Video conferencing is a great way to communicate with remote individuals or groups. Common uses of video conferencing include bringing guest speakers to your classroom, conducting remote or hybrid meetings, interviewing job candidates, teaching/taking Five College classes with participants at other campuses, attending or hosting professional meetings and connecting with student organizations on other campuses.
As the primary video conferencing option for the campus community, Zoom:
- requires an internet or phone connection, computer, webcam and speakers/microphone or headset;
- works on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome, iOS and Android;
- provides excellent video and audio quality, even over long distances, with extremely high stability and reliability;
- is designed to be intuitive, so users can be self-sufficient once they are familiar with its use;
- works well for one-on-one or multi-person meetings, up to 300 participants with unlimited time;
- allows for screen-sharing, recording from a webcam and hosting webinars; and
- does not require that participants other than the host have a Zoom account.
Getting Started with Zoom
No need to create an account - Your Zoom account is already set up with your @mtholyoke.edu email address! Follow the instructions below to log in and get started.
For the smoothest first time login experience, we recommend logging out of any Google accounts that you're logged into in your browser besides your MHC Google account. Should you see any unexpected errors, please contact the LITS Technology Help Desk with a screenshot.
To sign in at mtholyoke.zoom.us:
1. In a web browser go to mtholyoke.zoom.us
2. Choose sign in at the top right corner
3. Sign in to your MHC Google account using your MHC email address and password
To sign in on the Zoom desktop client:
1. Select Sign in with SSO.
2. Enter mtholyoke as the company domain and choose Continue.
3. Select your MHC Google account when prompted.
4. Choose Open zoom.us.app to complete logging in.
Zoom lets you adjust your profile information including your name, photo, pronouns and more:
- Names: You can enter your first name, last name, and display name (the name you want to show up on your video during a meeting).
- Pronouns: You can choose to always share your pronouns in meetings, to be asked each time you enter a meeting, or to never share them in meetings. Pronouns are always visible to your contacts on your profile card.
- Other profile information: You can also add other profile information including Phone, Department, Job Title, Company, and Location.
Set a temporary name before a meeting:
You also have the option to change your display name on a meeting-to-meeting basis. Creating a new, temporary name for a specific meeting will not change your default name.
- Login to the Zoom desktop client as described above.
- Select Join.
3. Enter the meeting ID or personal link name. Your default name will appear below the meeting ID. You may edit this name to create a temporary, meeting-specific name. When you’re ready, choose Join to enter the meeting.
You do not need to install the Zoom desktop client to access your Zoom account, schedule, or join meetings. These features are all available when you log into your Zoom account at mtholyoke.zoom.us in a web browser.
However, if you prefer to use the app, it is available on Windows and Mac computers as well as on mobile devices, and can be downloaded from the Zoom download center. Or, if you’re using an MHC owned Mac computer, you can download Zoom from the Self Service application.
Below find instructions for using Zoom’s features.
Zoom offers multiple methods to schedule meetings both within the Zoom application and in your web browser. Visit the Zoom article on scheduling meetings for the most up to date information.
Interested in scheduling Zoom meetings directly from your web browser?
- Scheduling from the Chrome Google Calendar extension
- Scheduling from the Firefox Google Calendar extension
- Scheduling using the G Suite Google Calendar add-in
Want to schedule a Zoom class session in Moodle?
You can join a Zoom meeting through an email invite, an instant messaging invite, from the browser, from the Zoom desktop and mobile application, or from a landline or mobile phone. Visit the Zoom article on joining Zoom meetings for detailed instructions by joining method.
If you’re the meeting host, visit the Zoom article on starting or joining Zoom meetings as host.
You can also prepare for an upcoming Zoom meeting by setting up a test Zoom call.
The following settings allow you to tailor your Zoom meeting to your needs. These features are usually managed by the meeting host.
During Meeting Setup
- This feature will set up a registration page for your meeting and then create an individual link for each participant. You also have the option to approve or cancel participants' registration. More information about Zoom registration.
Use a Meeting Passcode
- Passcodes are not required, but can add a layer of security to a meeting.
- To keep your meeting secure, the best practice is to make sure “Embed passcode in invite link for one-click join” is turned off. While this creates one more step for participants, it protects the meeting from uninvited guests.
- This will require you to have the passcode sent within the invitation. We recommend this option if you are hosting a public-facing event.
Enable the Waiting Room
- The waiting room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. Meeting hosts can admit attendees one by one, or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit everyone at once.
- mtholyoke.edu email addresses will be added to an "allow list" so anyone with an MHC account will bypass the waiting room.
- Hosts can also add participants with Five College accounts to their own “allow list” to make it easier for Five College participants to join.
Set up Alternative Hosts
- When scheduling a meeting, you can designate another Mount Holyoke community member to be the alternative host. The alternative host can start the meeting on your behalf if you’re going to be late to or miss a meeting.
- This is different from adding a co-host, which you can only do during a meeting (not before). Unlike alternative hosts, co-hosts do not need to be Mount Holyoke community members. More information about Zoom roles here.
Join before Host (Not Recommended)
- Join before host allows anyone with the link to your meeting to join whether or not you’ve started the meeting. This also takes away your ability to end the meeting for all. More information about the joining before host feature.
Turn on Live transcript
Optional ability to turn on and off live machine generated live text
- Live transcript allows Zoom meeting attendees and hosts to turn on machine generated auto captions in real time, which individual attendees can choose to display either at the bottom of the screen, in a separate window, or not at all. Hosts may enable this feature by turning on the auto caption option in the meeting settings.
- As live transcripts are machine created, accuracy will not be perfect, and will likely not be at the accuracy level required for accommodations to meet accessibility needs.
To turn on live transcript
- Log into your Mount Holyoke Zoom account at mtholyoke.zoom.us
- Under "In Meeting- Advanced", toggle "Closed captioning" on
- Check the box for "Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting".
- Choose Save.
- Optionally: toggle on or off "Save Captions" to allow participants to save closed captions or transcripts (if you do enable this, let participants know that other attendees can save the transcript text).
- During your meeting: click on "Live Transcript" on your Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen and click "Enable Auto-Transcription"
During the Meeting
Use Breakout Rooms
- Breakout rooms enable you to split your Zoom meeting up into up to 50 smaller meetings for a portion of the meeting. This is often useful for small group discussions. Learn more about how to use breakout rooms.
- The co-host feature allows the host to share hosting privileges with another user, allowing the co-host to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as managing participants or starting/stopping the recording.
- The host is the only user who can assign a co-host. There is no limitation on the number of co-hosts you can have in a meeting or webinar.
For those looking to host virtual events in Zoom, we recommend visiting Meeting and Webinar Best Practices and Resources where you can download helpful PDFs, including Online Event Best Practices – A Zoom Success Guide and Zoom Webinars Training Reference Guide. You may also be interested in taking advantage of Zoom's Calendar of Public Meetings and Webinars option depending on the scope of your event.
In addition to the accessibility guidelines on this page, virtual event hosts should take further steps to ensure the accessibility of their programming. Please refer to the LITS Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) accessibility policy and EIT Accessibility Standards and Procedures for more information. In particular, you may be interested in exploring Captioning Options for Virtual Programming.
If you want to host a virtual event, please put in a virtual event request with Event Services.
One of the most important steps you can take to stay secure on Zoom is to keep Zoom up-to-date. This Zoom page provides guidance about how to check for available updates. If prompted by Zoom to run an update, please do so.
If your Zoom meeting is going to be open to the public and widely shared, here are some settings to improve the security of your session.
Open your Zoom profile settings
- Visit zoom.us
- Login to your Zoom account
- Choose Settings from the menu on the left
In the Meeting tab, adjust these settings
If you want more control over who is allowed to join your meeting, turn on Only authenticated users can join meetings and select your authentication requirements:
To turn on this setting for a specific meeting:
- Open Zoom and choose Schedule
- Once you’ve entered the details of your meeting, open Advanced options
- Check the box Only authenticated users can join
- Choose whether you’re requiring a Zoom login, a MHC login, or a 5College login from the dropdown menu.
- Click Schedule
If you don’t want your participants to be able to share their screen, select Host only under Screen sharing:
Although Zoom is a very advanced video conference system as regards accessibility, some users may still need alternatives to fully participate in Zoom activities. Each meeting organizer or their designee is responsible for providing accommodations for Zoom users with disabilities.
- Place a standard statement in every meeting invite, such as: “Although Zoom is a very advanced video conference system as regards accessibility, some users may still need alternatives to fully participate in Zoom activities. If you need an accommodation, please inform your meeting organizer as soon as possible.” Include the meeting organizer’s contact information.
- Place the Zoom accessibility features statement in every meeting invite: https://zoom.us/accessibility.
- Share link to Zoom keyboard short cuts and Help Center when sending Zoom meeting invite or upon request.
- Sharing screen content: Incorporate description of shared content into the spoken presentation. Provide another means to access content and URLs shared on screen, such as posting an accessible presentation after the session.
- Annotation: Verbally describe the drawing or other visuals shown.
- Record meeting for distribution (create video) and captioning: Captions are required if the video will be publicly available, used in a future term for a course or if class or meeting participants need this accommodation. For course accommodations, please contact Disability Services. For other captioning needs, please contact Media Services.
- Conducting a poll: Offer multiple response methods, e.g. participate in poll, type response in chat room, or speak over audio/telephone.
- Chat room content: Include chat room discussion in verbal meeting discussion. This benefits participants using telephone connections, who have no access to chat rooms, or participants using captions or who have difficulty attending to presenter and chat simultaneously. Save and share chat transcript: At the bottom of the chat window, click on “save chat.” Chat saves as transcript in notepad under Zoom folder. As host, distribute transcript to participants. Stay on chat for a few minutes after session ends for those who may want to save the chat.
- Breakout Rooms: Accessibility actions apply to breakout rooms. To use breakout rooms, enable the setting in advanced features.
- Recordings saved to Zoom cloud storage will remain for 30 days only.
- All Zoom recordings saved to the cloud will automatically be copied into Kaltura within about a day, where they are accessible to the meeting host long term.
- See the Kaltura Help Guide for how to manage, access, edit, and share video content from Kaltura.
LITS offer a Zoom-based orientation for first-time users that takes about 15 minutes and covers:
- Installing Zoom
- Scheduling your video conference
- Starting your video conference
- Audio/video settings
- Overview of the Zoom software
LITS can provide set-up assistance at the beginning of the first Zoom meeting, if you require it. LITS does not provide a staff person to remain in the room during the entire meeting or class.
Emergency support is available should any mid-session issues arise for an academic class. Please contact Media Services.