Zoom Meeting Guidelines

Given how pervasive online meetings are, it makes sense to want to recreate the interactive capabilities of in-person meetings. Here are FIVE tips and tricks using Zoom to help make your meeting feel more engaging.


  1. One Person per Square

Why? I know this sounds a little bizarre, and sometimes your friend has a quieter office or better camera. Studies show that we are more likely to weigh in and treat the participants as equals if we are all the same SIZE. This way we all get to see your pretty faces and no one has to fight for camera time.


  1. Keep your Mic and Your Video ON

We know that you like to multitask, but you wouldn’t hold a separate conversation or fall asleep in an in-person meeting. To keep everyone accountable the Host will be manually turning on your video and microphone. Of course if you need to eat feel free to mute temporarily, but try to consciously stay engaged by thinking about how your actions would be read if the people in the conference were sitting around a table in front of you.


  1. Switch the Zoom to Gallery View

There are 3 video layouts when someone is not sharing a screen and two when someone is. Please for either option turn on the Gallery view. This will allow you to see as many participants as possible all at once. This way you can read the participants for social cues, know when someone is about to speak, or even physically raise your hand if you want to be heard.


  1. Allow Annotation

Another cool feature of Zoom is that when applicable you can allow all participants to annotate on a shared screen. This is great for brainstorming sessions, or to have the group highlight areas that they think are significant (creating a virtual heat map).


  1. Save time for a Group Activity

One of the best things about Zoom is the cool features it offers. You can change your background to a quick green screen or you can make a collaborative team picture or collage at the end of each meeting. This can take time, but as long as the meeting leader directs each person in their video square to show a color, make a shape, etc… and then takes a screen capture of what they can see it becomes a fun team-building exercise. Better yet, no one has the same view as the team leader, so they won’t know what the final picture looks like until it is sent to everyone at the end of the meeting.


4 Great Ways to Use QR Codes

QR (quick response) codes are automatically generated codes that can contain URLs, text or other forms of digital information that can be accessed simply by scanning the code. QR codes can effectively convey large amounts of information within a very small, yet recognizable image. QR generators and QR scanners are free and fairly pervasive, so adding QR codes to your teaching arsenal should be painless.

Here are four examples of how to use QR codes in clinical education:

1. Add quick links to supplemental online materials

Supplemental resources and bibliographies can be multiple pages long. By linking them into your documents through a QR code, you save space and paper. More importantly, by posting the supplemental materials online, you can link directly to library resources and turn them into a stand-alone resource.

2. Make your bibliography in your vodcast clickable

Without extensive editing software and experience, adding clickable links to a video can be time-consuming and difficult. If you want to be able to add links to external resources directly from a video you can simply add a QR code into your slides. This method is also universally device-accessible, so you won’t need to worry about access issues.

3. Add QR codes to work areas, labs, or in a clinical setting for more detailed instructions

QR codes work well convey large amounts of information with very little surface area. Although QR codes are traditionally used to make digital information accessible in non-digital environments, they work well to make information in general accessible. Adding a QR code to a work area or clinical setting can keep procedural information secure (you can password protect the links) and can make reference or procedural information quickly available.

4. Insert a QR code into a presentation

Brain Rules, by John Medina, suggests that you should consider adding something dynamic into your presentation every 10 minutes to re-capture the attention of your students’ brains. Adding a QR code into a lecture that links to case studies, resources, or supplemental materials, and asking your students to find and explore those resources can help shift and re-energize your students’ focus. QR codes also work well for assessments because they let you skip the longer process of having to display a lengthy URL and walk the entire class through entering it.


Green Screen in the online lecture- how to make it work

First, lets be clear about WHY you’d want to add a green screen component to some of your lectures. It isn’t just because green screen is a pretty neat cutting edge technology. Let’s face it a homemade green screen isn’t exactly going to be cinematic quality. If you’re planning on moving quickly along your backdrop green screen is probably not the right technology for you.

So why would we want to implement a green screen? Essentially to boost student engagement. Johns Hopkins University Professor Ronald A. Berk argues that “multimedia learning provides an empirical foundation for their use in teaching… to increase memory, comprehension, understanding, and deeper learning” (Berk 14). Scholarship suggests that varying the format of lectures can improve student engagement. Another study on medical education and multimedia suggests that digital visuals can help students engage and later re-use the content (Bashet 871). Especially for online lectures, adding a green screen can boost engagement and make your lecture more memorable.




You really have two choices setting up a green screen:

  1. Do you want to project yourself over an image of your slide (or an image of the related material). I like to call this the “Weatherman Effect“. It essentially allows you to point out important features of a slide and generally direct student attention to the areas you are discussing.
  2.  You can use green screen for comedic effect. Suddenly propelling yourself into outerspace or onto the beach can grab student’s attention and re-focus it. It shouldn’t become your status quo unless you want to give your lectures a quirky, unusual quality. You’ll know if you are the kind of teacher who can pull that off.

Just keep these concepts in mind when you’re ready to start recording.



You will need:

A Zoom Membership – ATSU provides FREE Zoom Pro memberships so you’re already half way there!

A blank backdrop – I’d highly recommend buying a green backdrop. You can get them from Amazon for less than $15 and it means you don’t have to coordinate your outfit.

Pro tip: make sure you don’t wear clothing that is the same color as your backdrop or you will fade into it.

A video recording device– with the zoom app for your phone this could be a smart phone, a built-in laptop camera OR a usb camera.



(Just kidding!) The process to set this up should be fairly easy!

  1. Export the slides or backdrops you want into separate image files that you can easily find. (I take screen shots on my phone or I export my powerpoint to a PDF and save individual pages as JPEGs from there).
  2. Login to Zoom and go to Settings.
    1. You’ll see an option for changing your Backround
    2. if you don’t see this option contact IT to make sure they remembered to set you up with a Zoom Pro account
  3. Upload your images into your Zoom and open an empty conference room
  4. Record your zoom session using the different backgrounds (you can change backgrounds directly from your settings while the video is still running!)
  5. Import these videos into your lecture OR splice them into your lecture videos. (I’d recommend the latter)

You can find a quick tutorial for this process on the ETDC’s YouTube.

Questions? Contact the ETDC if you need help with this process!

Bashet, A., Kirchhoff, C. & D’Alba, A. (2015). “Effects of Multimedia Video in Learning Human Anatomy”. In D. Rutledge & D. Slykhuis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2015 (pp. 871-876).

Beck, Ronald A. (2009). “Multimedia teaching with video clips: TV, movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the college classroom”. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 1–21.