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Why use Zoom?

Zoom web conferencing provides an online platform for faculty to host interactive online meetings or course sessions. The tool is accessible from a computer, a smartphone or tablet, and is fully integrated into Canvas. You can also invite non-Georgetown affiliated people to join virtual meetings. The Zoom interface includes a variety of features such as chat, screen sharing, annotation tools, and breakout rooms to enhance communication, as well as the option to record. Faculty often use Zoom for instructional continuity in face-to-face courses during disruptions to campus operations and to host synchronous (live) sessions in fully online courses. The screen sharing and on-screen chat functions help to keep students engaged in a conversation and in the course content.

What can I do with it?

Maintain instructional continuity

Georgetown faculty are expected to maintain instructional activities during unforeseen campus disruptions to course schedules, ranging from public health safety to inclement winter weather. Many faculty choose to hold virtual class sessions using Zoom. Zoom meetings can be se tup directly in Zoom or in Canvas. (It is also possible to create Zoom meetings using Google Calendar with a Chrome extension.) It is advisable for faculty to review their instructional continuity plan with students early in the semester.

Invite guest speakers

Video conferencing opens up your classroom to a world of guest speakers. It is possible to have individuals or panels at one or more locations join your students for a presentation or conversation. Using Zoom, it is also possible to easily record the session to make it available to future semesters of students. Extending the definition of “guest speakers,” some faculty have used Zoom to have their class meet with students at other universities for cross-institution collaboration or virtual conferences.

Use for student presentations

In the past, recording student presentations with both the students and the slides visible involved setting up a camera in front of a classroom projector, and the lighting made it difficult to see both the student and the screen. Using Zoom, students can record professional-looking presentations, with the slides taking up the larger center-portion of the screen and a small window for the speaker to the side.


One of students’ most frequent complaints about group work is the inconvenience of meeting outside of class. Zoom is available to all members of the Georgetown community, including students, so they can set up virtual meetings with their peers. In a whole-class Zoom session, it is also possible to assign students into groups using Zoom breakout sessions. After giving the entire class instructions, use breakout sessions to divide up students for group activities, and then pull them back into the main session to debrief as a whole class.

How faculty use Zoom

Public Health

Professor Maxine Weinstein uses Zoom to connect her students with experts in the field.


Professor MC Chan uses Zoom for lecture capture.

Get started

The UIS Zoom support site offers quick tips for getting started. Learn more about using Zoom for teaching during campus disruptions at Georgetown’s Instructional Continuity page. For a consultation on teaching with Zoom, including best practices, please contact CNDLS.

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