Is it Time to Return to Online Education? Features Specifically Created for Your Online Classroom


Does the ever-changing COVID-19 scenario have you reconsidering a return to in-person learning as you and your students prepare to begin the spring semester? Maybe you're considering a hybrid strategy or providing online choices. If that's the case, you're not alone: numerous colleges and institutions have declared that they would begin the academic year online.

When students or instructors are unable to attend in person for a variety of reasons, such as COVID-related quarantines or inclement weather, virtual learning will almost certainly remain a component of the plan.

We understand that returning to remote learning may feel like a step back for educators, administrators, and students who want to be together on campus. However, we at Zoom have been paying close attention to the education sector and have added a number of new features in the last year to make the shift to remote learning easier and more enjoyable.

Continue reading to learn how to implement these Zoom capabilities in your virtual classroom.

Create a virtual seating chart 

Teachers can construct a virtual seating plan for their pupils by rearranging the Gallery View. You may now store the Gallery View arrangement for later usage in classes. That stored Gallery View arrangement may be reloaded in a future session, and participants' videos will be organized in that order, with any new participants appearing in the bottom-right corner.

A Gallery View is associated with a Zoom meeting ID when it is saved. To plan all sessions of a particular course throughout a semester, you may create recurring meetings, which will utilize the same meeting ID and parameters.

You may save a distinct Gallery View for each course you teach if you create a different recurring meeting series for each one.

It's important to note that in order to utilize this function, you'll need to activate "Allow host to store video order" in your account settings.

Reduce distractions with Focus Mode

Many teachers said it was difficult to convince students to turn on their cameras during remote sessions, making it difficult to evaluate classroom involvement. Focus Mode was created in response to educator input and allows teachers to watch all of their students' videos while allowing students to just see their teacher. This not only promotes educational fairness by allowing all students to feel at ease, but it also lowers visual distractions from peers.

You can also plan meetings to begin in Focus Mode, which is perfect for proctoring examinations or other circumstances when you want to avoid distractions.

If the Focus Mode option isn't available when you click the "More" icon on the meeting toolbar, you may need to activate it in your account settings.

Make class time interactive with advanced polling & quizzing

Educators have traditionally used polling to increase student engagement, assess the group's comprehension of a subject, and add a layer of interaction to virtual learning.

We've increased our polling capabilities to include eight new question types as well as the ability to incorporate photos, giving educators even more options when it comes to how they construct their classes. Feel free to get inventive with these possibilities:

  • Single choice: Select only one of the provided answers. 
  • Multiple choice: Select multiple of the provided answers. 
  • Matching: Match prompts on the left side with answers on the right side. 
  • Rank order: Rank each item based on the provided scale. 
  • Short answer: Respond with a short answer. The minimum and maximum allowed characters for the response can be set. 
  • Long answer: Respond with a long answer. The minimum and maximum allowed characters for the response can be set. 
  • Fill in the blank: Poll participants are presented with the statement and a blank, asking them to fill in the missing information based on the statement and other context provided. Multiple blanks can be added and each blank has its own answer box.  
  • Rating scale: Rate a statement or the on a given scale, like 1-10 or “Not likely” to “Extremely likely.”
You can also set up polls as quizzes, meaning you can assign a correct answer for every question and score students’ accuracy.

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