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:
    • The course name
    • Your UBC email address
    • The start date, end date, and frequency of the lecture from (e.g., March 15th – April 8th MWF)
    • The number of lecture attendees expected
    • The location you will host a lecture from (e.g., home, office, lecture theatre)
  2. Upon approval, you’ll receive an email. Click Activate Your Zoom Account in this email.
  3. In the webpage that opens for activating, click Sign Up With A Password.
    • Zoom is not integrated with your UBC CWL in any way. Therefore, it is strongly advised to use a password different from your CWL.
    • 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.
  4. Fill in your first and last name, create a password and click Continue. You now have a UBC account.
  5. To download the software for running Zoom, 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.

Note: These instructions are taken from UBC's Keep Teaching website.

Using Zoom for Online Lectures/Meetings

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.

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 will not be recorded. If you have any questions about how your privacy is protected while using Zoom, please consult with your instructor.

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.

Step 1: Host checks Zoom settings & meeting capacity

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: disable this option so participants cannot hide what is in their background when taking the exam (e.g. another person in the room, notes on the wall)
  • Show a “Join from your browser” link: enable this option so participants who have difficulties downloading/installing the Zoom application can still join the meeting from their browser. Joining via the Zoom application is recommended, but if the participant is unable to, they can join via the browser. It is recommended to use Chrome if joining through an Internet browser. Note: there are some limitations with joining from the browser, see 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.

Step 2: Host sets up the Zoom meeting and adds to Canvas
  1. Log into Zoom at: https://zoom.us/signin
  2. Under Meetings, click on Schedule a Meeting.
  3. 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
    • Meeting Password: check this option and require students to enter a password before joining the meeting for added security
    • Meeting Options: check the following options:
      • Mute participants upon entry: participants’ audio will be turned off by default
      • Enable waiting room: participants will be put in a “waiting room” until the host admits them

      Tip: this option can be enabled 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 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. Copy the Join URL (https://ubc.zoom.us/j/.....). This is the URL that you will share with your teaching team and students in order for them to join the session (along with the meeting password).
      2. Post the link in your Canvas course by creating a Module and an External URL. Follow the instructions here: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10301-415270926.

      Important: Make sure the Module and the Link is published before the final exam. Anyone who has access to this link will be able to join the session so we recommend publishing this link and sharing the meeting password closer to the exam start time. Students should be notified in advance of where they should go to access the link. Refer to UBC IT’s recommendations on how to avoid “Zoom bombings”.
Step 3: Teaching Team Joins Meeting (~20 minutes before exam)

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 log into Zoom and start the 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 for 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 going to the Join URL provided by the host.
  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).

Step 4: Students join meeting (~15 minutes before exam)

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 and clicks on the link to the meeting.

  2. Identity Check 1: If the link is in Canvas, students need to log in with their CWL in order to access it. The Instructors/TAs can log into Canvas to check the “last activity” time of the students as a way to see which students are accessing the link around the exam time. Click on People from the left-hand menu in Canvas to see the last activity times.

  3. Students will be directed to Zoom to connect to the meeting and 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.

    Students may choose to use a pseudonym for the Zoom invigilation session. Ideally, students who wish to use a pseudonym should register it with their instructor prior to the exam. If pre-registration is not logistically possible, Instructors/TAs will need to keep track of pseudonyms when they check the student ID cards.

    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.

  4. 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”.

  5. The host/co-host will click on Manage 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.

  6. 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 2: Match the students’ names in the waiting room with your class list.

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    • Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically: 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: uncheck this option so students will not be able to join back the same breakout room if they happen to leave. If they try to join the meeting again, they will be in the waiting room where the host will have to admit them and assign them back to the breakout room.

    • Tip: this will allow the host to easily identify those who left the breakout rooms during the exam and when they re-joined. The host can also private message the student in the main room and ask why they had to leave the session.

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

  14. 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.

Step 5: Invigilating breakout rooms

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 3: 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 4: 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
  • For larger courses with multiple sections, consider creating multiple Zoom meetings instead of having all students join one session. For example, the Instructor for each section will be the host for the meeting. This helps mitigate load issues.
  • Do a practice run by scheduling a Zoom meeting with your class before he exam.
  • Have a contingency plan in place for students who do not have a webcam or experience technical difficulties with joining the meeting.

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.