Zoom and Online Teaching Questions and Answers

The ITLC is actively compiling a list of all IT community questions coming to us via our feedback form as we all deal with the COVID-19 situation.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to use regarding any issues (teaching and instruction, work from home, IT support, software, etc.) and we will publish responses to this page. 

How do I bring someone who is not part of the UT Zoom system into my meeting, class, etc.?

Under the high-security Zoom configuration that was implemented on 4/1/2020, there are three things you need to know to do this successfully:

  • Anyone coming into the Zoom meeting must have a Zoom account. It can be an account from another entity, or it can be one of Zoom’s free accounts, they just have to set up a Zoom account before the meeting so that they are recognized by Zoom and can log in.
  • Only those with UT Austin Zoom accounts (only available to faculty, staff, and students), who are using a Zoom application on their local device, will directly enter the meeting.
  • If your guest’s Zoom account is from any other entity, or a free account, they will be placed into the Zoom Waiting Room where you can let them in.

We are sorry for any inconvenience, but this is part of the president’s zero-tolerance initiative to prevent abuse of any members of our community by intruders (so-called zoombombers). Please note that your validation of those in the waiting room is the most important part of this process. Those perpetrating the abuse can acquire Zoom accounts, but they can’t get past the Waiting Room unless you let them in. Thank you for your help. This LAITS wiki page documents the steps needed for a successful Zoom call under a variety of scenarios given the direction from UT administration to lock down security settings.

Why can I no longer disable the waiting room setting for my class or meeting? What do students or attendees need to do to bypass the waiting room and join a class/meeting immediately? Policy rescinded 6/2/2020

Update 6/2/2020 - In an effort to support the campus community and better utilize the features of Zoom, the Waiting Room setting has been unlocked, effective immediately. Doing so will allow meeting hosts to change the Waiting Room setting from “Only guests” to “All participants”, which will help accommodate advising sessions and office hours. However, unlocking the Waiting Room also allows a host to disable the setting, which would automatically allow anyone into the meeting and increase the possibility of disruptions. This is highly discouraged for any meeting format (meetings and academic classes), especially if the meeting link is posted publicly. Please read the following page to learn more about the Waiting Room and how to configure future meetings.

Apparently, the "alternative host" field in zoom meeting scheduling has a limit. Can we extend the limit?

In the use case where more alternative hosts are desired than Zoom currently supports, we recommend using the breakout rooms feature.

In Zoom Contacts, a Company Directory section can show all other users in the org unless this feature is disabled by an admin. I assume this is disabled since I don't see it. Is there a reason why this is disabled?

Company Contacts setting is disabled by default. If this setting was enabled it would allow a meeting host to view contact info for all registered users on the UT Austin Zoom service. In balancing instruction requirements versus privacy considerations, UT has opted for privacy in this case.

Will there be a special hotline or additional support channels for Zoom, or should I continue to refer questions to zoom@utexas.edu or the ITS help desk?

Sending questions to zoom@utexas.edu is the best way to get an online questions answered and calling the ITS help desk at 512-475-9400 is the best way to speak to someone directly. After hours, you can select the Zoom option and it will route you to the Zoom help center. ITS has added staff to respond to these calls and tickets and are keeping up with the demand.

What is the recommended way to share a recorded Zoom class lecture back to the class? Should a faculty member just create a link in Canvas to it?

Yes, the best way to share a link to a Zoom course recording is via Canvas.

What does it mean, really, when Zoom indicates "your internet connection is unstable.” Is the problem really on my end, or is it somewhere else?

When Zoom gives you this message, it is referring to your endpoint’s internet connection. You can check https://status.zoom.us/ to make sure the Zoom service is not experiencing any outages. Here is the Zoom support page for troubleshooting wifi issues - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362463-Wireless-WiFi-Conne….

Here are some best practices for improving Zoom stability and connection issues:

  • Turn off your camera.
  • When possible, use a wired network connection, rather than a Wi-Fi connection if available.
  • If using a Wi-Fi connection, ensure the router/cable-modem is not saturated with other connections.
  • During the web conference, don't run any network-intensive applications on your computer, such as Internet radio or streaming video.
  • Connect any external audio devices such as a USB microphone and headset before you start your meeting.
We received several questions about best practices to secure Zoom.

The UT ISO published this list of recommendations - https://security.utexas.edu/zoom-security, and wants to highlight these items:

  • Don't post Zoom links on a public website
  • If you don't have external guests, select "Only authenticated users can join meetings"
  • If you don't want participants to join/interact before the host enters, uncheck "Join Before Host"
  • Set a co-host if you need a backup
  • Uncheck "File Transfer" unless you know this feature will be required
  • Uncheck "Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin" so that participants who you have removed from your session cannot re-enter
Is it possible to schedule the breakout room function through Canvas?
No, that function is not available.
Now that Panopto is available and integrated into Canvas, do you know when it will be integrated into Zoom as well?
Panopto will be integrated with Zoom, this is in process and there is no ETA as of 3/27/20.
Can Panopto be used by other affiliated instances of Canvas or is it only available through the UT Austin instance of Canvas?
The UT Austin purchase of Panopto is only available via the UT Austin instance of Canvas.
How do we enable delegates, in order to schedule meetings in Zoom for the folks whose calendar's they support?
Each Zoom account is able to assign calendar delegates by following these steps - https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362803-Scheduling-privilege
Will we be able to join multiple Zoom meetings at the same time?
Yes, that feature is enabled on the UT Austin Zoom instance. To join a second meeting, it may be necessary to click the “Join” button from the meeting URL on https://utexas.zoom.us.