Zealous Zoom

Desktop computer with a toolbox icon on the computer's screen.

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows users to perform synchronous (real-time) functions including host online meetings, participate in group messaging, and share video and audio content. The software is cloud-based and works on desktop, laptop and mobile operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Linux.

Zoom accounts are now available to all Penn faculty, students, and staff. However, certain organizations and centers have not been integrated into the central Penn Zoom account and may experience account-creation or functionality problems. Users should contact their IT support group for information about the Penn Zoom account and use of the Canvas integration.

Instructors can have the Zoom integration activated in their Canvas sites, for ease of scheduling events, by contacting their local support provider


Alternative hosts

If your course has multiple TAs or instructors assigned, it is recommended that there be alternative hosts assigned via the integration. With alternative hosts, please note: 

  • Alternative Hosts only appear once they have accessed Zoom through Canvas. TAs and co-teachers should log in to the Canvas site and click Zoom in the navigation menu, which will activate the Alternative Host role in the Zoom meeting.
  • It is not possible to add or delete Alternative Hosts through the Canvas integration.
  • To add or remove Alternative Hosts, you need to log in to the Penn Zoom web interface and select the meeting or series for which you want to change Alternative Hosts.

Recording Zoom Sessions

With the ongoing pandemic, some instructors may choose to record their in-person class sessions for students who cannot attend in person, or for future reference in preparation for exams and assignments.

To record a Zoom session, click “Record to the Cloud.” By default, all recordings will post to Class Recordings (Panopto) upon completion, and only be available to those enrolled in the course. Please be patient with this uploading process, as longer videos take longer to upload and fully process for viewing. 

Considerations on recorded Zoom sessions:

  • If you accidentally record a session that you do NOT want to share with students, the simplest thing to do is delete it from the Class Recordings folder. That will remove student access, but not delete the original recording, which will still be available to you in your Zoom account for a limited period of time.
    • It is possible to “trim” unwanted sections of the recorded video using Panopto– more information will be given in next week’s article on this process.
  • The PennZoom service includes access to Zoom Cloud Recording which stores recordings for 120 days, after which time they will be deleted. It is advised that all recordings be downloaded and stored in an external tool (Panopto/Class Recordings or locally on your machine) to preserve the video in its original format.
  • If you need classroom support to record live lectures, please see Penn ISC’s list for local classroom support.

Attendance Reporting

When Zoom is integrated into a Canvas site, there’s an option for a detailed report of attendance. From the Zoom page, click the Previous Meetings tab, and then Reports. A list of attendees will populate.


Open Canvas for Penn Learnrs

Currently, Open Canvas does not support the Zoom integration. However, instructors and program directors can post a link to a Penn Zoom meeting for users. It is recommended that this link appear on the homepage, in an easily accessible place for the learners.

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