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Zoom is an online meeting tool, allowing you to meet virtually with up to 100 people. Users can communicate with both audio and video, and the service includes rich features such as recording, screen sharing, breakout rooms, whiteboarding, chat, hand raising, and more.This article will provide you with some best practices for participating in meetings to ensure that your session goes smoothly.

Test/install ahead of time: Class time is valuable and it should be spent engaging and learning, not wrestling with technology. This means that you should test your equipment ahead of time and ensure that the Zoom software is installed on your computer. If the software is not already installed on your computer, you will be prompted to download it when you click on the link provided by your instructor. You can also download the software by going to https://zoom.us/download.

You can run a test on your own by going to https://zoom.us/test to ensure that your camera and microphone are working. You should see yourself if your camera is working, and you should see the microphone icon (on the bottom left of window) have a green color bouncing in it.

To ensure that your speakers are working, click on the little arrow next to the microphone button and choose "audio options". Then choose "test mic and speakers". Then click on the button for "test speakers". If you can hear the chime, then you know your speakers are working and if you can see the green line bouncing in the micophone section, then you know your microphone is working.

More info on testing/troubleshooting AUDIO can be found here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200319096-Audio

More info on testing/troubleshooting VIDEO can be found here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362313-How-Do-I-Test-My-Video-

Optimize your audio: Your audio will sound best if you are using a headset. That will also isolate other noise from entering the meeting (such as barking dogs and vacuum cleaners). Ambient noise can be very disruptive to meetings, which is why it is so important to mute your microphone when you are not speaking, but your voice may be much more clear if you are wearing a headset microphone. Even cheap earbud microphones that have the little microphones attached (such as the ones that may have come with your cell phone) will be plenty sufficient.

Mute your audio: When lots of people are in a meeting, it is very easy for audio issues to be created by a single person that will affect everyone in the meeting. Therefore, once you have ensured that your microphone is working, mute yourself by clicking on the microphone button and then un-mute yourself when you need to speak.

Here is a support video on how to adjust audio settings on Zoom:
 

More information about audio testing and troubleshooting can be found here.

Internet connection considerations: Your home internet speed is likely more than sufficient to support a Zoom video call, but if you are in a public place, it could potentially be an issue. Zoom video calls require 1.5Mbps upload/download for group calls using "gallery view". 

You can check your home internet speed by going to speedtest.net. A standard (non-upgraded) Comcast/Xfinity connection should give you 25 Mbps upload/5 Mbps download, which is plenty to support a Zoom video call. 

Make sure you are within range of your wifi router's signal, as being too far away can lead to intermittent or lost connectivity.

Here is a video with some tips for optimizing your home's internet connection: 

Here is  link to an article from Zoom on troubleshooting wifi issues: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362463-Wireless-WiFi-Connection-Issues

Screen sharing: You can share your screen by clicking on the "Screen Share" button on the bar at the bottom of the application window. You can either share your entire screen or choose a specific open application to share (such as Powerpoint or your web browser). Be conscious of what you are sharing when you activate a screen share. If you share your entire screen, you may want to ensure that your email or any other private documents are not open, as everyone in the meeting will be able to see what you see.

Here is a link to Zoom documentation on screen sharing: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362153-How-Do-I-Share-My-Screen-

Additional resources: 
-Zoom offers a comprehensive collection of support articles available on their support center at: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us 
-Zoom offers a collection of video tutorials which can be quite helpful, available here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials
-Zoom also offers online training sessions. More info on joining a live training session can be found here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/201740096-Training
-Zoom is fully supported at Brandeis by Media Technology Services. You can email any questions to webconferencing@brandeis.edu or call Eli Jacobson at (781)736-4614