Zoom: FAQs for Students

This is an introduction to Zoom video conferencing with a focus on settings for classroom learning.

How do I install the Zoom client? (one-time installation)

How can I test Zoom?
Joining a test meeting allows you to confirm that your Zoom client is installed and that your video and audio are configured correctly.

How do I join a Zoom meeting?
Click on the Zoom meeting URL (it contains an ID) provided to you by your professor to join the Zoom meeting. Additional notes:

  • You may occasionally be asked to sign-in before joining a meeting. If so, choose the option to “sign in with SSO” and then enter “williams” as your domain.
  • If you don’t have a computer, use the phone number from the invite to call in.
  • For more help: Joining a Meeting.

How do I use my Web camera?
To use your video camera, click “Start Video”. (To select your camera, click on the arrow next to “Start Video”.) If you experience choppy audio or video, turn the video off. (For more help with Zoom controls: Attendee Controls in a Meeting.)

How do I control my microphone?
If you can, use a headset rather than your laptop’s speakers as that will reduce “audio feedback noise” problems. “Mute” your microphone when not speaking. (To select your audio, click on the arrow next to “Unmute”.)

What is the in-meeting chat?
It allows you to send chat messages to others within a meeting.  The chat function can substitute for body language and signal that you’d like to speak, ask questions, offer quick group feedback, upload files, etc. The instructor may ask you to monitor the chat and create a queue of questions. 

What are the Breakout Rooms?
Breakout rooms are sessions that are split off from the main Zoom meeting. They allow the participants to meet in smaller groups. Participating in breakout rooms can be used for collaboration and discussion.

What is the Waiting Room?
Your instructor may choose to use the waiting room, which allows the instructor to ask attendees to wait before joining a meeting in a way similar to waiting outside a physical office until the previous meeting is over.

How do I share my screen?
If this feature was enabled by your instructor, you can share your screen by clicking “Share Screen”, then from the Zoom pop-up select a window that you want to share, then click “Share”. To end screen sharing, click “Stop Share”. Zoom supports sharing your screen, even if your audio is connected through a phone. While you’re sharing, you may be able to ask someone else to take over your keyboard and mouse and remote control your computer or ask to take over someone else’s.

Can I record a session?
Recording may be enabled by the instructor in the breakout rooms. You must ask and receive permission from the faculty member and every co-participant before recording.

I get a black screen during screen sharing. What should I do?
Windows users, go to this page to find the solution.
Mac users, turn off the “Automatic graphics switching” or use “Use TCP connection for screen sharing.”

Product Resources