Using Zoom features to engage my students in active learning in live online sessions

Zoom can be used to provide students with online tutorials, workshops, lectures and virtual office hours.

The tools that you use will depend on:

  • Your level of experience with Zoom
  • The size of your classes
  • The sorts of activities you want to run.

Basic Zoom Meeting tools useful for online teaching

All sized classes

Screen share your slides, a video,  a software demonstration, or a website. Or alternatively, invite your students to share their screens for in-class presentations.

Chat lets your students pose questions to you or to each other.

Using reactions (non verbal feedback) toolbar to engage students.

Smaller tutorial sized classes (< 20 students)

Gallery view allows students to get a sense of the group; have them turn on their video to use this feature. You can run discussion activities by having students unmute their microphones in turn.

Advanced Zoom Meeting tools useful for online teaching

All sized classes

Polling can be used to create quizzes and surveys.Good for start of session check-ins, breaking up long sessions, feedback at scale.

Classes up to a maximum of 200 students

Breakout rooms is a function that can be used to split a Zoom Meeting into separate sessions (up to 50). The host can then choose to assign participants to these sessions automatically or manually and can switch themselves between sessions at any time. The host can also broadcast messages to all breakout rooms if required.

Smaller tutorial sized classes (< 30 students max)

Whiteboard is a feature that allows you to share a virtual whiteboard that you and students can make annotations on.

Annotation tools allow you and students to draw over content such as images, slides and web pages.