the recording: When enabled, this will place the name of the speaker in the bottom left corner of the speaker view or thumbnail when screen sharing. We recommend that this setting be left disabled for privacy.
  • Record thumbnails when sharing: When enabled, this will place a small thumbnail of the active speaker in the top right corner of the recording. When disabled, the recording will only capture the screen share. You may consider disabling this option to prevent students from accidentally ending up on the recording.
  • Audio transcript: When enabled, this with automatically generate a transcript using Otter.ai and the transcript will be available as part of your Cloud recording. Please note, the transcript will take additional processing time after the video is available.

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4. Automatic Recording: On or Off 

  • This setting can be enabled here for all newly scheduled meetings or can be enabled when scheduling a new meeting for finer control. 

5. Only authenticated users can view cloud recordings: Off 

  • Authentication requires students to have a Zoom account to sign into to access the recording. 

6. Require passcode to access shared cloud recordings: Off 

  • For recordings shared with students through the Zoom integration in CourseLink, a passcode to access the recording may be confusing. 

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