Tips on Facilitating Virtual Class Session

For Best Practices for Faculty, please visit the Teach Remotely site for Faculty

Before you start

Settings to Enable on Your Meeting

  • Allow Join Before Host - Make sure to allow Join Before Host arrives in you meeting settings so students can get in, get setup, and connect with each other.
  • Disable chime upon entering and exiting
  • Mute Participants upon entry
  • Record the meeting automatically
  • Video Host ON; Participant OFF

Best Practice

  • Encourage students to use the Zoom Meeting or test room to test their tech and connection. Make sure that students have an opportunity to test their remote set up and connection speeds. In order to test the Zoom Meeting you’ve set up, make sure to allow students to join the room without the host being present.
  • Consider using an external mic, headset, or headphones to improve audio quality. This can help to improve the sound and cut down on background noise.
  • Ask students to mute their mics or use Mute All to quickly cut back on background noise. Ask students to selectively turn on their microphones to contribute. If you run into persistent issues with it in a lecture course, consider a Webinar license instead of Meetings (email
  • Share slides and other materials ahead of time in Canvas. Bandwidth restrictions, connection issues, and access needs may prevent students from being in the Zoom Video part of the session.
  • Give an agenda or plan for each class by Screen Sharing a document or slide at the beginning of class. Drop a copy of this outline in the chat for future reference. This gives students a clear idea of how the class will progress, what will be covered, and the activities they’ll engage in.
  • Record your meetings for playback later. This helps with any reason a student can’t make class or wants to revisit conversations.
  • Discuss online etiquette and expectations of the students in your first virtual class and periodically revisit the topics.
  • Utilize the Whiteboard or Annotate a shared document and let your students engage as well. When sharing a whiteboard, document, screen, or image, try whiteboarding math problems or have a student use annotation to highlight items such as grammar mistakes in a paper you’re sharing.
  • Take time to promote questions, comments, and reactions from your class. Give a minute to allow your students to utilize reactions, write their questions in chat, or be unmuted to ask their questions live.
  • Divide into smaller groups for a discussion on a certain topic. You can use Zoom’s Breakout Room feature to either self-select, pre-assign, or auto-assign students into groups for a short period of time so they may discuss things together. This guide describes how to manage breakout rooms in a session.
  • Have students be the presenter and share projects with the class. This allows your students to show what they’re working on while practicing their presentation skills. It also allows students to hear from one another.
  • Ask students to introduce when they comment (e.g. “Hi, this is *name* speaking). Sometimes a student might be unable to tell who is speaking. This is a great way of promoting community in your sessions.
  • Share the invitation to the Zoom meeting link and phone number via Canvas Announcements. This can be found from the invitation details or Copy Invitation prompt with your meeting. You can also find it in your meeting dashboard. This will help your students join or re-join easily.
  • Encourage breaks during longer classes or sessions. It can be difficult to find a natural breakpoint for longer sessions. Make sure to design that into your sessions. Ask students how they are doing and take a quick poll using meeting reactions.
  • Share links to recordings via Canvas. After sessions, make sure to share out the link to cloud recordings afterwards via Zoom.

These tips were adapted from Zoom’s Education Resources.


Article ID: 102549
Mon 3/23/20 2:44 PM
Tue 5/10/22 10:45 AM