Virtual Communications

Advanced Zoom Features

Chat and Hand Raising

Begin by clicking the “Manage Participants” icon in the meeting menu [1]. The participants window will open. To reveal the chat function in the participants window, select “chat” from the meeting menu [2]. You can send messages to the whole group or privately to individual participants using the blue dropdown menu [3]. Additionally, Zoom chats may be saved. Please visit Zoom’s “In-meeting Chat” documentation for more information on saving options.

chat options

Students can message each other freely, and you can also message all students (‘Everyone’) or send a private message to an individual student directly.

Students can use the ‘Raise Hand’ function to ask for permission to speak. To see this virtual hand raise, you must have the Chat function open.

Image of list of students' names, showing what it looks like when a student raises their hand from an instructor perspective. One student has a hand icon next to it.

If you hover your cursor over the student’s hand, you will have the option to ‘Lower Hand’ once the student has been acknowledged.Lower hand button to the right of student's name

Mute All

When one person is doing the majority of speaking, it is useful to use the mute all button. This stops sounds from the students/participants distracting from the main speaker.

  • To Mute All, click ‘Manage Participants’ at the bottom of the screen. Click Mute All on the right.

Mute All button

Share Screen

“Share Screen” lets you share your screen with meeting participants. Before clicking “Share Screen”, make sure the application you want to share is already open on your desktop.

Simply click the ‘Share’ option at the bottom.

Green Share Button on bottom of screen

When you click “Share Screen,” a new window displays all of your computer’s open applications. Select the window or application that you want to share.

Select, if needed, from the following options at the bottom of the new window:

  • Share computer sound when screen sharing
  • Optimize for full screen video clip

Image of pop up window with several square thumbnails named 'Desktop', 'Whiteboard', 'Iphone/Ipad via Airplay' and 'Iphone/Ipad via Cable'. The 'Desktop thumbnail has been selected and is green, while the other thumbnails are white.

Then click “Share Screen” at the bottom right corner of the window.

While you are in “screen sharing” mode, you will notice a green frame around the app you’ve selected to share. The green frame represents what your students will be able to view. Screen sharing options will appear in a menu bar at the top of your screen.

Black rectangular toolbar at the top of a screen. The pause symbol labelled 'Pause Share', the pencil icon labelled 'Annotate' and a narrow red rectangle directly beneath the large black controls rectangle labelled 'Stop Sharing' are emphasized with an arrow pointing towards them. A green rectangle right next to the red 'Stop Sharing' rectangle contains the host's Personal Meeting ID.

To learn more about the “Share Screen” feature on mobile devices, visit Zoom’s “Screen Share iPhone/iPad Apps” guide, or for Android visit the “How Do I Share My Screen?” page, scroll to the bottom and select “Android.”



Whiteboard Annotations

The Whiteboard feature allows you to share a whiteboard that you can annotate with others.

To go to Whiteboard, click ‘Share’ at the bottom of the screen. Click Whiteboard, then ‘Share’.

Image of pop-up window showing black tool bar at bottom of screen with the green Share icon emphasized as step 1. The Whiteboard thumbnail in the pop-up window is labelled step 2 and the Share Screen button on the bottom right of the popup window is labelled step 3.


To see all the options available for the Whiteboard, be sure to enter fullscreen mode. Only the instructor can erase or change content on the Whiteboard. You can save the Whiteboard images via the save button on the far right of your Whiteboard option bar. It will be stored in documents > zoom > meeting ID folder as whiteboard.png.

Image of black rectangular toolbar on the top of the whiteboard showing controls for 'Select', 'Text', 'Draw', 'Spotlight', 'Eraser'', 'Format', 'Undo', 'Redo', 'Clear', and 'Save'. The 'Save' icon is emphasized with an arrow pointing to it.


Record a Meeting

Zoom sessions can be recorded. Only local recording (accessible on your device), not cloud recording (accessible from any internet-connected device), is available at this time. To record a meeting, click the “record” icon at the bottom of the meeting window. Zoom will record the meeting’s audio and video (if selected). Click “Pause/Stop Recording” to pause/end all audio and video recording of the meeting. The recording will not be saved until you end the meeting.

recording a meeting

Once you end the meeting, Zoom will automatically create a folder for the meeting with audio and video files of the meeting. You can change the location and name of this folder in the window.

Image showing Finder window where recorded Zoom meetings can be saved

To upload this recording to your Canvas site the best way is to upload the video to Panopto first. Panopto is the video recording and playback software used at BC. We have detailed instructions for downloading Panopto from your Canvas course and for uploading videos to Panopto.

Retrieve Recorded Meeting Files

From your Zoom home screen, select “meetings” [1]. Then, select “recorded” at the top of the window [2]. A list of recorded sessions displays. Roll your cursor over the title of a meeting to reveal more options [3].

recorded meeting files

Here is a detail of the screenshot above highlighting the ‘Recorded’ button in the Zoom app which you click to access previous recordings.

Image showing Zoom app and emphasizing the two buttons 'Upcoming' and 'Recorded' at the top of the window. The 'Recorded' button is selected and blue with an arrow pointing towards it.

Breakout Rooms

Video Breakout Rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting up into separate sessions (50 maximum). The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, and can switch between sessions at any time.

To put students into breakout rooms, simply click the Breakout Rooms icon at the bottom of your screen.

Detail of black toolbar with Breakout Room icon emphasized with an arrow pointing to it

You will then be prompted to assign students into rooms. You can choose the number of rooms you want to create. You can also choose whether to assign groups manually or to have Zoom assign groups automatically.

Detail of pop-up for creating breakout rooms.

After creating your breakout rooms, a small window will appear with a list of rooms. A blue ‘Assign’ link will also appear on the right. If you are assigning participants manually, you can click ‘Assign’ to group students. If you hover over a room, you will have the option to rename or delete rooms. Renaming the different rooms by topic or project can be useful in guiding students and keeping your class organized. You can also add a room if necessary.

Pop up showing list of break out rooms. TO the right of breakout room 1 the Rename, Delete Room, and Assign functions appear. At the bottom of the pop-up, there is a button to Add a Room.

Once students have been assigned to breakout rooms, you can then open all rooms to have students join their rooms.

Image showing window that an instructor views when opening breakout rooms. The image has two headings 'Breakout Room 1' and 'Breakout Room 2' and underneath each heading the names of the students in that breakout room are listed. There is a green button in the bottom righthand corner of the window that reads 'Open All Rooms'  that is emphasized with an arrow pointing towards it.

As an instructor, you can enter and exit breakout rooms as you wish, close rooms, or send a message to students in all breakout rooms by using the ‘Broadcast to All’ function. This allows you to send a message to all students without joining each room.

The graphic below shows breakout rooms from both a host and attendee perspective, as well as a quick review of the process for creating breakout rooms.

Image showing host and attendee perspectives for breakout rooms

To leave a breakout room, simply click ‘Leave Breakout Room’ in the bottom right-hand corner.

Image of Leave Breakout Rooms text in bright red in lower right hand corner

For an in-depth guide on Breakout Rooms, please visit Zoom’s “Managing Video Breakout Rooms” video tutorial.


If set up before-hand, Zoom’s polling feature allows you to conduct brief whole-class polls that can be used for a variety of instructional purposes. Polls in Zoom are a great way to quickly check whole-class understanding of a concept, conduct a quick review of a previous topic, monitor for misconceptions, or get a discussion started. Zoom polls offer only multiple choice style questions and display general participation data percentages. Because of these constraints, polling is not an effective way to run quizzes or gain data on individual student participation. Zoom polling, however, can give you important whole class participation data and allow students to visualize the concepts you are trying to teach in an engaging and interactive way.

Polling does not appear automatically on your Zoom account; you will have to set it up prior to your session. To enable polling for your meeting you have to first set it up in your main Zoom account. To do this go to and log in. Once you’ve logged in, click ‘Meeting Settings’ and then ‘In Meeting (Basic)’ and scroll down to “Polling”.

Screenshot of Zoom website with Meeting Settings selected in blue on the lefthand side and In Meeting (Basic) selected on the right hand side

Simply toggle “Polling” on, so that the control turns blue. You have now enabled polls for your meetings.

Polling section on Zoom website with the toggle blue and turned on.

To create a poll, you have to first “Schedule a Meeting” by clicking on the text on the top right of the screen on the homepage

Screenshot of top right of homepage with Schedule a Meeting emphasized with an arrow pointing towards it

When you schedule a meeting, you will be able to select your date and time preferences. Once you have scheduled the meeting, click on meetings on the sidebar and click the name of your meeting to open your meeting preferences.

Screenshot of Zoom account page with Meetings selected in blue on the righthand side and the title of a scheduled meeting selected on the left

When you click “Add”, a pop-up window will appear to create a question. You can put in your question, select “Single Choice” or “Multiple Choice” and then put in your answer options. If you want to add multiple questions, click “Add Question” at the bottom of the pop-up window. Once you have finished creating all your questions, click “Save”.

Screenshot of Polling pop-up window with space to create a question, options to select single or multiple choice questions, and space to input up to 10 answer options. There is an Arrow pointing to text at the bottom of the window, which says +Add a Question. Click Save at the bottom.

Once you’ve enabled polling, scheduled your meeting, and created your questions, you will be able to launch polling during your meeting.

 Image of black toolbar at bottom of Zoom meeting screen with polling icon emphasized.

When you click polling, your question(s) will appear in a pop-up window. To broadcast your poll to session participants, simply click “Launch Poll” at the bottom of the window.

Once you click “Launch Poll” a green timing bar appears at the top of the window. As participants respond you will see live updates of the percentage of the class that has taken the poll in the black bar at the top of the window. When ready to end the poll, click “End Poll” at the bottom of the meeting.

Screenshot of poll in progress showing time elapsed, the poll question, and multiple answer options with percentage of class that has answered next to each option. the blue End Poll button on the bottom of the window is emphasized.

To show participants the completed poll, click “Share Results”. You can also re-launch the poll if you need more participants to respond or had needed to pause the poll.

Once you click “Share Poll”, the pop-up window displays the question and answers and the percentage of responses per answer. Displaying polling results can be a great way to visually present the variety of opinions or conclusions among students and can be a great discussion starter or opportunity to check for understanding and debunk misconceptions.

Screenshot of shared poll, showing poll question, and multiple answer options with percentage of class that has answered next to each option. the blue Stop Sharing button on the bottom of the window is emphasized.

When ready to stop sharing, simply click “Stop Sharing” at the bottom of the pop-up window. The pop-up window will disappear, but you can always view past poll by going to your profile on and viewing your past meetings. If you click on a past meeting, any polls created for that meeting will show along with their results. More documentation on polling can be found at Zoom Support.