Video Conferencing Tips and Resources

Best Practices:  Configuration and Security

Best Practices:  General

Campus Room Locations

Learning Resources


Students and Zoom Interviews

Using Zoom

  • Zoom at Penn State (log in, host a meeting, join a meeting; download current version; other resources)

Create a Meeting in Zoom / Invite Others to Meeting

  1. To create a Zoom meeting, visit the Zoom scheduling site, set the meeting parameters, and click the Save button. 
  2. Next, click the Outlook Calendar button to place the meeting onto your calendar. 
  3. To invite others to the meeting, click the Copy the Invitation button.  Then click the Copy Meeting Invitation button to select all of the meeting invite information.  Paste that text into an email message to send to the desired meeting recipients.

For more details about creating a meeting and inviting others, see How do I invite others to join a meeting?.

Make Meetings Private

Be aware that, just like a physical meeting room, a Zoom meeting room can be used when you are not there.  That means that others can connect/enter your room when you are using your meeting space.

Visit Zoom: Meeting Privacy to learn the tips and techniques to help ensure privacy and who can enter your meeting.

Webinars: Q&A

If desired, a webinar Q&A can be configured to accept anonymous questions without displaying the name of the person who is asking the question.  To do so:

  1. Login to Zoom (via a web browser).
  2. From the left pane, click on Webinars.
  3. Scroll down to the section Webinar Options and place a checkmark in the box for "Q&A".

Prevent Disruptive Actors

There are several methods to keep disruptive actors from joining any University Zoom meeting or webinar.

Webinars: Require Authentication

Zoom keeps tabs on anyone who joins a PSU Zoom session via a meeting or webinar.  For webinars, you can choose to only allow authenticated users to join the session.  This setting requires that anyone who joins the session to have a valid Zoom account.  Requiring authentication helps to eliminate possible disruptive actors by forcing them to identify themselves to you.  Here's how to configure a webinar:

  1. Login to Zoom (via a web browser).
  2. From the left pane, click on Webinars.
  3. Scroll down to the section Webinar Options and place a checkmark in the box for "Only Authenticated Users Can Join".

Webinars: Require Registration

The webinar registration option requires every invited user to register before being allowed to join the session.  This option can also help with large meetings by providing an attendance report before the start of the meeting. 

  1. Login to Zoom (via a web browser).
  2. From the left pane, click on Webinars.
  3. Scroll down to the section Registration and place a checkmark in the box for "Required".

Webinars: Require Password

Just like a personal meeting, a webinar can have a custom password in order for participants to enter. This is a handy security measure that provides more control over who is allowed to attend.  To do so:

  1. Login to Zoom (via a web browser).
  2. From the left pane, click on Webinars.
  3. Scroll down to the section Webinar Password and place a checkmark in the box for "Require Webinar Password".

Zoom Storage Space vs. Kaltura Mediaspace

Zoom recordings are automatically saved to your Kaltura MediaSpace and to the Zoom Cloud.  Kaltura is Penn State's long-term video storage solution with unlimited storage.  Storage space in Zoom is limited.  It is recommended that you use Kaltura links when sharing your recordings.  For more information on sharing links from Kaltura, see:

Scan a Document from a Smartphone

If you need to take a snapshot of a document or a whiteboard, OneDrive makes it easy. The Scan app works for iOS, IPadOS, or Android devices.

  1. Open the OneDrive app on your mobile device.
    Note: At the Files screen, you will see an icon in the lower, right corner. The icon may look like a camera or an old-fashioned, circular camera lens.
  2. Tap the Camera/Camera Lens icon.
  3. Select the appropriate media type: Whiteboard, Document, Business Card, or Photo.
  4. Tap the large, white circle icon to take the photo.
  5. If needed, edit the photo using the editing tools (crop, rotate, add text, or highlight).
  6. When editing is complete, tap Done, enter a file name, select the desired folder, and tap Save
    Note: The file is saved to OneDrive as a PDF.

Best Practices for Accessibility

  1. Include an accessibility statement (shown below) for an event/program within the invitation.  (If a web page exists for the event/program, include the statement on that page as well.)
    Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact XXX at [email protected] or call 814-xxx-xxxx at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the program to allow sufficient time to effectively meet your access needs.
    1. Refer to Zoom - Accessibility at Penn State for more details about live captioning and live caption vendors to address requests for an accommodation from individuals.  Scheduling and the cost of utilizing live captioning services is the responsibility of the department/school.
    2. Closed captions can also be added to Zoom recordings.  Refer to Zoom - Accessibility at Penn State for more information.
  1. Include a link to Zoom’s keyboard shortcuts in the meeting invitation and also post them to chat.  (This is helpful to anyone who uses the keyboard for navigation or assistive technology.)
  2. Provide instructions on how participants can ask questions.  Options may include:
    1. Unmuting their microphone
    2. Using the chat feature
    3. Using non-verbal feedback (such as raising their hand)
  3. Describe the visual content that is being displayed.  (This is helpful to anyone who may be blind or has other vision issues as well as for those who are participating via a phone call.)
  4. Post resource links in chat and also in an email message.  (In the latter case, this could be either the meeting invitation or a follow-up message.)
  5. If comments or questions are being shared via chat, it’s helpful to read the comment/question and then provide the answer.  (This makes sure that it is also part of the recording.)
  6. Reduce background noise and stay close to the microphone when speaking.  (This is helpful to everyone, and especially to those who are hard-of-hearing.)
  7. Mute participants who are not speaking --- this is especially critical in large meetings.  (If several people talk at once, there is a chance that parts of the conversation will be missed.  It’s also helpful to the hard-of-hearing if only one person is speaking at a time.)
  8. Avoid polling in Zoom due to the barriers it presents for some people with disabilities.
  9. It’s helpful to record the meeting so participants can review topics or information they may have missed.  You must announce that you plan to make a recording.  See the resources below for more information.

    In addition, be aware of these PSU policies (which appear at the bottom of the Zoom at Penn State web site):

    1. Recording Notifications - Zoom notifies meeting participants that a meeting is being recorded.
    2. Enable the Recording Disclaimer - Attendees are prompted to provide their consent to be recorded in a meeting and have the option to consent and stay or leave the meeting.
    3. AD40 Recording of Classroom Activities and Note-Taking Services – Details are provided regarding recordings which involve students.
    4. AD95 Information Assurance and IT Security – Discussion of high-risk or restricted data is not permitted while recording.
  1. Captions are required for video recordings placed on the college's web site.  If your video does not already include captions, contact Allison in Strategic Communications, who can provide information about possible options. 

Best Practices for the User Experience

  1. Suggest that participants enable the feature to “Always Show Meeting Controls”.  (This is helpful to new users who may be confused by the menu bar appearing and disappearing; this tip may be included in the meeting invitation.)
  2. Enable the “Mute Participants Upon Entry” feature.  (This ensures that participants will have to unmute their mics to participate.)
  3. Depending upon circumstances, you may want to turn off video to help improve the experience for everyone, especially if the host and/or attendees have bandwidth limitations, restricted data usage on mobile, or have unreliable Internet access.
  4. See the links under “Other Resources” for more tips.