Zoom: New Enterprise Video Communications Tool Goes Above and Beyond

Photo by Marc Hall.

From holding online classes to professional meetings and webinars, Zoom provides reliable video, audio and chat functionality for your online communication needs. Check out how users across NC State are taking advantage of Zoom and how the tool can benefit you.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a one-stop shop for a variety of your online communication needs. The video conferencing application can be used for online meetings, webinars, chat, mobile collaboration and more.

Here are a few of the main features/functions of Zoom:

  • Group meetings
  • Webinars
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Video and/or voice for communication
  • Text chat for communication
  • Screen sharing
  • Whiteboard/screen annotation
  • Breakout rooms
  • Personal meeting rooms
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Recordings with local or cloud storage

Now an enterprise-level tool, Zoom is available in the WolfWare suite of tools to support academic needs related to synchronous video communication and collaboration.

A Zoom Pro account is available to all NC State users who have an active NC State email address.

Zoom at Work Inside the Classroom

For College of Design Assistant Professor Traci Rider, Zoom serves a variety of purposes including holding meetings with her online students and advisees and recording lectures.

“I think Zoom is incredibly easy and can be facilitated with just a link. It’s easy to use for guest speakers without a test run to make sure everything is working correctly,” said Rider. “It’s also extremely convenient to record short sessions for students to view.”

From large meetings to one-on-one sessions, Zoom helps promote communication among a variety of participant sizes.

Professor Karen Hollebrands in the College of Education said, “For teaching, Zoom allows the instructor to create smaller breakout rooms. This facilitates small group work and conversations in a large online course.”

In the Center for Geospatial Analytics, Teaching Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Professional Education Eric Money uses Zoom for a wide range of activities.

“First, I teach a couple of ‘hybrid’ classes that have a synchronous discussion component each week, so I have students that attend on campus and online at the same time. I use Zoom to facilitate and record those sessions,” he said. “I have also occasionally used Zoom in lieu of Mediasite to record short snippets to explain a brief concept or homework assignment within my courses.”

Money noted Zoom is very easy and intuitive from both the instructor and student perspective. “I haven’t used all of the features of Zoom yet, but I think one of its biggest strengths is the ease of joining sessions for students and the cloud recording ability,” he added.

Reaching Beyond the Classroom

Zoom’s versatile functionality makes it the perfect tool for users inside and outside of the classroom.

At NC State Extension, Zoom serves as a way for colleagues spread across the state to meet in real time.

4-H Healthy Living Coordinator Salim Oden uses Zoom to meet with and train Cooperative Extension agents from across the state. He uses Zoom in place of face-to-face meetings when people are unable to be in the same place at the same time.

“Zoom’s interface is user-friendly and doesn’t require training to understand how to navigate the system to meet your needs,” said Oden. He noted the ease of setting up meetings has been beneficial as well as holding large group meetings without complications.

When asked for advice for others just getting started with Zoom, Oden said, “Zoom is a lifesaver for individuals with full calendars. Get started today and unlock a hidden treasure.”

Valerie Schwartz, head of admissions at the Institute for Advanced Analytics, uses Zoom as a tool to conduct interviews with applicants to the Master of Science in Analytics program.

For Schwartz, Zoom’s ability to sync seamlessly with both Google Calendar and ScheduleOnce, the platform that applicants use to book interviews, is essential. “I also appreciate that Zoom shows thumbnails of every participant in the conference for the duration of the event, as some tools I’ve used show only the person who’s speaking,” she added.

Another example of Zoom’s reach is how Assistant Professor Tara Harrison from the College of Veterinary Medicine uses the platform. “I use Zoom for meetings within the state and around the globe, and I also use it for having lecturers lecture remotely as well as lecturing remotely myself.” She added, “Don’t be afraid to use Zoom for any of your remote meeting or course needs.”

Ready to Get Started?

Visit ncsu.zoom.us and login with your NC State email account. You will automatically have access to Zoom Pro capabilities.

Attend one of our workshops to learn more about Zoom. If you are a previous user of Blackboard Collaborate, join us for Moving from Collaborate to Zoom to help with the transition.

If you’re still hanging on to Collaborate, take it from Associate Professor Kim Allen, “Zoom is superior to other programs I have used. When I used Collaborate, my students had trouble seeing the small screen, would get kicked out of the room due to connectivity, sometimes my slides would not load. In my opinion, Zoom is easy to use and I never have to even have a backup plan as it always just works.”

We also offer Teach from Anywhere with Zoom for an introduction to the tool and a review of tips and best practices.

Join the Google Group for the latest updates about Zoom at NC State as well as for questions and answers from colleagues. You can also visit the Zoom enterprise implementation webpage for more information.

Contact the LearnTech help desk by emailing learntech@ncsu.edu or calling 919.513.7094 if you have questions or need help getting started!