Tips for Attending Class in Zoom

Following the guidelines below will help improve your online class experience, and that of your instructors and classmates.

Some of these tips were copied from Zoom's Student Tips for Participating in Online Learning (PDF).

Before class:

Install Zoom on your computer.

Install the Zoom client (opens new window) on your PC or Mac, and/or add the Zoom app to your mobile device.

Create your UVA Zoom account.

Visit the UVA Zoom Home page (opens new window) and follow the steps to create a UVA Zoom Pro account. You will need to log into your Zoom account and open the Zoom application on your computer or mobile device for certain class activities, such as participating in group work in pre-assigned breakout rooms.

Set up your space.

Student working in a quiet room with a laptop that has a headset plugged in.

When attending an online class, you should work in a physical space that will allow you to focus on the class and participate without distracting your classmates and instructor(s).

  • Work in a quiet room, with minimal background noise and distractions.
  • Connect a webcam to your computer so you can share your camera if needed.
  • Use a good microphone. A noise-cancelling headset is recommended.

Get familiar with Zoom.

Join a practice session.

Before class, join a Zoom test session (opens new window) to test your audio and webcam, and familiarize yourself with the chat and other controls.

Learn about accessibility features.

If you use a keyboard only, screen reader, or other assistive technology when navigating the web, learn about Zoom's accessibility features and keyboard shortcuts (opens new window).

Request accessibility accommodations.

If you have a special need for online courses; for example, if you are deaf or hard of hearing and need captions, contact the Student Disability Access Center (opens new window) as soon as possible to get help.

Check your time zone.

If you will be accessing your online classes from a location in a different time zone than Eastern Time:

  1. Access the Online Meetings tool in one of your course sites.
  2. If the time zone is incorrect, select the Edit (pencil) icon to the right of Your current Time Zone.
  3. In the window that pops up, select the correct Time Zone.
  4. Select Update.

Come to class early.

Be prepared to join class a few minutes before it starts so you can make sure your audio and video are working.

During class:

Mute your mic.

Whenever you're not talking, keep your microphone muted so as not to add background noise.

When you have been given permission to speak, select the Unmute button, type Alt + A on your keyboard to unmute, or use the Push to Talk (opens new window) option.

Think before you write or speak.

Although you may not see everyone's faces the entire time during an online class, keep in mind that you should show the same respect to your instructors and peers that you do in an in-person class. Chatspeak or other informal language that you might use when communicating online with friends may not be appropriate in a classroom context.

Your instructor may provide additional guidelines for online class etiquette. Be sure to review and follow these guidelines.

Use reactions and chat to participate.

Use reactions, including the raise hand, yes, no, go slower, and go faster buttons to engage with your class.

When you need to ask a question live, use the raise hand option and/or send a chat message to request permission to speak.

For steps to use these features, see the Zoom Help articles: Meeting reactions (opens new window) and In-Meeting Chat (opens new window).