Here is a 30-minute training video with a newcomer to the forum using Zoom as a training aid.

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Quick Guide For Zoom Session Leaders

As the person leading a session, please focus on the group and the conversations you’ll have together. Don’t let the technology get in the way! Make it just as interactive as you would if you were all in a room together, and you won’t go far wrong.

There’s no need to do chalk-and-talk stuff because we’ll be connecting over Zoom, a simple-to-use, high-quality video conferencing system. There’s a basic guide to using it as a meeting participant here (by David Gurteen FRSA) and a visual version below (thanks to Robert Michon).

You and all participants have the option to swap from “speaker view” to “gallery view” on their own screens – please do, so that you can see everyone, and suggest that others do the same.

Participants should also be asked to mute their own audio or video if it gets noisy or busy where they are. In a very large group, the tolerance for background noise is lower (because it gets echoed around the group) so you might want to get everyone to mute themselves.

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Zoom Meeting Host Powers

You can do most things in Zoom as a participant, but the session leader (or an assistant) will probably want to become the Meeting Host for the session.

That’s because as the Meeting Host, you have a few powers in Zoom that everyday participants don’t have:

  1. You can mute people’s audio or video on their behalf
  2. You control recording of the session, including the recording that’s happening “in the cloud”
  3. You can operate breakout rooms.

Meeting Host Powers In Detail

1. Is pretty straightforward – use this power if someone has background noise and has failed to mute themselves. Look out for people moving about, shuffling papers etc, or you may be able to see where noise is coming from by looking out for the highlight on their picture in Gallery View when the room is otherwise quiet. Hover your mouse over their picture and you’ll see the blue “Mute” button.

Sessions are likely to be recorded for later publication. Participants need to be warned of this in the invitation, but feel free to remind them.

  • As the Meeting Host, you’ll need to make your local recording
  • Participants may also want to record the session for their own private use, and that’s good because it provides backups. As the Meeting Host, you can “Allow Record” via the “Manage Participants” button on the bottom bar.

Breakout rooms are one of the most awesome features of Zoom, making small-group conversations possible within a large session. There’s a detailed guide to using them here. (Ignore the first 24 seconds about settings. That’s all sorted)

  • To guard against tech issues (rare, but they do occur), I recommend you tell your participants, “If you find you can’t join the breakout room, or find yourself alone there after a minute or so, come back to this main room.” And initially, stay in the main room yourself.
  • For the benefit of the recording, keep one small group in the main room. Assign them to a room as normal but tell those individuals, “Just ignore the thing about the breakout room when it comes up, and stay here with me.”

Zoom Participant View

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There is a chat feature bottom right where you can chat if someone is around or leave a message…