Zoom Instructions for Participants

This page has basic instructions on how to use Zoom in a course. The sections are:

There is also a page with a guide to good Netiquette that is well worth reading before your first course.

Before a Meeting or Webinar

  1. You will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speaker or headphones. Zoom does provide you the chance to test your hardware before the meeting to ensure your microphone and speakers are working. Headphones or earbuds are best if you are doing to be speaking during the meeting, since they are less likely to cause echos.
  2. You will will be provided an invitation to your Zoom meeting or webinar. That invitation will include a link to the meeting or webinar by your instructor, along with a passcode you need to enter to join the meeting or webinar.

To join a Meeting or Webinar

  1. A bit before the start time of your meeting, click on the link in your invitation to join via computer. You may be instructed to download the Zoom application the first time you use Zoom on your computer.
  2. Enter the passcode you were supplied in your Zoom invitation.
  3. You have an opportunity to test your audio at this point by clicking on “Test Computer Audio.” Once you are satisfied that your audio works, click on “Join audio by computer.”

Participant controls on the Zoom screen

Zoom controls

The controls on the Zoom screen vary depending on your platform and the host's settings. Webinars do not support microphones and video, so those buttons will not be available. These are the basic controls you will use:

The Microphone icon allows you to Mute/Unmute your microphone. It also has a menu with options for selecting a different microphone if you system has more than one and for testing your microphone and speakers. It is good netiquette to leave your microphone muted if you are not speaking. Some meetings will automatically mute participants when they arrive.

The Camera icon allows you to turn your video camera on or off.

The Participants button (if available) allows you to see a list of all participants.

The Chat button brings up a box where you can type chat messages directed at the entire meeting or at specific participants. Chat is a good place to ask questions during a lecture, since it does not interrupt the speaker.

Click Leave to lead the meeting or webinar.

Speaker View and Gallery View

Zoom has two view types: speaker view and gallery view. In Speaker View, the currently speaking participant is full screen and all others are small windows. In Gallery View, all participants are on the screen (up to about 50) as equal-sized windows. Some courses may specifically ask that you switch to Speaker View. There is a button at the top of the window that chooses Speaker View or Gallery View.

Zoom speaker view
Speaker View
Zoom gallery view
Gallery View

Setting your Zoom Picture

Some courses will ask that you set a picture on your Zoom account so the instructor can see faces rather than just names for participants. To add a picture, use a web browser to go to https://zoom.msu.edu. Click Login and log into your Zoom account using your MSU user ID and password. Once your are logged in, choose Profile, either on the left side of the window or in the pull-down menu:

Settings menu option

On the Profile page, click Change to bring up the dialog box to set your profile picture:

Change picture button

In the Change Picture dialog box, click Upload to select a picture to upload to the server. Then expect the box so the picture looks as you like:

Change picture dialog box

Click Save to save the picture.