You probably are already aware that you have access to a powerful video conference tool from inside Canvas, titled Zoom. I’ve included a picture of the link. Zoom is very easy to use and intuitive, meaning that you should be able to use it with only a little trial and error. Below I’m going to discuss Why you might want to use Zoom, and How to set it up and use it.
I’m going to list several scenarios in which you might benefit from using Zoom:
- As “office hour(s)” – Designate a time each week when you know you’ll be at your computer and start a zoom conference, posting the link in an announcement on the course-site in Canvas. One of the things I love about Zoom is that if
you minimize it, a small window stays active in the upper corner of your screen and you can easily see if anyone joins the conference and you can maximize Zoom. You can also post an announcement that “Office hours” are by appointment and set up your Zoom specific to any student who schedules an appointment
- To record a presentation or tutorial. Zoom is perfect for recording a presentation or tutorial of some computer application. Whatever you can see on your desktop can be shown through Zoom and recorded and made available to students. This might be particularly useful for some of the trickier formulas or math related problems.
- To set up an optional (strictly voluntary) class meeting relative to a specific event, e.g. you could set up a Zoom to discuss political debates following the debates while everyone is still fresh.
- To bring in a guest lecturer to your class session. While you would still need to let the Dean know and get approval, this is a perfect way to bring someone into your class that you know can bring some specialized knowledge or a powerful story to connect with your students. This way your guest could be literally anywhere in the world and still present in your classroom.
- These are only a few ideas, but I’m sure you are getting the idea.
Starting a Zoom is very easy, all you will need is your Belhaven login and password. Once you click on the Zoom link you will want to “Host” a meeting after you enter your credentials. To invite others, either email them the link or post the link in an announcement on your course site. I’ve included a video below which walks you through the process.
Let me know how it works for you.