Zoom Tips

Zoom Success Stories

In a recent campus-wide survey, WashU faculty shared an impressive number of creative ideas for teaching classes over Zoom. A hearty “thank you” to everyone who anonymously contributed their success stories!

Here’s a small sampling of those ideas that we hope might inspire you in your own classes:

Improve Breakout Rooms With Other EdTech

“I post questions on Padlet and students in breakout rooms post their group’s reply directly to Padlet. I can see the replies as they come in and that helps with the large group discussion.”

“For small-group (3-4 person) discussions, we had good success using Zoom breakout rooms during which small group members answered questions on Google Slides (we then came back together as a full group and discussion leaders reviewed the Google Slides from each small group).” [Note: you can do similar activities with Google Docs too]

Use Canvas Discussion Board to Increase Zoom Participation

“Synchronous discussions (on zoom) with my seminar of 14 undergrad students worked very well. Our class meetings focused on discussion of primary journal articles, with all students posting initial comments on Canvas discussion boards prior to class. Everyone participated in the online discussions, attendance was good, and students’ reactions were positive. Not as much fun as meeting in person, but I’d say it went very well.”

Zoom Buddies

“In [my intro language course], we created a system of Zoom-buddies, where the students partner up to practice and then make a video together on the asynch days. [The class] has gone remarkably well, but my classes are small – nonetheless, I’m astonished at how well the students are speaking and learning, in spite of the lack of movement and the revamped games that only sometimes work ok.”

Consistent Breakout Room Groups and Clear Structure

“We have been using [breakout rooms] weekly in a mid-size class (~75 students). At first we randomly assigned students to breakout rooms in Zoom, but soon settled on manually assigned rooms so the first-year students could get to know one another better. Also, clearly defined breakout room roles (that change week to week) plus regular check ins to the breakout rooms.” [Overview of breakout rooms, including creating pre-assigned and self-assigned breakout rooms]

Use a Tablet as a Whiteboard in Zoom

“During Zoom lectures, I shared the screen from my iPad Pro, which I wrote on in real time as if it were a blackboard or whiteboard. This seemed to be very effective for students.” [Guide to using a tablet during Zoom]

For more teaching strategies and tips:
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