FAQs: Zoom, Blackboard & MyMedia Basics
The FAQs below address commonly asked questions regarding the following technologies:
Zoom Meetings provides a robust platform for online collaboration and meetings, pairing full video and audio conferencing capabilities with content sharing and cloud recording. Zoom is a cloud provider with a robust, global backing that can be scaled to meet the demands introduced by institutions with increased online meetings or instruction.
Zoom Setup Resources
Using Zoom Web Client (browsers)
Zoom Support Forums
Zoom Video Tutorials
Getting Started with Zoom BU TechWeb Page
BU Zoom Homepage
Frequently Asked Questions for Zoom
How do I get a zoom account?
- Please consult the following instructions on the BU Tech Web site.
Where are you posting the recordings?
- Keep checking this page for all updates.
Why can’t I see information on the Zoom support articles you provided?
- Zoom support articles are filled with content, but have collapsable fields depending on how you are using Zoom (on PC or Mac, on Linux, via the web, or on Android or iOS apps). For each article, please make sure to click the appropriate box for your case. Please see the following screenshot:
What about my exams?
- Please consult the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Are students getting any instructions for how to use Zoom/learn remotely?
- BU Tech Web provides a variety of services to connect you with faculty and fellow students remotely so that learning can continue uninterrupted. See this page on “Learning Remotely” as a start.
- Disability and Access Services have a ton of experience with Zoom. Please reach out to them directly with concerns over the platform and they can advise on best practices for specific cases. https://www.bu.edu/disability/
- Also Zoom on Accessibility.
What’s the advantage/disadvantage of recording Zoom classes?
- Recording is useful for those students/classes where synchronous learning is difficult (i.e. widely different time zones/sporadic access to internet)
What if Zoom is overwhelmed? What can we do?
Zoom for Teaching
Zoom Meeting Preparation
How do I schedule Zoom meetings? Can I set up recurring meetings?
- Yes, you can do all these things with Zoom! Please reference the following guides on scheduling meetings.
- On scheduling recurring meetings.
- You can also sync your Zoom with your Outlook/Exchange or Google Calendars.
How do I customize meeting settings (before my meeting)?
- You can customize your meeting settings ahead of time in the zoom browser (at https://zoom.us/). There are many advanced settings available. This guide outlines what these settings are and what they do.
When you access Zoom through Blackboard, will students get an email invite with the alternate call-in phone number?
- Simply creating the meetings will not alert the students. We recommend making a Blackboard announcement posting and having that send an email to the students.
Can students whose laptops do not have cameras use a smartphone instead?
- Yes, mobile, iPads, phones. Follow this link for detailed instructions on joining a meeting by phone.
Do our students each need to set up their own Zoom accounts?
- No. The host needs a zoom account, but they can just share the link with their students.
Can I control who meeting or webinar participants are allowed to chat with?
- Hosts can either limit or disable text chat for their meetings.
Zoom Meeting Call Troubleshooting
Microphone is not working?
- Use the phone number listed in the Zoom invitation when you set up a Zoom call. You can use your phone as the microphone and audio source for your call rather than your computer’s built-in microphone if necessary.
Internet connection is slow or lagging?
- Consider temporarily turning off your video stream and only maintaining the audio stream. Sometimes, running the web camera on your computer will use up the Internet’s bandwidth in a way that might make communication challenging. Turning off the video should improve communication quality and consistency.
Zoom Meeting Call Options
How do I change the video layout? How do my students? What do the various video layout options do?
- Please reference the following guide on “How Do I Change the Video Layout.”
How do I shut those doorbells off?
- Select Settings from the menu. Scroll down until you see the option Play sound when participants join or leave. Toggle this option OFF or ON.
How do I mute everybody in chat (as host)?
- As a host, you can mute or unmute all participants in a call.
- You can also encourage everyone to activate the Push to Talk feature, where participants can hold their space bar to unmute
How can I make someone a co-host for my call?
- Yes, you can make any participant in a call a co-host if you want. This is especially useful for TA/RA’s for your class. Please consult the following guide for various ways to promote someone to co-host either before or during a meeting. \
Zoom Meeting Settings and Features
Where is the raise hand button?
- The raise hand feature is useful when moderating a discussion class or for checking in with participants during a lecture/demonstration. Please consult the following for a tutorial on raising hands in zoom.
How do breakout rooms work? Can you assign participants to breakout rooms in advance?
- Please consult the following guide on how to use breakout rooms.
- You can also pre-assign participants to specific breakout groups ahead of time.
Can you only access the breakout room tool when you are the host?
- Yes. Please note, as host you can only join one breakout room at a time. See the following guide on Managing Breakout Rooms in Zoom.
How do I use polling in Zoom meetings?
- The polling feature for meetings allows you to create single choice or multiple choice polling questions for your meetings. Please note, you will need to activate the polling options in your Zoom settings before you start your meeting. See the following guide for how to activate and use polling in Zoom.
How do I use annotation tools on a shared screen or whiteboard for instruction?
How do I share my screen?
- Participants are able to share applications or documents using Share Screen.
- Video Layout Options
- Switching Windows while sharing
- Sharing Sound
- iOS Sharing
- Screen sharing multiple screens
How do I know that my students showed up? How can I take attendance?
- You can download a list of all attendees to your meeting, including when they joined and when they left. To do so, generate a meeting report.
How do I set up a virtual background for my Zoom calls? What are the mechanical requirements for doing so?
- Zoom supports virtual backgrounds, but the feature might not be available for your particular device. Please reference this guide for information on the necessary prerequisites for virtual backgrounds and, if you meet those prerequisites, how to use them.
Blackboard Learn is a learning management system at Boston University. It is used in on- and off-campus courses, certificate programs, and clerkships. Students can access course materials at any time and from any computer with an Internet connection. If you are new to using Blackboard, you may appreciate some orientation to key Blackboard tools and functions.
- Tech web guide for instructors
- Who do we contact if we don’t have Blackboard? You can use the self-creation through Faculty Link.
How do I copy a blackboard course from a previous semester?
- If you want an entire course copied from a previous semester, you can use the OneHelp form at (https://www.bu.edu/help/blackboard/). Be aware, this will copy the entire course, not just specific parts of it.
If I teach 2 sections of the same course, can the content be combined? Or must I repeat the set-up for each class?
- Use the Blackboard OneHelp form and select ‘Group Multiple Courses’ which will create a help request for your courses to be combined.
How do I put the Zoom link on the course page on BB so that students can access it easily?
- Open the course where you would like to add Zoom.
- Hover over ‘+’ in the left hand navigation and choose Tool Link.
- Complete the Tool Link options.
- Name: Enter the title you would like displayed for the Zoom link in your course navigation.
- Type: Select the option that matches the label you designed during the initial setup, eg. Zoom Meeting.
- Available to users: Check this option so that students can see the link to the Zoom meetings as well.
What is the difference between an “Item” and a “File” in Blackboard?
- Item: An Item is a generic content type that allows you to insert text, an image, a web or video link, or an uploaded file into your course. A single Item can include both edited content and attachments.
- File: A File is a content type that allows you more control over the behavior of files uploaded from your computer. The File type only permits a single attachment (no written content or web links) but allows you to determine whether the file is displayed within the Blackboard page or displayed in a separate browser window.
Is there a limit to the file size you can upload?
- Yes, there is a file size limit of 150 MB per file. There is no limit for the number of files you can upload. See TechWeb FAQ.
Can I make pass/fail assignments?
- You can create pass/fail assignments in the Grade Center.
Does Blackboard have an inline grading tool for electronic grading?
- Blackboard offers an inline grading tool, but it’s not as feature rich as MS Word would be.
- Turnitin offers a more robust feedback suite than the Bb inline grading tool, and can be used with or without plagiarism detection.
How do I create, assign, and grade tests in Blackboard?
- Please consult BU Tech Web’s guide for testing within Blackboard.
Why can’t I edit or create new content?
- In the top right of your screen, under your login and “faculty resources,” you need to make sure “Edit Mode” is turned “on.” The button should look like this:
How do I copy course content from a previous course to my current one?
- Navigate to your previous course. Make sure “Edit Mode” is turned on.
- In the toolbar on the left side, navigate to “Course Management” > “Control Panel” > “Packages and Utilities” > “Course Copy.” Click “Course Copy”.
- Make sure you insert your “Destination Course ID” (you can copy and paste the ID or browse your blackboard courses and select your current course).
- Fill out the web-form, where you can customize what types of content from the previous course you want to copy, various settings for copies of file attachments, and whether or not you want to copy enrollments from the previous course or not.
- When ready, make sure you click the “Submit” button.
Kaltura Capture and MyMedia
Kaltura Capture allows you to record videos on your personal computer and then easily share them with anyone. After a quick download and installation of the app, Kaltura Capture can record anything on your computer screen, along with your voice and webcam.
My Media, an enterprise video platform, is a cloud based video streaming service for delivery of BU-licensed or produced content to authorized viewers. The platform allows management of audio visual assets and delivery via streaming media to multiple devices, anytime, anywhere.
You may be using Kaltura Capture to record your lectures or you can use recordings of your Zoom meetings. Either way, we recommend uploading your audio and/or video files to BU My Media for hosting and sharing with your students.
For More Information or Consultation, Contact the DL&I Educational Technology Team at AskEdTech@bu.edu.
Additional Remote Teaching at BU Resources
- Remote Teaching Resources at BU
- Getting Started
- Current Guidelines for Course Completion
- Student Guide to Learning Remotely
- Remote Teaching Training Schedule
- Remote Teaching at BU: Summer 2020 Training Recordings
- Securing Your Zoom Session
- Working & Teaching Remotely
- Guide to Disability & Access Services
- Options for Assessment Tasks
- Converting Face-to-Face Pedagogical Approaches to the Online Environment
- Teaching Remotely for Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion
- Remote Teaching in STEM: A Guide for Instructors
- Flipping the Class
- Teaching Remotely in the Arts
- Online Exam Proctoring
- Web-based Data Analysis Environment
- BU Libraries Faculty & Student Support Services
- BU Employee Wellness
- Remote Teaching at BU: What We Are Reading