Zoom: It’s More than FaceTime

Woman with coffee cup waving greetings looking at laptop screen

There’s no shortage of tutorials for teaching on Zoom. But few have presented FIU Faculty with key practices as clearly as Aisha Hamid and Mathew Bennett’s Instructor Webinar.

Instant Replay – Zoom: It’s More than Just FaceTime

In the hands of these two experienced instructional designers, Zoom is more than a replacement for face-to-face instruction. To Hamid and Bennett, Zoom is a valuable teaching tool. Review the instructor webinar recording or read more in the summary below.

Modeled Zoom Practice

Like all good pedagogists, Hamid and Bennett applied some of the proposed strategies to their delivery. In particular, Poll Everywhere, a tool that turns polling results into effective infographics. 

As an icebreaker, participants were asked, “What one word best describes your experience with teaching via Zoom?” The prompt’s word cloud produced some mixed results: the most prominent words turned out to be “disconnected,” “fun,” and “useful.” 

This was an ideal audience. That’s because the aims of the webinar were threefold––using Zoom tools, setting up ideal class structures, and improving student engagement.

Zoom Features

The Zoom features that Hamid and Bennett shared in the webinar are available to all FIU faculty. FIU credentials open you and your students up to the application’s full capacity. 

The first feature is polls. Hamid walked us through making Zoom polls from your account on the FIU’s Zoom website, and how to launch the saved poll during a live session and collect results. Polls are useful for connecting students as a class by surveying the knowledge or opinion landscape, and generating focused discussions. 

Then Hamid exhibited screen sharing techniques beyond the desktop-share we’re all accustomed to by now. She used techniques like whiteboard and sharing from other devices, followed by detailed directions for creating breakout rooms in Zoom. 

Presenting on non-verbal feedback, Hamid located the variety of reactions available on the participants window during the session. She said this was great way for students to interact during lectures and presentations without the clamor of open mics. Later, Hamid covered the annotations bar, too, as well as proven Zoom tips like chat, group work, student recording, and office hours. 

Compatible Zoom Tools

Bennett’s portion of the webinar dove into a number of external tools that spark dynamic Zoom meetings. Google Drive, for instance. Like Zoom, every person with FIU credentials has their very own Google Drive account. 

With shareable documents, spreadsheets, slides, and files, students can collaborate on class projects. Bennett created breakout rooms among participants and shared a link to a Google doc with discussion questions to demonstrate. These live collaborations, he explained, can be seamlessly integrated with Canvas and referenced in later classes.  

Zoom and notebook

After, Bennett presented on Kahoot, with which many students are already familiar. Kahoot helps create an atmosphere of friendly competition to a class as it reviews essential subject matter. Again, Bennett touched on Poll Everywhere to exhibit its potential for creating attractive and live infographics. 

PlayPosit, one of our newest integrations with Canvas, allows you to add interactive features to video. As Bennett demonstrated, PlayPosit can really increase flipped classroom engagement. Likewise for H5P, which offers easy to build interactive content for lower stakes knowledge checks.  

Matthew Bennett’s final tool is one unique to our time––the viewing party. With simple screen sharing, your students can take full advantage of all the live-streamed events that have flourished this year. The New York Times has an especially large selection. 

World Class Zoomin’

The suggested class structure and student engagement tips are what make this presentation especially unique. It’s one thing to learn your way around an application. It’s another to see how your class can adapt to keep students just as active as they are in the face-to-face classroom. 

Instructor Webinars

Of course, this article is just a recap. To really see what Zoom can do for you, you’ll want to watch the webinar recording yourself. Insider has archived this webinar alongside all of the FIU Online Instructor Webinars.

Michael A. Martin is an instructional designer and writer for the Continuing and Professional Education team at FIU Online. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric at FIU.

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