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Zoom Teaching Good Practices and FAQs


Good Practices for Zoom Teaching

Below are some good practices for the different roles to observe when preparing, hosting/learning and after a Zoom class is conducted. Click on each role to learn more, you may be able to find some answers to your questions there:

Instructors TAs Students

FAQs for Zoom Teaching

Below are some frequently asked questions for Zoom teaching
  1. Click the categories below to jump to the relevant section.

    Pedagogical Advice Technical Issues Policy/Administration Polling Breakout Rooms Whiteboard

  2. Click on each of the questions below to expand for more details.
  3. You may also search using 'keywords' for better results. If your keyword is found, search results will show in the question and answer.

    Type in keywords, e.g.: share screen, annotation, or pre-assign

  4. If you can’t find the answers to your questions, you can submit your questions through this Qualtrics form. The questions will be channelled to the relevant parties and be updated here when ready.

Pedagogical Advice

Q1:  Why Zoom Meeting through Canvas?
A1:  Canvas integration allows single sign-on to deliver live virtual class sessions, record, manage and release the recording; view/export attendance reports and poll reports of different class sessions within each course site.
Q2:  Can I invite guest speakers (outside HKUST) to join the Zoom class?
A2:  Yes, you can invite guest speakers to join the Zoom class. They can join the class by entering the meeting ID and passcode of your Zoom class. You can add authentication exceptions to the meeting to allow the guest speaker to join the meeting while remains the meeting for only authenticated users to join. Refer to How to add authentication exceptions for more details.
Q3:  What strategies can I adopt to enhance students' interaction during online teaching?

A3:  There are multiple ways to enhance interaction online. Students can

  1. make written comments using the messaging feature, e.g. Group chat
  2. request for sharing verbally with everyone in the class
  3. be assigned to breakout rooms for peer discussion
  4. share their computer screens and present their work to everyone in the class

View Tips and Tricks to Engage students View Sample Live Online Teaching Lesson Plan

Q4:  As a good practice, I usually start my Zoom class 10 to 15 minutes before the class starts. Are there any good tips to help my students get settled in while we are waiting for the class to start?

A4:  You may consider putting up a greeting screen, which includes class announcements, a clock, and a music background. By doing so, students can ensure they join the right class at the proper time. Not only can they read the class announcements before the class, but students can also test their network connections and the position of the webcams before the class starts.

You can obtain the greeting screen at: (credit: Prof. Pedro Sander of CSE). Load up the page in a browser, type in the announcements and share the browser screen in Zoom. Please note the announcement text only resides on the local browser, when the browser window is closed, the text is gone.

Alternatively, you may use the PowerPoint slide templates created by CEI: For Win | For Mac

Note: To play background music in the greeting screen, you should make sure that "Share computer sound" is enabled when sharing the screen in Zoom.

Q5:  What are strategies to facilitate online group activities?

A5:  The THREE suggested strategies to facilitate online group activities and enhance student engagement:

1 | Carefully plan and design group activities before class 2 | Proactively facilitate group activities during class 3 | Include peer evaluation to incentivize student engagement throughout the semester

1 | Carefully plan and design group activities before class

We recommend (a) assigning dynamic group roles and (b) designing a clear activity structure when planning group activities

a) Assign Dynamic Group Roles:
Assigning students with group roles can reduce slacking, make all members more active and accountable instead of just the group leader. It can also increase the quality and focus of the discussion, and allow students to improve communication with each role.

The 4-5 suggested Group Roles
1. Recorder
Manages documents from instructor: records the critical points/findings and submits answers to Canvas
2. Facilitator
Moderates discussion: leads discussion, keeps the team on task and encourages everyone to participate
3. Reporter
Summarizes the group activity: guides consensus building, summarize understanding, assists recorder and presents discussions to the class relying on recorder’s notes
4. Task Keeper
Keeps team on track under time constraints: keeps track of time, progress and checks over work for clarity of thinking before group members finalize answers
5. Wildcard (Optional)
Fills in where needed: questioner, devil’s advocate, looks for holes in discussion

Suggested strategies when adopting Dynamic Group Roles:

  • Introduce the group roles at the beginning of the semester
    • Be transparent about why you are assigning group roles to increase student buy-in
    • Provide students with list of roles and brief descriptions for each role (Refer to the role cards)
    • Assign roles randomly and rotate roles in each session to help students develop communication skills in each role 2
  • Reinforce roles throughout the semester and by monitoring discussions
    • Acknowledge exemplar role behaviors and share them with the class.
      “I noticed Kit was an effective facilitator. He helped redirect his group back to the question when the discussion went off track.”

b) Design a clear activity structure:

We also recommend instructors to carefully design the srundown of the group activity. Some important aspects of a group activity that instructors should consider:

  • Questions to discuss
  • Steps to kick-start the activity
  • Duration of the activity
  • Expected output from student groups


Guiding questions when designing a clear activity structure
Questions to discuss:
  • Do students know the rationale for the activity?
  • What is the expected outcome/product from the activity? (Short write-up or slide?)
  • How will you give students instructions for the activity?
    • Give students a Word doc or PPT Slide with the following (See sample)
Steps to kick-start the activity:
  • Is there a scaffold, structure and clear instructions for the activity?
  • What are the suggested group sizes? (In an online environment, we suggest 3-5 students per group to encourage participation, more effective communication and decrease changes of free-riding)
    • Group roles may be modified or combined based on the group size
Duration of the activity:
  • Does the structure give students time to process the new information before they are asked to respond?
  • Does the activity include adequate time for student groups to present ideas to the class?
Expected output from student groups:
  • How are you going to evaluate students’ output from the activity?
  • What are the main takeaways from the activity?
2 | Proactively facilitate group activities during class
  • Provide clear instructions to students prior to the group activity. Give a copy of the instructions to students and walk them through
  • Assign each student a group role


Proactively facilitate student groups during the activity

  • Provide feedback or coaching to groups during the activity
  • Keep up with the groups’ progress regularly to ensure the activity does not overrun

See facilitating group activity sample from Mixed Mode Seminar


Involve students by allowing groups to share their work with the class after the activity

  • Invite student groups to share the outcomes in form of write-up or slideshow
  • Debrief group responses vs the main takeaways you wanted students to get from the activity


3 | Include peer evaluation to incentivize student engagement throughout the semester
  • Conduct peer evaluation mid-semester and end of semester using iPeer
  • Review peer results of individual students' performance
Q6:  How does a student representative present the group's output to the whole class after the breakout activity is done?
A6:  After bringing back all students from the breakout room, the instructor should first stop sharing his/her screen. Host/Co-host then unmute the student representative under "Manage Participants". The instructor should ask the student representative to share his screen with everyone in the class. Upon the student completes the sharing, he stops sharing the screen, and then the host/co-host can mute the student.
Q7:  I would like my students to share their screens with me individually for consultation during the Zoom meeting. How can they share the screens with me privately?
A7:  If you have a small class, you may consider assigning students to breakout rooms individually. By doing so, you can view students' screens privately in each breakout room. You can create up to 50 breakout rooms in a meeting. Refer to
Q8:  I notice one student is doing something inappropriate through their webcam. As everyone in the class can see it, is it possible for me to turn off the students' webcam?

A8:  Yes. Click Participants in the host controls to open the Participants panel. Hover over a participant and click More > Stop Video.

Q9:  I usually switch between PowerPoint and other programs a lot while teaching. How do I switch between the programs smoothly during the Zoom class?

A9:  You should share your desktop (or Screen 1 or 2 for PC with dual monitors) instead of selecting an application. Your students can see you switching among applications on your desktop smoothly.

Q10:  I used a mouse pointer for annotation when teaching with a PowerPoint slideshow. However, I found the annotation not prominent. Is there another way I can annotate a slideshow more effectively?

A10:  We suggest doing the annotation on slides using the built-in annotation feature of PowerPoint. The annotation will be saved and disappeared when you move to the next slide. Refer to Draw on slides during a presentation

Q11:  I would like my students to see my facial expressions while watching my PowerPoint presentation. Is it possible in the Zoom class?

A11:  Yes, while students viewing a shared screen, ask them to click on View Options and choose Side-by-side mode. The shared screen will appear on the left and the speaker will appear on the right. Hover the pointer over the boundary between the shared screen and the participants' video to adjust the portion.

Q12:  I would like to see my students' facial expressions when I conduct my Zoom teaching. How can I show more students' videos while I am teaching with my share screen on?

A12:  You may consider using a separate computer and join in your class with a project account (as a participant or as a co-host). You can use the "Gallery View" on this computer to show up to 49 students (25 students for a computer with less processing power) and flip the pages to see other students while teaching on your main computer.

You can apply for the ITSC project account here ( and it should be ready within a day after the application.

Q13:  It is hard for me to see my students raising their hands under the Participant Panel, as the window is hidden when I am sharing my screen and teaching. Do you have any recommendations for this?

A13:  Two recommendations as follow:
Solution 1
Use another device for joining the class as a participant and keep the Participant Panel on the screen at all times.

Solution 2
Set up dual monitors with your computer. Share screen with one screen and put the Zoom window on the other screen with Gallery view launched. Refer to

Q14:  I want to use my laptop/PC for PowerPoint presentations and other applications while using an iPad to facilitate the whiteboard function. How to do it?

A14:  Two recommendations as follow:

Solution 1
You should use your laptop to start the meeting as a host, then use your iPad to join the meeting. For the iPad, you can either (1) log in with your ITSC account concurrently, or (2) log in with an ITSC project account. You can apply for the ITSC project account here ( and it should be ready within a day after the application.

With the iPad being assigned as the co-host, you can use the iPad as the whiteboard. While you are teaching, you will be switching screens between your PC and iPad. You should ensure only one device is unmuted at a time, or everyone in the meeting will get terrible audio feedback.

Solution 2
Connect your iPad to the laptop/PC with a lightning cable, and use screen mirroring. Use your laptop to start the meeting and share the screen of your iPad. On your iPad, use the app "Notes" as the whiteboard. Refer to the instruction:

For both recommendations, we suggest using iPad Pro with Apple Pen to get the accuracy and smoothness for teaching, especially for mathematics, chemical formulae etc.

Q15:  I asked my students to work on some exercises during the online class. How should I collect their classwork during/after the online class?
A15:  We suggest creating an assignment in Canvas and asking your students to upload their classwork there. To facilitate the logistics, you may also include an instruction in the class exercise to remind students to save their work locally and upload the document to Canvas Assignment by a specific deadline.
Q16:  It is difficult to manage the group chat while teaching. I do not have a TA who can manage the group chat for me. Do you have any suggestions?

A16:  We suggest two approaches to handling the Group Chat if you do not have a teaching support staff to manage it for you:

Approach 1
Instead of responding to the students' inquiries on the spot, the instructor can review the chat messages in the cloud recording and reply to them afterwards. So before the class starts, inform the students to send non-urgent inquiries to "Everyone publicly" (this way the inquiries can be recorded) and tell them that the inquiries will be addressed by the instructor after the Zoom class.

Approach 2
Instructors can turn off the group chat function if the group chat is not needed. Instructors may ask students to raise their hands and ask verbally during the Zoom class.

Q17:  Are there resources to help prepare my students for the Zoom classes?
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Technical Issues

Q1:  I don't know where to start. Can you give me a hand?
A1:  Click here to access the Quick Start Guides for Using Zoom within Canvas.
Q2:  Can we create Zoom Meetings for different dates like a recurrent event?

A2:  Instructors can create multiple Zoom meetings using "Recurring meetings". Since the meeting settings and the meeting ID of the recurring meetings are the same, we recommend instructors use "Recurring meeting" to set up multiple Zoom meetings for their classes.

Q3:  What is the difference between recurring meetings and just having one meeting scheduled and re-using that again for the subsequent classes?
A3:  The main difference will be the meeting IDs, either all with the same Meeting ID or one ID for each, but we highly recommend creating recurring meetings for regular classes so that students can check when the next class starts through Zoom Meeting via Canvas.
Q4:  How do I schedule the Zoom meetings using the "recurring meeting" feature if my lectures are scheduled in the morning on Mondays and in the afternoon Fridays?

A4:  You should create two recurring meetings. One recurring meeting for Mondays, and one for Fridays, there will be two meeting IDs. Students will log in to the Canvas course site  >  "Zoom Meeting" tab and join the Zoom meeting.

Q5:  I scheduled recurring meetings in Canvas. Can I start the meetings earlier than scheduled?

A5: Yes, you can start the meeting before the scheduled time. Indeed, you are highly recommended to start the meeting earlier to test your equipment and connection.

However, you should not allow students to join before you. In the meeting option, uncheck "Enable join before host".

Q6:  I notice that we can schedule Zoom meetings by various means. I can schedule meetings through Canvas,, and the Zoom client application on my computer. Where should we schedule the Zoom meetings then?

A6:  We recommend you to schedule the meetings through Canvas, and further adjust extra options in If you schedule the

90Zoom meetings by other means, you are recommended to import the meetings in Canvas.

Students will log in to the Canvas course site  >  "Zoom Meeting" tab and join the Zoom meeting.

Q7:  How can the students and instructors distinguish among the scheduled Zoom meetings in Canvas, especially for courses with multiple sections, taught by different instructors?
A7:  Refer to this document for setting up Zoom meetings for courses with multiple sections taught by multiple instructors.
Q8:  Do we need to ask students to sign in to Zoom with their ITSC accounts?
A8:  Students are recommended to join the Zoom class via Canvas. For students who cannot access Canvas, they are recommended to sign in to Zoom by their ITSC accounts in the Zoom client, or through
Q9:  How can I configure it to allow only authenticated users to join my Zoom classes?

A9:  It is not possible to allow only "enrolled students" to join the Zoom classes. However, you can restrict the Zoom class to only students who log in using their ITSC accounts (i.e., Please do the following:

  1. Login to with your ITSC account via SSO. Toggle "Only authenticated users can join meetings" under "Settings"
  2. "Meeting Authentication Options" will appear when you toggle "Only authenticated users can join meetings". Set "HKUST" as default and hide the option "Sign in to Zoom". If you do not hide this option, anyone who registers a free account using a personal email can still join your Zoom meetings.

  3. Go to "Meetings", either schedule a new meeting, or click on one of the meetings that you already scheduled and select "Edit this Meeting". You can press "All" to edit for all recurring meetings.
  4. Under Security, select either “Require authentication to join”, or “Only authenticated users can join meetings” if scheduling through Canvas. Select “HKUST” which will limit access to all HKUST users only. Or select "HKUST (HK only)" for Clear Water Bay account access only or "HKUST (GZ only)" for GZ account access only.

Please note that, if "Only authenticated users can join" is disabled, the Zoom meeting reports will not include any participants' official emails and names but just their display name in the meeting session.

Q10:  How does Zoom record students' attendance?

A10:  For students who join the Zoom meeting with their ITSC credentials, their full names and ITSC email addresses will be captured in the attendance reports. Instructors/TAs can download the report under "Zoom Meeting" in the Canvas course sites. Even though some students may have renamed themselves during the Zoom meeting, the attendee report can still track their ITSC accounts. However, if the Zoom classes are not configured as "Only authenticated users can join", some students may join the classes without their ITSC credentials, and then there is no way for the instructors to identify these students from the attendance record.

Q11:  If students join the meeting directly through Zoom's mobile app, instead of joining through Canvas, can Zoom record their attendance?
A11:  As long as the meeting is restricted to authenticate users to join only and the students sign in to the Zoom app with their ITSC accounts, their attendance will be logged in the participation report. The report can be downloaded after the Zoom class ends.
Q12:  Some of my students cannot join the Zoom class, they said Zoom requires a passcode to join the Zoom class, what should I do?

A12:  Zoom requires a passcode for scheduled Zoom classes starting from Aug 27, 2020, onwards, students are required to either (1) enter the passcode or (2) use the passcode embedded link to join the Zoom class. Students who join the Zoom class via Canvas are not affected, as they join using the passcode-embedded links via the "Zoom Meetings" module in Canvas. However, for students who join the Zoom class by Meeting ID without getting through "Zoom Meeting" module in Canvas, instructors should check the passcode in "Zoom Meeting" module in Canvas, and pass it to them.

Q13:  Why can't I see some functions, such as Annotations, assigning Co-hosts, Breakouts, and Polls in my Zoom Meeting controls?

A13:  You can go to Zoom Global Settings at Log in with your HKUST ITSC account and click the 'Settings' Tab to toggle the list of features on and off.

Q14:  How to ensure students’ webcams are on when they join the Zoom class?

A14:  Students' webcams will be turned on if you set Participant's video as "On" when you schedule a Zoom meeting. You can also enable this setting for the Zoom meetings scheduled. Students' webcams will be turned on once they get into the Zoom meeting. However, you may still not see all students' videos, as students can turn the webcam off anytime during the meeting. It is also possible that some students do not have a webcam installed on their computers.

Q15:  My TAs are Research Postgraduate (RPG) students, do their Zoom accounts have the same privilege as full-time staff?

A15:  The Zoom account privilege of RPG students is the same as full-time staff. Your TAs can verify their user type at The user type should be shown as "Licensed".

If the user type is shown as "Basic" with an upgrade option, they should use the account to start a new meeting. After hosting the first meeting, the ITSC authentication will recognize if students are RPG and link their sign-in to Zoom Pro automatically. Contact if you encounter any difficulties.

Q16:  Can TA schedule Zoom meetings in Canvas for me?

A16:  Instructors and TAs can schedule Zoom meetings on the course site, so it is technically feasible for TAs to schedule meetings for the instructor. If the Instructor would like the TA to schedule or edit parameters on the instructor's behalf, "Schedule Privilege" should be set up in "Settings". Please note, although this will allow the TA to schedule for the instructor, it will also mean the TA will own the reports for that meeting they scheduled. In addition, the TA will also be able to access and edit ALL HKUST Zoom Meetings (and Polls) for that instructor until their "privilege" is removed.

Q17:  Some students from Mainland are experiencing difficulties with Canvas access. Can they join the Zoom class without going through Canvas?

A17:  Students who cannot access Zoom through Canvas can join the Zoom class directly by entering the meeting ID and passcode. You can find the meeting ID and passcode when you are scheduling a new meeting.

For the students who cannot access Zoom through Canvas, they should first download the Zoom client via or (in China)

Students can join the Zoom class by entering the meeting ID and passcode.

Q18:  Can I assign a co-host BEFORE the Zoom meeting starts? How does a co-host differ from an "Alternative host"?
A18:  No. You can only assign co-hosts during the meeting. The “Alternative host” is only the person assigned with permission to start the meeting. The Alternative Host no longer exists in the Zoom meeting once the meeting starts but the alternative host will be auto-assigned as a co-host after joining the meeting after the Host.
Q19:  I want students to wait before I admit them into the Zoom meeting, how can I select some students to get in?
A19:  As a host, you have full control over whom to get in, you have to admit students into the Zoom meeting one by one manually.
Q20:  Can the instructor see the private chat among students in the Group chat?

A20:  No, you can only see the messages that are sent publicly or sent to you privately. To prevent students from chatting privately, you may consider turning off the private chat.

Q21:  When a student shares his screen in Zoom, can he also share the audio from his computer?

A21:  You should remind the student to check "Share computer sound" when he selects an application with audio to share.

Q22:  Is it possible to share video clips in real-time through the Zoom meeting?

A22:  Yes, you can play and share a video on your PC using screen share. You may also consider embedding video clips into the PowerPoint slide. When you share the screen, be sure you checked "Share computer sound".

Q23:  If I allow multiple participants to share screens simultaneously, what does the Zoom meeting look like? Will the participants' screens overwrite one another?

A23:  No, the participants (including the instructor) can only select one shared screen at a time, and switch to another shared screen by selecting under "View Options".

Q24:  I have dual monitors set up on my PC. Can I choose which screens to share?

A24:  Yes, if you have dual monitors set up, you can select the screen to share (Screen 1 or Screen 2) under "Share".

Q25:  Other than "Raise Hand", can I allow students to make more responses, such as "Yes" and "No" in the participants' window?
A25:  You can ask students to use the "Non-verbal feedback" at the “Reactions” on the Zoom menu. The feature is turned on by default. If you cannot see it, you can enable it under "Settings" at
Q26:  I noticed that students rename themselves in the Zoom meeting. Can I still trace their identities? Can I stop them from renaming themselves?

A26:  As long as they sign in with their ITSC for the Zoom meeting, their identities (i.e. email) will be shown in the participation report, regardless of how many times students change their names.  Alternatively, you can uncheck "Allow Participants to Rename Themselves" during the Zoom Meeting.

Q27:  Can the host remove messages in the Group chat?
A27:  No. The host (and co-host) cannot remove messages from the Group chat.
Q28:  Can I save the private messages between me and individual students, or between me and my TAs in Chat?
A28:  No, the private messages between you and others in Chat will not be saved.
Q29:  Should I record my meeting on the local computer or the Cloud?
A29:  As the file size of the recording is large, we suggest recording to the Cloud. Refer to Q3 of "Policy/Administration Related" in FAQ for the retention policy of cloud recording. You can always download a copy from the Cloud to your local drive later if needed.
Q30:  If I take a break during a three-hour-long lecture and press stop on the Zoom recording during the break, will the video be broken up into two clips?

A30:  Yes, if you stop the recording, this will break the recordings. To keep the recording in one video, instead of "Stop Recording", you should click "Pause Recording" during the break and resume the recording afterwards.

Q31:  Where can I find the recording of my Zoom class and how should I publish it to students?

A31:  If you scheduled the Zoom meetings via Canvas or imported the Zoom meetings into Canvas, you can find the recording under the "Zoom Meeting" > "Cloud Recordings" tab in Canvas. To publish the recordings to students, simply toggle "Publish" to on. Students can review your published recording under the same tab in Canvas.

Q32:  Do my TAs have Zoom accounts with full access to the recordings of my lectures?
A32:  Yes. Given your TAs hold the TA role of the Canvas course site, they can access to the recordings of your lectures through Canvas under "Zoom Meetings", TAs can also publish the recordings to students for you.
Q33:  After the Zoom class, I received an email notification from Zoom "The recording of the Zoom meeting is now available". However, I cannot find the recording under "Zoom Meeting" in Canvas. What can I do?

A33:  You might have deleted one or a few recordings of the recurring meetings under "Zoom Meeting" in Canvas which breaks the linkage between Canvas and the corresponding recurring meetings. To restore the linkage, you should recover the "deleted" recordings of the recurring Zoom meetings by logging in to Go to "My Recording"  >  "Trash", you should be able to see all the recordings that you previously "deleted" via Canvas. Simply click on "Recover" next to the recordings and it will show up again in Canvas.

For recordings that you do not want to release to students via Canvas, you are recommended to keep them as "Unpublish", instead of deleting them.

Q34:  If I encounter technical problems when using Zoom meetings, whom should I contact?
A34:  You can submit your issues to or call the CEI hotline at 2358-8036 during office hours if immediate help is required.
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Policy/Administration Related

Q1:  How can I let the students join my Zoom class if they are on the waiting list during the add/drop period?
A1:  You can inform the meeting ID and passcode to the students on the waitlist and let them join in your Zoom class. Refer to Q17 of the Technical Issues FAQ and see how to obtain the meeting ID and passcode. In addition, students not registered in a course can use this link to join the course they want to explore during the add/drop period.
Q2:  I scheduled a set of Zoom classes via "Zoom Meeting" on a Canvas course site, and I would like to share the same set of Zoom classes with other Canvas course sites as I need students from multiple courses to join my Zoom classes at the same time. Can this be done?

A2:  One meeting ID can only be listed under one Canvas course site. You cannot import the same Zoom ID to other Canvas course sites twice. However, you can obtain the links to the Zoom classes and post the links to other Canvas courses that share the same meeting.

  1. In the "Zoom Meeting" of the Canvas course site, select a meeting.
  2. Copy the "Join URL:” with the embedded passcode.
    Note: The Join URL will be the same for all recurring meetings.
  3. Add the link into Canvas under "Modules" as an "External URL" item.
  4. Publish the item to students.
Q3:  How long can I keep the Zoom class recordings on the cloud? Is it possible to back up my recordings?

A3:  Starting in Fall 2020, all cloud recordings of the Zoom classes will be retained on the cloud until 1 month after the semester ends. They will be removed automatically from the cloud afterwards. To back up the recordings for future courses, you should download them to your local drive - refer to the instructions here. If you want to retain the recordings of continuing courses which span across two or more semesters, please make arrangements with ITSC by providing them with the corresponding course codes. Email:

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Polling Related

Q1:  What are the question types available for polling? How many polling questions can I create in a Zoom class?

A1:  There are two polling types in Zoom, 1) Polls and 2) Advanced Polls and Quizzing

  1. "Polls" supports MCQs with a single answer or multiple answers and does not support assigning correct answers.
  2. "Advanced Polls and Quizzing" supports additional question types including:
    1. MCQ with a single answer
    2. MCQ with multiple answers
    3. Matching
    4. Rank Order
    5. Short and Long Answer
    6. Fill in the blank
    7. Rating Scale

Except for the Short and Long Answer and Rating Scale, instructors can set correct answers for other question types by configuring the poll as a quiz.

Instructors can show the correct answer to participants when the poll ends.

The Advanced Polls and Quizzing require Zoom version 5.8.3 or above for both instructors and students.

To enable the "Advanced Poll and Quizzing" option, instructors should enable "Allow host to create advanced polls and quizzes" in -> Settings -> In Meeting (Basic)

Please visit to learn more about the Advanced Polling and Quizzing.

You can create up to 50 polls in a Zoom class while you can create up to 50 questions in each poll.

Q2:  Do I need to do the polling every time I start the class, to capture students' attendance?
A2:  Zoom provides the participant list for each Zoom meeting, and therefore, it is not necessary to capture the attendance using polling.
Q3:  I teach multiple lecture sections. Can I re-use the polling questions by transferring from one Zoom meeting to another?
A3:  Yes, you can create the polling under the Polls/Quizzes library at > Meetings, and pick the corresponding polls for your meeting. Refer here for more
Q4:  Can my TA preset the polling questions beforehand and manage the polling for me during the Zoom class?

A4:  As polling questions can only be preset by the host beforehand, the instructor should preset the polling questions given the instructor is the host of the Zoom class. For the procedure of presetting polling questions, refer to Q5.

However, you can have your TA manage the polling during the Zoom class, by assigning your TA as the co-host during the meeting, your TA can help launch/relaunch the polling and share the polling result with participants.

In addition, you can also grant your TA more functions to manage the polling by designating your TA as the alternative host and allowing alternative hosts to add or edit polls.

As long as your TA’s role is either a host or co-host in the Zoom class, your TA can also add/edit the polls on the fly and download the polling report right after each poll.

Q5:  How to create planned poll before the session?

A5:  Go to and schedule a new meeting first. After the meeting is scheduled, click on the meeting title.

Click “Polls/Quizzes”, click “+Create” and start to create polls.

Q6:  Instead of creating polling questions beforehand. Is it possible to create a Poll during the Zoom class?
A6:  Yes, you can click the "Polls" icon from the Zoom menu bar to create a Poll on the fly.
Q7:  Can I see how many students submitted the answers during the polling?

A7:  Yes, you can see the number of students who submitted the answer and the response rate during the polling. You can always click “View Result” again after the poll is ended but it will only keep the result of the last attempt.

Q8:  Can the host share the poll results again after he closes the poll window?

A8:  Yes, the host can share the poll results again anytime during the Zoom class. Launch the Poll window by clicking Polls on the menu, clicking “View Results” and click “Share Results” to share the result.

Q9:  Why can't my students submit the answers in the poll?
A9:  Students need to answer all the questions of the poll, or else they cannot submit.
Q10:  Can students save the poll results?
A10:  No. they can't.
Q11:  Can we share the polling results with students?
A11:  After the polling session ended, select "Share Results" and the results will be shared on the student's screen.
Q12:  I am the host of the meeting. why does the "Polls" button disappear on my iPad?
A12:  Assuming you have already enabled Polling under "Settings" in, this may be due to the display setting of your mobile devices (including iPad), we recommend you launch polling using a desktop/laptop.
Q13:  Can students re-submit the answers to the poll questions?
A13:  No. Once the answers are submitted, students cannot make another submission, unless the instructor ends the polling session and re-launch it.
Q14:  How to download the polling results after the Zoom meeting?

A14:  If the instructor schedules the Zoom meetings via Canvas, the instructor can obtain the Poll report under "Zoom Meeting" -> "Previous Meetings" -> "Report"

Select the "Poll Report" tab.

If you did not schedule your Zoom Meeting via Canvas, or you did not import the meeting under "Zoom Meeting" in Canvas, the host should generate the Poll Report via  >  Reports  >  Meeting

Q15:  If I launch the preset polling questions multiple times, will the previous results be overridden by the latest launch in the report?
A15:  If a poll is relaunched in a meeting, the poll report will only display the last poll occurrence. If you know you will need to launch the same poll twice and want both sets of data, consider creating a second poll with the same questions as the original to avoid relaunching. Or you will need to download the result after each attempt before the next relaunch
Q16:  Can I use other polling tools e.g. iPRS?
A16:  You can use any other tools that best fit your teaching strategies, as long as you use the share screen function to project the environment to students.
Q17:  Can the poll results be transferred into Canvas for course assessment?
A17:  Poll results can not transfer directly to Canvas as an assignment. Even though instructors can set the advanced polling as a quiz, the poll report does not indicate participants' scores. Hence it may not be a good idea to use polling as a formal course assessment.
Q18:  Could we add a count-down timer to the polling, similar to what we do in iPRS?
A18:  No, this function is not available on Zoom.
Q19:  I launched many polls during the Zoom meeting, does it mean that I have to download reports multiple times?
A19:  Zoom allows you to download all the polling reports of a Zoom Meeting in one go.
Q20:  It seems that I cannot record polling in the recording. Is there another way I can record the whole polling process, including (1) displaying the poll, (2) receiving students’ responses, and (3) displaying the result of the poll?

A20:  Before starting the Zoom class, open the Zoom application in your computer, select "Sign In with SSO".

After logging in, click on "Settings".

Check "Show Zoom windows during screen share" under "Share Screen".

In the meeting, select "New Share" while sharing the screen, or select "Share Screen", if you have not shared any screen yet, and choose "Screen" before launching a poll.

The process of launching the poll, receiving students’ responses, and displaying the result of the poll will be recorded in the recording.

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Breakout Rooms Related

Q1:  I cannot find the Breakout Room feature in the Zoom meeting, what is wrong with my setting?
A1:  Breakout room feature is turned off by default. To use the Breakout room feature, you should sign in to, and toggle "Breakout room" to on under "Settings" > “In Meeting (Advanced).
Q2:  Can I ask my TA to create and pre-assign breakout rooms for me before the Zoom class?

A2:  If the instructor is going to be the host of the Zoom meeting, he should create and pre-assign breakout rooms when scheduling a Zoom meeting as only the owner of the meeting can do so.

The instructor can download the template in CSV from Zoom and ask the TA to pre-assign students into breakout rooms using that template. The instructor can then import the completed template at the meeting setting page.

Refer to

The template can be imported into different meetings (i.e., different meeting IDs). To help pre-assign the breakout rooms, your TA may export the class list from Canvas and work from it.

Q3:  Can I assign students into breakout rooms during the Zoom meeting? Can my TA do this for me?
A3:  You can assign students to breakout rooms during the Zoom meeting. Your TA as the co-host can also help assign students to breakout rooms during the meeting, but the room arrangement will not reflect on your screen.  That means whoever set up the breakout room will need to be the one launching it.
Q4:  How can my TA help during the breakout activity?

A4:  Before the breakout activity, you should have the TA assigned as the co-host. Then they will have full permission at helping with the breakout activities, including setting up rooms, launching and ending rooms and jumping around rooms. When setting up rooms, you have the option to include or exclude the co-hosts from assigning to the breakout rooms.

Q5:  Can my TA also broadcast messages during the breakout activity?
A5:  Yes. Both the host and co-host can broadcast messages to all breakout rooms. But only the host can broadcast with voice.
Q6:  Can I set a maximum number of students per breakout room?
A6:  No, you can't set the maximum number of students per room. You can only set the number of breakout rooms to be created and randomly assign students to a specific number of rooms.
Q7:  I want to assign students to the breakout rooms randomly. What would happen if I assign 19 students to 4 rooms?
A7:  You will end up having 4 groups of 4, and a group of 3.
Q8:  As a host, I can visit breakout rooms. Can I pop into the breakout room secretly without students knowing?
A8:  No, students in the breakout room are notified when the host joins the breakout room.
Q9:  Can students move across different breakout rooms by themselves?

A9:  Students can only move from room to room if the option "Let participants choose room" is selected when create rooms. During the meeting, the host selects "Breakout Rooms", and selects "Let participants choose room". Students can see a list of breakout rooms created and join a breakout room accordingly. Otherwise, students cannot move from room to room on their own, the host needs to re-assign a student to another breakout rooms manually.

Q10:  Can we keep the pre-assigned breakout rooms for several Zoom meetings?
A10:  For recurring meetings (with the same meeting ID), the pre-assigned group list is saved and reusable. For meetings with different meeting IDs, you are recommended to have the breakout room assignment prepared in a template so that you can reuse the template for different Zoom meetings. Refer to on how to pre-assign breakout rooms using a CSV.
Q11:  It takes me some effort to manually assign students to breakout rooms during Zoom class. Can I just open breakout rooms and ask students to join in?

A11:  If your students do not have a fixed group assigned, you can assign students to breakout rooms randomly during the meeting.

For students assigned with fixed groups, you can let students to self-select a breakout room during the meeting instead.

During the meeting, the host selects "Breakout Rooms" and selects "Let participants choose room". Students can see a list of breakout rooms created, and each student can join a breakout room accordingly. Refer to "Self-selecting a breakout room" under for details.

As students can enter, leave and re-join any breakout rooms with this feature enabled, your students should form groups beforehand, such that they join their corresponding breakout rooms in the meeting.

Q12:  If students add to or drop out from the course, will he or she automatically appear/disappear from the pre-assigned breakout room list of the Zoom class?
A12:  Zoom meeting is a separate tool and the breakout room set-up does not have any linkage with Canvas or the roaster, you need to manually update the pre-assigned rooms assignment upon any changes. It would be better to create the rooms after the add/drop period and verify the list on the day before the session starts.
Q13:  What will happen to the recording when I open the breakout rooms?
A13:  The recording will pause automatically when you open the breakout rooms. When you close the breakout rooms, check to make sure the recording is still in progress. Otherwise, select "Recording to the cloud" and resume the recording.
Q14:  Can students end the breakout rooms anytime?

A14:  Yes, students can leave the breakout room anytime if they are allowed. If not they will be leaving the meeting.

If students are allowed to return to the main room, they can rejoin the assigned breakout rooms.

Q15:  Can I allow students to record their breakout rooms, without the authority to record the lecture in the main session?
A15:  Under the current Zoom system design, if you allow students to record the breakout room activities, you will also allow them to record the lecture in the main session. And therefore, we do not recommend you release the recording feature to students.
Q16:  Can I talk to the students verbally in the breakout room?
A16:  Yes. The host/co-host can join the breakout room and talk/present to students like you do in the main room.
Q17:  During the breakout activity, how can students raise questions to the host?

A17:  Two recommendations as follow:
Option 1:
Students can request the host's assistance by clicking "Ask for help", the host will be alerted and join in the breakout room to provide support. Since students cannot notify the co-host for help, the co-host is recommended to check students' progress room by room. The host may also ask the co-host to go into a particular room to assist when he receives the alert.

Option 2:
If the Breakout Room option “Allow the host to view activity statuses of participants in breakout rooms (e.g. share screen, reactions)” is enabled, you can ask students to raise their hand in the room, so the host or co-host can know which room is needing help.

Q18:  Since students may refuse to join the breakout rooms, how do I know which students refuse to join?
A18:  Students who refuse to join the breakout room will end up staying in the main room which you will notice.
Q19:  Can I share files to all students in the breakout rooms?
A19:  No, you cannot share files to breakout rooms, you should share the files before breaking out. Also, consider asking students to download the necessary files from the Canvas course site.
Q20:   I set it to allow students to send messages to everyone, but not to send private messages in the main room, how would this setting affect the chat settings when they are in the breakout rooms?
A20:  The same setting carries over, students can only send messages to every student within their breakout room, and they cannot send private messages.
Q21:  How can students collaborate on one file during the breakout activity?
A21:  Any online collaboration tools, such as Office 365 or Google docs, should serve the purpose, while we recommend Office 365 as all students have been assigned an account. Although Zoom allows participants to collaborate using Whiteboard, given the host has enabled the "Annotation" feature, Zoom does not provide any functions for collaboration on formal documents like Word/PowerPoint.
Q22:  Can I customize the group names for students? For example, for a group project, students might want to show their unique group name.
A22:  Yes. You can rename the groups anytime before rooms are opened.
Q23:  How to deal with those latecomers who join the Zoom meeting after breaking out?
A23:   If a participant is not automatically assigned to the breakout room you specified when scheduling the meeting, recover to pre-assigned breakout rooms to re-assign participants to their pre-assigned breakout rooms. Or you can manually assign participants using the in-meeting breakout room controls.
Q24:  Can the host/co-host make recordings to the cloud in the breakout rooms?
A24:  No, the host/co-host cannot make recordings to the cloud in the breakout rooms. But students can record their activities in the breakout rooms on their local computers, given they are granted the privilege.
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Whiteboard Related

Q1:  What is the "Whiteboard" feature in Zoom? How to enable the Whiteboard?

A1:   The Whiteboard feature allows the host to write or draw on the screen, it also allows participants to anno tate together on the same screen if allowed. The whiteboard feature is enabled by default, click "Share Screen" and select "Whiteboard" during the Zoom meeting to enable the Whiteboard.

Q2:  Is it possible for students to collaborate with me on the Whiteboard?
A2:  As the host, if you have "Annotation" enabled under Settings in, you can create a collaborative space where all students can annotate during the Zoom class.
Q3:  How do my students start annotating on my Whiteboard?

A3:  Students can select "View Options" and select "Annotate" to start annotating on your Whiteboard if allowed.

Q4:  Do I know who have annotated on my Whiteboard?

A4:  Yes, you can select "Show Names of Annotators" to see which annotations belong to who.

Q5:  Can you select a particular student to annotate on my Whiteboard?
A5:  No. The annotation feature is either open to all participants or not at all.
Q6:  Can students use the Whiteboard in Breakout Rooms?
A6:  Turn on "Whiteboard" under "Settings", students can share their whiteboards in the Breakout Rooms.
Q7:  Can instructor save the "Whiteboard"?

A7:  Yes. Instructor can save his own Whiteboard. The format is in PNG format.

Q8:  Can students save the "Whiteboard" that the instructor shares?
A8:  Yes. Students can save the instructor's Whiteboard when the instructor is sharing his/her Whiteboard.
Q9:  Can students save each other's "Whiteboard" in the Breakout Rooms?
A9:  Yes. Students can save each other's Whiteboards in the Breakout Rooms.
Q10:  Can I create multiple pages in the Whiteboard during the Zoom class?

A10:  Yes, you can create up to 20 pages of Whiteboard. Select ">" or "<" at the bottom-right corner of the Whiteboard to switch between pages during the Zoom class.

When you save the Whiteboard, the pages can either be saved as individual image in PNG format or combined as a single PDF.

Q11:  Can I delete students' annotations on my Whiteboard?
A11:  Yes. The owner of the Whiteboard can remove annotations from all participants.
Q12:  As a host, is it possible to share the Whiteboard and my PowerPoint at the same time?
A12:  No, it is not possible. You can choose to share either "Whiteboard" or "Screen", but not both.
Q13:  I would prefer to use the Whiteboard for the Zoom class. What device(s) would you recommend?
A13:  In this case, we highly recommend the instructors conduct the Zoom classes using a tablet PC, such as a Microsoft Surface. This way you can easily write on the Whiteboard using a stylus. The stylus is particularly useful for writing equations, drawing diagrams, etc.
Q14:  Are there any other similar alternatives for the Whiteboard feature in Zoom, such as using external devices like iPad, or showing an actual whiteboard in my office through the web camera?
A14:  We have suggested some other similar alternatives during the training workshop on Zoom Whiteboard, please refer to the workshop archive to get more information.
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