As the era of COVID continues and it seems as if Zoom will be our academic home for the foreseeable future, Tech Helpdesk Manager Brian King takes us through some tips and tricks to help students best succeed in their online classroom.

TIP #1: Students living on campus: connect your computer to the Ethernet (wired internet) connection in your room. The Helpdesk can give you a free Ethernet cable, and if your computer needs an Ethernet adapter the Helpdesk can help you figure out what kind to buy.

TIP #2: Wear headphones. This will make it much easier to understand what others are saying in the meeting. If you don’t have working headphones, you can borrow some from the Helpdesk.

TIP #3: If you get a message that your internet connection is unstable, try this: turn off your webcam (the “Stop Video” icon in the bottom of the screen) and try resizing your Zoom window so that fewer videos of other participants are showing. If using a home internet router, try getting as close to it as you can.

TIP #4: Connect to your Zoom session a few minutes early, if you can, to troubleshoot any issues before the meeting starts. Zoom adjusts dynamically to the available internet bandwidth, so issues in the first few minutes of a meeting are common but if you stick it out they often go away.

TIP #5: You can also test your webcam, microphone and audio at any time at zoom.us/test. This is strongly suggested any time you change your audio devices. 

TIP #6: Mute your mic when not speaking to avoid background noise from causing problems in the meeting.

TIP #7: You can upload a picture that will show when you don’t have your webcam on at pacificu.zoom.us/profile 

TIP #8: If you find yourself in a situation where you just don’t have good enough internet for Zoom, you can dial into the audio of the meeting by phone. Within the Zoom meeting go to the caret (“^”) icon next to the microphone and choose “Switch to phone audio.”

For further info, go to the Helpdesk knowledgebase (helpdesk.pacificu.edu) and search for the following articles: “Troubleshooting Audio and Video Problems in Zoom” and “Tips for Optimizing Home Internet Performance.” — Brian King

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