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Zoom User Guide

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.


Online and hybrid classes have a few distinctive features, including the spaces in which students and instructors meet. To facilitate synchronous sessions, many instructors use Zoom’s meeting feature to:

  • Share Screen: with this feature, meeting participants can share content including, a computer desktop, open programs such as Powerpoint, Web Browsers, and Media Players, and other connected devices. Participants can also pause and/or stop sharing at any point during the meeting. While screen sharing, participants can mark-up the screen through the “annotate” menu. The share screen function also allows participants to “share computer sound” so that other participants can hear what you are sharing. 
  • Direct Message/Chat: This feature allows participants to speak with each other publicly or privately within the room. The meeting host can also decide whether participants are able to talk with everyone or talk with host only.
  • Record Class Sessions: With this feature, the host can record a meeting, including pause and stop functions. The recording will be automatically sent to Zoom after the meeting for future downloading and embedding within web pages. 
  • Conduct Group Breakout Rooms: Here you can arrange group breakout rooms. Hosts can automatically or manually assign the participants into a set number of rooms for group activities. Hosts can also assist group activity by joining their groups. When grouped participants need assistance, they can call the host into individual groups via a convenient “get help” function.
  • Adjust Program Windows: Both the host and participants can arrange video, shared screen, and chat windows to accommodate their screens.
  • Use the Zoom App: Hosts and participants also have the option to use Zoom on Apple Iphones/Ipads and Android devices via the zoom app. This has the benefit of allowing participants to access Zoom rooms from practically any location with cell service. 

Important Notes about Zoom

  • Zoom is only available at Annenberg, Penn Law, School of Engineering, Penn Vet, School of Arts & Sciences, and SP2. More availability details:
    • SAS:  faculty, TAs, staff, and graduate students can create Zoom meetings.
    • SP2:  faculty, TAs, staff, and students can create Zoom meetings.
  • Any student enrolled in Annenberg, Penn Law, School of Engineering, Penn Vet, School of Arts & Sciences, or SP2 course can participate in a Zoom meeting.
  • The Zoom-Canvas integration is not available at Penn.
  • Online meetings can include up to 50 people.

Benefits of Using Zoom

  • Allows for synchronous classes meetings.
  • Supports use on mobile devices (tablets and phones).
  • Online meetings can include up to 50 people.


To gain access to your personal Zoom account or for help with Zoom.