Zoom is a web conferencing tool that allows you to deliver lectures and host meetings online in real-time. Zoom is available on desktop and mobile devices. Instructors and students can interact with each other by sharing their audio, video or screens, as well as send messages through the Chat feature. Instructors can also split up the students into smaller groups for collaboration (using breakout rooms).

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), UBC is setting up institutional accounts for instructors to use that include more robust features than a free Zoom account.

Request a UBC Zoom account



  1. Email the UBC IT Audio/Visual Helpdesk at av.helpdesk@ubc.ca with:
    • Your UBC email address
    • Your Faculty and Department
    • The number of students in your course
  2. Activate your UBC Zoom account:
    • Once AV Helpdesk gets to your ticket and provisions your UBC Zoom account (not instantaneous), they will send you an email to activate your new UBC Zoom account.


  1. Pick an email account that has “ubc.ca” in it somewhere (e.g. @cs.ubc.ca; @ubc.ca; @student.ubc.ca, etc). If you don’t have an email like this, get an @student.ubc.ca account. Instructions are here.
  2. With that email account you chose, request a UBC Zoom account:
    • Email the UBC IT Audio/Visual Helpdesk at av.helpdesk@ubc.ca CC the instructor(s) for whom you are TAing
    • Use subject line: “TA Zoom account needed”
    • Message should read (fill in appropriate information): I am a TA in [Course XXX] with [instructor name]. I need a UBC Zoom account using this email: [insert the email address with ubc.ca in it that you chose above].
    • Be sure to cc your instructor(s)
  3. Change your email in the relevant UBC systems, SSC and Canvas:
    • In the SSC, change your email to the one you chose above, with ubc.ca in it.
    • In Canvas, go into your Canvas profile and make this your primary email address.
  4. Activate your UBC Zoom account:
    • Once AV Helpdesk gets to your ticket and provisions your UBC Zoom account (not instantaneous), they will send you an email to activate your new UBC Zoom account. The email will come to the email you chose above (with ubc.ca in it). Activate your account as soon as possible.
Activate your UBC Zoom account

Once AV Helpdesk gets to your ticket and provisions your UBC Zoom account you will receive an email to activate your new UBC Zoom account.

  1. Click Activate Your Zoom Account in this email.
  2. You may be asked to verify your date of birth to confirm that you are at least 16 years old. This is due to Zoom’s security measures for educational licenses.
  3. In the webpage that opens for activating, click Sign Up With A Password.
  4. Fill in your first and last name, create a password (please use something different than your CWL) and click Continue. You now have a UBC Zoom account.
    • If you have an existing Zoom account, you will be prompted to approve moving it into UBC’s account. Contact the A/V Helpdesk if you have any concerns about doing so.
  5. The Zoom application should automatically download for you to install. If it doesn’t, go to, go to https://zoom.us/download, and click Download under “Zoom Client for Meetings”.
  6. Open the Zoom installer that downloads, and follow the steps to install the Zoom application.
Adding Zoom to Canvas

Zoom allows you to deliver real-time lectures to large courses. Please refer to this instructor guide to help you get started. A student guide is also available for you to share with your students.


  1. You need to have a UBC Zoom account. If you do not have an account yet, follow these instructions to request for one.
  2. Check to ensure the primary email address (the one with a star icon) associated with your Canvas account is the same as the email address used for your UBC Zoom account. In Canvas, click on Account > Settings and look under Ways to Contact.

    If the email address is different from the one used for your UBC Zoom account, follow these instructions to update your email address. Make sure it is selected as the default email address.

Add Zoom to the Course Navigation

  1. Click into your Canvas course. On the left hand menu, click Settings.
  2. Click on the Navigation tab and then look for Zoom from the list.
  3. Click on the three dots beside Zoom, and choose + Enable. Zoom will be added to the list above, you can drag and drop to where you would like it to appear in your course navigation menu.

  4. Click the Save button.
Scheduling a Meeting
  1. Click on the Zoom link from the left navigation menu.

    NOTE: If you see a Warning message with an error code (as shown below), you will need to ensure the email address associated with your Canvas account is the same as the one used for your UBC Zoom account. Refer to the requirements section.

  2. Click on the Schedule a New Meeting button.

  3. Enter in the topic, date/time, and adjust any other settings that you wish.

  4. NOTE: Keep the following meeting options unchecked:

    • Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI): this is a persistent session link which allows anyone to join at any time, which is not recommended for courses.
    • Only authenticated users can join: this requires participants to log into their Zoom account before joining the meeting, which most students will not have.
  5. Click Save.
Starting a Meeting
  1. Click on the Zoom link from the course navigation menu.
  2. You will see a list of the scheduled Zoom meetings. Click on the Start button beside the meeting you want to launch.

    If you have multiple Instructors/TAs in the same course, they will be able to schedule meetings as well if they have a UBC Zoom account. A Start button will appear beside the meetings you create and a Join button will appear beside the meetings created by others. Students will see a Join button beside all meetings.

    NOTE: If you scheduled meetings through the Zoom desktop application or the web portal (https://zoom.us/ > Meetings), those meetings will appear under All My Zoom Meetings/Recordings. However, these meetings will not be visible to students. Only meetings scheduled through Canvas (located under Course Meetings/Recordings) will be visible to students when they click on the Zoom link from the course navigation menu.

    You can import the meetings by clicking on the three dots located on the right > Import Meeting. You will have to enter in the Meeting ID, which can be found under your meeting settings.

  3. How will students join the meeting?

    Students can join the meetings by clicking on the Zoom link from the course navigation menu. Click on the Join button beside the meeting.

    Students can choose how they would like to join the meeting:

    1. Zoom desktop application (click Open zoom.us): the student’s name displayed in Canvas will be the name that appears in Zoom.
    2. Web browser (click join from your browser): the student will be asked to enter a name themselves.

Recording a Meeting

Before recording your sessions, check your local recording or cloud recording settings first. In addition, review the different recording layouts available depending on the video layout of your meeting.

  1. Click on Zoom from the course navigation.
  2. Click on the Start button beside the meeting you want to start.
  3. When you are in Zoom, click on the Record button in the meeting controls and choose if you want to Record on this Computer (local recording) or Record to the Cloud (cloud recording).

Publishing a Recording

For Local Recordings, you will need to download the recording from Zoom and then upload to your Canvas course using My Media/Media Upload.

  1. Log into your Zoom account in the web portal at https://zoom.us/.
  2. Go to https://zoom.us/recording > click on Local Recordings.
  3. Select the recording you want to download and click on the Export button. The file will be downloaded to your computer.
  4. Follow these instructions to upload the video to Canvas.

For Cloud Recordings, you will need to publish the recording on Canvas:

  1. Click on Zoom from the course navigation.
  2. Click on the Cloud Recordings tab.
  3. Beside the recording you want to publish, toggle the Publish button to ON, as shown in the image below. When the button is blue, that indicates that the recording has been published and is visible to students.

Disabling Download

By default, students have the ability to download the recording. You can disable download by logging into your Zoom account in the web portal, click on Recordings. Look for your recording, click on Share... and toggle the option Viewers can download to OFF. This needs to be disabled for each recording where you don't want viewers to be able to download the recording.

Setting Playback Range

You can set a playback range to determine the start and end times of when you want the video to play by following these instructions. It will remove sections from the beginning and end that are not needed. However, please note that the playback range does not cut your recording. If you enable recording download, the download file will be the original length, regardless if you set a playback range.

Accessing a Recording


After you published your cloud recording, students can access them in Canvas but a passcode is required. Please note that the passcode required to access cloud recordings is not the same as the passcode used to enter the Zoom meeting. A unique random passcode is created for each recording.

  1. Click on the Zoom from the course navigation.
  2. Click on the Cloud Recordings tab and select the recording you want to view..

  3. Click on the play button in the centre of the video thumbnail. It will open the video in a new browser tab which will ask students to enter a passcode.

  4. Students can find the passcode by clicking on the eye icon at the bottom of each recording file.

    • The left icon will make the passcode visible – students can copy it to their clipboard.
    • The right icon will automatically copy it to their clipboard.

  5. Paste this passcode into the other browser window. A Captcha screen might appear to prove you are not a robot.

The video will be visible to students. They can also download the recording to their computer, if enabled by the instructor.

Creating self-select Breakout Rooms


  • Only the Host of the meeting can set up self-select breakout rooms.
  • Participants joining through the web browser cannot self select breakout rooms, they must be using the desktop Zoom application
  • Both the Host and participants (e.g. students) must have version 5.3.0 or later of the desktop Zoom application installed. Those on older versions will not see this feature or have the ability to freely move between breakout rooms.

To download version 5.3.0 or later:

  1. Go to https://ca01web.zoom.us/download
  2. Make sure you see version 5.3.0 (or later) listed in the download centre.
  3. Click Download and install.

Creating Breakout Rooms

  1. Click Breakout Rooms from the bottom menu.

  2. Choose the desired number of breakout rooms you want to create from the drop down and select Let participants choose room. Then click Create.

  3. Once created, click on Options to ensure the settings are are set up correctly, then click Open All Rooms.

    Note: You can also rename breakout rooms by hovering over the rooms and clicking on Rename

Moving between Breakout rooms:​

After the Host has opened all rooms, a Join a breakout room pop-up will appear at the bottom. The “Breakout Rooms” option will also appear for the participants.
  1. Click Breakout Rooms.

    For Windows users, click Join > Yes beside the room you would like to join.

    For Mac users, hover over the number beside the Room you want to join. Click Join > Yes to join the room.

  2. You will be sent to the breakout room you chose to join. To change rooms, click on Breakout Rooms > Choose Breakout Room.

Using Zoom for Exam Invigilation

Zoom can be set-up for the purpose of invigilating online exams in real-time. There are specific settings that should be enabled/disabled for the Zoom meeting if it is used for invigilation purposes as opposed to an online lecture.

Communication to Students

The following note should be included in your exam invigilation Instructions to students:

Exam Invigilation Instructions
This is an invigilated exam. You must turn on your camera and leave it on throughout the examination. You will be asked to hold up your student card for identification purposes, and an invigilator may also ask you to share your screen at any point during the exam.

Your privacy is important to us. The camera feed [insert if the session will/will not be recorded]. If you have any questions about how your privacy is protected while using Zoom, please consult with your instructor.

Recording Invigilation Sessions

Invigilation of exams may be recorded using cloud recordings only. Local recording is not permitted. There is a maximum of 25 video feeds that can be displayed per page in gallery view. Please refer to the recording a session section on how to start a cloud recording in Zoom. Make sure you review your cloud recording settings to ensure it will record in the correct format before the exam.

Important: Cloud recording is not available in breakout rooms; it is only available in the main room. If you need to record the session then you cannot use breakout rooms during the invigilation. The workaround is to create multiple Zoom meetings (with a TA in each) to break the students into smaller groups in replace of using breakout rooms. The individual Zoom meetings will need to be created by the TAs/Invigilators and they will be the Host of those sessions. (Note: you can only be part of one Zoom meeting at a given time and you cannot host multiple concurrent meetings, more details here.)

Roles & Permissions in Zoom

  • Host – dedicate one person to be the host who will be responsible for the following:
    • Set-up the Zoom meeting
    • Admit participants from the waiting room
    • Create and start breakout rooms
    • Oversee and manage the session during the exam

  • Important: Only one person can be assigned as the host per meeting. Only the host can create and assign participants to breakout rooms.

  • Co-host: TAs/Invigilators/Instructors will stay in the breakout rooms and invigilate the students.
  • Participants – Students stay in the waiting room until they are admitted and assigned to a breakout room by the host.

Note: waiting room and breakout rooms can be enabled/disabled, depending on how you want your exam to be invigilated.

Steps for Setting Up Zoom for Exam Invigilation

Zoom Settings

You should review the default Zoom meeting settings set for your account. There are a couple settings that we recommend disabling/enabling for exam invigilation purposes. To access your Zoom Settings, log into Zoom at: https://zoom.us/signin. Click on Settings from the left-hand menu.

Under the MEETING tab:

  • Private chat: disable this option so participants cannot send a private message to another participant. Private messages are not visible to the host or co-host.
  • Always show meeting control toolbar: enable this option so you have access to the controls on the toolbar at all times.
  • Remote control: disable this option to prevent participants from controlling each other’s computer
  • Virtual background: this setting applies to the Host only and not the participants. Include in your exam instructions that students should not be using virtual backgrounds during the exam.

Under the RECORDING tab:

If you are recording the invigilation session, under the cloud recording setting, the following settings are recommended:

  • Record gallery view with shared screen. This will display the video feeds of the students in the recording
  • Save chat messages from the meeting/webinar
  • Add a timestamp to the recording
  • Display participants' names in the recording
  • Record thumbnails when sharing

Note: if you have more than 25 students, not all the video feeds will be displayed in the recording. Only 25 video feeds can be displayed on each "page" in gallery view, more details here.

Under the TELEPHONE tab:

  • Mask phone number in the participant list: enable this option so the phone numbers of the participants who join by dialing into the meeting do not appear to all other participants.

Note: Refer to UBC IT’s page on Zoom Privacy and Security Settings for additional recommendations on settings.

Zoom Profile

Check your Zoom profile to see what is the maximum meeting capacity you can hold in your meetings. To access your Zoom Profile, log into Zoom at: https://zoom.us/signin. Click on Profile from the left-hand menu. Scroll down until you see Capacity. If you need to be able to host larger meetings, please contact av.helpdesk@ubc.ca.

  1. Log into your Canvas course
  2. Click on the Zoom link from the left navigation menu.
  3. Click on Schedule a New Meeting button.
  4. Fill in all the meeting information. All the settings should be kept as default except for the following:
    • Topic: enter a name for your meeting
    • When: specify the date of the exam and the start time (set the start time to be at least 30 minutes before the exam start time to account for set-up and identity checks, more details below)
    • Duration: indicate how long the exam will be
    • Security: check the waiting room option
    • Meeting Options: check the "mute participants upon entry" option.
    • Alternative Hosts: if your TAs/Invigilators have UBC Zoom accounts, you can add them as alternative hosts so they automatically show up as co-hosts when they join the meeting.

    • Tip: this waiting room option can be used as a way to take attendance of who “attended” the exam. It also gives the host more control. The host will also know if anyone is late or left the session during the exam since the student will be in the waiting room, and the host can decide whether to admit them.

  1. Your meeting is now set up.

For large courses, instead of having all students join one session with multiple breakout rooms, create multiple Zoom meetings to break the students into smaller groups. For example, the Zoom meetings can be created by the Co-instructors/TAs/Invigilators and they will be the Host of those sessions. (Note: you can only be part of one Zoom meeting at a given time and you cannot host multiple concurrent meetings, more details here).

There are certain settings that can only be done within the meeting so it is recommended that the teaching team joins approx. 20 minutes before the exam start time.

3.1. Start the meeting and disable chat

  1. The host will need to start the Zoom meeting first.

    If this is your first-time using Zoom, you should download the Zoom desktop application. If you already have the application installed, click on Open zoom.us when prompted to.

  2. Important: it is recommended that you use the Zoom desktop application instead of joining using the browser as the browser does not provide you with all the features.

  3. The host should disable the ability for participants to message everyone in the main room. Click on Chat from the bottom of the meeting screen and a chat window will appear on the right.

  4. Click on the three dots beside To: Everyone and check “Host only”.

  5. Tip: keeping the setting as host only allows students to still be able to message the host/co-hosts privately in the main room if they have questions or experience any issues.

    Important: the chat functionality in the breakout rooms is different from the main room
    • Students still have the ability to send a message that is visible to everyone in the breakout room (this cannot be disabled).
    • If the private chat option is disabled at the Zoom Meeting settings level (see Part 1), this will prevent students from privately messaging other students in the same breakout room during the exam (highly recommended). Private messages are not visible to the host/co-host.
    • Students can only private message the host/co-host in the breakout room if they joined the meeting through a browser. If the student joined using the Zoom desktop application, they won’t be able to message the host/co-host privately.
    • You may want to provide students with an alternative way to contact the Instructor/TA (e.g. email, Canvas message, Piazza) outside of Zoom.

3.2. Make teaching team co-hosts

  1. The teaching team (Instructors/TAs/Invigilators) will join the meeting by clicking on Zoom within Canvas.
  2. After everyone joins, the Host needs to change everyone to “Co-hosts” (they join as “participants” by default). In the participant list, hover over the name > click on More > choose Make Co-Host. Repeat this for everyone in the teaching team. (You can have up to 50 co-hosts).

Tip: If the creator of the meeting assigned the TAs/Invigilators as alternative hosts in > Step 1, then they will automatically appear as co-hosts.

Students should join the meeting at least 15 minutes before the exam so the Host can assign them to breakout rooms.

  1. Students log into Canvas > clicks on Zoom from the course navigation and joins the meeting.
  2. Students will be directed to Zoom to connect to the meeting. If students join through the browser, they will be asked to enter their name. Ask students to use their surname and their preferred first name that they have on file with UBC when joining the meeting.

    If the “waiting room” feature is used, they will stay in the “waiting room” until the host/co-host(s) admits them. The student will see the following message when they are in the waiting room. This message can be customized by following the instructions here.

  3. Tip: change the message to something that is tailored to your course (e.g. exam instructions and guidelines or things that you want to remind students about). This is a good place to include the message at the top of this page under “Communication to Students”.

  4. The host/co-host will click on Participants at the bottom of the meeting screen to see a list of participants in the main room as well as the people in the waiting room.

    Students will appear in the order they join, with the first one on the list being the first to join. The host or co-hosts can click on Admit to admit the students individually or Admit all to admit everyone at once.

  5. Tip: If you are using the waiting room as a way to take attendance, you should decide with your teaching team who is/are the one responsible for admitting the students and taking attendance. Both the host and the co-host(s) can admit students.

    Identity Check 1: Match the students’ names in the waiting room with your class list.

  6. Once most of your students have joined the meeting, click on Breakout Rooms at the bottom of the meeting window.

  7. Indicate the number of breakout rooms you want to separate the students into and choose whether you want the students assigned Automatically (system assigns randomly) or Manually (host manually assigns)

  8. Tip: assigning automatically is useful for courses with lots of students. Assigning manually is useful if you want students from the same section/tutorial/lab to be in the same breakout room.

    Click on Create Breakout Rooms when you are ready to create the rooms

  9. You will then see a window that shows who is assigned to each breakout room. You can move participants to different breakout rooms by clicking on Move To or exchange participants between rooms by clicking on Exchange.

  10. Important: the co-hosts will also be assigned to the breakout rooms automatically. The system does not evenly distribute the co-host across the breakout rooms so you will need to review the people assigned and make adjustments by moving them around if needed.

  11. Click on Options at the bottom of the breakout room screen.

    • Automatically move all assigned participants into breakout rooms: check this option so participants are automatically moved to the breakout rooms once you “open” the breakout rooms.

    • Note: If this option is unchecked, students will receive a notification to join the breakout room on their screen and they will need to click on Join Breakout Room

    • Allow participants to return to the main session at any time: check this option so students can go to the main room and ask for help during the exam without interrupting other students in the breakout room.

    • Tip: Create extra empty breakout rooms by clicking on Add a Room. These extra breakout rooms can be used in situations where the invigilator wants the student to share their screen.

  12. Once you have confirmed that everything looks good, click on Open All Rooms and the students will be distributed to their assigned breakout room.

  13. If you have students who join after the breakout rooms have already started, the Host can manually assign them to a breakout room. The students will appear under Unassigned in the breakout room window.

    Click on Assign To beside the student you want to assign and select the breakout room you want to assign them to.

5.1 Monitoring the video feeds

On the upper right-hand corner of your Zoom window, switch to Gallery View to see the video feeds of all your students. Most computers should have the capacity to view up to 25 video feeds per page. Depending on your computer’s CPU (see requirements), you may be able to display more videos on additional pages.

Identity Check 2: Ask students to hold up their Student ID cards in the breakout room and cover the first four digits of their student number. Check it against the name in Zoom as well as your class list.

Alternatively, you can set up extra "empty" breakout rooms and the Host can move students to that room for ID check and then move them back into their breakout room.

If you have participants who forgot to turn on their videos, you can request that they turn it on by clicking More beside their name and choose Ask to start video. The student will receive a notification from their end.

Identity Check 3: Download your class list from the Faculty Service Centre (FSC) that includes the students’ profile picture and match it against the video feed.

Tip: If everyone’s audio is on, it can be distracting. You can ask students to turn off their audio and periodically ask them to turn it on to detect any abnormal noises happening in the background.

5.2 Request for screen sharing

If an invigilator wants to ask a student to share their screen sometime in the middle of the exam, the co-host will need to contact the host using a method outside of Zoom (when the co-host is in the breakout room, they are unable to message the host in the main room). The host will temporarily move the student out of the breakout room to an “empty” breakout room and ask the student to share their screen. If you are planning to do this, the empty breakout room must be created before you “open all rooms”.

To move a student, the host will click on Breakout Rooms from the meeting window. Then click on “Move To” beside the student’s name and select the “empty” breakout room.

5.3 Ending the breakout room

Once students finish their exams, they can leave the breakout room by clicking on the Leave button at the bottom of the meeting window and then click Leave Meeting.

Tip: The Host can broadcast messages to all the breakout groups. The broadcast message will appear in a blue bar at the top of the meeting window temporarily and then disappears. You can use this to let all the students know when to start the exam or provide periodic updates on the time remaining. To send a broadcast message, click on the breakout rooms icon and click on "broadcast a message to all".

Important: The invigilator should stay in the breakout room until all students have left the session. If an invigilator accidentally leaves the breakout room, they can rejoin but the Host will need to admit them and re-assign them back to the breakout room.

Additional Considerations

  • The maximum number of breakout rooms that can be created for a session depends on the number of participants in the session.
    • Up to 200 participants - 50 breakout rooms
    • Up to 400 participants - 30 breakout rooms
    • Up to 500 participants - 20 breakout rooms
  • Do a practice run by scheduling a Zoom meeting with your class before the exam so students know what to expect and can resolve any technical difficulties beforehand.
  • Have a contingency plan in place for students who do not have a webcam or experience technical difficulties with joining the meeting.
Zoom Updates

Zoom releases updates regularly and the documents below will highlight some of the notable features. For more information on the updates, please refer to Zoom's release notes for Mac and Windows.






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Last updated on: October 27, 2020

Learning technology support

If you have any questions or if you would like to report an issue regarding a learning technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us at LT.support@science.ubc.ca. For in-person support, please join our LTRs at one of our drop-in sessions.