UW–Madison Zoom 101: tips & training

Last updated October 9, 2022

Accessibility & usability

Universal symbol for accessibility

For information regarding Zoom accessibility and usability, to report a barrier, or get accessibility assistance, please see our KnowledgeBase (KB) documentation on Zoom accessibility and usability information. For accessibility and usability information on all campus web conferencing technologies, please see our KB on how to plan and host an accessible online event.

Meeting with style

Line art image of a laptop with 3 people and a webcam

Zoom compiled a list of resources for educators designed to successfully implement virtual classrooms, manage online classrooms, and use Zoom for distance education. In addition to these resources, try these features to keep your meetings lively and collaborative.

Resources for educators

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting into up to 50 separate sessions to facilitate discussion groups and other small group work. The host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between the main room and breakout rooms at any time.

Enabling breakout rooms

One popular feature with instructors and students alike is the live poll feature, a fun way to keep students and attendees engaged with your material in a virtual setting. This tutorial walks you through how to set up and execute a poll or quiz in your meetings, including how to keep answers anonymous if needed.

Polling for meetings

While in a meeting, you can share many kinds of content, including your entire desktop, tablet or phone screen, a specific application, a collaborative whiteboard, content from a second camera, and more. (See this tutorial if you need to share multiple screens simultaneously, for example, to compare documents or materials.)

Sharing your screen
Sharing multiple screens simultaneously

Plug-ins & scheduling

Screen with code

The first time you use Zoom to join a meeting on your desktop or laptop, the meeting app will automatically download. It is also available for manual download at the link above. Other apps here to consider are the plug-in for Microsoft Outlook (which allows you to seamlessly schedule a Zoom meeting in the web and desktop apps), and Zoom plug-ins for your Firefox and Chrome browsers.

Download center: Zoom plug-ins

The Zoom for Outlook add-in is designed to manage scheduling within the Outlook web and desktop apps, and allows you to add a Zoom meeting to any new or existing Outlook calendar event. Once it’s installed, this walk-through shows how to schedule a meeting from scratch.

Scheduling a meeting


screen displaying a play buttonThere are FERPA privacy policy issues that must be addressed with recording sessions involving students in the virtual classroom. The UW–‍Madison Zoom default settings for recording were recommended by the UW–‍Madison Cybersecurity Office. These settings control the availability of recordings and protect the personal information of our students.

In a physical classroom, participants share the expectation that people in the classroom are not being recorded. In virtual classrooms, this same expectation exists, and because it is not obvious when a meeting is being recorded, we require hosts to opt in to recorded meetings.

UW–Madison default recording settings

Security & privacy

As part of the implementation of UW–‍Madison Zoom, the DoIT Cybersecurity team reviewed Zoom’s settings to determine how to provide a default level of security for general classroom use. These settings are now the default for UW–‍Madison Zoom users but can be changed by the host per meeting, if necessary. In the meantime, consider the following options to keep your meetings and classes secure.
The default settings for UW–Madison Zoom are set up for a classroom experience. Take time to explore changing the security settings before a meeting or a job interview, for example, if using Zoom for a non-classroom use.

UW–Madison default settings

Enable a waiting room

The waiting room feature allows the host to control when participants join the meeting. As host, you can admit attendees one-by-one, or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit them all at once.

Learn more about waiting rooms

In-meeting security options

In addition to our system-wide security defaults, you have some additional options to fortify your meeting security. This guide gives an overview of how these options work. Have a look, stay safe, and enjoy your Zoom experience.

Learn more about security options

Get help from DoIT

For immediate answers to most questions, please search our Zoom KnowledgeBase.
For other questions about UW–Madison Zoom, contact the Help Desk.

View the UW–Madison Zoom KnowledgeBase

Contact the Help Desk