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Attention, Educators! New Ways to Enhance Classroom Engagement and Simplify Administration

Attention, Educators! New Ways to Enhance Classroom Engagement and Simplify Administration

With the school year in full swing, we’ve got a bunch of new and upcoming features designed specifically with our education community in mind. Learn how you can enhance the classroom experience, improve lesson planning, and simplify Zoom account administration with the features below.

For the classroom

For educators using Zoom for hybrid or blended instruction, we’ve taken favorite features like polling to the next level and added new capabilities to help you manage your classroom and streamline workflows.

Save bandwidth or take a visual break by stopping incoming video

Educators, if you’re struggling with low bandwidth (or even with video fatigue) our new stop incoming video feature allows you to instantly cut incoming video feeds of others in the meeting, replacing them with participants’ profile pictures. This feature only affects your view, not others, and it doesn’t turn off your camera. Students will continue to see your video and anything that you share, as well as the video of others in the class, as they normally would.

This feature is also an important one for students prone to seizures that are caused by light, flickering images, or even visual patterns like stripes. This feature enables them to take a quick visual break when they need to. It can be enabled in Zoom’s video preferences menu, and then activated via the in-meeting ‘view’ menu.

Eliminate distractions with Focus Mode

Zoom meeting in Focus Mode, showing teacher as active speaker and one student's video tile.

Launched earlier this year, Focus Mode was designed with the digital learning environment in mind. When enabled, it allows teachers and other co-hosts to see all students’ videos so they can supervise the class. Students, however, can only see hosts, co-hosts, and their own video feed — not other students. This helps learners stay focused without feeling self-conscious about turning on their camera or getting distracted by what their peers are doing.

Engage learners with exciting polling enhancements

Polls are an amazing way to engage your students, measure understanding of a subject, and even do quick assessments like pop quizzes. Here are a few features coming in November that will allow you to do more with polls:

  • More types of questions: Get even more creative with your polls! Advanced polling options enable you to add questions that allow for ranked responses, matching, short and long text responses, fill-in-the-blank, and more. You can even add images to your questions!
  • Quiz format: Turn your polls into quizzes by selecting the right response for each question. You can choose to show participants how many answers they got correct after they complete the quiz, or make quiz records available only to you. 
  • Allow alternative hosts to edit polls: Previously, only original meeting hosts could edit polls, which could be limiting for educators who wanted their teaching assistants or substitute teachers to have the authority to change a question on the fly. Now, when you designate an alternative host while scheduling a meeting in the web portal, you can give that person the ability to edit polls.

Do more directly in your LMS

Most schools and universities use a learning management system, or LMS, as part of their digital learning environment. Zoom’s LTI Pro integrates with some of the most popular LMS platforms, like Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai, so educators can schedule and start Zoom meetings or access cloud recordings right from their LMS.

In November, you’ll be able to do things like invite guests (people outside your school’s account, such as a lecturer from another organization) to your meeting and pre-assign students to Breakout Rooms directly within your LMS. This makes for an even more seamless workflow so educators can focus on teaching and student engagement, not on the logistics of the lesson.

Create seating charts by saving Gallery View

Just like in a physical classroom, creating seating charts in your virtual classroom has its advantages. You can arrange students in Gallery View so they’re in alphabetical order, or put students who need more supervision on the first page of the gallery. Coming in November, you’ll be able to save that Gallery View and load it every time you start your recurring meeting with the same meeting ID. Got recurring meetings for different courses? As long as you’re using a different meeting ID for each unique course, you’ll be able to save and load different Gallery Views for each course.

For administrators

Admins, you’ve also got a few new ways to help simplify account management for your school or university. 

Clean up account lists in a flash with bulk account deletion

For account administrators, the end of the school year means it’s time to clean up account lists and remove students who have graduated or are no longer enrolled — which could number in the thousands for large universities. This used to be a manual process that took quite a bit of time for administrators, but now you can bulk delete, unlink, or deactivate up to 9,999 Zoom users at once from your school’s account.

Keep track of student attendance with individual participant search 

Coming soon, you can see individual students’ Zoom attendance history with our advanced participant search options. With this feature, you will be able to search an individual student’s name and get a list of which Zoom meetings they joined on which dates, as well as when they entered and left each meeting. You can also download this information as a report, which can be useful for determining attendance rates, a critical part of securing funding for K-12 schools in the U.S.

Bring these features & more into your classroom

Get started with some of these new features by downloading the latest Zoom client, and chat with peers about how you’re using them on the Zoom Education Community
For more ideas on enhancing student engagement, check out some of our favorite Zoom Apps to use in the classroom.

Editor’s note 10/27/21: This post was updated to clarify the expected release for polling enhancements.

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