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Tech Tips for Successful Live Class Sessions

LITS recognizes the essential role technology plays in teaching live class sessions. Students! See Preparing for the First Day of Class on the LITS 2020-2021 Student Guide. Faculty, keep reading!

We strongly advise faculty to take the following steps before your first class meeting to set yourself up for success and a smooth experience when connecting with your students in real time. Many common issues can be avoided or mitigated with the following steps.

Should you follow these guidelines and still have technical difficulties during a live class time, immediate support is available from LITS for the first two weeks of classes during any course block meeting time for classroom emergencies. Call 413-538-2600 and say you are having technical difficulties and either in, or about to start, a live class session.

Before your first class meeting: 


  1. Establish where you and your students can communicate quickly about any problems accessing the Zoom session - near the Zoom link in your Moodle course is a great place for this information. We recommend using the Course Announcements section in your Moodle, as most students will be in the course site to access the Zoom link, and students will see any announcements in Moodle and their email. 
  2. Encourage your students to test their Zoom settings and access by first logging into Zoom with their Mount Holyoke credentials, then testing their microphone and speaker in Zoom within settings, or joining a test Zoom meeting


  1. Make sure the Zoom client application is up to date. Sign into your Zoom desktop application and click on your profile picture. Click "Check for updates." (instruction video how-to)
  2. Test your own microphone and speaker in Zoom within settings, or join a test Zoom meeting
  3. Test the Zoom link you have posted for your students. 
  4. If you are planning to use breakout rooms, make sure you have breakout rooms enabled (Login at, Settings → In Meeting (Advanced) - Breakout Room), and are familiar with using them. (Here is a short video on using breakout rooms.)

The day of your class:


  1. Restart your computer  that day, before your class start time.
  2. Close any applications that are open on your computer which you don’t need during class.
  3. Start your Zoom session half an hour before the start of your class time to allow ample time to:
    Test your microphone and speakers
    Give students the opportunity to enter the room and do the same
    Request emergency help from LITS if necessary

Troubleshooting during your Zoom session:

  1.  If you or your students have a “low bandwidth” message or other internet connectivity issues, turn off your video and use only audio and close any applications that are open to reduce bandwidth. If you are able, use a wired network connection by connecting your computer to a data port with an ethernet cable. If you have a newer computer that does not have an ethernet port, you may need to use an adaptor (LITS can provide these for faculty, contact
  2. If a student cannot enter the Zoom session with a direct link, have them log into Zoom and enter with the Meeting ID number.  
  3. If a student cannot find the Zoom link to the session you are in, you can click on the “i” in the top left corner of your zoom window to copy the direct link to send them. 

If you have a classroom emergency during or right before your class where you cannot hold your live class session because of technical difficulties and need immediate support:

  1. Call 413-538-2600 (the Helpdesk)
  2. Tell the staff person who answers that you are having a classroom emergency. They will ask you:
    1. Your name
    2. The course number 
    3. The Zoom meeting ID if it's easy to find
    4. A phone number you can be reached at (or a preference to be contacted via Google Chat)
    5. The nature of the issue
  3. If the person on the phone can help resolve the issue, they will.
  4. If they can’t, they will escalate to specialized staff and you will receive a phone call with next steps towards a resolution.