Zoom has created a Tricks and Tips guide for educators transitioning to online instruction
The VCU Information Security Office has created a document covering Zoom Meeting Security Guidelines, to help you keep yoiur meetings secure.
In addition, the Zoom Knowledge Base offers a wealth of useful information about how to make the most of the application, answering commonly asked questions like these:
"Why can't I access my account?" or "What's an 'SSO error'"?
Possibility 1: You're logging in incorrectly
Access to VCU Zoom accounts occurs at vcu.zoom.us via Single Sign On (SSO) integration. This process presents you with a Central Authentication Service (CAS) prompt for your eID and VCU password. You should always see the CAS prompt when logging in.
It's possible to create a Zoom account at the Zoom company website (zoom.us) using any valid email address, even one that ends in "vcu.edu." But unless your account is accessed via vcu.zoom.us, it is not on the VCU plan. Accounts created at the Zoom company site are free, "Basic" accounts limited to 100 participants and 40 minutes per meeting unless you pay to upgrade.
If you prefer to log in from the desktop app (instead of the portal), be sure to always choose the "Sign in with SSO" option and enter "vcu" as the domain to get the prompt for your eID and password.
Possibility 2: Your university status makes you ineligible for Zoom
VCU has a limited amount of Zoom licenses, so access is restricted to currently employed faculty and staff and currently enrolled students. If you've separated or graduated from VCU, your status has likely been updated to "former employee" or "former student," in which case you won't be able to log in.
If you're an incoming student who's not yet enrolled in classes, your status may be listed as "accepted." An eID has been created for you, but you don't yet have access to Zoom. Once you've been updated to "student" in university records, you should be able to activate your Zoom license.
"Why Can't I Add My Colleague As An Alternative Host?"
First, just to clarify: an alternative host is not a co-host. It's someone you've authorized to start and run your meeting in your absence. You can assign a co-host once a meeting is in progress, and it could be anyone in the meeting, even if they're not from VCU.
An "alternative host" by definition will need to be able to run your meeting without you, which means they'll need to be on the VCU Zoom account, as you are. You should be able to list anyone with a vcu.edu identity as your alternative host, but you will not be able to list users from VCUHS Zoom (where membership requires "vcuhealth.org" credentials) or from outside of VCU entirely.
It's always possible a colleague just hasn't established a Zoom account, yet. If so, all they need to do is sign in at vcu.zoom.us to activate a license, then you'll be able to list them.
"How Many Participants Can Be In A Meeting?"
All meetings on VCU Zoom support up to 300 participants.
If you need to host a meeting with more than 300 participants. you have a couple of options. One is to send out a live stream of the meeting via Youtube, Facebook or another streaming platform. See above under "How do I live stream my Zoom meeting" for more details. If you want to use VCU's Kaltura server for your live stream, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The other option is to purchase Zoom's "Large Meeting" add-on. This is an annual subscription that can be purchased by your department to support meetings with 500 or 1000 participants. If interested, you can contact us at email@example.com for more details.
"What if Zoom Goes Down?"
Zoom outages are a rare occurrence and tend to be brief when they do happen. That said, if Zoom should go down, VCU users are encouraged to use Google Meet as a temporary alternative.
Everyone with a VCU eID has access to a Google account, including the Meet application. With it, you can share video, audio and desktop content in a format similar to Zoom. You can invite anyone to join you in Google Meet whether they're from VCU or outside and they don't need an account of their own to join your meetings. Any recordings you make will be saved to your Google Drive.
The Collaboration Services webpage includes everything you need to know about using Meet.
Any interruptions of service will be reported via the "alert" banner on the Technology Services website, with updates added as they become available. Also Zoom publishes real-time status reports at status.zoom.us on a 24/7 basis.
Zoom presented a special training session just for VCU users. You should find it very helpful.
A later session gave a more in-depth tour of advanced features available in Zoom: